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Thread: Hypothetical Wierd Question ?

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    Default Hypothetical Wierd Question ?

    What sound can you describe that would come from a mandolin that would have an oval hole AND two F holes all on same mandolin ? Just curious ! Has anyone ever attempted such idiotic idea ? Might be the best of both worlds ! Or the worst !
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

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    Registered User Cobalt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hypothetical Wierd Question ?

    I guess it would affect the resonance. Think of a wind instrument such as a recorder or a whistle. Different notes are produced depending on which holes are covered, or partially covered. In a stringed instrument, the air in the body cavity will resonate in a particular way as the sound waves reverberate around inside - as well as the vibrations of the structure itself. Add more holes and the resonance might be reduced. Just how, I don't know, but my suspicion/guess is that the instrument would be quieter and less powerful.

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    Default Re: Hypothetical Wierd Question ?

    I think it would upset The Balance and lead to a universe-ending apocalyptic singularity that would collapse the universe.
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    Default Re: Hypothetical Wierd Question ?

    I've seen a few (pics). German makers put out a lot of three hole archtop guitars in the 50's & 60's. I'm sure someone on the Cafe will have had experience with a three f-hole Lark. ..?

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    Default Re: Hypothetical Wierd Question ?

    I think it would also depend on bracing (parallel tone vs, transverse or X braces), neck position (12 vs 15 fret neck body joint), elevated neck vs attached, surface area of top removed for various holes.

    The top's vibration is the primary source of tone and volume for the instrument.

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    Default Re: Hypothetical Wierd Question ?

    No oval hole on this one but here's David Grisman's Lil' Pup mandolin, a one-of-a-kind 2 point by Gibson. I talked to David after a show (Old & In The Gray) where he played it. It was a recent purchase for him at the time.
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    Default Re: Hypothetical Wierd Question ?

    In general, the smaller the hole, the more the bass content. The presence of both f and oval holes in one mandolin would probably lead to a fairly tinny sound, under the circumstances. The sound would also likely be quite weak, since so much of the vibrating top wood would have been removed and replaced by a hole of some kind. And structurally, the top might be so weakened that it would collapse, unless it were carved thicker, or over-braced, and neither of those options leads to the best sounds, as we know.

    These are three reasons why having both f and oval holes is not likely to do anything good for the mandolin. Also -- it's spelled "weird" (sorry, couldn't help myself)

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    Default Re: Hypothetical Wierd Question ?

    Quote Originally Posted by jim simpson View Post
    No oval hole on this one but here's David Grisman's Lil' Pup mandolin, a one-of-a-kind 2 point by Gibson. I talked to David after a show (Old & In The Gray) where he played it. It was a recent purchase for him at the time.
    Wow! What a nice looking mandolin.

  11. #9

    Default Re: Hypothetical Wierd Question ?

    It’ll sound great, I’m thinking Britpop pedal and lots of crunch. And VERY loud. Yeh?

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    Default Re: Hypothetical Wierd Question ?

    That's kind of the background behind my offset oval hole mandolins. They sound fine. Not like a bluegrass mandolin, and not like an oval-hole mandolin. Lots of sustain, but not tubby, lots of projection, but "glassy", not "woody".
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Sample audio here: http://martinjacobson.com/id/project...-black-tie-iii
    and here: http://martinjacobson.com/id/project...us-mandolin-37
    and here: http://martinjacobson.com/id/project...on-nautilus-25
    and here: http://martinjacobson.com/id/project...21-black-tie-2
    and here: http://martinjacobson.com/id/projects/mando/nautilus-15

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    Default Re: Hypothetical Wierd Question ?

    "universe-ending apocalyptic singularity that would collapse the universe"

    right now, maybe not a bad thing
    belbein

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    Default Re: Hypothetical Wierd Question ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Jacobson View Post
    That's kind of the background behind my offset oval hole mandolins. They sound fine. Not like a bluegrass mandolin, and not like an oval-hole mandolin. Lots of sustain, but not tubby, lots of projection, but "glassy", not "woody".
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	MG_8488.jpg 
Views:	15 
Size:	1.32 MB 
ID:	184143
    Sample audio here: http://martinjacobson.com/id/project...-black-tie-iii
    and here: http://martinjacobson.com/id/project...us-mandolin-37
    and here: http://martinjacobson.com/id/project...on-nautilus-25
    and here: http://martinjacobson.com/id/project...21-black-tie-2
    and here: http://martinjacobson.com/id/projects/mando/nautilus-15
    Now this is weird looking !
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

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    Default Re: Hypothetical Wierd Question ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Romkey View Post
    I think it would upset The Balance and lead to a universe-ending apocalyptic singularity that would collapse the universe.
    I think you are describing the corona virus !
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

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    Default Re: Hypothetical Wierd Question ?

    if you spend any time in any of the museums that have stringed instruments you can find guitars (and I assume mandolins) that are built this way. I know I've seen one at Martin and at the Opryland Museum. It's been tried.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: Hypothetical Wierd Question ?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    if you spend any time in any of the museums that have stringed instruments you can find guitars (and I assume mandolins) that are built this way. I know I've seen one at Martin and at the Opryland Museum. It's been tried.
    I assume that when guitars, mandolins and most other stringed instruments were first built , there was a lot of experimentation in finally arriving at today's final designs.
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

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    Default Re: Hypothetical Wierd Question ?

    Here's one with ff holes and a kind of oval hole, didn't change the sound at all.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Default Re: Hypothetical Wierd Question ?

    Willie Nelson's Mandolin?
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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    Default Re: Hypothetical Wierd Question ?

    The openings in a stringed instrument serve mainly as tuned ports, such as are used in speaker cabinets. They add an in-phase resonant boost to a small range of low frequencies, at the expense of lower frequencies which just see a leak. Larger ports resonate at higher frequencies but efficiency declines as more lows leak out. Small ports help the very bottom but too small is ineffective.

    In most cases the port is in the top of a mandolin or other instrument, which makes sense in projecting the enhanced lows in line with the main sound. (Side ports sound pretty normal to listeners but kind of strange to the player.) A significant consideration is how the port affects the flexing of the top. The two F-holes allow the center section of a mandolin or guitar to move as a piston. An oval- or round-hole instrument can't achieve that vibration and is more like a symmetrical drum head.

    In either case, too large a top port takes away the vibrating surface that projects most of the midrange frequencies, all that "bark". Too small allows plenty of mids but loses the near-bass.

    I have an acoustic/electric viola from Ithaca Stringed Instruments that has side ports. I don't like the sound under my ear, although when I listen to another playing it the sound is pretty normal.
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    Default Re: Hypothetical Wierd Question ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles E. View Post
    Willie Nelson's Mandolin?
    A touring pro, I made it playable a couple times, but then he dropped a mic on it. I told him it's time for a new mandolin. Ended up buying one of mine as he had a gig that night. Was his partner's idea BTW.
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