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 01-15-2020, 08:35 AM
Michael Watts's Avatar
Michael Watts Michael Watts is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: London UK
Posts: 2,796
Default Taylor's new scoop cutaway/soundport

Hello everyone,

as you might expect, Taylor's new Builder's Edition models have been causing a bit of a stir at NAMM. Their scoop cutaway and soundport combo has turned a lot of heads and I had the chance to spend some time with one a couple of weeks ago. You can find my review right here

If you have any further questions I'd be happy to answer them, I had the guitar for a few days and got to know it pretty well.

All the best

Michael
__________________
www.michaelwattsguitar.com
Album Recording Diary
Skype Lessons
Luthier Stories
YouTube
iTunes
Instagram

Guitars by Jason Kostal, Strings by Elixir, Gefell Mics and a nail buffer.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-15-2020, 08:48 AM
RalphH's Avatar
RalphH RalphH is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Canterbury, UK
Posts: 807
Default

Cool, thanks for that very detailed review.

I had seen that soundport and rolled my eyes. Very happy to be completely wrong about it
__________________
Gibson Customshop Hummingbird (Review)
Taylor GS Mini Koa
Orange Crush Acoustic 30
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-15-2020, 09:06 AM
DavidE DavidE is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 2,872
Default

"Even with the soundport covered the 816ce provides a great example of the Taylor sound, but with the foam removed there is a marked difference – the instrument comes to life, with an immediately open and beautiful voice, which gives us the sense of being surrounded by the sound. Dropping the tuning to DADGAD and applying a medium gauge celluloid pick to the 816ce takes the performance up yet another notch, giving the trebles a silky shimmer all the way up the fingerboard, while lending muscle to the bass and low mids. Improvements to upper-fret access offered by the partial cutaway are largely subtle, due in part to the depth of the neck heel."
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-15-2020, 09:12 AM
Michael Watts's Avatar
Michael Watts Michael Watts is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: London UK
Posts: 2,796
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidE View Post
"Even with the soundport covered the 816ce provides a great example of the Taylor sound, but with the foam removed there is a marked difference – the instrument comes to life, with an immediately open and beautiful voice, which gives us the sense of being surrounded by the sound. Dropping the tuning to DADGAD and applying a medium gauge celluloid pick to the 816ce takes the performance up yet another notch, giving the trebles a silky shimmer all the way up the fingerboard, while lending muscle to the bass and low mids. Improvements to upper-fret access offered by the partial cutaway are largely subtle, due in part to the depth of the neck heel."
Yeah I shoved a piece of foam (actually a foam clown nose which was a gift from Ervin Somogyi, that's another story) into the soundport to see what the before and after response would be. Sometimes the difference is negligible, sometimes it is really quite dramatic!
__________________
www.michaelwattsguitar.com
Album Recording Diary
Skype Lessons
Luthier Stories
YouTube
iTunes
Instagram

Guitars by Jason Kostal, Strings by Elixir, Gefell Mics and a nail buffer.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-15-2020, 09:34 AM
Skarsaune Skarsaune is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 602
Default

Not a question about that guitar, but the 324 builder's edition....

The article talks about the back & sides of Urban Ash....but the pictures are all of the front of the guitar. I'd like to see what this wood looks like.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-15-2020, 09:43 AM
MChild62's Avatar
MChild62 MChild62 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Florence, Italy
Posts: 444
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Watts View Post
Hello everyone,

as you might expect, Taylor's new Builder's Edition models have been causing a bit of a stir at NAMM. Their scoop cutaway and soundport combo has turned a lot of heads and I had the chance to spend some time with one a couple of weeks ago. You can find my review right here

If you have any further questions I'd be happy to answer them, I had the guitar for a few days and got to know it pretty well.

All the best

Michael
Great review. I found your video before seeing the article, after noticing - is that a sound port?? - on the Taylor website. Interested to try one of these. As an owner of a Grand Pacific, I've read comments that the audience hears a very different and richer sound from the GP than what arrives at the player's ears. So I guess your review about the new 816 raises a philosophical question: should the sound be meant more for the player or the audience (and do we really have to choose)?

And you're also right to ask, where the heck DOES Andy Powers get all the energy (and the TIME)?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-15-2020, 09:47 AM
fitness1's Avatar
fitness1 fitness1 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Central Lower Michigan
Posts: 18,641
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Watts View Post
Sometimes the difference is negligible, sometimes it is really quite dramatic!
I would wager a guess that was because of the VERY odd positioning of the port!

