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Freeman Keller

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Everything posted by Freeman Keller

  1. The simple answer is that a lap steel is an electric guitar, it makes its sound by the strings moving thru a magnetic field. A "dobro" is an acoustic guitar, it makes its sound by the cone moving air. Various kinds of pickups can be added to a "dobro" to amplify it - some are more true to the cone sound.
  2. Since the definition of "luthier" varies my suggestion is to take the guitar and all of the information you can find about the sustainer (they had pretty good instructions when I installed mine) to the person who might do the work and get an estimate. Installing the sustainer will probably involve routing the body which might mean some finish touch up. You need room for both the PCB and the battery (and make the access to the battery easy). There is substantial wiring in addition to the pickups that you want changed. I made new pick guards and a back panel cover and had them engrav
  3. As I recall I charged the guy for ten hours of labor plus some parts. We made new front and back covers and some other stuff - he didn't blink when I handed the invoice. I had to route the guitar to fit the pcb and batteries, I believe Sustainiac makes some models for strats that fit in the trem cavity. And for what it is worth, I wouldn't trust GC to change my strings.
  4. Please understand that installing a Sustainiac is not a trivial modification. I put one in a flying vee for a guy - it was a major project. Would I trust Guitar Center to do this? Absolutely not.
  5. Hi Hilmarg. My current go to guitar is a western red cedar over cocobolo OM. Coco is an absolute stunning tonewood but its somewhat problematic to work with. It is related to rosewood and has that "rosewood" sound, whatever that means. I think the cedar top on mine has more to do with the voice than anything else.
  6. A million years ago when I did the great HCAG String Test I took two of my favorite (and very different guitars) and did what I suggest you do. I bought two sets of the same gauge uncoated string from the same manufacturer and put them on one guitar, played it and recorded it. Most of the recording was simple stuff - open strings, a few chords, a coupe of slides. I did the same with the second set of strings on the other guitar. I recorded them both, using the same recorder with the same settings. Then I switched them (same scale guitars) and did it again. Then I repeated with the
  7. I will add one more thing to the above. If you want to experiment with string tension if you down tune one semi tone and capo at the first fret you will be approximately the same tension as a standard string set one size below what you on your guitar. If you tune down two semi tones and capo at 2 it will be approximately two standard sets below yours. If you tune up one semi tone (you won't be able to capo) you will be at the tension of a standard set one size above yours. Lets say you have a set of lights (12's) on your guitar. One step down and capoed at 1 will still be E standard
  8. There are three things that influence string selection 1 - compostion, the type of material the string is made out of. Industry names are Phosphor Bronze, 80/20 (which is a composition ratio) and lots of other things. The two biggies are PB and 80/20. The have a slight but detectable difference in sound that can be used to taylor the voice of your guitar - many people think PB are more "mellow" while 80/20 are "bright" (be warned that opinions vary and even manufacturers don't agree). Get a set of each, try them out, make up your own mind 3 - I put this second tho its really
  9. This might help. Look at post #5. Then look at the others to see how I measure stuff https://www.tdpri.com/threads/basic-setup.952636/ The important thing is that I evaluate the entire guitar before I touch anything. The minute you start screwing with something you affect everything else (relief is the best example). I'm going in for knee surgery tomorrow and probably won't feel like guitar discussions for a few days. Good luck
  10. That is helpful. Lets start with the neck angle. There are two ways to measure it - the easiest and most accurate is to lay a 24 inch straight edge on the fretboard so it is resting on the first and whatever high fret it wants to rest on, probably 14 in your case and see where the end is. The ideal situation is for it to be right on top of the bridge (not saddle). A guitar that is seriously dehydrated might be above the bridge, if the end of the ruler is much below the top of the bridge it needs a neck reset. Why is this? The bridge and saddle act as a little lever to rock th
  11. Lets put this in a different perspective. Anytime I approach a new guitar, whether its on my bench for some work or if I was considering buying it, I automatically check two things. I want to know if it is properly humidified - that is very simple, are fret ends sharp, is the natural doming of the top still there. Two minutes to evaluate, its either OK or not. Then I check the neck angle. I just automatically do this on every guitar. Lay the straightedge on the fretboard, look at the end - bingo, its OK or not. There is another test for neck angle which yours seems to fa
  12. OK, you really didn't do what I asked, did you? I wanted to see where the straight edge hits the bridge, I want to know what the relief is and I want to know what the action at the 12th fret is. Very simple measurements that will tell me everything about your guitar. The hump at the 14th fret is normal and is OK, its called fall away and is much more desirable than a ski jump. Unless you play your acoustics above the 14th fret don't worry about it. Shaving down a bridge is the very last resort when you decide that you can't do a reset - it dramatically weakens the saddle in the b
  13. I haven't been here in ages, happened to wander by and saw this. Before you go any farther, B, please measure everything and post the numbers. I want to know where the fret plane hits the bridge, exactly how much saddle is sticking out (a picture would help), exactly what the relief and 12 fret action measures. I'll check back.
