Help on putting a spruce top on a Danelectro Convertible clone

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Jim Bonnell
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Help on putting a spruce top on a Danelectro Convertible clone

Post by Jim Bonnell »

I'm building two Danelectro Convertible style guitars, one with the standard Masonite top and one I plan on using spruce for the top. I know it won't sound like an acoustic, but I want to see if it makes much difference. I plan on using a floating bridge and a trapeze tail piece. I'm looking for suggestions on top thickness and bracing on this type of build. I'm open to ideas. The odd looking hole on the one is the back access hole and ledge.
Thanks.
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convertable 031 (480 x 640).jpg
convertable 029 (480 x 640).jpg

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Mark Swanson
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Re: Help on putting a spruce top on a Danelectro Convertible clone

Post by Mark Swanson »

If you brace it just like a regular acoustic guitar, and use a piezo pickup you will find that it sounds just like a big acoustic guitar when plugged in. The top will respond as an acoustic top always does if it's braced that way and the pickup doesn't "know" that the top is glued onto a small body- it'll act and sound much the same when plugged in.
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Jim Bonnell
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Re: Help on putting a spruce top on a Danelectro Convertible clone

Post by Jim Bonnell »

Thanks Mark. Would I need to go heavier on the top and bracing using a floating bridge and if so what would you suggest?

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Mark Swanson
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Re: Help on putting a spruce top on a Danelectro Convertible clone

Post by Mark Swanson »

No, not heavier at all. With a floating bridge you don't need to worry about the twisting torque that is so present with a glued on bridge. You have the downforce and that's all. With an electric, you will be using lighter strings, and that will lessen the downforce, and your neck angle will also have a lot to do with it. If I were you I wouldn't have a huge breakover angle on the bridge. I'd probably start with a 1/2" high bridge and get my neck angle to work with that height. The higher you make the bridge, the more neck angle will be needed and the more downforce will be there, too. Most electric guitars have a string height above the body at the bridge that is about 1/2" high so I'd start there. A very standard light X brace will do fine, and use a small spruce bridge plate too. No need to use a hardwood one.
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Jim Bonnell
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Re: Help on putting a spruce top on a Danelectro Convertible clone

Post by Jim Bonnell »

Thanks Mark. That's exactly what I needed.

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Alan Peterson
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Re: Help on putting a spruce top on a Danelectro Convertible clone

Post by Alan Peterson »

Interesting photo. The black coating looks like Ovation Lyrachord.

That'd make a helluva hybrid, huh? A DaneVation?
Alan Peterson
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Jim Bonnell
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Re: Help on putting a spruce top on a Danelectro Convertible clone

Post by Jim Bonnell »

That's just some black satin EM6000 I sprayed so the Masonite wouldn't show in the sound hole. Most likely there wouldn't be much showing with a lipstick pickup mounted there anyhow.

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