Why are guitars so big behind the bridge?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Festofish, Dec 15, 2019.

  1. Festofish

    Festofish Tele-Meister

    Age:
    47
    Posts:
    346
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Anybody else ever wonder why there is so much real estate behind the bridge? I’m thinking of building a guitar with ergonomics in mind meaning I’m gonna hack off that fat butt! Seriously though why do we need it? Forearm contour then cut back toward the bridge. Thoughts? Anybody ever attempt that with positive results? Ovation Breadwinner might be a good starting point.
     
    String Tree likes this.
  2. Average_Joe

    Average_Joe Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    483
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2017
    Location:
    A rock and a hard place
    It's what makes them sound good from what I understand. Think of EVH's Explorer that he cut out, when asked why he wasn't playing it anymore he was quoted saying it never played the same after.

    evh shark.jpg

    ...shortly after the recording of the first Van Halen album, Eddie became interested in modifying the guitar and carved out parts of it. He also removed the pickguard, painted it striped in red and white, placing a Les Paul style volume knobs on it, filling in a hole for the middle knob and a rear cutaway that Eddie completed with a chainsaw.

    The result was, however more visually impressive, was a negative one. It reportedly destroyed the tone of the guitar, making it less sonically pleasing to Ed. However the guitar meant something to Eddie, as he posed on the cover of the 1980 Women and Children First album with it. Indeed without the Ibanez Destroyer that Eddie used throughout early Van Halen recordings, much of what we recognise as the Brown sound would have been lost.
     
  3. tintag27

    tintag27 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    1,912
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Location:
    Old England
    There's a few reasons, I guess. Solid body guitars have acoustic guitar DNA and still mostly hark back to the figure 8 silhouette of the old Spanish guitars, where the large sound box was necessary. Now with solids it is a factor in tone (depending on your view), balance, aesthetics, and whether you want a Bigsby or not, haha!
     
  4. tele12

    tele12 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,507
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Location:
    NY
    Balance. Neck heavy without the extra material.

    Steinberger if you don't want the extra.
     
  5. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,806
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2018
    Location:
    In space with Ziggy
    Visual and weight balance. Electrics came after acoustics so they drew basic designs from full bodied Spanish guitars/ acoustics.

    Damn, just read Tintags post and looks like I copied it. He's spot on imo.
     
  6. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    791
    Joined:
    May 3, 2018
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    The short scale length screws up the ergonomics. Take your electric, slide it right until the bridge is where the strap button normally is and try playing above the 12th fret.
     
    unfamous, Chunkocaster and Fiesta Red like this.
  7. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,185
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2015
    Location:
    Italy and Switzerland
    A solidbody does not need what you call the “fat butt” to be functional (see picture below), and I doubt very much that you could hear a difference, regardless of what EVH thinks about his poor explorer.

    1488361356Steinberger_GT-PROdeluxe_front.jpg



    (it’s horrible seeing this vid… poor strat)

    I’d still want the “fat butt” for:
    - visuals
    - balance
    - actually ergonomics. If you play the guitar seated, the “fat butt” might facilitate you depending on how you play seated.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2019
    Rob77, Festofish, stinkey and 2 others like this.
  8. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,806
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2018
    Location:
    In space with Ziggy
    I like the arm rest, without it playing would feel uncomfortable imo.
     
    nojazzhere likes this.
  9. Dan German

    Dan German Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    8,941
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    Location:
    Left of the Left Coast
    Flying V.
     
  10. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,806
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2018
    Location:
    In space with Ziggy
    If it takes off there might be money to be made by making arm rests you strap on your arm.
    That's if you can compete with StewMacs prices on them.:)
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2019
  11. Average_Joe

    Average_Joe Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    483
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2017
    Location:
    A rock and a hard place
    Ya but that guitar sounded like a turd before he started ;-)
     
    ClashCityTele and RadioFM74 like this.
  12. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,420
    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Location:
    Marion, NC
    ^^^ this ^^^
     
  13. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    4,362
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    Balance and ergonomics.

    A headless design is the best way to accomplish what you're talking about


    Look at fender basses. The bridge is right at the end of the body, because otherwise the bass would be too long to deal with comfortably. Even a les paul shaped bass movies the bridge way back from where it sits on the guitar
     
  14. John Backlund

    John Backlund Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    4,152
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2003
    Location:
    South Dakota
    Not "Fat" necessarily, but I occasionally utilize what I refer to as 'Long Butt' guitar bodies for improved directional stability in high wind situations....and ever-the-prankster, to make case-fitting a special challenge...
    IMG_20180420_153622570~2.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2019
  15. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    41,999
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2011
    Location:
    Bakersfield
  16. Peegoo

    Peegoo Tele-Holic

    Age:
    59
    Posts:
    726
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2019
    Location:
    USA
    Electric guitars follow a basic form factor due to nostalgia, mostly. If players such as Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend and Jimi Hendrix exclusively played tiny-bodied guitars like a Steinberger, things would probably be quite different today.

    For those Gibson freaks out there shedding a tear for Eddie's hacked-up guitar, stop wasting tissues. It was an Ibanez Destroyer :)
     
    mrmousey likes this.
  17. Dan German

    Dan German Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    8,941
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    Location:
    Left of the Left Coast
    Destroyee?
     
  18. NewKid

    NewKid Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    752
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2011
    Location:
    Seattle
     
  19. Peegoo

    Peegoo Tele-Holic

    Age:
    59
    Posts:
    726
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2019
    Location:
    USA
    [​IMG]
    'Super Yob' built by John Birch for Slade's Dave Hill.
     
    String Tree and Chunkocaster like this.
  20. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    22,668
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2012
    Location:
    Montana
    Gibson experimented with this issue, but were smart not to enter this one into production. Well, until it became a legend. These things suck to play.
    IMG_4189.JPG
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.