Scherzer 1861 10-string guitar

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charangohabsburg
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Scherzer 1861 10-string guitar

Post by charangohabsburg » Sun Aug 12, 2012 7:58 am

This is one more guitar plan that is not freely available on the internet. So if you are a cheapskate be prepared to only read my description and have a look at the guitar and a homoeopathic plan preview clicking on the two first (bold) links at the end of this post. ;)

This 10-string guitar is quite uncommon. Its "double-neck" features a fretted 6-string fingerboard plus a supporting "stick" for the 4 bass strings, and is detachable (and adjustable, of course). Inside the box, between the heel and the end block runs an adjustable iron "compression bar". Another even more uncommon feature is a second, heavily cupped bottom of laminated wood which gets screwed on the rim of the "real" bottom. The purpose of this second bottom is obviously to let the first bottom vibrate freely while playing the guitar with a strap. The second bottom touches the guitar body only via a few felt lined "feet" in order that no second air chamber is created between the two bottoms.

The plan comes in three sheets (1:1 scale of course) plus a CD-ROM with about 50 photos and closeups.

Every of the three sheets display (I guess all of) the details of this very unusual guitar, and every sheet features some colour prints of detail photos of the guitar.

We owe the existence of this plan to the guitar's actual owner Matanya Ophee who commissioned the plan to the luthier Gary Demos an sells it now under his own publishing company Editions Orphée (manly sheet music) .

Here you can read some more info about the history of this guitar. There is also a "add to cart" button which redirects you to the shop website where you have to hit another button named "add to basket". But in the end it works. My plan arrived within less than a week.

Visiting Gary Demos' website you learn that this guitar is "magical" :roll:... and also can see a preview of three partial views of the plan plus a link to Matanya Ophee's website for those who want to buy the plan.

____________________________________________________________________________

Side note, slightly off-topic, or whatever:

Matanya Ophee is a really amazing guy with a tremendously interesting life. This post about the plan would not be complete without saying that it is well worth the time to visit some other (text-heavy) parts of Matanya's website where you get some insight in his life as (classical) guitar addict, airliner pilot, and finally music researcher and important editor in the latter field.

Below some links to samples of his websites which not only give an insight to his meticulous working methods regarding musicological research but also are testimony of Matanya's vivid internet activity through the last years (he got 80 in June 2012).

A few lists with links to his articles, here two of them: ...picking out just four articles which contents is not necessarily heavily on the musicological side: Enjoy! :D (if interested).

Cheers,
Markus

To be stupid is like to be dead. Oneself will not be aware of it.
It's only the others who suffer.

Kamusur
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Re: Scherzer 1861 10-string guitar

Post by Kamusur » Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:54 pm

You have come through with the goods again Marcus, another fine link.

Steve

simonm
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Re: Scherzer 1861 10-string guitar

Post by simonm » Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:35 am

Very interesting stuff in there. I found the article about repertoire very interesting.

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Re: Scherzer 1861 10-string guitar

Post by simonm » Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:45 am

Got so carried away with the links that I forgot to say that guitars similar to the 10 string but usually with 13-15 turn up on the German/Austrian ebay site regularly enough as "Schrammel" guitars. Schrammel music is a significant part of Viennese music tradition. (The once well known "Harry Lime" theme song would fit in the tradition as far as I know).

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Re: Scherzer 1861 10-string guitar

Post by charangohabsburg » Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:13 am

simonm wrote: [...] guitars similar to the 10 string but usually with 13-15 turn up on the German/Austrian ebay site regularly enough as "Schrammel" guitars. Schrammel music is a significant part of Viennese music tradition. [...]
Correct. Another significant point why this 10 string guitar is "only similar", but definitively not a Schrammel guitar is that this Scherzer guitar is a few years too old to have been built as a "Schrammel guitar". Although even in Germany and Austria not commonly known, the terms Schrammel guitar and Schrammel music deserve their existence to the Schrammel Quartet which was founded by the brothers Johann and Josef Schrammel during 1878/79 and quickly achieved enormous popularity in its final manning featuring Anton Strohmayer and Georg Dänzer:
Rudolf_Krziwanek_-_Schrammel-Quartett.jpg
Schrammel Quartet, ca. 1879
Musicians, from left to right:
Josef Schrammel, Johann Schrammel, and most likely Georg Dänzer, Anton Strohmayer
Rudolf_Krziwanek_-_Schrammel-Quartett.jpg (66.33 KiB) Viewed 7325 times
Picture source: Oesterreichische Nationalbibliothek (Austrian National Library) and Wikipedia. Public Domain.

