It's been a while since I played Ari's Fraulini, so I can't really compare it to anything, and I've never played a Hauver. Ari's sure sounds good in his hands.-G-
I think that having Todd build you a guitar would be a great experience. You needn't make up your mind about all the variables before you talk to him. Probably no one can describe the differences in sound between Mahog and Birch, pin bridge or tail piece, as well as Todd himself, so you might as well start the dialogue.
Personally, I favor a 6 pin bridge, but that's because my Sovereign has one. That said, I couldn't really tell you the sonic difference, but I think that a pin bridge stresses the top more, which is a good thing for sound transference. And with a 6 pin (two strings in each hole) there is less perforation of the top, so I believe the bridge plate can be lighter.
Todd first built only tail piece 12s until Paul Geremia asked him to build a pin bridge 12 a few years ago. I was one of the folks Todd quizzed while doing research on the brace placement of pin bridge 12s. I pulled the strings off the Sov and used a mirror to measure the placement in respect to the sound hole.
I see you have joined up over at Weenie Campbell, too. That would be an excellent place to get more opinions about ladder braced 12s as there are many owners there, and you will probably get a response from Todd himself.
: Hey Tom,
: Thanks for the info! I'm familiar with
: Mahogany as a tonewood, but how would you
: describe Oak as a tonewood? Or Birch? I
: believe Tom Cambio also uses Birch. How
: about pin bridge vs. tailpiece. Can you
: describe the sound differences between a pin
: bridge and a tailpiece? I'm leaning towards
: a Fraulini Angelina 12 string model -
: mahogany w/tailpeice. Tough to decide
: without playing them!
: Thanks again,