The Acoustic Guitar Forum  

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 04-23-2009, 05:39 PM
Acoustician Acoustician is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 38
Default Offset Soundholes: Fad or the Future?

They sure look intriguing ... but then you wonder: if the strings are here, why is the soundhole there? How does the sound project if there's a disconnect between points A and B? Or am I missing something?:
__________________
- Andrew White Model E
- Lowden F23c
- Taylor 614ce
- Larrivee OM-10
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 04-23-2009, 05:42 PM
Jeff M Jeff M is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Not where I thought I was going, but probably where I need to be.
Posts: 22,333
Default

They've been around for awhile, and will remain so, but they won't become anything near an "industry standard".

Re strings not over the sound hole; the sound hole does not act as a "port" to allow the strings vibrations INTO the guitar. It acts to allow the vibrational energy of the top / box OUT, so to speak.
__________________

"Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best."
Henry Van Dyke


"It is in the world of slow time that truth and art are found as one"
Norman Maclean,
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-23-2009, 06:14 PM
ljguitar's Avatar
ljguitar ljguitar is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: wyoming
Posts: 31,609
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acoustician View Post
They sure look intriguing ... but then you wonder: if the strings are here, why is the soundhole there? How does the sound project if there's a disconnect between points A and B? Or am I missing something?:
Hi Acoustician...
As an amateur recordist I can assure you that we never mic the ''sound hole'' which does have some sound emanating from it, but not the quality of sound one would want to capture.

The entire body of the guitar radiates sound, and the area around the bridge and 'south' of there to the heel of the guitar is very loud compared to the soundhole.

Played a dreadnaught guitar built with side-located sound holes, with no soundhole on the face. It was just as loud sitting across from it as a standard dreadnaught. It was much louder from the player's perspective.

A suspicion I have is since the strings are 'centered' on the body, so was the soundhole (they were putting them there in the 1600s and filling them with decorations thereby blocking sound if this is the source of the sound). Early builders understood that sound didn't just come from the port on the face.






__________________
Larry J

Baby #01
Baby #02
Baby #03
Baby #04
Full-size Full-Scale Baby #4

Larry's songs...

…Just because you've argued till a discussion turns silent doesn't mean you have convinced anyone…
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-23-2009, 06:26 PM
Carbonius Carbonius is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 854
Default

More and more companies are experimenting and offering offset soundholes. Most will say that the offset soundhole increases top movement. They can change the bracing pattern since there is no hole in the middle that braces have to work around. This can REALLY change the tone of the instrument. Offset soundholes that are closer to the player better project the sound to the player while not stealing sound from the audience. Some companies have no sound hole on the top at all and have a large port on the side like Batson for example (www.batsonguitars.com).

Composite Acoustics (www.compositeacoustics.com) offers their guitars with regular soundholes and offset. All the dimensions are the same but the bracing is different. The offset soundholes provide more bass even though there is no change in body size at all. Some people don't like the extra bass due to a preference of more upfront mids. Great point for comparison as not many companies offer both hole placements on a production style guitar.

In the last few years I would venture that Mcpherson has done the most for advancing offset soundhole guitars. of course, Ovation has done it for MANY years.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-23-2009, 06:44 PM
drcmusic7's Avatar
drcmusic7 drcmusic7 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 1,960
Default

The offset soundhole is a brilliant idea, imho. If you think about how much tension on the top from the strings, it's in the worst possible spot.

I've played a few guitars with offset soundholes including guitars by Harry Fleishman, Batson, McPherson, Tacoma, and CA. All of them had tremendous volume and projection. Others do it too, like Tom Bills, Joel Stehr, and Grimes.

I don't think it will ever become standard but it will certainly continue for lots of makers.

I wouldn't hesitate for second owning a guitar with an offset soundhole.

Kindly,
Danny
__________________
My Website
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-23-2009, 09:07 PM
David Hilyard David Hilyard is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Posts: 1,575
Default

They may be a fad. But it doesn't matter to me. I love several that I've played. I have a Tom Bills with a side soundhole, none on the top. It's a loud beast for the player and certainly loud enough for the audience. I've also played a classical by Randy Reynolds with an offset hole in the upper bout top. It blew my socks off. I think they are great. Sort of different take on a port. The main idea is to put the soundhole where there is less energy being generated by the top, to free up the area where there is more energy potential. Controversial topic, and some don't buy it. Some think they are ugly. These people wouldn't own one. I would own several.

My Bills:



Randy Reynolds' Concert Grand classical.



Last edited by David Hilyard; 04-23-2009 at 09:15 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-23-2009, 09:27 PM
mulausk mulausk is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 295
Default

I appreciate all of the perspectives and input here. Very interesting.

I think for me, I just can't get used to the asymmetry. A little too Picasso-y for my taste; like the nose is up on the forehead, so to speak. (Or would it be the mouth in this case?) Lack of asymmetry is probably why I lean away from cutaways too, for that matter. But the cutaway is a little more widely accepted and produced (which is probably why I'm more used to it).
__________________
Huss & Dalton Custom CM non-cutaway
Composite Acoustics OX
Gibson Les Paul Standard



Gone, but not forgotten: 410rce, 710ce-L9, Alvarez MD80-12, NS-42ce, 454ce-L2, Little Martin, CA GX Player, H&D Custom DS-12, '53 Gibson LG1, Gibson AJ, Alvarez 5022, CA Cargo, Gibson J-45 TV, H&D MJ
Gone, and trying to forget: Yamaha FG-5**
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-23-2009, 09:52 PM
ljguitar's Avatar
ljguitar ljguitar is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: wyoming
Posts: 31,609
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by drcmusic7 View Post
...I don't think it will ever become standard but it will certainly continue for lots of makers.
Hi Danny...
I'm inclined to agree - but it is more popular than in past decades. I don't think of it as a fad - more like a phase.