Today, in Austria, Germany and the German speaking part of Switzerland the term "schrammeln" simply means "strumming" and very few are aware of the term's roots and etymology.
Markus

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It's only the others who suffer.

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Re: Scherzer 1861 10-string guitar

Post by Sergy » Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:10 am

charangohabsburg wrote:
Enjoy! :D (if interested).
Thank you Markus!
This is really interesting ... interesting and sad .. :roll:
Because russians themselves thrown its guitar ...
Perhaps foreigners cannot give to "die" this very interesting instrument ...
(Although I have to say that today many people in Russia is very interested in this guitar).
charangohabsburg wrote: This 10-string guitar is quite uncommon. Its "double-neck" features a fretted 6-string fingerboard plus a supporting "stick" for the 4 bass strings, and is detachable (and adjustable, of course).
To understand this better, I give the link - Authentic Russian 7-string guitar.
charangohabsburg wrote: Visiting Gary Demos' website you learn that this guitar is "magical" :roll:... and also can see a preview of three partial views of the plan plus a link to Matanya Ophee's website for those who want to buy the plan.
This "magic" guitar was magic only in the hands of the great Russian guitarist Sergei Orekhov ....
This is his guitar. Then this guitar came to the U.S. ... almost free ... (there were circumstances ..)
There she was measured, studied and now sell the plan. I must say that the technology of this guitar is very complicated, and it is now lost ..
The thickness of the back there 5 - 6 mm ... Now, no one knows how Sherzer did big arched back.

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Re: Scherzer 1861 10-string guitar

Post by Sergy » Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:50 am

Forgot to add ...
Very rare photo - Moscow group of guitarists
02.JPG

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charangohabsburg
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Re: Scherzer 1861 10-string guitar

Post by charangohabsburg » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:37 am

Sergy wrote: This is his guitar. Then this guitar came to the U.S. ... almost free ... (there were circumstances ..)
I have no idea what Orekhov sold this guitar for, but back in the eighties just about any 19th century guitar sold (compared to today's market prices) for virtually nothing.
Sergy wrote:There she was measured, studied and now sell the plan. I must say that the technology of this guitar is very complicated, and it is now lost ..
I am not sure what you mean with saying that this guitar would be "lost". In my opinion it is not at all lost: not being played on a regular basis may be a sad thing for the moment, but a good thing when thinking of preservation and the possibility that it can be played again at any moment in the future (which would be less probable if it would get played constantly).

That fact that there is now a nice set of plans of this guitar available makes it even "less lost".

The guitar could be considered as lost if it had been sold to someone who would keep secret he is the owner of the guitar, which too often happens at auctions.
Sergy wrote:The thickness of the back there 5 - 6 mm ... Now, no one knows how Sherzer did big arched back.
Two times no: it is all in the plans!

as I mentioned in the first post, this guitars features two backs, the second one is screwed on outside with five wood screws, resting on a total of 10 felt padded tips respectively relatively short and narrow contact surfaces along the border, six of the tips are without screws. This outer back is of 2.7mm thick laminated wood and its maximal arch depth is 14 millimetres. the shallowest of the before mentioned distance holder tips are 6mm high (the outer ones on the lower bout) while the highest tips are 15 mm high (at the waist).

The first back (the "normal" back) has a maximal arch depth of 7mm (at the greatest widths of the upper and lower bout) while the depth difference at the waist is 4.5mm. Also this back is laminated (maple inside).
Markus

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It's only the others who suffer.

