A network for historic guitars and vihuelas
Hi all, I'm new to this site, and play lute and Renaissance guitar. I'm interested in acquiring a baroque guitar and have noticed that many makers offer their models in either flat or ribbed backs. Other than the added expense of construction - and the beautiful ascetic - does a ribbed back have any advantage when it comes to the sound, either to the tone or the volume? Thanks in advance!
No, there aren't any advantages to it! Quite the opposite in fact: vaulted back can be rather uncomfortable to hold while playing standing up, or even seating. It can also result in dampening the sound and, as a result, hinder the projection when it comes in contact with the player's body. Vaulted back is neither that good at keeping the neck angle stable too, so over time the action can become way too high. So, I'd surely go for a flat back one if I were you, and save your money for a good set of gut strings. But the main thing is: chose the maker more carefully, rather than the model, or wood etc. Hope this helps.
Thank you, Alexander, this is very helpful advice.