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Thread: Combination sound hole and a special carve?

  1. #1
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Combination sound hole and a special carve?

    So I was wondering what would happen if I had an F style or similarly shaped aperture on the bass side and a more center oriented half oval on the Treble side. Just curious why some of these openings aren't combined.
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Combination sound hole and a special carve?

    If you're building for $, you'll discover a lot of folks are very traditional.
    Play it like you mean it.

  3. #3
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Combination sound hole and a special carve?

    Nope, just building for my enjoyment and I want to do something different. I am hopeless because everything turns into an experiment with me.
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

    Creativity is just doing something wierd and finding out others like it.

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  5. #4

    Default Re: Combination sound hole and a special carve?

    There are modes of motion in the wood, and modes of motion in the air inside the box. F-holes work well with certain air modes in the body, and a single oval hole works well with certain other air modes in the body. The modes have been called "sideways sloshing" and "neck to tail sloshing" to conjur the image of fluid sloshing around in the box, but of course since air is much lower mass, it happens many orders of magnitude faster than water would slosh around inside the instrument.
    Dual oval holes might be great, but I don't think they're possible due to structural constraints.

    Mixing the two isn't going to work since they both function by virtue of different modes of motion. It's like saying, why don't we grill skittles? Grilled steak is awesome, and skittles are awesome, so grilled skittles should be super awesome. But no, they're two different things.

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    Default Re: Combination sound hole and a special carve?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Bertotti View Post
    Nope, just building for my enjoyment and I want to do something different. I am hopeless because everything turns into an experiment with me.
    Cool!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill McCall View Post
    If you're building for $, you'll discover a lot of folks are very traditional.
    I'm one of the (probably) minority who is *so* weary of the same-ol' same-ol' traditionally-accepted designs, grew up with that, way too many decades of unwitting conformity to what I used to assume was 'the' way that instruments 'had' to be just because they had 'always' been that way and that's what 'everyone' else expects, bah! "Been there, done that", I finally had enough of being a musical lemming (for instance, I used to shun electric instruments and I would only play acoustic because I thought it was somehow more 'authentic', I finally got over that dumb ingrained hangup but it took a lot of mental readjustment). New (or new to me, anyway) ideas are great.

    I'm all for innovative designs in musical instruments and I applaud any builders who create such designs.

    The only problem is, nowadays in my old age, I don't have much expendable income... seems to be a growing nationwide trend. So unfortunately I'm no longer in the target-market category for cool new experimental instrument designs, because I probably couldn't afford even their base model, these days.

    But in years past I've bought innovative new one-of-a-kind instruments and thoroughly enjoyed them. The sound was as good or sometimes even more enjoyable (IMO) than the trad designs, but a different appearance and that's ok.

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  9. #6
    Mandolin tragic Graham McDonald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Combination sound hole and a special carve?

    Itis also structural. The uninterrupted longitudinal arch is a stronger structure than an arch with a hole cut on the centreline of the arch. They can be carved thinner for the same strength and various people have posted graduation diagrams here over the years. I just cant see ant advantage in a hybrid of the two. At the same time there are lots of possibilities in playing around with the shape and placement of soundholes off the centreline of a carved arch of general F5 specs. Marty and James Condino have played around with multiple small round holes and there is always Ken Parker's archtop guitars which break the usual rules. F holes were originally adopted because of an imagined idea that carved mandolins worked the same way as violins, but there is good evidence that they really work like guitars, both flat and archtop.

    Cheers

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    Default Re: Combination sound hole and a special carve?

    I used to own a Woodley mandolin. It was an A model with one long, segmented, not ff, hole on the bass side. Tone bar braced top. It is a wonderful instrument and a friend still has it. I looked for pics, but couldn't find them, must be on an old computer. sound was somewhere between an oval and an ff hole mandolin.
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  12. #8

    Default Re: Combination sound hole and a special carve?

    Personally, I can't stand baby $#!t brown traditional mandolins. Over the years I've built hundreds of experimental, non traditional instruments. If you are going in that direction, you have to accept that there are no rules, no places for experimantal advice, and own up to the idea that you'll likely have many failures on your path to success. The reason we have traditional instruments is because they work. Thousands of great luthiers over the centuries have made countless experiments in design and form and the ones that we call traditional are the ones that consistently worked well. Nobody else can answer questions about unknown instruments that only exist in your head; even if they made one similar, yours will incorporate different ideas and approaches. Turn off the computer and build it; answer your own questions....
    Spruce dork

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  14. #9
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Combination sound hole and a special carve?

    Quote Originally Posted by grandcanyonminstrel View Post
    Personally, I can't stand baby $#!t brown traditional mandolins. Over the years I've built hundreds of experimental, non traditional instruments. If you are going in that direction, you have to accept that there are no rules, no places for experimantal advice, and own up to the idea that you'll likely have many failures on your path to success. The reason we have traditional instruments is because they work. Thousands of great luthiers over the centuries have made countless experiments in design and form and the ones that we call traditional are the ones that consistently worked well. Nobody else can answer questions about unknown instruments that only exist in your head; even if they made one similar, yours will incorporate different ideas and approaches. Turn off the computer and build it; answer your own questions....
    I ask only because I am not beyond learning from someone else's mistakes, if the consensus was Bertotti that's a Dum bass move then I would forgo the plan. In this case I have a few idea to move forward on. Thanka all!
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

    Creativity is just doing something wierd and finding out others like it.

  15. #10

    Default Re: Combination sound hole and a special carve?

    Who says grilled skittles ain't tastey under the right conditions???
    Spruce dork

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  17. #11
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Combination sound hole and a special carve?

