The Old Guitar Ensemble School

Web Pages from times gone by - April 2005

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This page is from 2005

Low Back Pain and preserving depleted hardwoods

My good friend (and to be honest, delightfully eccentric inventor) Belton Brasus has been listening to the tales of woe I've been relating about the prevalence of low back pain. The traditional asymmetric seating position, with one foot on the floor (inspired, it is said by the censorship rules on romance scenes in early black and white films) often gives rise to low back pain.

The need to carry a footstool, or more usually a six inch stool, adds to the wear and tear on the lumbar region of the spine.

Belton has realised that a lot of hardwood is wasted when a cedar or spruce table is fabricated - the lower bout requires a width of timber that is large, and the upper bout, being narrow, results in a lot of offcut timber that goes to waste. Indeed, the waist wastes even more.

The Brasus design has a number of interesting advantages over the conventional classical construction, while retaining the spirit and tradition of conventional luthiery...

No need for a footstool - the bout shape gives the lift required

When cut with a slightly angled grain, to minimise offcut timber, the treble response is greatly enhanced

The resonant cavity has an asymmetry that promotes a more even bass response

The bass side of the bridge works on a bass-favouring cavity and yet the treble side is more closely coupled, giving excellent transient performance and excellent separation of the voices.

Click for photo of the Belton Brasus prototype

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