I'd like to hear the logic behind them putting it there.

I read the line about clarity being an issue with the port 90 degrees from the soundhole, but EVERY guitar I've ported on the bass side has given an increase in volume, warmth AND note separation/clarity. This, of course is very relevant to it being sized properly.

That port is over 100 degrees off axis of the players ears - and, when playing up the neck your hand/forearm will be covering it at times. It wouldn't shock me to find that it was an audible distraction during recording (slight wah-wah effect)
__________________
"One small heart, and a great big soul that's driving"

Charis SJ Koa/BC Sitka
Mcknight/Poling GC Koa/Italian
Cordoba Solista EIR/Euro Spruce


Last edited by fitness1; 01-15-2020 at 11:35 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-15-2020, 10:17 AM
lar lar is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: san diego
Posts: 362
Default

I like the cutout concept: adds access (more important for a 12-fret) without too much decrease in internal volume. Washburn has a comfort series that is similar (looks almost identical) - but w/o the soundport.

Wow - the neck is 1.56" at the nut? That is this significantly smaller than even the 'std' 1-11/16". I've never played a neck that narrow. I don't think I'd like it.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-15-2020, 10:26 AM
29er 29er is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Illinois
Posts: 275
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by lar View Post
I like the cutout concept: adds access (more important for a 12-fret) without too much decrease in internal volume. Washburn has a comfort series that is similar (looks almost identical) - but w/o the soundport.

Wow - the neck is 1.56" at the nut? That is this significantly smaller than even the 'std' 1-11/16". I've never played a neck that narrow. I don't think I'd like it.
That nut width info has to be a typo. Maybe they meant string spacing?
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-15-2020, 11:28 AM
vindibona1's Avatar
vindibona1 vindibona1 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Chicago- North Burbs, via Mexico City
Posts: 5,042
Default

Thanks for the review. The concept of the 816 is an interesting one. And while many of us buy and enjoy guitars for their natural, unplugged acoustic sound, I have begun to wonder, does much of this matter once you have a need to plug in... especially with guitars that depends on resonance of the sound-board or saddle or strings' magnetic properties (i.e. piezo, transducer, magnetic) ? But getting back to it, visually that 816 is a piece of art.
__________________
Assuming is not knowing. Knowing is NOT Understanding. There is a difference between compassion and wisdom. Compassion cannot supplant wisdom. Wisdom cannot occur without understanding. FACTS DON'T CARE ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS. Feelings alone often make for terrible decisions TIME DEFINES ALL THINGS.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 01-15-2020, 11:34 AM
Shuksan Shuksan is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 449
Default

Personally, I've never liked the look of scooped cutaways and sticking a hole in the middle of one makes it even less attractive to me. They are also ergonomically and functionally inferior to standard cutaways when it comes to providing unobstructed access to the high frets. Given Taylor's track record of dubious claims, I'm skeptical about the claimed sonic effects of a soundport in that location, but I would certainly be willing give one a play and see for myself.

From the linked review:

"The aim of a partial cutaway is to offer the player as much upper-fret access as possible, without unduly compromising the amount of air in the chamber and soundboard size with a full cutaway."

If "without unduly compromising the amount of air in the chamber" is so important, then why does Taylor also make the Builder’s Edition 324ce shown in the same review which by implication must be unduly compromised with its full cutaway? (And looks much nicer IMO.)

The difference in internal volume between the scooped and standard cutaways is minimal and the difference in the soundboard size between the two is hardly anything at all.

Also in the review:
"The design here has been well executed with a single, curved piece of ebony and without the need for extra internal kerfing to support the structure, which would quickly add weight to the guitar."

The amount of kerfed lining that would be involved here would weigh something like 10 grams. Assuming a total guitar weight of around 4.5 lbs, 10 grams would be a equivalent to around 0.5% (one 200th) of the weight of the guitar.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 01-15-2020, 11:46 AM
Alan Carruth Alan Carruth is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 3,046
Default

That's quite similar to the bevel/port that Lo Prinzi built based on the 'multi-dimensional port' ideas of Roger Thurman. I ran some tests on a similar (although not exactly the same) configuration several years ago, as part of my 'ports' experiments.

