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Thread: f-hole/oval/hybrid question

  1. #1

    Default f-hole/oval/hybrid question

    Hi.

    I am just curious about jargon - this question is of no immediate consequence to me. I tried searching the forums and couldn't find the answer.

    I see people looking for F4/F5 "hybrid" advice sometimes. What does a hybrid actually look like? I google-image searched and found things that look like oval holes. What exactly makes them "hybrid" and not actually "oval"?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: f-hole/oval/hybrid question

    IDK, my guess : A/F-4 typically a shorter neck , joins body at 10th fret, A/F-5 12th fret still off the body on the neck.
    so the hybrid is a 5 type neck/body but with an oval, rather than 2 ff sound holes.

    Visually bridge is located nearer the edge of the Oval soundhole, because scale is still same length.
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    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: f-hole/oval/hybrid question

    I think mandroid is correct, but you could also go the other way, short neck and F holes, but usually it's the other way long neck on oval
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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: f-hole/oval/hybrid question

    I have a 1914 F-2 that has both ears of the headstock gone and a nasty heel crack so I'm thinking if no one wants it I'll put a long scale 5 neck on it "Joins body at 15th fret!" with elevated deep set neck, and tone bar bracing instead of the transverse original brace that's on it-I think it would sound fantastic?

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  8. #5

    Default Re: f-hole/oval/hybrid question

    Here's a good example.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Now look at this original F-4:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Notice how the bridge is higher up on the Monteleone due to the 15th fret neck joint.

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  10. #6

    Default Re: f-hole/oval/hybrid question

    Quote Originally Posted by William Smith View Post
    I have a 1914 F-2 that has both ears of the headstock gone and a nasty heel crack so I'm thinking if no one wants it I'll put a long scale 5 neck on it "Joins body at 15th fret!" with elevated deep set neck, and tone bar bracing instead of the transverse original brace that's on it-I think it would sound fantastic?
    I understood a little of this and then googled a bunch of terms from it - so thanks - I learned something (still don't understand it all but understand a good deal and learned something - it's just like we tell parents of toddlers - exposure to vocabulary...).

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  12. #7
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: f-hole/oval/hybrid question

    Has anyone here done an old F-2 or 4 conversion-putting a long scale F-5 neck on and elevating the board with a riser block also with tone bars or X bracing? I'm sure this has been done! I see that some builders make these like Collings and such, just wonder if they have more bass to the low end? I'd think maybe more bass with X bracing and maybe more F-5ish sound with some tone bars? I'm sure more volume and better tone either way than a stock F-2/F-4. I've never played a long neck round hole.

    I'm only thinking about doing this as there are a load of nice teens black top F-2's, and this one does have missing peg head ears-a nasty heel crack and a warped board but the body is very nice and all original everything, but it could be restored with new grafted ears and neck set, carbon fiber pin the heel crack. maybe new board so I'm in a moral dilemma on what to do, I think it would cost more to restore than to convert? I also have a Gibson F-5 neck that Randy Wood made for an F-7 conversion? Ah the possibilities.

    Hey Marty, Nice Monte! Does that have an elevated board as I can't tell from the photo?

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: f-hole/oval/hybrid question

    Quote Originally Posted by William Smith View Post
    Has anyone here done an old F-2 or 4 conversion-putting a long scale F-5 neck on and elevating the board with a riser block also with tone bars or X bracing?
    My question would be: would the top carving on the F-2 or 4 be much different from that of an F-5—altered to account for the different bridge placement? Might that affect the tone?

    I played this '34 F-10 that has been at RetroFret for a few years and was surprised that I liked the tone of it. It is sort of the opposite of what this thread is talking about (an un-hybrid F-hole with shorter neck) but interesting nonetheless.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  15. #9

    Default Re: f-hole/oval/hybrid question

    Quote Originally Posted by William Smith View Post
    Hey Marty, Nice Monte! Does that have an elevated board as I can't tell from the photo?
    Yep, elevated fretboard.

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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: f-hole/oval/hybrid question

    I've lusted after that F-10 since 2011 and since I have an original 39 F-7 and 35 F-12-have to complete the set someday?

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  19. #11

    Default Re: f-hole/oval/hybrid question

    Quote Originally Posted by William Smith View Post
    Has anyone here done an old F-2 or 4 conversion-putting a long scale F-5 neck on and elevating the board with a riser block also with tone bars or X bracing?
    AFAIK F4s are ladder braced?

    My Paris Swing is short-scale with an oval and tone bars so it's close. The tone bars go in a bit of a V to accommodate the hole. No elevated board.

    I find it's louder with a more refined/focused tone than my F5 knock-off which sounds a bit "tubby" in comparison.
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  20. #12

    Default Re: f-hole/oval/hybrid question

    Quote Originally Posted by Verne Andru View Post
    AFAIK F4s are ladder braced?
    One single transverse brace below the soundhole.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  22. #13
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: f-hole/oval/hybrid question

    Thanks Marty that's how my 1914 F-2 is braced currently-still deciding if I want to make a tone bar long neck hybrid out of it?

  23. #14

    Default Re: f-hole/oval/hybrid question

    Quote Originally Posted by William Smith View Post
    Thanks Marty that's how my 1914 F-2 is braced currently-still deciding if I want to make a tone bar long neck hybrid out of it?
    You could do an x-brace. Tone bar bracing is not feasible because of the oval hole- you need something to reinforce the cross grain right beneath the oval hole and the bridge. These old oval hole Gibsons sink immediately as soon as the transverse brace is unglued.
    You could do tone bars with an extra cross-member to end up with "h" bracing, but the H-braced oval-hole mandolins I've heard have not been good sounding. I would go with an X if anything. Keep the X beefy if you want a more powerful sound IMHO.
    Cool project.

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  25. #15
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: f-hole/oval/hybrid question

    Thanks for the pointers Marty, I guess I did not think of how tone bars would fit and I don't want sinkage X does seem like the better choice!

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