Gibson vs. Martin sound and bracing
I've recently come to the conclusion that I'm probably never going to be completely satisfied with any reasonably (say cheap..) priced guitar that I can find here in Finland so I decided that I'm going to try building my own from a kit. I noticed there are many really highly respected luthiers in this forum and I understand that my amateur efforts might seem quite mediocre but I'm hoping that someone can guide me to the right direction.
So, I bought a 000 12-fret mahogany kit from Blues Creek Guitars, it's a short-scale version with red spruce top and rosewood fretboard + rosewood belly bridge. I decided to choose this kit since I've already got a 2001 000-16SGT that I like for the most part (shape, size, looks etc.) and I mostly like the tone but it isn't exactly what I'm after. Now here comes the real question: I'm looking for advice how to make my Martin kit sound like a Gibson.. I checked that the 12-fret 000 body isn't really that far off from the 12-fret Gibson L-0/00 body shape, it's almost like a big brother to the Gibson. The proportions are really close, the waist and upper bout on the Gibson are just a bit smaller in proportion but not that much.
From my amateur point of view the biggest factors that make the 12-fret Gibson L-body guitars sound different from the Martin 12-fret 000:s is the wider, scalloped bracing on the Martins. The Martins have 5/16" bracing heavily scalloped and Gibsons have 1/4" bracing (actually a bit less) with a strong V-shape to the braces that are only lightly tapered towards the sides. Then I think that Martins have the x a bit wider than on the Gibsons and in general the x-braces cross closer to sound-hole so that leaves the x-brace crossing the bridge only on the front corner. Also the bridge material ebony vs. rosewood probably has some influence.
Now my plan is to brace the top with V-shaped 1/4" braces, taper them lightly towards the sides per this Gibson L-00 plan: http://www.grellier.fr/plans/Gibson_L-00/Gibson_L-00_en.pdf . I'm planning to move the x-brace maybe a bit towards the bridge as I'm guessing it would give a bit more bite to the sound. I want to use the belly bridge because I like the way it looks but I'm going to make it a bit smaller in order to reduce the weight.
So, what do you think? Am I on my way to a time-consuming disaster or do I have a chance of succeeding with my plans? Basically I'm looking for a bright and spanky-sounding 12-fret 000 with a bit of that dry and crisp Gibson sound added to the mix. I know there is lot more to it and I'm only touching the surface of guitar-building but given these circumstances do you think I've got my specifications right? I've got access to go-bar deck and and radius discs (28' and 15' if I remember correctly) and I've made a few electric guitars,done fret-jobs and neck resets etc. on some unexpensive acoustics before but this is my first attempt to build an acoustic guitar.
Last Edited By: StevieRayVehkakoski 02/21/13 10:41 AM. Edited 10 times.