Re: Quid bono hollow-body without a soundhole?
- From: AJ <Sorry@xxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sat, 8 Nov 2008 17:35:07 -0600
In article <96f316a2-5e49-4510-86eb-
On Nov 8, 6:12=A0am, AJ <So...@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
In article <dfdc52cd-efa5-4d7c-9078-s.
a9667c893...@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, karl.s...@xxxxxxx says...
What sense does a hollow-body guitar without a soundhole make? =A0How
does it sound? =A0How does it function?
An example would be H=3DF6fner's (Hofner's, Hoefner's) 500/1 violin bas=
Please enlighten me on this one, it makes about as much sense as a
lead duck to me.
Eliminating the soundhole reduces acoustic feedback at higher volumes
and goes back to the early days of higher volumes possible with electric
guitars. Electrified archtop players used to stuff rags in the f-holes
to reduce feedback. Gretsch and possibly some Gibsons used wood posts
under the bridge to couple the top and back together. Chet Atkins
initially requested the painted-on f-holes used by Gretsch. Les Paul
built the Log, a guitar with a solid center and added-on wings, much
like today's ES335's. Some Gibson ES355's notably Lucille, have no f-
holes. Other builders, notably Fender and Ric went a different way and
made the electric guitar completely solid, and Gibson soon followed with
the Les Paul.
Pickup mounting also plays a roll. Gretsch, Rics, Teles, and Gibsons
with P90's all have the pickup screwed into the wood or connected by
metal parts in some fashion. Strats have the pickups mounted to a
plastic pickguard, while the Gibson style humbucker hangs from a plastic
mounting ring, further isolating the pickups from the guitar.
Some guitars which appear to be hollow really aren't. The problem with
solid bodies is weight and builders have been using various ways to
reduce it for years. The 300 series Rics are all maple, a very heavy
wood. They start out as solid, but are routed out from behind. A long
tenon neck is glued on, followed by the back. What's left at the top is
better than 1/4" thick and the sides even on the double bound ones, is
thicker yet. 300 Rics have been built with f-holes, cats-eye holes, and
no holes, and there's little difference between them. The Thinline Teles
were built much the same way in order to reduce weight, but with a bolt-
on neck. The same guy did both.
Finally there's the great Les Paul debate on chambered vs. weight
relieved vs. completely solid heavy vs. completely solid light. Add in
the ES336 and PRS variants and it goes on and on. Two things - all
guitars feedback, example Carlos Santana's solid PRS with Gibson style
humbuckers - and the perpetual motion machine defies the laws of
Of course they can all feedback if you get them loud enough and stand
close enough. Everything you wrote is all fine and dandy except that
none of the guitars you mentioned are hollow. They all have a heavy
assed center strip that defeats the purpose to begin with. Come on
back when you have something relevent to say
I'll try to make this simple enough so even you can understand.
!. True hollow bodies without soundholes are one way to reduce acoustic
feedback, a.k.a. howling. Guitars such as the Gretsch Tennesean &
Country Gent, some Gibson ES350's, some Ric 380F models, as well as
acoustic/electrics like Ovation, the Gibson SST's, etc. have been made
this way. The modern soundhole plug for flattop acoustics does the same
thing. Chet Atkins was a proponent of this approach for Gretsch and on
his Gibson signature models & SST's.
2. Not all guitars that look like hollow bodies are actually hollow.
Some like the Gibson ES335-ES355 are semi-hollow with a hollow body
shell built around a solid center block. Others like the modern Ric
300's are semi-solid bodies. Here the presence or absence of an f-hole
is largely cosmetic. These guitars are built the way they are in ORDER
TO REDUCE WEIGHT in a guitar sized more like a traditional archtop, but
with the feedback resistance of a solid body thanks to the solid center
construction usually through the bridge or stop tailpiece. Les Paul's
LOG was the first of this type.
3. Not all smaller-sized solid bodies have to be heavy. Light woods,
such as swamp ash Tele's, chambering and weight relief as defined by
Gibson on certain Les Pauls retain the feedback resistance and tone of
solid bodies while keeping the weight down.
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