The .strandberg* Thread

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by Rook, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. mrjones_ass

    mrjones_ass SS.org Regular

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    Is somebody else currently waiting for their order from the swedish custom shop?
    Mine is running several months delayed and I was wondering if somebody else is having the same experiences?
     
  2. Mwoit

    Mwoit SS.org Regular

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    Hah, I have 5 bolts on my 7 string.

    [​IMG]

    I much prefer bolt ons and I am not super concerned regarding the bulkiness, but YMMV.

    Recently got my guitar fixed and setup as the intonation bolt sheared in the A string. Definitely recommend using a high quality 2mm allen key to apply torque as they seem to shear easily. Fortunately .strandberg* support have been great and sent me replacement bolts for the bridge and headstock as well as the PTFE Nylon washers which work a treat.
     
  3. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    I wouldn't have really had much to criticize about the bolt-on heel in isolation. It was only when @StevenC brought his neck-through over and we were comparing the two M2Ms back-to-back that I find myself consciously aware of it.

    At the same time, the bolt-on heel doesn't cripple the design. It doesn't ruin playability. SSO is like the only place where a ton of novice/bedroom players* get guitars and complain about neck heels endlessly as insurmountable design flaws while somehow neglecting the set of virtuoso strandberg players using bolt-on bodens for lots of insane playing. They're not like, ughh, here I go again.. soloing on the boden...aargghhh... the painnn.... my...thumbbb...have... to...move it... slightly... urggrgh

    So yea, I think some criticism is fine but let's not overstate things. All carves/heels/bridges/arm contours require some adjustment, but never once did I want to play something and actually find the neck heel to be a hindrance.

    *not trying to put down people here -- I'm not in a band, everything I'm playing is for my personal enjoyment also.
     
  4. Andrew Lloyd Webber

    Andrew Lloyd Webber Enjoyed by 4 out of 5

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    Doesn’t seem like you to sugarcoat slamming the entitlement of bedroom players. They could be of use, if not for cannibalism laws.

    Any word on the street from the homies as to when red Classics will be stocked, if at all? It’s what I want to buy and make fun of, next.
     
  5. StevenC

    StevenC SS.org Regular

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    On the other hand, didn't you sell your M2M after experiencing the neck through joint on mine?
     
  6. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    Well the entitlement definitely warrants some slamming. I just don't want to draw a distinction between the kinds of gear pros use and the kinds of gear hobbyists use -- gear is fun. But by that same admission, I think if you're complaining about playability, you should maybe turn that lens inward first and think...have I even tried to adapt to this? Is Plini struggling on it? Yvette Young? Per F***ing Nilsson? But it's supposed to be a design flaw if someone in their bedroom has to touch the heel with their hand while practicing periphery songs?

    Again, like Ola, who has invested his whole life the past few years, designed it sorta ground up, had to get the CNC stuff setup over every carve of the guitar, has gone through years of back-and-forth with artists on it: he's not aware of the bulk of the heel? A small heel is trivial, but it's a compromise, so it's worth considering why that heel is on that shape prior to complaining about it.
     
  7. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    Ha, to be fair, that's more to do with finish work. But yea, I was certain that M2M was going to be neckthrough at that point. It wouldn't stop me from buying a bolt-on, however.
     
  8. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire highway to the metalzone

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    I think for a lot of people that don't like the neck heel it's a comparison thing. The neck heel on my bolt on customs (not strandbergs) are less obtrusive. Hell even my rg8 has a less bulky heel imo. It's like guitar necks, some people are super picky about them, and the same mentality applies to neck heels. It's easy to argue "oh well you don't tour and people like tosin, yvette young, etc don't complain about the heel". It's not a matter of adapting to a design, it's a matter of whether you mesh with it. I think people have a right to be picky with guitars that cost 2k usd and claim to be ergonomic. There's nothing ergonomic about a bulkier neck heel.
     
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  9. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    Yea, but people don't refer to certain neck carves as design mistakes. Outside of Etherial, that is.

    Then I will :)

    Sure, people can be picky - that's not what I'm arguing against. If you try it and don't like it, send it back or whatever.

    But, ergonomic things are designed around a particular use case. I imagine a lot of people complaining about the heel are either (1) trying to put their thumbs on the heel, and/or (2) have really short pinkies. If someone tried a few positions up around the heel of a boden and couldn't get their pink in the highest frets, I'd be surprised.

