This guitar design was inspired by the “old world” look of lute and Viole instruments while also combining more modern construction techniques of today’s flat top guitars.
Once I had settled on the guitar shape, I then took a while to design the right rosette. After many drawings, this was the result.
With the differences in the sound hole as compared to a conventional flat top, I thought it wise to make accommodation for a side port at the upper bout. This gives more "built in" options to tweak the sound of this instrument if need be. Side ports are also becoming more popular since it can also “throw” some sound back up toward the player.
A new design is truly a work in progress as slight changes can occur during construction. These changes seem to reveal themselves as the transition is made from a 2D drawing to a 3 dimensional object.
I decided to make an access door at the tail block, since the pierced rosette denies access to the inside of the guitar once the body is closed up.
Closing the box.
At this point, it is interesting to tap test the box to check for responsiveness of the top, back and main-air tones. When the "back door" is removed, the main-air pitch goes up a third. This may be helpful in making the decision to add a side port and in determining the port size as well.
Another exciting prospect of having this back door is the possibilities it opens up for making changes to the braces etc, while the guitar is strung.
The back and sides have been sealed with nitro, but before I french polish the top, I have temporarilly attached the bridge so I could string it up.
Initially, Gabe has a clear warm tone. Although I half expected the sound to be muted some due to the pierced sound hole it was surprising to hear it projected well. The smaller surface area of the sound hole emphasizes a deeper tone while also helping to break up some of the midrange “honk” sound you can sometimes get from a conventional sound hole.