Chambering

joek86

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,250
What do you guy's feel the effect of chambering a solid body guitar is? The guitar is going to be Mahogany, maple top rosewood fret board, P90 PUP's. I play Classic rock& blues rock.


Joe
 

mrfjones

Member
Messages
1,009
in my experience it opens the tone up some, and smooths out some high end. it will not be muddy at all. it just has a different sound than say a solid les paul, but still a rockin tone. I think they clean up better too, with a roll of the volume knob.
 

Gadowguitars

Member
Messages
78
I explain it by comparing a solid body to a brick...and a chambered body to a brick that has had the edges rounded and smoothed....it makes the instrument more complex in the tone department....gives a better bass response yet also smoothes out the high end.....hope that helps.
 

joek86

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,250
Originally posted by Gadowguitars
I explain it by comparing a solid body to a brick...and a chambered body to a brick that has had the edges rounded and smoothed....it makes the instrument more complex in the tone department....gives a better bass response yet also smoothes out the high end.....hope that helps.

So, overall it sounds like you would recomend going that route correct?

Joe
 

cnardone

Member
Messages
2,100
I find the chambering is most noticable on the bridge. It takes away just a bit of that sharp snap and leaves a rounder note. I also think that you lose a little bit of mids when there is a lot of chambering or hollow (ie PRS HBII) It is hard to recommend or not it is a different sound. I prefer it but each person is different.

cmn
 
S

Stan Williams

Go to a gibson dealer and play a Les Paul and 335 back to back and that will give you some idea, same scale lenght, same pickups, same bridge, etc.
 

KRosser

Member
Messages
14,111
Originally posted by Stan Williams
Go to a gibson dealer and play a Les Paul and 335 back to back and that will give you some idea, same scale lenght, same pickups, same bridge, etc.
Totally different body woods & weight, though, si?

In my experience with chambered guitars, the combination of mahogany w/ a maple top is my personal favorite candidate for chambering. It really seems to open up the whole frequency range and give some warmth to that particular wood combo, and seems to accentuate the 'cluck' you get in the combo pickup positions.

However, I also recommend you consider spatt's caveat above.
 

mischultz

Member
Messages
1,088
I'm just finishing a chambered mahogany/maple tele with Harmonic Design Z90s. Should be done this evening or tomorrow PM at the latest. Drop me a line and I'll be happy to answer whatever questions I can with the guitar in hand.

Michael
 

KRosser

Member
Messages
14,111
Originally posted by mischultz
I'm just finishing a chambered mahogany/maple tele with Harmonic Design Z90s. Should be done this evening or tomorrow PM at the latest. Drop me a line and I'll be happy to answer whatever questions I can with the guitar in hand.

Michael
My only question is, will you e-mail me if you decide to sell it? :D
 

KRosser

Member
Messages
14,111
Originally posted by splatt
another good comparison might be between:
a les paul, and either a chambered les paul or a gretsch duojet (w/fixed bridge);
i'd do this unamplified, though, just to get the gist of the timbral & feel-ic differences.
dt / spltrcl
The Guild Bluesbird also might be a good one to compare a Les Paul to. It's chambered mahogany/maple with similar hardware/electronics, set neck, and is also Gibson scale (I believe).
 
S

Stan Williams

Doesn't Hamer have a chambered maple top, mahogany combo? That might be a little closer but I would compare to another hamer with similar woods rather than a Les Paul. I've built some solid bodies with the same woods and they still sounded different.
You can lean in a direction but you still don't know what you have until you flip the standby switch.
 

Ian Anderson

Senior Member
Messages
5,240
I know it's a controversial subject, but here is my opinion based on playing through Fender Bassman, AC30, and 50 watt non master volume Marshalls. Results may vary.

I have built a few chambered flat top Les Pauls and I won't do it again. It takes out a big chunk of the frequency range of the guitar leaving you with little to nothing. It won't make a boat anchor heavy piece of wood sound good or give you the sound of a light piece, nor will it give you an archtop tone. Just sort of a boxy hollow tone.


 

mischultz

Member
Messages
1,088
A quick follow up here, and a question for folks about scale length. This was my first build, and I think it would be plenty obvious to anyone who held the instrument in person. But it's got a lot of chime and snap - cheerfulness, if you want to assign an emotional quality to it. The tone doesn't lack for girth though.

Which leads me to... There've been a couple cautionary comments about chambering LP types and I wonder whether the scale length might have an impact on the overall effectiveness. Could it be that the softer tension of 24.75 doesn't mate as well with a chambered body (since you're losing a little and losing a little, relatively speaking) than would a Fenderish 25.5?

Curious and thinking aloud (aprint?) more than anything. Thoughts, guesses and/or observations from actual experience are welcome, although that last one takes all the fun out of speculation.

Best,

Michael

Originally posted by mischultz
I'm just finishing a chambered mahogany/maple tele with Harmonic Design Z90s. Should be done this evening or tomorrow PM at the latest. Drop me a line and I'll be happy to answer whatever questions I can with the guitar in hand.

Michael
 

John Bell

Member
Messages
2,911
Originally posted by Ian Anderson
I know it's a controversial subject, but here is my opinion based on playing through Fender Bassman, AC30, and 50 watt non master volume Marshalls. Results may vary.

I have built a few chambered flat top Les Pauls and I won't do it again. It takes out a big chunk of the frequency range of the guitar leaving you with little to nothing. It won't make a boat anchor heavy piece of wood sound good or give you the sound of a light piece, nor will it give you an archtop tone. Just sort of a boxy hollow tone.




I'm so glad you pointed this out.I've tried several chambered projects.Strats and teles.The end result was exactly what you stated. "Just sort of a hollow boxy tone" I'm no luthier,but my ears tell me the truth.
 

enharmonic

Old Growth
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
8,996
I don't know enough about building a guitar to speak on the topic of chambering, but having played solid and chambered guitars, I am of the opinion that there is a "right" way to chamber a guitar, and a "wrong" way.

Terry McInturff has developed a chambering process for his Taurus model. Perhaps he could shed some light on the pitfalls of a proper design...one that uses chambers without compromising the tonal characteristics of an instrument. I remember an old discussion about this on the old TCM forum in which Terry made it clear that simply cutting out chambers in a guitar will not give you the goods...there's a lot involved in doing it "right".
 

Ian Anderson

Senior Member
Messages
5,240
I tried doing it right including not messing with the center of the guitar, or around the studs. I only chambered the bass side which theoretically should mimic the treble side with it's control cavity cutout. No dice.


Having done it I really don't see the point. If you are after weight reduction I'd use a good piece of wood to begin with.
 

scott

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,926
I like it myself. I never had any of the problems Ian has had. It wont sound like a solid body but it does sounds good to me. Ive never ever had one sound "boxy" they have always sounded full and tonefull with lots of sustain. Most of the ones I make are carved tops tho. And a lot are semi hollow.




www.heatleyguitars.com
 

MightyGuru

Member
Messages
6,993
My chambered Guild Bluebird is huge sounding. A great off-the-rack guitar that is toneful and resonant.
Very full and rich though it is slightly larger than a Lester. YMMV.
 




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