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good pix but lacking in detail
am 23. Oktober 1998
Is this a book of self promotion? Or is the author genuinely interested in sharing his knowledge of archtop construction?
I enjoyed the book, but have many questions left unanswered. The author spends too much time settling issues that are of little interest or scientific value (such as the effect of the tail piece on string tension), but seems to gloss over areas where the inexperienced luthier needs most help (the theory and practice of tap tuning). I find it surprising that this book actively promotes itself as a guide to tap tuning when the info on this subject is barely touched on. He also offers very little on neck angle, bracing patterns, headstock angle, etc.
The archtop guitar is a very 'young' instrument (only about 100 years old) created based on the theories behind violin construction. I was interested in this author since he is also a violin maker, and expected him to take the trove of knowleged behind violin construction that's been developed over centuries of tradition and apply it to this new instrument. He failed to do that completely.
This book disappointed me. But I did enjoy the pictures. No one can argue that Benedetto makes beautiful guitars, and numerous pix testify to this fact.
On the plus side I am glad to finally see in print someone argueing against the use of the typical screw adjustable saddle and bridge. I've always thought that to be weakest feature of the archtop design.
This book is NOT for someone who wishes to seriously study archtop guitar design and construction. Although if you have built guitars before then this book has enough for you to make an archtop.