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Evenin' was at midnight when I heard that local blow - Charlie Patton, Moon Goin' Down

Author Topic: Fraulini Guitars  (Read 18774 times)

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Offline Cambio

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Fraulini Guitars
« on: January 18, 2005, 11:54:43 AM »
Pardon the shameless self promotion, but with the Geremia thread going on, I thought it was the perfect segue.  Frank has been working very hard to update my formerly low-fi website.  He's done a great job putting together a good looking, smooth running and  informative website.  Check it out and let us know what you think:
www.fraulini.com
Todd

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Fraulini Guitars
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2005, 12:28:13 PM »
Wow, it looks just fabulous. Nice job, fellars. Really attractive. I also like the addition of the background story on the name and models. Great idea to put the setup info on there too. Congratulations!

Andrew

Offline dj

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Re: Fraulini Guitars
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2005, 12:50:50 PM »
What a nice site.  Just one minor point:  on the Models page, should that be "Adirondak spruce top and bracing" rather than just "Adirondak top and bracing"?

Offline Slack

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Re: Fraulini Guitars
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2005, 01:16:51 PM »
Super job guys!  I really like the family history (so that's where Fraulini comes from), the herringbone type binding for the page seperator and the pictures -  many look professionally done - so whoever did them did a very nice job.

And I cannot think of better endoresments than Paul Geremia and Alvin Hart!  If I hadn't dropped so much money on my own workshop - I'd order one!   ;D

cheers,
slack

Online Johnm

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Re: Fraulini Guitars
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2005, 04:04:37 PM »
Congratulations, Todd, on the beautiful website, and Frank, on the website design.  The whole thing looks great, and of course, the instruments are just beautiful.  I like the tying of model names to family members; pride in family is a quality that I particularly value.  Best of luck with all your endeavors.
All best,
Johnm

Offline frankie

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Re: Fraulini Guitars
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2005, 10:12:26 PM »
Thanks for the compliments, everybody - I don't think I'd have been able to pull it off if I didn't feel strongly that Todd's building great guitars.

Offline Richard

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Re: Fraulini Guitars
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2005, 03:40:25 PM »
A really informative good site, I like the family bit.

One question, why are 12 strings ladder braced and not cross braced, is it strength or ?
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline Cambio

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Re: Fraulini Guitars
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2005, 09:28:11 AM »
One question, why are 12 strings ladder braced and not cross braced, is it strength or ?
Quote
Good question.  All 12 strings aren't necessarily ladder braced, the vast majority of those made now are x-braced, as are the majority of six strings.  In the early part of the 20th century, X bracing was in its infancy, and most guitars were ladder braced.   Over time many of the better guitar manufacturers switched over to X bracing because it is, structurally speaking, a better design.  Companies like Oscar Schmidt, Lyon and Healy, Regal and Harmony, continued to make ladder braced instruments because they were less labor intensive.  The ladder braced instruments were much cheaper than the X braced instruments, so they were the preferred choice of many blues and hillbilly players. 
You could argue all day about which bracing pattern is better acoustically, but in my mind, if you really want to capture the sound of the old recordings, nothing beats a ladder braced instrument.  It's sort of like, if you want to get a great Chicago blues sound, nothing beats an old tube amp.  You're not going to be able to get that sound with a solid state amp.  I'm trying to capture the sound of the old instruments, so I ladder brace the guitars that I make.  After explaining this to a friend his reply was, "So essentially, you're trying to rebuild the Titanic?"  I am, but with a stronger hull.