A basic run-down on 'ports':

The fundamental of the lowest notes on the guitar have wave lengths that are much longer than the box, so those sounds go out pretty much omnidirectionally. The player hears them about as well as anybody. As you go up in pitch the sound output becomes more and more directional; out of the sound hole and off the top toward the audience. A sound port you can see as you are playing can pick up some high frequency sound inside the box and send it out toward you. That's why most makers have settled on a port in the side of the upper bout, facing the player.

There are a (large) number of internal air resonances inside the box. Some of them communicate through the normal sound hole pretty well, while others don't. A port can 'hear' one of these if it's in a location where there is a lot of pressure change for the resonant mode. The low pitched 'rum jug' resonance of a guitar is a 'Helmholtz' type resonance, which changes pressure everywhere i the box and can be heard by any port. It tends to show larger pressure changes the further you get from the hole, so a port in the upper corner, such as that one of the Taylor, will pick up a lot of it. In the process it also changes the pitch of the resonance. It's also well positioned to pick up modes that involve the air 'sloshing' inside the box, such as the 'A-1' mode, where the air pressure changes a lot at the ends of the box, but hardly at all at the normal sound hole position (somewhere around the pitch of the open high E string, more or less, for most guitars). Basically, the further a port is from the 'main' sound hole location the larger the change in the timbre of the guitar will be.

My measurements suggest that opening a port doesn't add to the overall power of the guitar, but alters the balance. A 'corner' port will tend to make the notes around the pitch of the 'main air' (Helmholtz-type) resonance more powerful, but seems to cut down the output slightly in the region above 350 Hz or so. This is hard to measure, but it does make some sense: plucking a string puts in a certain amount of energy, which the body of the guitar then converts to sound. The only ways to get more power out are to increase the power input, or the efficiency. More input would require higher tension or higher action, and there's only so far you ca go with that before players complain. The guitar, as it turns out, is already one of the more efficient instruments, and increasing that is hard to do. It also incurs costs in terms of 'wolf' notes. Again, it's hard to get good measurements on this stuff, since the power is so low to begin with.

Since our ears are set up to detect small changes near the limit of perception we do tend to pick up changes in timbre, and these are often taken as increases in power. I suspect that's what's happening here. This gets us into the difference between 'power' and 'loudness', which is another long post or six.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01-15-2020, 12:17 PM
Shades of Blue's Avatar
Shades of Blue Shades of Blue is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 4,022
Default

Honestly, this is the only thing I really don't like about Taylor Guitars. They introduce something that we didn't even know that we wanted/needed, and then every time I go to sell a Taylor henceforth, buyers will ask, "Does this model have the updated port? I couldn't possibly buy a used guitar without the latest and greatest appointments..."

...ok rant over.
__________________
Taylor 717 Grand Pacific
Martin Custom Shop D-18
Taylor GS Mini Mahogany
Seagull S6 Spruce
Fender '61 Thin Skin Strat
Gibson Les Paul Traditional
PRS SC245

They say that tone is in the fingers....I say it is in your head.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 01-15-2020, 12:46 PM
HodgdonExtreme HodgdonExtreme is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 1,278
Default

It's a Taylor, I'm sure it sounds great. And hats off to them for continuing to tweak/innovate/improve the guitar...

Most impressive, is their ability to create highfalutin buzzwords and jargon to promote the innovations with. I recall the V-class bracing being a "new acoustic engine". Now the soundport cutaway is:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Powers
Andy Powers’ own thoughts support this idea of ‘freeing’ the wave: “The lung capacity of the guitar is distributed over a larger range of frequency and a longer amount of time, so the sound comes out as very fluid. It strikes us as a strong voice that is both dynamic and filled with lyrical musical quality”.
Very impressive promoting/marketing/advertising!
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 01-15-2020, 12:55 PM
ChrisE ChrisE is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 1,975
Default

I like Taylor.

I'm sure the new guitar sounds fine but I don't like the new cutaway/soundport. It just looks weird to me. Maybe I'm old fashioned.
__________________
2015 Martin D-18
1982 Martin HD-28
2013 Taylor 314ce
2004 Fender Telecaster MIM
2010 Martin DCX1RE
1984 Sigma DM3
Fender Mustang III v2
Reply With Quote
Reply

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

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:05 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=