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End Block and Top?


Buc McMaster

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I have watched this factory build process 4 times over the years, and never paid specific attention to this detail. I do know the end block is specifically glued to assemble the sides, and then the tops and backs are attached in a separate step. I would say that it is probably true that the end block is not a glue point to the top, I think, maybe. [confused]

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I don’t know for sure, but I’ve always suspected it was. I’ve owned several guitars which over time have developed wee dimples in the top right above where the end block lives, which I always assumed was down to the woods settling and the end block being glued to the top.

 

I may be entirely wrong though!

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Back in the day when Ren was running the show Gibson relieved(for want of a better word) the top and bottom surface of the end block. The relief cuts allowed the end block to secure the ribs but it allowed the top to be free with plenty of room to vibrate without touching the end block. The whole process took about two minutes to accomplish. In an effort to streamline the building process the engineers won the battle and an important part of Ren's design was done away with.

 

This is difficult to explain but if someone has a guitar built in the early 90's it is quite easy to see how the end block was relieved and how the top was free to vibrate. This also eliminated the stress lines associated with gluing the guitar top to the top of the end block.

 

If the top were not glued to the top of the end block without the relief cut the top will vibrate and make all sorts of unusual sounds. Most of which are not desirable.

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Back in the day when Ren was running the show Gibson relieved(for want of a better word) the top and bottom surface of the end block. The relief cuts allowed the end block to secure the ribs but it allowed the top to be free with plenty of room to vibrate without touching the end block. The whole process took about two minutes to accomplish. In an effort to streamline the building process the engineers won the battle and an important part of Ren's design was done away with.

 

This is difficult to explain but if someone has a guitar built in the early 90's it is quite easy to see how the end block was relieved and how the top was free to vibrate. This also eliminated the stress lines associated with gluing the guitar top to the top of the end block.

 

If the top were not glued to the top of the end block without the relief cut the top will vibrate and make all sorts of unusual sounds. Most of which are not desirable.

 

Thanks, Hogeye. That's a perfectly clear explanation that's easy to understand and visualize.

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62b - would be nice to see the inner Bird.

2016 HB Vintage- nice fit with the kerfing, but definitely glued to the top:

 

Hfu08em.png?2

 

 

Across the braces of the toasted top-

 

wssLmW6.jpg

 

seems to be a sizable bridge plate, the HB/Dove, one-size-fits-all

 

 

 

 

We're doing a couple of your songs tomorrow night, Tom (P)

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2016 HB Vintage- nice fit with the kerfing, but definitely glued to the top:

 

 

 

seems to be a sizable bridge plate, the HB/Dove, one-size-fits-all

 

Bravo ^ that first shot looks like brick wall over a wooden floor up in the attic. Top-contact, , aha, , good insight as well.

 

Let those D'Addarios ring out some clean T. Petty Saturday nite, burst. .

 

 

Btw. guess the plate tells us the 2 fliers share the same pattern. Probably more or less the same braces/scalloping too.

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I have always seen the ghost image of the end blocks on the tops of my guitars. I think it is better this way from a structural standpoint. A nice anchorage point right in line with the bridge.

 

I think I understand your thinking but.... It's not correct. Please remember the top is built on a 28 foot radius. To get the top to glue down to the end block you need to press the top down out of the radius and stress the radius. This stress can be seen from the top. That is the ghost image or outline you are seeing. I don't have any numbers on this but plenty of the stress lines you see actually turn into stress cracks as the tops age.

 

As far as the tone goes? It's a tone killer to put undue stress on the top in any manner. Ren understood this from the start and took the measure to relieve the end block. Engineers and business types have no clue as to the small nuances that go together to define the sound of a guitar. This became quite evident when they made the decision to make pickguards out of "Flubber".

 

This is just one guys opinion and you can look at both sides of the issue and decide for yourself. I like Ren's idea.

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I think I understand your thinking but.... It's not correct. Please remember the top is built on a 28 foot radius. To get the top to glue down to the end block you need to press the top down out of the radius and stress the radius. This stress can be seen from the top. That is the ghost image or outline you are seeing. I don't have any numbers on this but plenty of the stress lines you see actually turn into stress cracks as the tops age.

 

As far as the tone goes? It's a tone killer to put undue stress on the top in any manner. Ren understood this from the start and took the measure to relieve the end block. Engineers and business types have no clue as to the small nuances that go together to define the sound of a guitar. This became quite evident when they made the decision to make pickguards out of "Flubber".

 

This is just one guys opinion and you can look at both sides of the issue and decide for yourself. I like Ren's idea.

 

Martin glues to the end bock as well. Do you know if this has ever been done at any other time in Gibson's History? I see no evidence of that

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Engineers and business types have no clue as to the small nuances that go together to define the sound of a guitar. This became quite evident when they made the decision to make pickguards out of "Flubber".

 

Yes engineers have no clue what they're doing. That's what they're paid for... i mean ... that's your own opinion right, not a fact?

And about pickguard, flubber makes it more durable, but with a less vintage appearance. I can't recall of a test that shows any impact on sound.

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