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Full hollow tele experiment

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by maxvintage, Jul 5, 2016.

  1. maxvintage

    maxvintage Poster Extraordinaire

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    Might be a better approach, but i have a selmer style guitar and the attack is nothing like an archtop. It's a great guitar, but very "live" acoustically. I mena I love the sel-mac design (I have a gypsy jazz gig tonight in fact) I do think having downforce on the top matters, rather than force pulling up, and that would argue for a tailpiece. But then the whole geometry changes and it's not a tele, it seems to me.

    When I was first setting it up, I wasn't happy with the tone. So I loosened the bridge plate screws slightly, which let the back of the bridge plate come up a small bit and brought the front, the neck end, of the bridge plate down harder onto the top. That made a significant difference, it seemed to me: it got the whole top more involved. Still thinking about screwing the front of the bridge plate to the top, but using the bridge plate screws as sort of a fulcrum seems to work.


    You know what would be cool to try? Having string ferrules in the back, with a full hollow body. The string force would then all be down on the top. You'd need to brace the hell out of it I think, and screw the plate in at the front so it's also effectively a brace. But then how would you string it? Poking the string through the back, into a hollow cavity, and then finding the right string hole in the bridge would be tricky at best. Maybe glue some corrugated tube to the underside of the bridge plate...
     
  2. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    Agreed, but the OPs criteria was short decay.
    So based on that, and what you said, that means more of a miss than a hit.
    Any slight reverb effect would be extrainious, and, therefore, a unwanted byproduct.
    Or, that his build pleases our ears better than his, because we preffer a more traditional sound.
    I certainly don't mean to put words in his mouth, but this was an off beat experiment (and good Lord he must be an efficient builder) who is quite intelligent and the whole thing a fair and balanced attempt.
    I'd say he made a guitar I'd like, and also that, I'd actually preffer the first one, but for the sake of the actual experiement kinda a miss if it were meant to accomplish a unique sound result.
    I may have fully missed his point upon the first place, however, semantics being what they are.
    ( much less the auto'uncorrect')
     
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  3. ndeli55

    ndeli55 Tele-Afflicted

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    And I may not be describing what im hearing very well. In the earlier sound clips I thought it had the same plucky real as the guild but yes the last ones do seem more full. I wonder how you can isolate the variables that create the decay in the guild
     
  4. ndeli55

    ndeli55 Tele-Afflicted

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    Would a hollow tell with various "bolt on" tops better suit the experiment? I'd hate to build a whole new guitar just to test bracing changes
     
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  5. mojz

    mojz Tele-Meister

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    if you wanted a tele look but the load properties of a tailpiece arrangement could you not cut an extened slot (to allow fine tuning of bridge position)in the tele bridge to sit a floating bridge inplace of the saddles
     
  6. mojz

    mojz Tele-Meister

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    btw what is the acoustic volume like of your mk1 compared to your mk2
     
  7. maxvintage

    maxvintage Poster Extraordinaire

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    Not a huge difference. Make #1 broke, a valuable lesson in the importance of bracing. I would say they are about the same, with two a bit louder. it's loud enough so that if I sit in the living room and play unplugged at 5am. I'm slightly concerned that my wife and daughter will hear it upstairs.
     
  8. maxvintage

    maxvintage Poster Extraordinaire

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    Good idea! That might be a good way to go--just some screws around the rim would work pretty well I think. Then I could test various ideas. But it would have to be another routed out solid body blank. I really dislike the router, the noise, the staggering amount of dust. Hm....

    Right now build number 2 is getting a nice shellacking. I liked it enough that I decided to give it a decent finish
     
  9. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I have a Selmer style petite bouche as well, and agree that it's neither like an archtop nor a flat top acoustic. Takes a different thinking approach to tone production for me, if I think I'm playing a normal guitar it sounds thin with no bass, but if I think of the music it grew up with I get a good sound.

    Re wood, if you try some spruce for the next build I'd definitely get some that's quarter sawn as that greatly increases strength in the direction it needs to be strong.
    I like the idea of finding a way to string through as well, but I would look for a method that does not squeeze top to back, or impede top vibration with filler.
    Maybe put ferrules in an internal bridge plate like under a flat top acoustic bridge, with access through the back like a Strat.
    You might also be able to fab up some sort of notched ferrule like plate under the top where you push the ball ends in beside/ behind the ferrules and then hook into the ferrule and pull up again. Like a round hole behind a string width slot.
    I very much doubt using a tailpiece would help if you stay with a flat top.
    Archtop and tailpiece is a complete design IMO, one part depends on the other.

