Analysis of Ancient and Modern Guitars

Author(s): Dr. Giuseppe Cuzzucoli

This article reports the results of an investigation performed on the Gottlob Schuster guitar made available by the owner (Marco Bazzotti). The purpose of this investigation is twofold: at first to demonstrate how a limited number of key parameters can proficiently be used to assess an existing instrument, eventually to replicate its sounding characteristic; secondly to gain an understanding of the design criteria that guided a luthier in designing an instrument of its production, and how certain criteria (and the underlying physical and geometrical parameters) evolved in the course of the years. The features and performances of the Gottlob Schuster guitar have been compared with the features of some other ancient and modern instruments:

1. A replica of the Torres guitar with cardboard back and sides (1862) by Luthier Zontini.
2. A Fleta guitar, 1921 (considered the first built by this Luthier).
3. A Simplicio guitar, 1931 (the last production period of this Luthier).
4. A Gallinotti guitar, 1974 (the latest period of production).
5. A Josè Ramirez guitar, 1970.
6. A Garrone guitar, 2011.

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