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2016 Holo Traditional 12 Fret Short Scale | Blog

image2016 Holo Traditional 12 Fret Short Scale | Blog

A first from Bob, a recreation of the legendary "Transitional Model" Selmer!

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  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,818
    You can party like it's 1939 with this one!
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,818
    Yep....it's based on Bob's measurements of this guitar which was amazing!

    http://www.djangobooks.com/Item/selmer-transitional-model
    None
  • Andrew UlleAndrew Ulle Cleveland, OH✭✭✭ Antoine DiMauro modele Django
    Posts: 484
    The guitar in the J'Attendrai video looks like it had 14 frets to the body - was that a different guitar than the transitional model shown here? And the neck seems pretty wide in the film, also.
  • Bob HoloBob Holo Moderator
    edited January 2017 Posts: 1,243
    Good eyes. They're both 640 scale Selmer transitional models, but the neck joins the body a few mm into the 12th on the 1934 transitional guitar, like the one in this picture. (attached photo)

    However, the original guitar has 19 frets and players tend to get a little freaked out about having fewer than 21, so I made the end of the fretboard extend to 22 frets which works out well both from a musical and visual standpoint.
    t-bird
    You get one chance to enjoy this day, but if you're doing it right, that's enough.
  • Posts: 2,481
    That is one sweet sounding guitar!
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • Andrew UlleAndrew Ulle Cleveland, OH✭✭✭ Antoine DiMauro modele Django
    Posts: 484
    Is this the same guitar we're talking about? In any case, I'm sure yours is a great guitar to play.
  • Bob HoloBob Holo Moderator
    Posts: 1,243
    Andrew,

    It seems like a slightly earlier variant of the J’Attendrai guitar and it’s an interesting variant because some of the Selmer transitional guitars were somewhat under-braced and had top stability issues, but they nailed this one. It was (is) a superb stable monster of a guitar and for the life of me - I can’t imagine why Selmer didn’t turn it into a model. But I think it pre-dates the model Django played on the J’Attendrai video by about four years. The guitars I built for Stephane Wrembel and Roy Williams are likely a little closer to the 1938 J’Attendrai guitar, but both are Selmer to the core. The proportions and structure and build techniques that make Selmers sound like Selmers are all there in both. Here’s to 2017 and studying more seminal instruments.

    FWIW, It’s not absolutely identical to the original instrument. For the most part it is - the tuning of the soundboard - bracing - tuning of the cavity & etc., but I chose to alter the tuning of the back just a little. The original guitar’s back is tuned to support the lowest string, giving the open E a particularly generous sound, but I chose to tune just a tad higher - more in the range of the early 500 to mid 500 series guitars. If you listen to the videos Michael recorded on this guitar and the original you can hear the difference if you’re wearing good headphones or listening on full range speakers. The open position at 1:28 on the original is a bit stronger than the open position on #84 at 1:12, but the La-Pompe of #84 starting at 1:45 has a bit more mid-bass heft than the original starting at 1:58. All I did was simply pull a little energy from the very bottom-end and put it into the midbass by altering the frequancies at which the back is active/reflective. Because lower frequencies require more power to produce the same SPL, tuning slightly higher gave a nice bump in the midbass with a slight increase in efficiency. Was it right to make that small change? Who knows. The difference is small but there was a reason. A few years ago, Mathieu said something that stuck in my head. He said that he liked bass balance up and down the fretboarded and that sometimes when you play rhythm on a guitar, it is strong in the mid freboard - chugging away on a 5th fret E-string-rooted A for instance, but as you drop down to a G or F, that the oomph declines - and likewise on some guitars, the F & G chords have a lot of weight, but you lose that weight as you walk up the fretboard. So I’ve been working hard to build for balance because I think it winds up being valuable to players, and balance is a function of the back, soundboard & chamber interacting. The original guitar actually has a very nice balance, but favors the very low end a little. It’s a subtle difference. Was it the right thing to use the back to pull a little energy up a little into midbass? Dunno. Ask me in 20 years ;-) But I was happy with the result. It turned out the way I wanted it to.

    Here are the vids I’m talking about.



    MichaelHorowitz
    You get one chance to enjoy this day, but if you're doing it right, that's enough.
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 2,743
    Bob, do you use a heat bent pliage in the tops or a domed arch?

    thanks
  • Bob HoloBob Holo Moderator
    Posts: 1,243
    Selmers have a Pliage. It's tough to see in pictures, particularly on older guitars where the lacquer has a lower gloss from years of experience. If you have a strong raking light, you can see them clearly from certain angles.

    People think of Selmer pliages as radical, but they're not. Somewhere I remember reading that Selmers didn't originally have pliages but rather left the factory gently rounded and developed them over time, but that's not true. You can see that the shape of the pliages, gentle though it was (particularly on the early ones) was intentional. It was even shaped into the tonebars under the bridge, so... its safe to say that the pliages were there from day one though occasionally a pliage will ease over time, particularly if the guitar is over-strung with bronze strings or if the pliage is (shudder) sanded-round during a bad refinish. (yes, I've seen that and needed a drink afterward)

    Anyway, the pliage is accurate to the original.

    You get one chance to enjoy this day, but if you're doing it right, that's enough.
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 2,743
    Oh yes, you can really see it in those pictures. Nice! It looks like the pliage goes all the way to the sides but I'm assuming it must die off to nothing right at the sides since the top of the side is flat right?

    Thanks
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