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Asturias Alto Guitar (1 viewing) (1) Guest
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TOPIC: Asturias Alto Guitar
#1206
silvanig (User)
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Re:Asturias Alto Guitar 8 Years, 9 Months ago Karma: 3  
IMPACTS ON AESTETICS

I can't contribute a picture of an 8 plus 3, but of an 8 plus 5 alto (see below).
Imagining a 7 plus 6 alternative, I only see little impact on aesthetics.
Maybe it's different with 8 plus 3 vs 7 plus 4.

CUSTOMIZING AN ALTO GUITAR

When I ordered my alto guitar, I specified 8 plus 5. Roger Stromberg already had a 7 plus 6 instrument under construction, which met my specifications except for 8 plus 5. At that time, the stage of the guitar was just before 'finishing'. Anyhow he saw no problems in customizing this instrument to 8 plus 5, even at that advanced stage.

RELEVANT SPECIFICATIONS

An 8 plus x instrument makes sense, because there are pieces where a note occurs which lies half a step above the empty 8th string. For example, there are 5 such pieces in the London Weiss MS (as far as I know).
But in my opinion, there is a decision with an even greater functional impact. This is the decision between 11 and 13 strings.
If you want to have all the basses used in the mature Weiss pieces, you need at least 12 strings. And there are Bach pieces, where string 13 is needed (e g. BWV 995).
 
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#1207
silvanig (User)
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Re:Asturias Alto Guitar 8 Years, 9 Months ago Karma: 3  
Sorry,
the picture exceeded system limits, so the upload was not executed.
 
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#1214
tenvec (User)
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Re:Asturias Alto Guitar 8 Years, 9 Months ago Karma: 1  
Silvanig,
I agree wholeheartedly over the number of strings. With 11 you have all the renaissance, including 10c repertoire and the 11c attiorbato of Pietro Paolo Meli(little known, but very attractive), some of the archlute, and all the 11c baroque. 12 is necessary for 13c baroque, 13 will save some down tuning in some 13c baroque and deal with most of Bach. 14 is necessary for the general archlute repertoire.
Your account of Stromberg's accommodation of your requirement was very interesting.
James.
 
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#1216
tommyollie (User)
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Re:Asturias Alto Guitar 8 Years, 9 Months ago Karma: 2  
Sylvanig
I don't see any problem with the 8 plus 5 arrangement on your guitar - it looks a fine instrument! I think once the string count increases it becomes a viable option but it is interesting to note that not everyone regards 8 fretted strings as essential - even the 14 string alto in the gallery has only 7 fretted. Can you tell me if this was your first multi string guitar? If so you are a brave man!
James
I think there are many multi string options available in all sorts of string combinations but I think on the Alto it is difficult to see how the 8 plus3 arrangement would work. A three string fingerboard extension would be quite narrow and rather short and would unbalance the instrument and look very odd! It would also beg the question of whether it is worth creating a quite complicated extension for only 3 strings- In my view it needs at least 4 or 5 to work. I can see luthiers advising against this arrangement and suggesting more strings to bring it back in balance. My view if you want 8 fretted you have a 12/13 strings.
Regarding the design-I think Bolin and Per Olof Johnson intended to create a versatile 7 string plus instrument and I don't think it is a weakness in the design that their 7 string is not an 8 string! I think their design has become a classic in the world of the multi string guitar and remained popular for some 40 years or so because it really works in terms of playability, sound and aesthetics.
Most six stringers would delighted with it as a first multi string guitar but I can see that seasoned multi stringers like yourself may yearn for more. In the context of threads such as this in which 6 stringers may be considering investing in a first multi string guitar, there is a lot to be said for going with a proven model rather than a rarity.
 
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#1218
RobertoIG (User)
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Re:Asturias Alto Guitar 8 Years, 9 Months ago Karma: 0  
This is an interesting topic.

I hope to get my 13 string alto guitar in a few weeks. I finally choosed to have only 7 seven strings on the same length, mostly because i want to use the "6th" string from a regular set for all the basses, that way i will have a balanced sound because they´ll have the same thickess and tension. I don´t like the sound of thicker strings -or having the 8th string with same thickness but a lot less tension-.

Anyways, i´m sure there is not too much trouble in changing the configuration and put the 8th string at the same length.

Maybe a solution is to ask for this thing that permanently frets a string (don´t know the name in english!! ) and it is removable!

look at 0:28 , 3rd string http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2BOApUvFpw
 
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Last Edit: 2010/01/31 00:01 By RobertoIG.
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#1219
tommyollie (User)
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Re:Asturias Alto Guitar 8 Years, 9 Months ago Karma: 2  
Hi Roberto,
I had thought of the idea of using mini capo like the one in the clip which at first glance looks like a brilliant idea. It would have the advantage of being attached or detached depending on need and could also be retro fitted to existing altos. The problem is this would seriously disturb the linear nature of the bass because there would be a huge change of scale length between 8 and 9. For every pro there is a con. I can understand your reasoning for choosing 7 fretted-the 8th string C in the bass is especially gorgeous! The argument for 8 fretted is also valid. If I was going for a 13 string I'm not sure which way I'd go.
Please post pictures of your alto when it arrives.

Bill
 
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