Construction of a high quality guitar is not only accurate work according drawings by a experienced carpenter. The guitar maker should also be aware how the guitar works, that material and structure of the guitar can be tuned to its best results.
The builderīs own guitarplaying skill and years collaboration with musicians as well knowledge of the traditional models and working methods create a good base to develop the sound of different guitars models.
Every serious luthier is seeking to use highest quality materials for building guitars. The wood used for the guitartop is usually spruce or cedar (Western Red Cedar). For the back/ sides we use different kind of rosewood. Every rosewood has their own, slightly different effect to the guitar sound. Based on experience and working 5-8 guitars at a time we choose the best top and back combination for each guitar.
Guitarnecks we make of cedar (Cedro, Spanish Cedar). This is a very stable wood, which gives the guitar a smooth, warm sound. The neck stiffness and mass has a big influence on the guitar sound. Thick and heavy ebony fretboard will enable us to increase the mass and to improve the sound. The intention is that the fingerboard and neck vibrates as little as possible so that most of the kinetic energy of the strings changes through the guitartop to a powerful guitartone. The frets of the fingerboard we glue with epoxy to the grooves, so that so that neck will not get stressed.
Our guitar are all finished with traditional shellac polish. (French Polish)
Workshop humidity control is very important for building the guitars as it effects the instruments sound and resistance to various environments in later use. Liikanen guitars are build at a workshop humidity 41% - 45% RH. Before assembling, all parts of our guitar are stored in cabinet, which is precisly tuned to 43% RH.
The LRS soundboard is stiffened with a vooden gross-brace grid in the middle of the lower part of the soundboard. A thin plate of wood is glued over the grid. The cross-section of the whole construction is lens shape and the soundboard around the bridge area is much stiffer and better controlled than in traditional soundboard.
The sound of a LRS guitar is very sensitive and responsive with an exeptional good sustain, because the vibration energy produced by the strings is evenly shared to the soundboard via the stiff middle area.The resonance curves of the LRS tops are more even than in traditional built guitars. There are no high-gained amplitude-peaks which yeild to an anharmonic sound and often wolf-notes in the descant frequency range.
The Lens Resonance System allows a much better balance between the mass and the stiffness of the guitar soundboard without using artificial or synthetic materials such as carbon fibre composites.
The modes of the vibration of the guitar soundboard are nearly same in every guitar construction. The player obtains much better control with this new system, with the effect that the guitar sound is much cleaner without so many overtones that usually cloud the guitar note. The edge of the top is thinner than in traditional Spanish guitars. The middle under the bridge is stiffer, so that at the first mode of vibration around 190 Hz can vibrate exeptionally well. The very high modes of vibration over 1200 Hz are much better controlled. In this way the player achieves a very well balanced sound.
There are a lot of other developments connected to new soundboard construction: the bridge is smaller and lighter than usual, the nut and the saddle are both compensated to accomplish the intonation required. Together with the LRS they enhance not only the clarity but also the overall volume, dynamic, sustain, playability and the beauty and quality of the guitar sound itself, which is very much like the traditional Spanish guitar sound.
Double Top + Lens Resonance System
Combinig our LRS and Nomex Double Top honeycomb structure we achieved our current top guitar model.