Geoff Groberg

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Resurrecting an Old Archtop Guitar – part deux

It’s finished. And it actually works. Here’s a little ditty so you can hear it:

Archtop Ditty

Mom, modeling my newly resurrected archtop guitar

I have it set up with a sliding banjo capo and a high E string in place of the low E. It’s strung with flatwound strings because roundwound strings sound way too bright.

I love it! I’ll definitely be doing more recordings with this. I can still hear the 1957ness in it. (the year it was originally built)

Resurrecting an Old Archtop Guitar – part 1

Some months ago, I purchased a cheap, old archtop guitar. It’s a 1957 Harmony. It wasn’t in great shape, but I knew that this particular guitar was made with all solid woods. I also knew that I couldn’t afford to buy a new expensive guitar. And I don’t really want one anyway. I want to restore (and customize) this old thing!

It’s not quite finished, but I’m getting excited. Here are some photos of the project so far:

Lucy’s Harp

Broken Harp

My daughter Lucy is learning to play the harp. She is, after all, a princess. Unfortunately, harps are very expensive. So I found a broken one for $200 and decided to try and fix it.

The harp was broken at the neck and my first attempt to fix it only held up for a month or so. That was just a quick fix, and it’s not too surprising that it didn’t hold. A harp like this exerts more than 1000 pounds of pressure on the neck.

So now I’m on attempt #2. This time, I’m reinforcing the break in the neck with some laminated hardwood. I also noticed some problems in how the neck/pillar joint was done (I don’t think it was glued), so I’ve taken it apart and will be re-doing that joint. I’ll post the results when I’m finished, hopefully along with some music from the resurrected harp.

New Studio Set Up

You know that I LOVE making music. That’s why I love the studio. I’ve just finished re-designing my homely studio. The main thing I did was create 10 acoustic panels to absorb the sound. Before, I had just a little foam, but now, when you walk in and close the door, it’s quiet and warm.

The panels are a simple 2′ x 4′ wood frame with 1.5 inch Roxul rockboard 80 insulation inside, and natural burlap wrap. The burlap somehow inspires creativity, while adding a distinctive smell that helps you remember how wonderful this studio is long after you’ve left.

Now I just need to record some music and post it for you to hear/smell.