Roy Courtnall Lattice Guitar (listen to this guitar played by Yvonne Bloor)
16.00 British Pounds Sterling
Price: 16.00 British Pounds Sterling for PDF files emailed to you for printing - all good Print & Copy shops will print full size from these PDF files which you can take to them on a memory stick or email to them. If not available in your area, contact me and I can post paper copies to you.)
There are many ways of designing the interior and the plate thicknesses of the classical guitar. Conventional wisdom viewed the sound box as a single element, made from various species of wood, that all vibrate when activated by the plucked string; - this multitude of vibrations contributes to the overall timbre and projection of sound produced by the sound box. There are many advantages to this approach, but one of the problems is that some of the energy produced by the plucked string is lost as it moves into the sides, back, neck and even the body of the guitarist.
Late in the 20th century, some makers began experimenting with a different approach to sound box design; - the idea here was to make the soundboard much thinner than before and supported by an interconnecting lattice of slender struts to give support to this fragile top. At the same time, the back and sides are made more rigid, in an attempt to reduce the amount of energy lost into these parts, and to encourage the reflective projection of sound out towards the listener. Sometimes an armrest (fixed or removable) is also used, both for comfort, and to prevent the player's arm from damping the soundboard.
There are many variations on this 'lattice' approach, the most extreme sometimes being criticised for being too 'banjo'-like, with a piercing sound but little sustain and a loss of the traditional warmth of the Spanish classical guitar sound. With careful use of wood, thicknesses and interior support, it is possible to create a guitar with a traditional 'guitar sound', at the same time having greater projection, with good balance across the bass, mid and treble ranges, and simply being a greater pleasure to play.
This type of guitar is more demanding to make, as it involves many more steps in the construction process, and bringing the soundboard down to the membrane-like thickness required, takes great control of tools and materials.