Since there are so many ways to build guitars with amazing tone, if a luthier is building and experimenting with offset holes and is obtaining wonderful tone and response, and improving the build till he/she is building world-class instruments, why would they ever change their design?

Not all players want a Martin, Taylor, or Gibson or something built to mimic their tone (modern or vintage tone).

So it makes sense that builders are experimenting with ways to extract the best sound from an instrument and if that involves side ports or offset sound holes, and produces an instrument that caters to players looking for a more contemporary or modern sound, they will still be around in a decade or two (they have actually been around that long).

Nobody is mentioning arch tops with offset f-holes side ports which have been in existence for decades. And what about this stunning guitar played by Thom Bresh with beautiful wing-like sound holes in the top adjacent to the strings (built by Dave Plummer of DesMoines, IA)?



Not likely a run-o-the-mill variety of guitar, but it sounds awesome...



__________________
Larry J

Baby #01
Baby #02
Baby #03
Baby #04
Full-size Full-Scale Baby #4

Larry's songs...

…Just because you've argued till a discussion turns silent doesn't mean you have convinced anyone…
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-23-2009, 10:08 PM
ResoN ResoN is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Chattanooga, TN
Posts: 128
Default

I like them, and it seems that it would free up more of the top to produce sound. The only downside I see is when repairs are needed to the braces or bridge plate. A lot of repairs can be done through the sound hole. I recall seeing pictures of an off-set sound hole guitar with a large removable door, if that's the right term, at the tail end of the guitar. This allowed access to the braces etc.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-23-2009, 10:46 PM
David Hilyard David Hilyard is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Posts: 1,575
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ResoN View Post
I like them, and it seems that it would free up more of the top to produce sound. The only downside I see is when repairs are needed to the braces or bridge plate. A lot of repairs can be done through the sound hole. I recall seeing pictures of an off-set sound hole guitar with a large removable door, if that's the right term, at the tail end of the guitar. This allowed access to the braces etc.
Tom Bills puts an access door at the tail, which very easily allows installation of a pickup or work inside. My Genesis has a K&K Trinity which is very easy to get to through the door and almost as easy through the soundhole.



This is a Tom Ribbecke archtop called the Halfling, with an offset hole. This was at Healdsburg a few years ago.



And Fred Carlson's creation. Fred lives not far away and builds incredible instruments.

Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 04-24-2009, 05:22 AM
fscott55 fscott55 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 150
Default

I think they're a stupid idea. How are you supposed to drop your pick inside the guitar resulting in hours of frustration getting it out if the soundhole is off center?
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 04-24-2009, 08:28 AM
runamuck runamuck is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 762
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by fscott55 View Post
I think they're a stupid idea. How are you supposed to drop your pick inside the guitar resulting in hours of frustration getting it out if the soundhole is off center?
You get someone really smart (like an offset soundhole guitar designer) to get it out for you.

Last edited by runamuck; 04-24-2009 at 05:31 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 04-24-2009, 08:54 AM
Eugenius Eugenius is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,967
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ljguitar View Post
Hi Acoustician...
As an amateur recordist I can assure you that we never mic the ''sound hole'' which does have some sound emanating from it, but not the quality of sound one would want to capture.

The entire body of the guitar radiates sound, and the area around the bridge and 'south' of there to the heel of the guitar is very loud compared to the soundhole.

Played a dreadnaught guitar built with side-located sound holes, with no soundhole on the face. It was just as loud sitting across from it as a standard dreadnaught. It was much louder from the player's perspective.

A suspicion I have is since the strings are 'centered' on the body, so was the soundhole (they were putting them there in the 1600s and filling them with decorations thereby blocking sound if this is the source of the sound). Early builders understood that sound didn't just come from the port on the face.






Isn't that rosette amazing?
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 04-24-2009, 09:49 AM
Carbonius Carbonius is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 854
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Hilyard View Post

And Fred Carlson's creation. Fred lives not far away and builds incredible instruments.

That's just .... ummmmmmmm ...... WOW!! It's messing with my head like some sort of optical illusion. I see it has a bunch of sympathetic strings. I would love to just hear one of these guitars once.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 04-24-2009, 09:54 AM
buzzardwhiskey buzzardwhiskey is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,060
Default

Sacred cows taste great. I don't know if the offset sound-hole thing will replace the centered model, but I love the deepening registers it helps create in my GXi. And there's a whole other silly barrier...

I caught Bluegrass Etc http://www.tricopolisrecords.com/bluegrassetc.htm last night. These guys are near the top of the top of the genre. John Moore played a RainSong dreadnought that sounded amazing. Holy smokes that guy can play.
__________________
Website: http://www.david-j-lane.com
Guitar: CA GXi-RT with an LR Baggs Lyric
Mixer/EQ: Soundcraft EFX8, Driverack PX
Amps/Speakers: Yamaha DXR10's, Schertler Unico, Ultrasound DS4, Behringer B210D, Roland CM-30 Cube Monitor
Mics: AKG C 535 EB, Audio Technica AE3300, Sennheiser e865, EV N/D767a, Miktek PM9, four Blue enCore 100's, and a Shure SM57
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Loading

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:32 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=