Early Guitars and Vihuela

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I've admired the look of this guitar for several years and researched it as much as I could. I found some information on construction but not a lot, and I have never heard one, only comments from a few people who have. I decided to build one and have just completed it. I chose figured Cherry back and sides, Western Red Cedar top, Walnut neck, red spruce bracing and solid linings. Rosewood head plate, bridge and fingerboard. Ebony violin pegs. I was curious about this guitar since it used parallel bracing, and an oval sound hole. I know LaPrevotte made three versions (that's the information I have) and this is the one that is more or less plain. I used my bracing pattern to achieve the arched back and decided to do that for my first one but will carve the arch the back on the next. I made very few alterations from what I could tell but did add a very thin rosewood bridge plate. I have seen some builders use a tie block style bridge but all the originals I've seen had a pin bridge (more French I suppose) so that's what I made and have used bone pins, saddle and nut. I strung it up for the first time yesterday to finish the set up and am preparing to french polish it next week. I used ERG strings. It sounds warm and beautiful. I want to that Scot Tremblay for the Lacote side dimensions he suggested, perfect and I'm certain that accounts for much of the warmth. I'll post some photographs later if anyone would like to see it, pre-polished. Thanks for reading this.

Robert

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I too would like to try the 945 c. Tuning machines aside, I'm attaching a photo of the top bracing while it was under construction. I couldn't fine tone wood wide enough to do a one piece top, and I buy my tone wood from Colonial mostly. I built this using whatever information I could find and used my own imagination. I believe the bridge plate helps it along... I can say this however, the guitar is very responsive with just the right amount of sustain. On the note very quickly. The LaPrevottes apparently had a 1.5 or so degree neck angle so that is what I did. Of course that raised the bridge some and resulted in a higher saddle with a little more angle up from the pins. Experimental or not, I like this parallel bracing concept!

Are you familiar with the wbsite of Makoto Tauruta? He has a bunch of photos and a good plan of a LaProvette that he restored. Might give you some more ideas.

 

Next time you see a one piece top, look carefully, there's an important component to them...enough said.

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