Swallows and Samaras
By Fleishman InstrumentsView Gallery
Asymmetric Jumbo Acoustic Guitar
I began experimenting with a multiple soundhole, asymmetric instrument design in the 1980s, initially to expand the bass response and tighten and brighten the upper harmonic content of my classical guitars. Moving the centerline one inch toward the treble accomplished both of these goals. The shape followed the functional intentions.
After studying Helmholtz's work on cavity resonances, I divided the soundhole area into two dissimilar areas, the total of which was at my normal resonance, with two much lower dissimilar resonances. The effect was to flatten the peak resonance of the bass, while extending it lower to accommodate deeper tones without "woofing."
The back scallops for chest and knee relief came about to position the guitar more comfortably than jumbo guitars generally felt. The natural tilt back, and the lack of the edge against the chest both make this a very comfy guitar to play.
The Brazilian Rosewood was cut from a table made in 1954 by Paul Killinger. I bought it from him at the request of his wife who hated how heavy the two-inch thick table was to move. I framed a set for Paul to see on the wall of his shop until he lost his sight and died of cancer.
The neck is Port Orford Cedar bought from an arrow maker. Nice straight grain and very stiff and light. It hits the targets I have for neck wood.
The inlay work is inspired by nature, via the work of Rene Lalique. The two layer inlaid side port was particularly fun to design using curved pearl and abalone to match the side contour.
The bridge is African Blackwood.