A weighty matter

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A weighty matter

Postby newfan » Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:12 pm

Dear Doctor Ted

After reading a fascinating thread on an American forum dedicated to the literary works of Django, concerning the weight of guitars, I felt compared to weigh my own instrument as instructed. It weighed in at a hefty 3lbs and 14 ounces (although the air was particularly dense today)

My first question: is this to be classed as a cruiserweight or destroyer? You have heard my playing so I felt you could answer this one helpfully.

My second question - given your love of all things fast and furious ( and I don't mean the fairer sex): if I shave the bridge, remove the string ends, drill a few holes in the tailpiece, will it help me take half a second or so off my lap times for "Daphne"?
Yours gratefully,

Deranged of Da Newbold.
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Postby Teddy Dupont » Fri Feb 15, 2008 3:19 pm

Hello Newfanny,

I do not think the importance of guitar weight can be overstated. I am amazed we have not discussed this topic at length here before on this cutting edge forum.

For many years, I selected my guitars purely on the issue of weight with great success. Unfortunately, I did have to subsequently add other less significant factors when I found I had actually been buying mandolins.

At 3lbs 14ounces, your guitar is clearly of battleship proportions and is presumably made from laminated oak which explains why you keep falling over when you leap from your seat mid "Dark Eyes" solo to begin that disturbing Cossack dancing routine.

I would highly recommended all the modifications you mention. It is claimed that Django, at one stage, cut a big hole in the back of his guitar for reasons I have never quite grasped but that may be taking weight reduction measures just a little too far in your case. It is not so much speed I feel you need on "Daphne". It is more endurance. It is so sad to see a grown man crying after only 20 medium paced choruses.

I am sure Catty can add some useful advice here if only about the weather in Spain.

Best wishes with your violin and strict discipline lessons.
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Postby Jono » Fri Feb 15, 2008 5:45 pm

Teddy Dupont wrote:It is not so much speed I feel you need on "Daphne". It is more endurance. It is so sad to see a grown man crying after only 20 medium paced choruses.


I've put my shoulder out just thinking about it.
They may be drinkers, Robin, but they're still human beings.
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Postby Cattermole » Fri Feb 15, 2008 6:03 pm

Teddy Dupont wrote:Hello Newfannybatter,
I am sure Catty can add some useful advice here if only about the weather in Spain.

Strip 'em down to the minimum, that's my advice. Remember, there is no shortage of analogies concerning the guitar and women and who actually goes out sober to pull a porker?
Don't forget, fat birds, mopeds and overweight guitars: all are fine for riding around on until your mates find out.
Weatherwise, it could be worse.
Errrr, that's it.

Although, joking aside, as far as classical guitars were concerned I always preferred the sound of a slightly smaller bodied, lightly constructed instrument. They always seem to produce a very sweet lyrical sound which I found pleasing.

I'm tempted to try something similar with this style of guitar. The only experiment I've tried so far was to crank the neck right back to increase the break angle over the bridge to increase the volume, which worked rather well as a matter of fact, but owing to the 24mm bridge required to get the action right the additional stress this produced meant the top caved in after a month.
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