    Really the sound change you're getting even with the bright Tele neck pup has the softened attack and slightly rounder sound I would hope for.
    I bet a different pup like a mini hum or even a Strat pup or traditional Tele neck pup (not that I like them!) might get even closer to what you're listening for.

    Edit: Just another opinion, and I know you're tired of the screaming router (hearing protection?), but I think bent sides is probably more construction work than benefit, but I may be wrong!
     
  10. maxvintage

    maxvintage Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have no real idea how much the wood effects the tone or if that would make a difference.

    The reason I keep blathering on about downforce is I built an archtop last year, kind of an unorthodox design where the down force on the top is adjustable (http://www.tdpri.com/threads/unorthodox-archtop-build.568971/).

    More pressure on the top changes volume but also, as you might expect, changes the attack. You get more bark, less sustain
     
  11. mojz

    mojz Tele-Meister

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    just saw the other thread,very impresive.
     
  12. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    It would certainly be the best approach as a 'concept model' or prototype.
     
  13. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    See the Fender elite deluxe bridge currently in production.
     
  14. mojz

    mojz Tele-Meister

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    hadnt seen those before interesting but without seing a better picture than i can find from the description they appear to sit in a pocket and be locked inplace by string tension and be pulling forward into the solid centre section of the body not pushing down on a floating top
     
  15. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yes. The top is loaded from tension, rather than pressure, but the back side is pressing down because it rear loads.
    Not entirely shure that's not cutting hairs.
    It's closer to jazz floating bridge concept than some suggestions.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2016
  16. maxvintage

    maxvintage Poster Extraordinaire

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    Ok here's an update and some more sound clips. The finished guitar below, french-polished with shellac. It was a bit more glossy but I've been playing it a lot! I put Labella flatwounds on it.

    Problems: rattles/buzzes. As might be expected, the pickguard and bridge want to do some rattling/buzzing. Hard to track down. I could try some sticky tape on the back of the pickguard


    Also this guitar, with an Alder body, is too light. I'm planning to make anther one with a spruce top. I'm heading out to get some cherry shortly


    Ok for anyone interested in this experiment, sound clips--first is the acoustic, unplugged sound of the guitar, followed by the acoustic, unplugged sound of a solid body tele. Both were recorded direct about a foot away from an old RCA ribbon mic.

    Unplugged

    Then a clip of the same licks I've already nooddled with again. Difference here is flatwounds, the top has been thinned a bit, and the pickguard and control plate are fully installed, ground wire too. In the last section, a sloppy blues, I switched to the middle pickup position

    plugged



    I'm calling this experiment a success. Again my goal was to get something of the sound of a real archtop--shorter sustain, snappy initial attack--in the form of a tele. T-Bone Walker, Charlie Christian, Jr. Barnard, early Chuck Berry. It's an alder body, fully hollow, with a braced pine top. Pickups are Fralin steel poles

    I'm going to make another version with a cherry body and a spruce top, with maybe a Fralin "Big Single" in the neck position. I'm thinking maybe no pickguard, although I like the traditional tele look. I've also got a Nocturne pedals "Jr. Barnyard" pedal on order, for the whole Octal preamp vibe

    hollow1done.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2016
  17. mlp-mx6

    mlp-mx6 Tele-Holic

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    I'm thinking Ted Greene would've approved. What a cool sound.

    Also - perhaps you could screw down the front of the bridge as well? And forget a pickguard on the next one. Maybe get one of those mini humbuckers that mounts to the edge of the fingerboard too.
     
  18. maxvintage

    maxvintage Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have screwed the front of the bridge down, but the pine is pretty soft--when I do it again I'll glue on some bosses to hold the front screws. The problem with putting a minibucker on the end to f the neck, johnny smith style, is that there isn't enough depth--the tele neck would have to be 1/2 inch or more above the top of the body, which means the bridge would not work...
     
  19. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    Sounds great - the middle position reminds me of the middle position on an SH tele.
     
  20. Stingfan73

    Stingfan73 Tele-Afflicted

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