1208201-RR F5R signed December 2008, and was Hans’ 201st instrument built. “RR” mean red spruce top, red maple back.
Hans said “The ff holes are pushed forward, ribs are tapered, and there are some internal mods. I don’t think the ff holes made much difference by having been moved forward. I think it’s mostly the ribs and interior changes. I’ll probably accentuate the slope of the ribs more next time.
What I can say so far is that it is VERY resonant, alive sounding, almost like your head is inside the instrument. It’s very clean, and notes are distinct, sustain excellent. It’s still fundamental like red spruce. I wouldn’t say it was quite “hollow” sounding like an old instrument, but has some flavor of that in the form of clarity.
The original idea behind moving the ff holes forward was to have more top area vibrating similar to an oval hole without having to cut into the grain in the center of the top. I am still not sure exactly how much it has contributed to the total change, but I have to say that so far on two instruments the combination of innovations has made quite a difference in boosting the tone.
I have tried to maintain the internal volume of the F5, the rib height around the headblock is less than a Loar, and the height around the tailpiece is more. I’m always striving to make a better instrument. I think that we builders have all taken the standard formula (F5) about as far as it can be pushed. I have a feeling that the instruments being made now will sound much better than Loars in 90 years. It’s time to break out of the mold and push the envelope even farther…it’s all about tone.
It’s possible that the A5 entered into my thoughts when I originally revamped the V6, but I think I was influenced mostly by my friend’s National guitar. Just looking at that large resonating cone with the ff holes up at the top shoulders gave me the idea that trying to get a rounder area of vibration with the bridge in the middle might help tone. Really hard to say exactly what contributes what to the tone as I generally don’t think in reductionist terms. All I know is that I will continue to develop the instruments along these lines as there seems to be an advantage.”
New Pictures from new owner:
Photos from a previous owner:
Fretboard extension was removed at some point (“Floridaectomy“)