    But moreover, it's like people forgot that we once learned guitar -- you bring that experience with you when you sit down on a new guitar. It took time to mesh with a normal guitar neck, and what we're referring to as a typical heel, and you catered your movements to that design. But it's like if someone picks up a new guitar and it doesn't immediately "mesh" with them - hey, must be a design flaw!
     
  10. Andrew Lloyd Webber

    Andrew Lloyd Webber Enjoyed by 4 out of 5

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    Rather than waste everyone’s time with academic reasons as to why that argument isn’t an argument, I just word-replaced something to illustrate it:

    My Vigier has a strat block heel and plate. Neither it nor my Strandberg’s heel impact my feeble playing in a detrimental way, but my eyes tell me such relics are incongruous with the “refined and reengineered” aesthetic.

    Granted, my vision isn’t the best since trying out the tentacle rape machine with many attachments - I didn’t gel with it (the experience was mercilessly dry); and re-sold it to some Omegle user at a loss.

    TL;DR: If and when a Boden with a revised neck heel is released, no one will be lamenting that Ola had gotten it right the first time.
     
  11. DudeManBrother

    DudeManBrother Hey...how did everybody get in my room?

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    I have never noticed the heel on either of mine fwiw. I noticed the neck shape, but it wasn’t an issue; I didn’t have to adjust my playing, just a different feeling on my thumb for certain shapes
     
  12. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    Yes. I imagine your high school debate team performances were epic. "The opposition suggests that there can be no universal notion of 'good', yet, let me recount their argument and replace just one word..."

    But yea, if you weren't entirely just going for laughs, your "argument" thing does fall apart because you're proposing something that would be universally hated. The boden heel is not, and if not universally liked, is clearly at least tolerated amongst people who have their choice of instruments. And clearly does not present an actual hindrance to their playing, in situations that demand it.

    And I want to suggest that many builders have moved to larger heels because they thought it benefitted tone. To think that the boden heel is a complete afterthought, or that it wouldn't get overhauled when the hardware has been overhauled like 7 times, shows a lot of ignorance. Not everyone has to enjoy that heel, but we're not given the option of seeing the alternatives that were considered.

    There's lots of guitars that if you're coming from them, you're going to notice the heel _initially_. But if you actually put in a week of practice instead of a week of complaining, you might actually find that all conscious thought of it drifts away. I have the aforementioned Parker "best heel ever" guitar -- it sounds worse than the boden, and while _initially_ the Parker heel is a marvel, practically, with even a modicum of effort these things become a non-issue.
     
  13. StevenC

    StevenC SS.org Regular

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    Strongly disagree.
     
  14. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    Sounds thinner.
     
  15. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire highway to the metalzone

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    I spent the better part of 2 years playing around with my bodens. I can and have adapted to the bulky heel and i still don't like it. As i said for me, in an apples to apples comparison with my other 8 string bolt ons it doesn't feel as good. I have quite large hands (i can easily stretch to the 7th fret on my boden), and I think the profile of the heel could be more form fitting to the neck even though I can maneuver around the heel. I'm far from picky when it comes to necks or neck heels, but I've played basses with comparable heels to my 8 string. That is unacceptable to me.
     
  16. eugeneelgr

    eugeneelgr SS.org Regular

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    Well the fact that you became consciously aware of it says something. I always thought the idea of the strandberg was to remove all hindrances of classic guitar designs. Yes, it might have been a conscious part of the design, but it would probably be from a tonal/structural standpoint rather than an ergonomic one. Granted, it doesn't "cripple" the design(the boden body shape is imo still one of the most ergonomic and comfortable shapes I've ever played), but it does affect playability in a negative way (if unobstructed access to frets is a judging criteria of playability). If it didn't neck-throughs wouldn't have been invented nor will all-access neck joints. Yes, one's mileage may vary depending on one's hand/finger size and what one tries to achieve with one's playing(eg. petrucci/nilsson type of playing vs stereotypical blues player). For me, even reaching the 22nd fret is painful and tough. I should also add that these are more easily worked around in a seated position. With the guitar on my right leg or standing up however, and take note I sling the guitar slightly above belt level, even reaching the 22nd-24th fret(on the high E no less) comfortably is nearly impossible.

