View Full Version : Interesting Sound Hole Pics

Oct-18-2004, 1:37pm
There is a thread in the 'general' section about a mandolin with an 'odd' sound hole.

This gave me an idea: why don't we post pics of our most 'interesting' sound holes?

I've started the ball rolling (and I hope it's not going to stop with me) by cheating. This is the sound hole from my Freshwater Octave Mandolin (cheating because it's not a madolin). But, I hope it qualifies.


Oct-18-2004, 2:24pm
I'm all over this one! 2004 mandolino by Luciano Faria (http://www.lucianofaria.com/):

Oct-18-2004, 3:55pm
Wonderful Eugene!

But I can't help asking (forgive the bad pun) - does it sound 'flat' as well as look it!


Oct-18-2004, 4:39pm
Why you...! #Here's the hole-less and very round back for you nay-sayers:

Jim Garber
Oct-18-2004, 8:15pm
All right... here is one of the earlier use of f-holes in a mandolin: a late 19th century Waldo.


Jim Garber
Oct-18-2004, 8:17pm
Does this one have enough soundholes?


Jim Garber
Oct-18-2004, 8:22pm
How about this one that Elderly sold some time ago?


Jim Garber
Oct-18-2004, 8:41pm
This is standard on some Calace-made bowlbacks, this one from 1958, soloist model.


Michael Lewis
Oct-19-2004, 12:43am
Eugene, does it play anywhere near as good as it looks? Very impressive.

Oct-19-2004, 6:02am
Absolutely, if you don't mind plucking at gut strings on lute-like things with your fingers.

Ted Eschliman
Oct-19-2004, 7:58am
One set of holes on my Ovation Adamas electric acoustic.


I guess you could even call it a "bowlback..."

Jim Garber
Oct-19-2004, 8:08am
Here is another oddball from my files. It is called "The Artistic Mandolin."


Oct-19-2004, 4:30pm
My BRW J16

Eric F.
Oct-20-2004, 12:38pm
Mick, that is one scrumptious-looking mandolin.

Oct-20-2004, 3:25pm
Semi-germane to the discussion...

I was pondering the differences in the f-holes of a few of my mandos today...(yeah, day off, just snowed...go figure).

Following are three of the most significant variations.
First is a Coleson F which is a very loud instrument, but some folks have said "my, those are some teeny little F holes!"

Oct-20-2004, 3:28pm
Next is the Hughes F, a well balanced and incredibly loud mandolin. If there is a microphone around, this mando will find it...

One thing about this F hole is that it is very...well...free-form. Neither of the ends is a circle, they are sloppy ovals, and the lines don't really flow...But, one of the best mandos I (and others) have played.

Oct-20-2004, 3:32pm
Last, the clean, smooth lines of...well, I would rather not say. Some folks will know what this mando is.

Great volume, aesthetically balanced, flowing...ponderables among the form and function of F holes.

Now back to your regularly scheduled discussion...

Oct-20-2004, 4:12pm
G - (or, even, gee) you got me thinking! How much of the tonal qualities you (so eruditely) describe are, do you think, down to the shape of the F hole per se? I mean, is it just the hole shape, or the hole shape in a particular wood, or a particular body shape or build or...I could go on. But you see my question.

I hope it snows again tomorrow, so you might have time to ponder it again.

Oh, I really am curious to know what's going on with the third mando body. Curious finish!


Oct-20-2004, 5:20pm
Here's another option. The holes were sized to be about the same as an f hole.

Patrick Gunning
Oct-21-2004, 2:25am
Here are the soundholes from an Arrow G-style. I guess they look like "arrow-holes"

Patrick Gunning
Oct-21-2004, 2:27am
Here is the whole mandolin. The soundhole pic just doesn't capture the colors.

Oct-21-2004, 7:45am
Wow, Gunning! I want one!


Oct-21-2004, 10:43am
hey steve-

Dunno if hole shape has an effect on tone, volume, or projection, but I do know that hole area does.

Does this mean, provided the area is the same, that a bunch of little bitty holes in the top of your mando will sound the same as one big hole? Probably not. But as far as shape is concerned (within the f-hole placement context), I don't think there are too many differences...Case in point? the Coleson flying V, a great-sounding mando.

Magnus Geijer
Oct-21-2004, 6:32pm
This is from my #1.


Keith Newell
Oct-21-2004, 9:02pm
I am considering a few variations on the sound hole but love the "F" shape. Here one of mine.

Oct-25-2004, 2:19pm
Very clever 'product placement' Keith, the name is just visible, strangely enough!

But, it's a 'pedestrian' F hole (albeit a very shapely one), so you lose 10 points!

http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif Steve

Oct-26-2004, 2:46pm
Keith, don't listen to him. Many builders have a tough time creating a flowing and graceful "pedestrian" F hole. Besides, the finish color is beautiful, especially against the black binding. More than ten points returned.

mad dawg
Oct-26-2004, 3:45pm
Ellie -- who made that mando? It is rather striking looking.

Jim M.
Oct-26-2004, 4:14pm
Ellie made the mando. How could you forget the memorable Jessica Rabbit headstock? It was in post a picture last year some time, IIRC. Very cool inlay work with a very nice sense of design.

Oct-26-2004, 4:15pm
My two point mandolin has what I call "trumpet holes" in it. It also has several wormholes, but I filled those:



Oct-26-2004, 4:25pm
Well, I give up trying to post this photo! If you really are interested, you can see several photos on my website
here (http://mckenziemusic.com/twopoint.htm).

I don't believe the shape of a soundhole matters much, except to people's eyes, but then, I also think that lots of folks listen with their eyes!


Oct-26-2004, 4:26pm
My two point mandolin has what I call "trumpet holes" in it. It also has several wormholes, but I filled those: