Chambering

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by joek86, Jun 3, 2005.

  1. joek86

    joek86 Supporting Member

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    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
     
  2. mrfjones

    mrfjones Member

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    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.
     
  3. Gadowguitars

    Gadowguitars Member

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    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.
     
  4. joek86

    joek86 Supporting Member

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

    Joe
     
  5. Gadowguitars

    Gadowguitars Member

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    yes....I prefer chambered
     
  6. cnardone

    cnardone Member

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    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
     
  7. 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.
     
  8. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    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.
     
  9. mischultz

    mischultz Member

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    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
     
  10. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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

    KRosser Member

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    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).
     
  12. 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.
     
  13. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Supporting Member

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    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.


    [​IMG]
     
  14. mischultz

    mischultz Member

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    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

     
  15. John Bell

    John Bell Member

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  16. enharmonic

    enharmonic Old Growth Gold Supporting Member

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    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".
     
  17. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Supporting Member

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    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.
     
  18. Gadowguitars

    Gadowguitars Member

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    I think we also should point out that there is difference in "chambering" or constructing a semi hollow body.
     
  19. scott

    scott Member

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    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
     
  20. MightyGuru

    MightyGuru Member

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    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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