PurpleTrails wrote: ↑
Sat Aug 15, 2020 4:19 pm
Somewhere Steve Kimock posted that playing one of Jerry's guitars was a bit of a high wire act, in that you get great, deep tone but it's hard to hit exactly the right notes. With the action that high it's hard to get the intonation right and easy to have the note vary a bit by fretting the string too hard or soft.
Kimock used to post a lot on TGP until he got tired of the arguments and split. Here are a brief sample of some statements Kimock posted on TGP in 2017 and 18 you may find interesting.
Garcia wouldn’t have had any interest in or use for “unusual accuracy” in the fret placement’s affect on intonation because he was already throwing the existing ridiculously accurate calculations out the window with his set-up.
His interest was more in consistency of intonation at the level he could he manipulate it by playing than “pitch accuracy” at the actual frets.
His action was high, strings relatively light, a LOT of relief in the neck, nut relatively high, none of which contributes to accuracy of intonation at the level of checking the string at every fret with a tuner and everything’s straight up.
The low register has to be sharp, a whole bunch of the middle of the fretboard is going to be randomly flat, things might settle out around the 12th for a few frets but it’s all going progressively flatter from there.
The point isn’t for the guitar to be accurately intonated fret-by-fret so much as it is flexible to intonation adjustment by the player.
The guitar was set-up to be brought into tune by player “English” pushing and pulling on the strings, bending, vibrato, left hand pressure, right hand attack, etc.
If the middle registers were straight up on the tuner with no relief in the neck, the strings would be less easily manipulated, the action “flat”, so vibrato sharp, although I think the relief on Garcia’s guitars had more to do with timbre than intonation.
It’s the high register stuff that suffers most in performance with respect to player’s intonation if the guitar is “accurate”.
It’s very hard to add “sing” to the vibrato without going immediately sharp if the high register is correct to the tuner.
And that’s where that stuff is most important.
If the guitar isn’t headed flat in a hurry past the 12th fret the player’s headed sharp if he’s trying to sell anything guiaristic. https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index ... t-26457705
Just an observation of Garcia’s preference for basic elements of design, which had to relate to playability for him or he wouldn’t have gone there so consistently.
That’s “initial condition” stuff for me, scale length, dead length, string gauge, neck/fingerboard/fret dimensions, string spacing at nut and bridge, radius, relief, action height, down angle, etc.
Anyway, he preferred the non-adjustable radius TOM and some kind of stop-tail so that’s where I’d start to meet the initial condition/physical balance of resistances that get the party started for “technique in the style of”.
I happen to agree with his preferences mostly, and I’ve done a bunch of experimenting along those lines with various guitars and luthiers, but it really is just personal preference.
If you really like your bridge, there’s no reason to go with something new and potentially uncomfortable.
Jerry’s trip was obviously way more about his musical approach than the hardware, so I don’t want to be one of those guys hung up at the DiMarzio/JBL/MuTron level.
Kinda superficial, but from my guitar nerd perspective I do have to acknowledge the basic “vibrating string” parameters because I think they’re critical to an understanding of his technique.
That was a fairly nerdy elaboration, don’t you think?
Grain of salt, .02c, ymmv, imho, up to you, etc. https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index ... t-25803050
Ordinarily for me “accuracy” in that context would be about intonation, but if the quote was “whisper down the alley” several times removed from source it could be about neck shape, radius, fret profile, upper fret access etc. relative to personal preference.
It might not have anything to do with “slots”. Dunno.
I have two Cripe guitars, they’re extraordinary instruments, and there’s a third in the family, another Lightening Bolt type guitar that kicks my two Strat types ass in a lot of ways.
I’ll have it in my possession next week to have a look at the intonation on the 24 fret neck and compare to my guitars.
Honestly, the intonation angle on “accuracy” at an objective level with Garcia’s guitars doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
His set up was peculiar and I think it had more to do with the ease, flexibility, and range of available pitch than any idea of more accurate intonation resident in the actual fingerboard.
If accuracy meant Garcia felt like he was able to execute his chit more accurately higher on the neck because of neck profile around the heel I could believe that.
There’s no heel at all on those guitars really, neck-thru, the neck just disappears into the body.
It’s not like a Strat or a Les Paul where the thumb quits the back of the neck in the high register.
You’re pretty much “in position” with the thumb behind the second finger all the way up, and if you’re “thumb over” for leverage that lasts all the way to the highest frets too.
The “usual accuracy” wrt intonation depends on what you’re comparing to.
Les Paul’s are a little weird.
The less resonant low strings/high frets thing is normal, that’s just how short fat strings behave. https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index ... t-26376245
Yeah, it’s not a comment about the guitar’s accuracy it’s a comment about the player’s ability to get his fingers down to the frets with greater accuracy “to play where he usually avoided” which would have been in the high register.
In the implied Irwin vs Cripe comparo that’s a comment on neck profile at the heel.
I’m not gonna bother linking pics but if you’re interested just Google images for the two guitars, compare heels and do your best to imagine upper fret access.
The Irwin’s have a genuine traditional heel, which is kinda hip in a way, I like the effect of getting up over some mass on that part of the neck, but it does mean “thumb position” on some level.
I remember playing “the new guitar” when Jerry got it, expecting it to feel like a fancy Strat but it handled more like an L5 at the top of the neck.
When you got to the heel it was FAT and massive in a very agreeable way, but there it was.
The Cripe is essentially heel-less, the body is undercut where the neck joins, smooth and slim, and the upper fret access is a lot better.
If anybody here has a Les Paul for comparison purposes, slide up the neck with whatever you’ve got for a normal left hand fretting position and see where the heel starts pushing your hand away from the neck.
For me that’s right up around F# or G.
After that my thumb has to come around to the treble side of the neck, which isn’t a huge big deal but it does change the way you approach the high frets.
You don’t hit that wall on the Cripe until B or C, and then the body’s dressed away in such a fashion you don’t have to bring your thumb around, it just gets left behind for the last few frets.
Pretty sure that’s what the quote was referring to.
An ergonomic issue, and certainly not a Cripe exclusive ergonomic tweak, plenty of other instruments make use of the feature, but relative to Garcia’s guitars that would have been the first of his primary stage instruments with so obvious a diff to the previous #1, so I can see how it could be comment worthy.
FWIW, Wolf had better ergonomics in that area compared to the later Irwin’s imho.
The shape and contour of the lower cutaway, relatively petite heel, effortless upper fret access.
There’s an undercurrent of “How could one guitar be so much better?” in this discussion.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to actually play the exact same guitars we’re discussing here. Use them onstage.
The first time I played Wolf I couldn’t even pick up any of my own instruments for a week.
They all felt like toys.
The diff between the absolutely top-shelf sh*t like an Irwin and the garden variety boutique and vintage stuff 99% of are used to is inexpressible until you actually experience it.
I couldn’t believe how much better an instrument Wolf was compared to anything in my woodpile and I’ve got some really fine guitars.
Just to be clear, my opinion is the quote was ergonomic in nature relative to the heel of the Cripe, but that doesn’t mean some guitars aren’t a whole lot better than others. https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index ... t-26395673