    And we seem to be forgetting that while many virtuosos play bolt-on bodens, it could be because it will be much cheaper to mass produce a bolt on signature than a neck-through signature. Whether they would choose the bolt on or neck-through or a redesigned bolt-on from a personal playability standpoint would be an accurate signal of whether they actually like the existing bolt-on, or that they too, feel the bolt-on design is the weakest link of the entire guitar. Adam Rafowitz is one good example, played a bolt on seven previously, but when it came to ordering his one off custom shop(non signature), he went with a neck through. And to be very honest Rafowitz is more technically accomplished than Plini(there I said it, sue me). Either that or the latter doesn't write parts that show his maximum technical capability(gotta have disclaimers on this forum, you guys are savage ha!)

    Also, we do have to consider it's closest competitors, namely other similar 25.5" scale 24 fret guitars with bolt on heels, not other ergo guitars(to be very specific).

    Suhr modern (neck joins at 18th-19th fret)
    [​IMG]

    TA Angel (neck joins at 17th fret)
    [​IMG]

    PRS CE24 (not 25.5" yes, but it's shorter scale so it's going to be easier. Unobstructed access to the 19th-20th fret.)
    [​IMG]

    These builders/designers are at least at the same level, if not more experienced, as Ola. And I've always believed that the virtuosos were more likely to design the most playable guitars, like Petrucci with his EBMM models or Abasi with his Ibanez prototypes and Abasi guitars, not necessarily good guitar builders.

    That being said, no one can be an accurate judge of whether a neck joint affect's another's playing unless they have the exact physical attributes as the player and same playing style/ergonomic requirements. These are just my views and opinions. The bolt-on joint may present absolutely no problems for you, meaning you can play all that you can play on a neck-through on the bolt on as well, but for me, it could definitely be improved, even if just to be as competitive as the above examples.

    There are probably so many probable reasons why he hasn't got down to redesigning the bolt on joint, not enough feedback from players, better tone from bigger joint, difficulty in changing the factory processes in manufacturing the existing designs, more structural rigidity. He could have revised the hardware 7 times (maybe because he's more of an engineer who's more concerned with tone), but it doesn't necessarily correlate to the probability of him redesigning the neck joint.

    Pic of mine for reference. Joins at 15th-16th fret. Again, just my personal preference and opinions, but I'd love this instrument a whole lot more if I had unobstructed access to the 18th-19th fret.
    [​IMG]

    Also to be completely fair, Plini's has a shorter 25" scale on the high E, which will help. And I honestly believe that there is some credibility to bedroom players. Touring is not the only thing that exposes drawbacks in a guitar's design.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2018
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  17. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    @eugeneelgr Quick question: are you putting your thumb on the heel?
     
  18. eugeneelgr

    eugeneelgr SS.org Regular

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    I tried, but it doesn't work for me. The thickness actually stops me from reaching higher frets and the lower strings. So right now i position my thumb on the neck and reach as far as I can by shifting it as close to the treble side of the neck and the heel.
     
  19. Andrew Lloyd Webber

    Andrew Lloyd Webber Enjoyed by 4 out of 5

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    I didn’t “hate” mine - At least not by the end of it, when I just sort of learned to accept it.
     
  20. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    Well I think you probably shouldn't be trying anyway! That was just the only reason I could think of where it'd actually hinder playability. If you have a smooth transition like on a neck-through boden, you keep your thumb continuously along the neck, applying pressure from the opposing side of your fretting fingers. But with a heel like on the boden, and what in usability / interactive design is known as affordability, the heel affords that your palm slides up over the heel, with pressure coming from your hand and not your thumb. You can see similar design hints in Nik Huber or Michi Matsuda's guitars -- carves that say, when you get to this point, this is probably where/how you want to be placing your hand.

    If you were to just naively go into that "final" position without accommodating to the intended design, it will of course not be very ergonomic. If you sit in an ergonomic chair backwards, it's not ergonomic anymore. Ergo doesn't mean you pick it up and it's the most natural thing, but rather that when used as intended it should be physiologically less burdensome.

    I don't think the heel's super ergo, but it just have clear intent (in the subtle slopes and the shape of the indent there) for how it should be used.

    The only thing I do have some criticism of is like...why are there 6 bolts on that joint... jeez.
     

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