Offline Richard

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Re: Fraulini Guitars
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2005, 03:54:27 PM »
Thanks, that explains it.. except  dare I ask :-X

So is it just a misconception that ladder bracing is a stronger construction, as it always seems that 12 string guitars get a reference to ladder bracing and never X bracing, the implication being that the stresses in a 12 string instrument are much more than in a 6 string  and that the ladder bracing copes with it better - if you see what I mean :-\
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline waxwing

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Re: Fraulini Guitars
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2005, 04:33:18 PM »
I don't know, I reference my ladder braced Stella 6 string all the time. And I reference the ladder braced Kalamazoos made by Gibson in the 30's and 40s and the LG 1s and 2s Gibson sometimes ladder braced in the 60's. And we've often discussed Todd's ladder braced 6s as well as those of Marc Silber (no longer building) and Mike Hauver (who works with Neil Harpe). X bracing was an invention of the 20th Century that to a large extent replaced ladder bracing. Before about 1915, virtually all guitars, 6s and 12s, were ladder braced (or some other straight bracing). After about 1935, virtually all guitars, 6s and 12s, (except the Harmony Stellas) were X braced. Nowadays there are all kinds of weird bracing patterns. Any notion that 6s are Xed and 12s are laddered is misinformed. In terms of strength, the X bracing keeps the top from being able to belly out below the bridge, so with the increasing popularity of the pin bridge came the X bracing.
All for now.
John C.
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

“Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

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Offline Slack

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Re: Fraulini Guitars
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2005, 09:32:17 PM »
Johnc, LG1's are all ladder braced, LG2's are all X braced. 

The object of acoustic guitar building is to build as light a guitar as posible without it folding up on itself.  :)  Most guitar makers consider the X brace a better choice for trying to do this and the triangle structure is a strong structure.  But their were some high end makers also who used ladder bracing -- Larson Brothers had several ladder patterns, Bruno and I'm sure others.

But that's what makes Todd's guitars so interesting - he's bucking the trend (love the titanic line), an intersting niche - ladder braced guitars do sound different and 'old timey' - hard to characterize.

cheers,
slack

Offline waxwing

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Re: Fraulini Guitars
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2005, 03:55:43 AM »
Right, JohnD, LG-0s and LG-1s. 2s and 3s were Xd, Sorry. Not implying I mentioned everyone, just trying to give a general context. And now, to bed.
All for now.
John C.
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

“Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

http://www.youtube.com/user/WaxwingJohn
https://www.facebook.com/WaxwingJohn

Offline Cambio

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Re: Fraulini Guitars
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2005, 08:26:37 AM »
Thanks, that explains it.. except dare I ask :-X

So is it just a misconception that ladder bracing is a stronger construction, as it always seems that 12 string guitars get a reference to ladder bracing and never X bracing, the implication being that the stresses in a 12 string instrument are much more than in a 6 string and that the ladder bracing copes with it better - if you see what I mean :-\
Ladder braced 12 strings are always referred to because that is what all of the great old 12 string players played.  While ladder bracing used to be the standard, it is now the exception, that is why the distinction is made when talking about old, 12 string playing blues guys.
I think that modern builders have abandoned ladder bracing because they consider it a liabililty.  The same reason that many of them have abandoned light finishes, in favor of heavy, very tough, durable finishes.  The failures of many of the ladder braced guitars of the past was not necessarily due to an inferior design, but  to inferior materials and workmanship.  Some of the shops that made cheap guitars (which tended to be ladder braced) were trying to cut corners and save a buck.  They would, in many cases, use lesser grade woods, old hide glue, and old, waxy finishes.  That's not to say that they didn't make some great instruments though.  The proof is in the sound.

Offline Richard

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Re: Fraulini Guitars
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2005, 01:36:00 PM »
Thanks, that's an interestingI historical perspective particularly as regards where the the ladder braced guitars made with the poor quality materials fit in.

Todd, I think you are on the right track with your niche market for quality ladder braced instruments  :)
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline Blue Poodle

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Re: Fraulini Guitars
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2005, 09:13:06 AM »
One comment, re Waxwing's reference to Marc Silber no longer building.  Last time I checked, Marc still had several guitars from his former production runs in Mexico that are just a setup and/or other adjustments away from being ready for sale.  His website lists several of his instruments, including several 6 strings and a 12 string.
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