GG111, Frans Feilnreiter “1833”

This guitar was bought by a German collector, and he considered it to be from the turn of the century 1900, even though it says "Frans Feilnreiter Wien 1833" on the label. When it was finished, I did a search for the name "Frans Feilnreiter" and it turned out that this builder died in 1866! This label does not really look like the ones I saw in the picture, in addition, "Frans" was spelled as "Franz". Agree with the collector that it looks like it was from the turn of the century. The tuning screws were in four parts but all the parts of the slightly older type from 1890-1910. The originals may have been replaced but why replace with tuning screws that were not intact?

At the same time, the body has a patina that could very well be from 1833. Maybe it is a counterfeit label type the Stradivarius labels that are in turn-of-the-century violins. But it can also be real! The guitar is a small mystery.

Treated the guitar as if it were a cheap mail order guitar from the turn of the century and gave it a usual GammelGura treatment. It got a new fingerboard and a replica stable and new tuning screws. All ribs inside new, carbon fiber rod in the neck and upper saddle tuning, composite stable legs and plugs. The neck got a new black color and the body a layer of clear spirit lacquer. A K&K mic was mounted. The label was steamed loose and the bottom was thinned to just under 3 mm.

The customer wanted special straps that were significantly increased, 1.5 mm high and 3 mm wide. Works well, but I prefer the dimensions of the Dunlop brass bands (1 x 2.2 mm).

It was quite intact except that a piece of the lid around the sound hole at the end of the grip board was missing. Replaced with a piece from a discarded old parlor lid. A few cracks in the lid also had to be glued.

It should have been a hassle-free trip, but I had to redo the neck glue that didn't turn out the way I wanted it. Did not think about the higher bands and missed a bit with the placement of the grip board and got too close to the string pins on the original number with the intonation points. Inserted a 2 mm maple plate in the neck pocket to advance the intonation points on the stool leg. Made an attempt to save the original stable in maple, but when I pulled up, the soft maple in front of the stable leg yielded to the torque from the strings. Therefore made a replica in ebony with the string pins a few mm further down. Not only that, the D string in the string I measured the tone with was not as it should. Got to redo the oversaddle too. The intonation was very good in the end anyway. You learn.

The lacquer on the lid had a structure similar to leather. Charming I think 🙂

The guitar sounds like an Old Gura usually, ie good. This one has a lot of core in the sound but not so much bass. A sound I personally like!



Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *