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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:40 am 
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Cocobolo
Cocobolo

Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:25 am
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Location: Taos, NM
First name: Patch
Last Name: Rubin
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
I’m interested in making a solid body electric guitar, one with f holes and a chambered body. Mahogany with a Maple top, sort of like a Les Paul but not. I’ve been trying to research how chambering the body affects the sound but haven’t really found any useful info. Can it be over done and become a feedback monster? Is there a difference in having sections chambered out rather than having the chambered bass and treble sides connected? I’m in the process of building my 40th acoustic so I know that basically everything we do has some part in shaping the sound of the guitar and this chambering thing seems like it would make a big difference. Perhaps I'll end up making a few prototypes with different chambering ideas but I'd love to hear any thoughts on this that you all might have. Thanks!

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:15 am 
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Mahogany
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patch wrote:
I’m interested in making a solid body electric guitar, one with f holes and a chambered body. Mahogany with a Maple top, sort of like a Les Paul but not. I’ve been trying to research how chambering the body affects the sound but haven’t really found any useful info. Can it be over done and become a feedback monster? Is there a difference in having sections chambered out rather than having the chambered bass and treble sides connected? I’m in the process of building my 40th acoustic so I know that basically everything we do has some part in shaping the sound of the guitar but this chambering thing seems like it would make a big difference. Perhaps I'll end up making a few prototypes with different chambering ideas but I'd love to hear any thoughts on this that you all might have. Thanks!
Have a look here...

http://www.gibson.com/News-Lifestyle/Fe ... -2012.aspx



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:13 am 
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Joined: Fri May 18, 2012 8:35 pm
Posts: 2297
Location: Austin, Texas
First name: Dan
Last Name: Smith
City: Round Rock
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Zip/Postal Code: 78681
Country: USA
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Personal opinion, I don't think a chambered body affects the amplified pickup sound at all.
If the bridge is mounted to a block or solid portion of the body, I doubt it would cause or allow the top to move in an acoistic manner.
I chamber for weight relief, or to create an open area under F holes for appearance.
Purely my opinion, but when I chamber a body, I don't consider any acoustic properties.
Dan

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:15 pm 
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Koa
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Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
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First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
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I have built two les paul clones. Both are mahogany bodied, standard gibson necks, yadda yadda. One has a maple cap, one has a Spanish cedar cap - so slight differences in the woods. Important thing, both have identically the same pickups - in this case StewMac's Golden Era PAF clones. Both have the same pots, caps etc.

One is chambered, one is not. Here are the bodies under construction

Image

Image

Image

The chambered guitar is somewhat similar to what Gibson is calling their "weight relieved" models. Note that it does not have f-holes.

First observation - the chambered one is about a pound and a half lighter. Duh. Everyone notices that. Second observation - how do they sound. Honestly, both sound pretty good (I like those pups) and both sound like Lesters. Is there a difference? Well, one evening we sat down with both guitars, a little Quilter amp and my Zoom recorder and played them both - same settings on the amp, same pick and same noodling around. I actually have sound clips of those and could send them to you if you are interested in hearing them.

Our conclusion - altho they sound remarkably similar there are a couple of very subtle differences. The solid one might have just a hair more sustain, the hollow one might be just a tiny bit more resonant, maybe a bit warmer. They guy who now owns the chambered one plays mostly classic rock on it, the solid one is mine and I play more blues and jazzy stuff.

Adding the f-holes will change everything of course - now you have at least two variables (I do too with the different top materials). I have built three electric guitars where the tops are intended to contribute (two 335 style, one L5) - interestingly the L5 has the same pups as one of the 335's and there is a significant difference in the way they sound (the 335 has the big center block, the L5 has a floating bridge). Since we are doing picture time, here is the semi-hollow (or semi-solid) body

Image

Some people do not extend the center block all the way to the tail block - I have built one that way and can't tell any difference. I don't have a great picture of the hollow body but this kind of shows the supports for the pickups and floating bridge.

Image

The hollow body has a dovetail joint, the semi-hollow has a long M&T just like the les pauls. Both the hollow and semi hole have f-holes and both can be made to feed back if you really push the gain. One significant difference - the hollow body does have a true acoustic sound (not a very good one) while the semi-hollow doesn't have much at all.

Bottom line (and my humble opinion) - they are all slightly different, the air chamber makes a difference as does the design of the top (whether its intended to vibrate or not). The pups will make the biggest difference - you already knew that. Hope this helps - if you want to hear the sound clips PM me an e-mail addy and I'll send them to you



These users thanked the author Freeman for the post (total 2): klooker (Fri Nov 24, 2017 10:11 am) • dzsmith (Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:56 pm)
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:32 pm 
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Koa
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City: Escondido
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Having made a couple of both, I’m in Dan’s camp. If there is a difference in tone, I can’t detect it. I have different pickups in everything, and that is a much bigger factor.

That said, an F-hole in a Tele or Lea Paul LOOKS so cool



These users thanked the author rlrhett for the post: dzsmith (Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:56 pm)
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:34 pm 
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Cocobolo
Cocobolo

Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:25 am
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Location: Taos, NM
First name: Patch
Last Name: Rubin
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Freeman, those builds look fantastic! Great to see the under the hood shots too. Very cool that you have built both so that you can compare the two. I’m thinking less about top movement and more about air moving around within the guitar, so this really helps. I’ll be pm’ing you about those recordings.

Really cool to see your 335 style builds too, I had a ’79 that I sold because I was broke and had to make a choice between it or my SG. Someday one of those would be fun to make.

In the article, Gibson seems convinced there are differences while in the comments most people are not. This seems to be like just about everything else in luthiery, everyone has different valid opinions. Which is why this stuff is so fascinating.

I think several prototypes are in my future…

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These users thanked the author patch for the post: dzsmith (Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:56 pm)
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:38 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
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First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Patch, our feeling was the only way to tell that there was any difference was to literally play them back to back - and then it is so subtle that it could be wishful thinking. I've got some similar anecdotes - I built two Weissenborns out of the same wood (literally) but slightly different bracing - again, by them selves both sound pretty good (and pretty much like a Weissie) but side by side there is a detectable difference. I also built two parlors with the same top, bracing, yadda but one is Mad rose, the other Braz. We all agree that we can't hear a difference.

There is a huge difference between the other body styles but thats like comparing a dreadnaught to a parlor - almost everything is different so the guitars should be too.

I think chambering is worthwhile from a weight standpoint alone. I personally wouldn't put f-holes in a Lester 'cause I don't think they look right. If you do decide to build a LP get good plans - you'll need them to figure out the geometry. I've got lots of pictures of each of those guitars if you have any questions - each has been fun to explore.

Here is a pic of the solid Lester and the 335 clone

Image

and the L5 and LP clones

Image


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:19 pm 
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Cocobolo
Cocobolo

Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:25 am
Posts: 184
Location: Taos, NM
First name: Patch
Last Name: Rubin
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
Thanks for all the insight Freeman. Great looking gits! I'm not out to make a Les Paul clone and what I meant by sort of is that I like the chunk of Mahogany for a body with a shaped Maple top, maybe I should have been more clear on that. Having always played Gibson's that style construction and in particular the neck joint make sense to me and that's how I've been drawing out my plans. What I need now is all the hardware so I can lay that out on my drawings to make sure I've got enough room.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:59 am 
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Cocobolo
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Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 11:28 am
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First name: Leonard
Last Name: Duke
City: Kalamazoo
State: MI
Zip/Postal Code: 49001
Country: USA
Focus: Repair
Status: Amateur
If you look at the mahogany block inside Freeman's les paul you are seeing the wood that in my opinion is crucial to getting a solid-body sound. I would add some wood in a circle around the bridge, but basically Freeman has what I would leave in for a traditional tone. It is when you start to thin out the wood under the bridge that you will hear it from the amp. The tone will drift in the direction of Gibson's laminated maple top hollow archtops: 125, 175 etc. If you have played those and you want to get some of that old maple top jazz guitar sound, thin under the bridge, experiment with braces. If you want the definite crisp solid attack of a solid-body without the "jazz" bassy thump on the start of each note, keep a large piece of solid wood between the bridge and the back.



These users thanked the author philosofriend for the post: Ken McKay (Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:45 am)
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:37 am 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
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First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
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philosofriend wrote:
If you look at the mahogany block inside Freeman's les paul you are seeing the wood that in my opinion is crucial to getting a solid-body sound. ..........


Obviously that hunk of wood is structural also. It forms the neck mortise, supports the pups and bridge and anchors the strings. The antithesis is the jazz guitar - dovetail, minimum support for the pickups, floating bridge and trapeze tailpiece. Totally different sound too.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:51 am 
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Koa
Koa

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Location: Traverse City Michigan
https://instagram.com/p/BIMyzL5DLCB/

https://instagram.com/p/BG2uSjdv96t/

Chambered.


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