You should write a monthly column for a Guitar mag a la Premier Guitar, Guitar Player, etc...
or should I say, one of these publications should be seeking you out.
I just want to let you know that Carolina Custom arrived safely at Austin Guitar House and it's one of the most incredible "humbucker guitar" I have ever seen/played/heard in my life, neck to neck to my beloved 2005 Gustavsson Bluesmaster with Taku Sakashita PAF Pickups.
You are the MAN!
First of all, thank you very much for sharing your knowledge like this! I'm very fascinated by everything you write.
I'm building guitars as a hobby and I'm currently building a hollow archtop singlecut. Have a look here if you have the time: https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/1152581&page=5
As I understand, you build solid, semihollow and fully hollow guitars and my questions are:
How do you determine how big the air volume in a body should be to achieve a certain character of sound in a guitar? I'm thinking body thickness/body width, how much hollow space there is inside the body and also how thick the top should be. As an example, if I build two guitars with the same materials but make one a wider body with a shallower depth and one with a narrower but deeper body, what will the possible difference be? What do you prefer yourself?
I built two identical guitars. The necks from the same boards, the bodies from the same billets...all the way down to the headstock facings these two guitars are identical. All the hardware was identical. The guitars were made 100% with cnc machines so the geometry is near identical on both. The only difference is that one is highly chambered as shown and the other is a solid body except for the electronics cavity. I wanted to hear the difference, if any. This was a quest to challenge an assumption. I'd note that although this may seem odd...I owned a manufacturing business for twenty years making composite aircraft propellers. Testing assumptions is just a habit now.
I recorded a passage that I can play fairly consistently on both guitars and posted the clip here.
I was surprised to hear almost no difference at all between the two....or at least with the vast difference in weight I expected much more. I believe I hear a slight compression with the solid body but it's so subtle I doubt too many others will pick it up.
I'd be honored to hear your thoughts on this. I very much enjoy your posts.
Im honored to be asked and Ill be getting back to you once Ive had the chance to listen to your clips in my studio's control room. I never listen to clips on computer speakers, ear buds, or cheap headphones....if Im interested in actually hearing the clips well enough to form an opinion on something.
Thanks, and I'll be back atcha!
PS......before I listen to the clips, Id like to ask if you could record another pair of clips...one of each guitar...thru a high quality direct box, and send them to me?
Yes that makes sense. Kind of like a big vs small cymbal or something like that maybe. I find these type of questions very interesting and it's feels a bit frustrating when you're a hobby builder with little to none experience of these kind of things. The ideal situation would be to be able to build a few guitars at the same time and try out different variations on the same theme to be able to tell the differences. Not really an option when building in your kitchen though... And every time I get the building itch again I want to try something different.Many thanks indeed and your project looks great!
Dang it...there is no way that I can even begin to answer your Q via the space and time constraints here...it is a huge topic, a big chunk of a career's woth of experience with these things cannot be compressed into a few paragraphs and that is frustrating; Im sorry!
One very insufficient comment (I must TRY to contribute SOMETHING!)
regarding your narrow/deep vs wide/shallow comparison
> Suppose that we have identical tops and these tops are thin enough to vibrate rather freely. For purposes of explanation lets assume that we have a 3/32" thick Sitka Spruce top.
And...the body is fully hollow.
And...the hollow airspace inside the two bodies is identical measured in cubic inches.
And...the width of the glue joint around the edges are identical width
In this particular instance the wide/shallow would have a lower overall sound. Why? Because the top is wider and will be want to pump up/down fewer times-per-second than will the narrower and thus stiffer top.
The slower motion produces lower freq's.
Question for the Master:
- Can you educate us about the "angle between the neck and headstock" and the "angle between the neck and the body", how does it interfere on the playability, tone, etc.?
Thanks in advance,