jeffhigh wrote:Very interesting Craig
A couple of questions
Were they all small mouth long scale?
The Grand Busato has a wider body? any others non standard width?
Were you able to observe any variations to the top and back bracing?
Sound holes: The Joseph DiMauro (the elder) guitar has what is referred to as a heart shaped hole, more of a triangle with curved sides, about as large as a hole in a standard flatop, ~ 100mm across. It was one of his trademarks, I don't think anyone else used this, even his brother Antoine or his brother's son Joseph the younger who both used many of his other ideas. My #7 & 9 have a middle size horizontal "D" hole, patterned after J. Castelluccia guitars from the 1950's. You can see these on my blog, I love the shape. The size is nice as it gives the player a little more volume to hear himself without getting tubby like the large D holes. The rest are small oval (ellipses actually) holes. Most are the standard 54mm x 70mm. The 40s Mystery sound hole is 60 x 83 and my #11 is 60 x 76.
Scales: all 670mm except for the Busatos and Favino which are 675mm. I originally measured the Mystery guitar at a sloppy 660mm but this was not right. It was actually 670mm spacing everywhere except at the zero fret which was too close to the first fret by 4mm! Similar fret spacing issues happen all the time on these old guitars, even the good ones.
All were 14 fret to the body joint. All with floating bridges and tailpieces.
Yes, both the Busato Grand Models and the DiMaruo are 410mm wide at the lower bout The Favino is 420mm. The rest are standard Selmer size, 400mm. Body depths are all around 95 to 100mm.
Braces & Backs:
- Modern builder #1: very Selmer 503 all the way. Four major ladder braces, four minor ones (2 under bridge, 2 alone side fingerboard on angle. Solid mahogany back and sides, back has three 10mm x 16mm braces, just like Selmer
- DiMauro: four ladder braces, with the little cross braces under the bridge. Back is molded into an carved archtop shape, no braces, pretty stiff.
- 40s Mystery: Three braces, bridge sits about 30 uphill of the bottom brace. Molded, arched back, no braces.
- Busatos: Five braces ala Selmer, but lighter. Backs both molded into archtop shapes
- Selmer 862: If you know Francois Charle's plans of Selmer 807, this one is just like it. Five major braces, four minor, laminated back and sides.
- Favino: Four braces on the top with the little cross braces under the bridge, larger body, otherewise pretty much like Selmer 503.
Top braces on almost all the guitars I have looked at are usually 5, 4 or 3 braces on the top, always ladder braces. The backs are usually laminated, either as flat plates pulled into an arch by braces or molded into a curved arch or an archtop guitar or violin back shape. The molded back often have very little bracing and range from scary flexible like on the 40s Mystery guitar to rock solid like the Busatos. It is hard to say whether one bracing system or back configuration makes a better guitar. In general, the guitars I tend to like have three or four braces and that is what I use. My #9 is three braces, #3, 7 and 11 are four and #1 (my first, which I still have, its my gig guitar) has five ala Selmer.