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Re: Scherzer 1861 10-string guitar

Post by Sergy » Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:16 am

charangohabsburg wrote: I have no idea what Orekhov sold this guitar for, but back in the eighties just about any 19th century guitar sold (compared to today's market prices) for virtually nothing.
S.Orekhov exchanged this guitar for some equipment (for sound), which is now worth $ 0 ... (then it was not high).
But it did not happen in the eighties, it was much later.
charangohabsburg wrote: I am not sure what you mean with saying that this guitar would be "lost". In my opinion it is not at all lost: not being played on a regular basis may be a sad thing for the moment, but a good thing when thinking of preservation and the possibility that it can be played again at any moment in the future (which would be less probable if it would get played constantly).

That fact that there is now a nice set of plans of this guitar available makes it even "less lost".

The guitar could be considered as lost if it had been sold to someone who would keep secret he is the owner of the guitar, which too often happens at auctions.
I meant about the construction technology.

---------------

I agree with you that this guitar to share and learn the lessons from the early masters.
But there is another side.
S.Orekhov is a great musician, is the pride of Russia.
Many say that his guitar should be in a museum Glinka in Moscow (but not in the USA) ....
To save for posterity.
charangohabsburg wrote: as I mentioned in the first post, this guitars features two backs, the second one is screwed on outside with five wood screws, resting on a total of 10 felt padded tips respectively relatively short and narrow contact surfaces along the border, six of the tips are without screws. This outer back is of 2.7mm thick laminated wood and its maximal arch depth is 14 millimetres. the shallowest of the before mentioned distance holder tips are 6mm high (the outer ones on the lower bout) while the highest tips are 15 mm high (at the waist).

The first back (the "normal" back) has a maximal arch depth of 7mm (at the greatest widths of the upper and lower bout) while the depth difference at the waist is 4.5mm. Also this back is laminated (maple inside).
I talked about the thickness of the main back (not additional external)
What is the thickness specified in the plans for the back and sides?

Markus, do you want to build this guitar? If so, then let me know.

-----------

Sergei Orekhov, with his famous guitar (Scherzer)
Sergei Orekhov.jpg
Sergei Orekhov.jpg (42.65 KiB) Viewed 7092 times
And also -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9di2Wks ... re=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=t17 ... =endscreen

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Re: Scherzer 1861 10-string guitar

Post by charangohabsburg » Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:02 pm

Hi Sergy, thanks for the picture and the video links! :D
Sergy wrote:
charangohabsburg wrote: I have no idea what Orekhov sold this guitar for, but back in the eighties just about any 19th century guitar sold (compared to today's market prices) for virtually nothing.
S.Orekhov exchanged this guitar for some equipment (for sound), which is now worth $ 0 ... (then it was not high).
But it did not happen in the eighties, it was much later.
Matanya Ophee says here and here that he bought this guitar in 1988.
Sergy wrote:
charangohabsburg wrote: I am not sure what you mean with saying that this guitar would be "lost". [...]
I meant about the construction technology.
There is quite a bit of information around on the Viennese method of guitar building. Scherzer had apprenticed under the master Johann Georg Stauffer and became a craftsman under Johann Anton Stauffer. According to Stauffer & Co., The Viennese Guitar of the 19th Century, E.P. Hofmann, P. Mougin, S. Hackl, 2011, a therein described 13-string Scherzer guitar (1864-1870)* which features some exactly identical measurements and proportions as the 1861 10-string guitar, was based on a model developed and built by the Stauffers from the 1820ies and following years.
Sergy wrote:Many say that his guitar should be in a museum Glinka in Moscow (but not in the USA) ....
And others may say it should be in a museum in Vienna. I think it doesn't really matter while the instrument does not disappear or does not get stored inadequately. However, I believe that the home of M. Ophee (who is as a great promoter and friend of Russian guitar music) is not the worst place where this guitar can stay at. Time to overcome borders.
Sergy wrote:
charangohabsburg wrote: [...] This outer back is of 2.7mm thick laminated wood and its maximal arch depth is 14 millimetres. [...]
I talked about the thickness of the main back (not additional external)
What is the thickness specified in the plans for the back and sides?
There is no thickness specified for the main back, just a 1:1 drawing of a part of a cross section can be found on the plans (measures about ca. 3mm thick or a bit less).