  14. For what it is worth, the official depth of a fender pocket is 5/8 (0.625) with a flat bottom. Fender necks are 1 inch thick (neck plus fretboard) at the center line, typical total overstand at the center (neck plus fretboard) is 3/8. Here is a good look at the standards https://www.warmoth.com/Guitar/Necks/faq2.aspx
  15. I can't resist jumping in here. There are two parts of a guitar's neck geometry - the angle of the neck relative to the body and the amount is stands proud of the body (called "overstand" from the bowed instrument world). The actual amount of either one doesn't matter - it is the combination that does. Fender guitars are designed to have no neck angle (zero is an angle) and neck pocket is nominally 5/8 (0.625) deep. In theory any neck that meets fender standards will screw into this pocket and give acceptable action. The sometimes don't. (Actually they often don't). Yo
  16. No, I will stop by from time to time and if I can contribute something, I will.
  17. Ordinarily I wouldn't be saying anything here but an interesting coincidence has just happened. A couple of you might remember me, I was somewhat active 10 or 12 years ago. Built a couple of guitars, fixed a few more, contributed some bad music, talked a lot. Helped old Krash with the Annex. The forum changed, maybe I changed - it didn't suit my needs and I moved on. I kept a book mark and once in a while I would pop in, look at the titles and dates and one post wonders and shake my head and go back to where I've been hiding. The other day I got a PM. Normally I wouldn'
  18. Wouldn't all those butterflys beating their wings be kind of, Chaotic? In 1972 when I was a graduate student in electrical engineering/computer science the nuclear engineers approached us, they needed a model of a phenomena they thought might be happening in reactors. I needed a thesis. They gave me a non linear equation to model (in Fortran) on our mainframe computer. Turns out it was very sensitive to initial conditions - with one set it was perfectly stable and well behaved, with only slightly different conditions it was totally unstable. Today you could model that on your tablet
  19. Chris, I'm going to add one more question to my previous comment. Since you can buy cynoacrylate glues from a number of sources, including lutherie supply houses, model and hobby shops and hardware stores, what is the advantage of Glu-Boost over any of these other products? I use a fair amount of very thin CA for repairs and installation of binding and purfling - why would I want to consider this product? According to the link in your article, 2 oz of the ultra thin Glu-Boost sells for $15.00. LMII sells it for $20.75 (interesting mark up, eh?). They also sell another thin CA calle
  20. Thanks for the review, Chris. I've looked at the Glu-Boost products and discussion at one of the lutherie forums has been positive. Were you happy with the way the drop fills buffed out? Did you scrape, sand (if so what beginning and ending grits), use Micro Mesh or similar and/or buff (which products and methods?)? I'm assuming that both the Epi and Breedlove were poly - were you able to blend the drop fill into the finish to your satisfaction? Even tho the manufacturer says its OK for nitro, there was a comment on one of the forums that it did soften or react with nitro - wa
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