The Pericle Classical Guitar
by Roy Courtnall
The Pericle aims to maximise the energy produced when the strings are plucked and the soundboard vibrates, transmitting it outwards to the listener, rather than much of it being absorbed down the sides and back and into the player's body. The bridge is designed to be used with string beads - these are tied onto the ends of the strings and make slippages much less likely. The beads avoid the need to tie strings around the tie block. This improves the 'break' angle from saddle to hole and also prevents strings from cutting into the edges of the tie-block.
The optional (detachable) armrest can make for greater comfort, and also prevents the player's arm from damping the vibrating soundboard. As with any guitar, the player's technique is crucial - a good right hand position with correctly shaped finger nails that attack the strings at the optimum angle, all contribute to getting the most out of the instrument.
The Pericle is a 'lattice' classical guitar made with European spruce for the soundboard, an extremely hard and dense African hardwood called wenge for the back and sides, and walnut for the neck. The bridge is rosewood and the soundhole is decorated with a variety of burr timbers.
The guitar is designed to maximise volume, projection and sustain, while maintaining the warmth and character of the true Spanish guitar sound. This is achieved by making the soundboard extremely thin (no more than between 1.0 and 1.3 mm thick), supported by a criss-cross lattice structure of eighteen fine spruce struts. Unlike the soundboard, the back and sides are thicker, stronger and very rigid - achieved by reinforcing these parts with two extra thin layers of wood in the interior.