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Old 11-23-2020, 02:16 PM
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ArchtopLover ArchtopLover is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Blanchardville, Wisconsin
Posts: 111
Default Round Hole Tone?

This is certainly a breathtaking masterpiece of an archtop guitar to behold, and I am sure it would be a dream to play as well.

However, I am curious, for such a high-end, masterpiece, custom made Archtop guitar, from this period, why would the master luthiers have chosen to use a "round" (not exactly, in this case), sound hole?

I own, and play, two cheapo (in contrast to this example), vintage archtops, one is a 1934 Gibson L-50 (first of its name) and the other is a 1928 Gibson L-4. Each has a very similar quality of tone difference from the traditional, Lloyd Loar designed "F" hole versions, that I wonder what Epiphone was trying to achieve by using a round-like sound hole in an instrument of this caliber?

My point is this, the L-50 and the L-4 sound more like flattop acoustics, than archtop acoustics. With the round sound hole there is absolutely no natural reverb as I am accustomed too in my many other "F" hole archtops. And, the lower register is much fatter an more full sounding too. Not that I am necessarily preferencial in this regard, it's just that they are very, very different in the way they sound.

So, at the absolute pinnacle level of a vintage Epiphone Emperor Concert archtop guitar, did the master luthiers believe the tonal characteristics, produced by this sound-hole shape superior, or just different and unique, or what?

1918 Gibson L-1
1928 Gibson L-4 (Blond w/Ebony Fret-board)
1930's Kalamazoo KG-32
1930's Gretsch F-50
1934 Gibson L-7
1934 Gibson L-50 (KG-11/14 Body Shape)
1935 Gibson L-50 (Flat-back)
1935 Gibson L-30 (Flat-back)
1942 Gibson L-50 (WWII Banner Head)
1948 Gibson L-50
1949 Epiphone Blackstone

"a sharp mind cuts cleaner than a sharp tool"
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