Got an order on an Old Gura by Calle at CJ Acoustics Music AB. A "blues gura", a cool 1934 Levin with floating stables and string holder. It is number 65 in the ongoing batch that has just been completed.
The guitar was in decent condition with only a few dry cracks, a solid crack at the bottom. The head had a tricky crack that was glued tight with skin glue. Very nice with its brown cellulose lacquer and bow in gold. Fretboard in rosewood, a little better than average.
The ribs were changed from a ladder to two longitudinal ribs under each stable foot. A completely superior ribbing for floating stables. Both lid and bottom were thinned down to about 3 mm, Levin gladly made these with thicker bottom and lid than they should have. The fretboard had a small 20 ″ radius. The wound in the cellulose varnish after the glued stable (how did you think there?) Was filled with super glue and the whole guitar got a thin layer of cellulose varnish.
Original string holders had punches and gave a metallic taste to the sound. Switched to a simpler flat string holder from the scrap box (also the one Levin part). It got some cushioning material on the back and the sound became less metallic.
On instruments with floating stables, it is a great advantage if the stables can be adjusted. Over time, the lid will sink a little grand from the pressure from the strings, it is almost inevitable. In addition, you may want a higher string height if you are going to use slide. So I made a raised stall, in zero position the guitar (right now) has my standard adjustment with 1.8 mm e 12th band and 2.7 mm E on the 12th band. Stringed on standard Newtone Masterclass 0.11 strings.
Chose a band as "stable legs". Metal bands give the tone a stable and hard sound without extra overtones, perfect on one like this I think. The sound from stable legs in legs contrasts the tone with complex overtones, usually the tone ideal I like best. The material on which the strings rest must in any case be hard so as not to lose volume and sharpness. Wood and soft plastic give a murky tone and low volume - not so fun and nothing you want.
Overside tuning felt unnecessary on a blues guru. If it's too good, it sounds wrong! Made at least a mini adjustment of all the bands, about + -1 mm at most, which is hidden under the brass bands (which fit perfectly with the rosette in gold!). Filled in the old notch with rosewood and sawed new grooves in the right place before I banded on.
Had it auditioned by a talented musician visiting the venue and he thought it was as good as you can get it! I can only agree. Distinctive attack, more bottom than in the originals and also just right sustain. Sounds almost too good to just play blues on it 🙂
Pictures from the renovation.