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Dickens
In 1975 Fred began a series of experiments (which he would continue until his death) to make “various acoustic measurements on the guitar and its parts.The object of the experiments was to determine the response vs. frequency of the instrument and its various parts in an effort to set the various resonances at their ideal positions.” Using a special sound room which he built, he did experiments to: determine the effect of the height of the sides of a standard classical guitar on air resonance frequency; test different strutting patterns on the backs and tops of guitars including Cartesian, circular, lattice, traditional, and X bracing; study the effect of soundposts in guitars; chart the air modes of his and others' guitars; study the relationship between the Helmholtz resonance and volume; and test a new bridge design using graphite-reinforced epoxy which he called his “magic bridge.”In 1977 Fred attended the 9th International Conference on Acoustics in Madrid where he presented a paper, “Tuning the Eigenmodes of Free Violin and Guitar Plates by Chladni Patterns” with Carleen Hutchins. He wrote for the CAS Newsletter but refused to submit articles unless he was 100% certain of the data. He also gave lectures at local colleges in New Jersey.In his lifetime Fred built ninety-four classical guitars, four steel string guitars, a flamenco guitar, a banjo, and a harpsichord soundboard. Trying to understand plate tuning in the guitar was his life's goal.
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