But in any case there are no surprises regarding the back thickness to be expected either. Why?

Given the fact that there are a few 13-string Scherzer guitars around (featuring the metal compression bar but not the double back), and also due to the striking similarity to the 13-stringer in the Stauffer & Co. book I mentioned above, I dare to conjecture that also the back will be pretty much a Scherzer - standard thickness. The description in the Stauffer & Co. book says that, in spite of being slightly larger than the Stauffer guitars of this model, the Scherzer guitar (1864-1870) is lighter, mainly due to a thinner back. Unless Scherzer had been making really gross modifications on the 1861 10-string guitar (which would not at all be typical for Scherzer - for instance there is evidence that he enlarged the body shape of his guitars little by little, maintaining the proportions), back thickness on this 1861 guitar is just normal, which means something between approximately 2.5 and 3 millimetres. Also back bracing is very typical for Scherzer guitars and makes back thickness a really secondary issue: very beefy bars (17 x 17mm, elliptically rounded over).
Sergy wrote:Markus, do you want to build this guitar? If so, then let me know.
Of course I want to build this guitar, which is the reason why I got the plans. But it is not (and can not be) on the top of my to-do list. This is a quite complex project where a great diversity of difficulties have to be mastered. At this moment I am far from being able to accomplish such a task within a reasonable time span. First I have to practice on a couple of simpler double-neck guitars, high-arched back guitars, laminated back guitars, etc. One by one, not all in the same guitar at the first shot! I am just a hobbyist, not an experienced luthier like you!

_____________________________
*
In the book Stauffer & Co. the year of production of this guitar is given as ca. 1867, indicating that the year on the etiquette is illegible or absent, but that the street name makes it possible to attribute the instrument to Scherzer's latest manufacturing period.
Markus

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Re: Scherzer 1861 10-string guitar

Post by Sergy » Wed Oct 24, 2012 11:19 pm

charangohabsburg wrote: Matanya Ophee says here and here that he bought this guitar in 1988.
Yes, I read it, but there are also other information (but now it is not so important ...)
charangohabsburg wrote:There is quite a bit of information around on the Viennese method of guitar building.
Tell me, please, where can read about it?
(Scherzer biography I know, but I have not found anything about the methods of construction)

charangohabsburg wrote:And others may say it should be in a museum in Vienna. I think it doesn't really matter while the instrument does not disappear or does not get stored inadequately.....
Yes, maybe it does not matter. Still, this guitar should be in the Moscow Museum ... :)
(actually Scherzer sold his guitar, in Russia it has been for over a century, preserved and survived to the present day)
S.Orekhov breathed into it its magic..
charangohabsburg wrote:(who is as a great promoter and friend of Russian guitar music)
In Russia, many think otherwise ................... :mrgreen:
charangohabsburg wrote:There is no thickness specified for the main back, just a 1:1 drawing of a part of a cross section can be found on the plans (measures about ca. 3mm thick or a bit less).

But in any case there are no surprises regarding the back thickness to be expected either. Why?
I'm familiar with the famous luthier from Moscow, I visited him in the workshop and we talked a lot.
He said that once repaired guitar Scherzer (not this one, but the same or very similar), the thickness back there was a 5-6 mm ...
To make a big arched back for a (6 mm) thickness of the wood is a big problem ....
(I just recently figured out how this is possible to do ..)

I wonder why the plan does not specify the thickness of the back .... :?


charangohabsburg wrote: Of course I want to build this guitar, which is the reason why I got the plans. But it is not (and can not be) on the top of my to-do list. This is a quite complex project where a great diversity of difficulties have to be mastered....
All is well! :D If necessary, I will render any assistance and support in this project (as far as possible)


PS
You should be aware that this guitar does not sound like Spanish, it is not Spanish sound, it is special, unique. :wink:

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Re: Scherzer 1861 10-string guitar

Post by charangohabsburg » Thu Oct 25, 2012 4:42 am

Sergy wrote:
charangohabsburg wrote:There is quite a bit of information around on the Viennese method of guitar building.
Tell me, please, where can read about it?
Stauffer & Co. I mentioned before is probably the densest accumulation of information. Scattered pieces of information which allow to deduce to some extent construction methods can be found in The Century that Shaped the Guitar (by James Westbrook, 2005), and virtually any resource (not only books) talking about "German" guitars. Keep in mind that to a great extent guitar building came to Vienna via luthiers from the Vogtland, and that Georg Stauffer was inspired and influenced by the Italian (Neapolitan) and French guitars, where the latter ones must have been strongly present after Napoleon's invasion in 1805.

Sergy wrote:
charangohabsburg wrote:(who is as a great promoter and friend of Russian guitar music)
In Russia, many think otherwise ................... :mrgreen:
It is absolutely understandable that promotion of Russian guitar music anywhere else but in Russia itself must appear completely irrelevant to Russians. Ophee talks and writes about Russian guitar music at the places where he lives, which are the United States and Israel, not Russia.
Sergy wrote:
charangohabsburg wrote:There is no thickness specified for the main back, just a 1:1 drawing of a part of a cross section can be found on the plans (measures about ca. 3mm thick or a bit less).
[...]
I wonder why the plan does not specify the thickness of the back .... :?
charangohabsburg wrote: [...] just a 1:1 drawing of a part of a cross section can be found on the plans (measures about ca. 3mm thick or a bit less).
...which is enough precise considering the enormous thickness of the back braces. Why would you want to have very precise back thickness data if there is no way to determine the thicknesses of the individual rosewood and maple veneers it is made of?
However, top thickness is mapped on the plan.
Sergy wrote:PS
You should be aware that this guitar does not sound like Spanish, it is not Spanish sound, it is special, unique. :wink:
It would be very strange if a Viennese guitar sounded only a bit like a Spanish guitar! :shock: ;)
Markus

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It's only the others who suffer.

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Re: Scherzer 1861 10-string guitar

Post by Sergy » Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:42 pm

charangohabsburg wrote: Why would you want to have very precise back thickness data if there is no way to determine the thicknesses of the individual rosewood and maple veneers it is made of?
However, top thickness is mapped on the plan.
Because the thickness of the back (and mass) is important for the sound quality of the instruments.
For this guitar is particularly important.
So I'm a bit surprised why in this (not so cheap) plan does not specify a value for the back ...
For a soundboard there is thickness parameters. But we must remember that Scherzer did for this particular guitar (with its parameters) and for a specific timber.
He probably did the tonal settings for better sound separation and that there was no "dead zones."
Therefore, these values for the thickness of the individual and work on this guitar,
but it may not work on a copy (or may not work correctly ... or as "may be yes may be no")
I not accidentally touched this question ... Yet 3mm or 6mm is very important ... :!:
charangohabsburg wrote:
It would be very strange if a Viennese guitar sounded only a bit like a Spanish guitar! :shock: ;)
8)

Yes, of course! It just not can to be! :)

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Re: Scherzer 1861 10-string guitar

Post by charangohabsburg » Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:34 pm

Sergy wrote:I not accidentally touched this question ... Yet 3mm or 6mm is very important ... :!:
Again Sergy (read my posts above): the question is not whether the thickness is 3 or 6 mm. The plan clearly indicates that it is something around 3mm, and it is absolutely irrelevant if these are 2.9 or 3.1 mm because we do not know how much of it is maple and how much is rosewood. If you are not prepared to measure some dimensions from the plan instead of reading a number simply don't buy it, regardless of its price.
Markus

To be stupid is like to be dead. Oneself will not be aware of it.
It's only the others who suffer.

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