    You know how it is, sometimes you just have to try. Something my dad didn’t understand about me. He would layout how to do something because that was how you did it. I would have to experiment with different ways just to see why his was the only way. Sadly he usually got old because it wasn’t the only way just the way he did it and didn’t care for me finding other ways. He meant well. I needed to try, to learn.
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

    Creativity is just doing something wierd and finding out others like it.

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    Default Re: Combination sound hole and a special carve?

    I was going to mention James Condino's Cricket. I'm glad he chimed in. Experimentation can be rewarding and frustrating. It's how we learn. Of course we also learn by honing our skills on repeating what works right.

    Jamie
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  19. #13

    Default Re: Combination sound hole and a special carve?

    What I'd love to hear is an F style with a single air hole near the scroll to allow the largest area for top vibration. I have a Tacoma Thunderchief and the Olympia version and bass players generally acknowledge this design as the loudest production acoustic bass guitars ever made. Some custom guitar builders also use a sound hole in this location.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    1989/2019 Ike Bacon/Barry Kratzer F5
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  20. #14

    Default Re: Combination sound hole and a special carve?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg P. Stone View Post
    What I'd love to hear is an F style with a single air hole near the scroll to allow the largest area for top vibration. I have a Tacoma Thunderchief and the Olympia version and bass players generally acknowledge this design as the loudest production acoustic bass guitars ever made. Some custom guitar builders also use a sound hole in this location.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Sound holes do not impede, or even significantly alter, top vibration. It seems intuitively like that would be the case, but folks with lasers and lots of intelligence and persistence have shown that not to be the case.
    No knock on Tacomas, I like them too.

    This is my personal preferred soundhole shape (Dani approved):
    Click image for larger version. 

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  21. #15

    Default Re: Combination sound hole and a special carve?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Jacobson View Post
    Sound holes do not impede, or even significantly alter, top vibration. It seems intuitively like that would be the case, but folks with lasers and lots of intelligence and persistence have shown that not to be the case.
    No knock on Tacomas, I like them too.

    This is my personal preferred soundhole shape (Dani approved):
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Watch those absolutist statements. There is, for instance, a huge difference between having a sound hole and having no sound hole at all.

    Are you taking the position that any sound hole(s) anywhere will sound exactly the same given all else being equal, that Gibson f and oval holed mandolins sound the same? I would think that you actually mean that variations within certain constraints don't seem to make any difference. You obviously know more than I. I'd love to see the literature on this subject if you could point me towards it.
    Last edited by Greg P. Stone; Sep-03-2019 at 11:51am.
    1989/2019 Ike Bacon/Barry Kratzer F5
    1945 Levin 330
    192? Bruno (Oscar Schmidt) banjo-mandolin
    early Eastwood Mandostang
    2005 Tacoma CB-10 acoustic bass guitar
    Fender Tweed Deluxe clone

  22. #16
    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Combination sound hole and a special carve?

    I don't want to chuck rocks at a hornet's nest, but the difference between Gibson F and oval hole instruments is not exclusively or even mostly due to the soundhole shape, but rather has more to do with the top bracing, neck length, and whether the fretboard is elevated. I am quite curious as to how would a mandolin with tone bars and a round hole sound though.
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    Chu Dat Frawg Eric C.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Combination sound hole and a special carve?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg P. Stone View Post
    Watch those absolutist statements. There is, for instance, a huge difference between having a sound hole and having no sound hole at all.

    Are you taking the position that any sound hole(s) anywhere will sound exactly the same given all else being equal, that Gibson f and oval holed mandolins sound the same? I would think that you actually mean that variations within certain constraints don't seem to make any difference. You obviously know more than I. I'd love to see the literature on this subject if you could point me towards it.
    There's pretty much nothing "equal" (other than woods) between an F-5 and a Gibson oval hole mandolin. Why would any established luthier "take that position"?
    Kentucky KM950 and loving it.

  24. #18

    Default Re: Combination sound hole and a special carve?

    The point which I meant to make, and made badly, about the Gibson f versus oval holes is that sound holes effect bracing, how the top is carved, etc. so that his statement that all holes are irrelevant to the resulting sound is a matter of more than the holes themselves.
    1989/2019 Ike Bacon/Barry Kratzer F5
    1945 Levin 330
    192? Bruno (Oscar Schmidt) banjo-mandolin
    early Eastwood Mandostang
    2005 Tacoma CB-10 acoustic bass guitar
    Fender Tweed Deluxe clone

  25. #19

    Default Re: Combination sound hole and a special carve?

    That's not what I was saying. I was saying that the common intuitive assumption is that, if we can move the soundhole off the soundboard, there will be "more room for the top to vibrate" and that, in turn, will result in "more tone".

    Sound hole size and location can definitely impact tone. But not because there's more or less area for the top to vibrate. It's the interaction between the motion of the body and the motion of the air inside the body.

    But yeah, if you do extreme things like make a soundhole the exact same size and shape of the top, then there's no more top. You'll see a big difference there. Same with no soundholes. We're not likely to do those things, so you can't worry too much about those kinds of conditions, except as a thought experiment.

    May want to read this thread (among many others)
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/a...p/t-45691.html

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  27. #20
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Combination sound hole and a special carve?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Jacobson View Post
    Sound holes do not impede, or even significantly alter, top vibration. It seems intuitively like that would be the case, but folks with lasers and lots of intelligence and persistence have shown that not to be the case.
    No knock on Tacomas, I like them too.

    This is my personal preferred soundhole shape (Dani approved):
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Basilisk3.jpg 
Views:	33 
Size:	165.9 KB 
ID:	179492
    I want soemthing different for my sound hole and was sketching out a design then I see this! Way to close to my sketch so back to the drawing board. That is a very cool design!
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

    Creativity is just doing something wierd and finding out others like it.

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