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Author Topic: Installing a sound port  (Read 4296 times)
cbarclay
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« on: December 10, 2012, 10:37:55 PM »

Hello everyone,
I'm strongly considering installing a sound port in my L-03W.  There is a thin piece of felt where I want to cut the hole and my understanding is that this is there to reinforce the side should a 'barn door' style preamp be installed there.  My original thinking was to make a thin maple veneer to reinforce the port area (and coordinate with the binding)  but the felt is in the way.  I'm thinking that I should either just use the felt for reinforcement instead of the maple or remove the felt then install the maple but not both.

Anyone have experience installing a port in the felted area?

Thanks!
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Chris
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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2012, 10:44:05 PM »

I'd get rid of the felt. Of course, I've never attempted such a large feat.

Here's a link that may help you if you having found it already:

http://www.chordie.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=12387
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« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2012, 02:18:41 AM »

Thanks Brandon.  I hadn't seen that before but have seen that guys posts on AGF.
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Chris
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« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2012, 03:14:43 AM »

That is a piece of Ebony veneer inside your guitar not felt, it is there to reinforce the side for the electronics as you stated. You shouldn't need any other additional reinforcement.
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« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2012, 03:45:13 AM »

Please think carefully before you cut a hole in the side of your lovely Larrivee Guitar and wreck it's resale value.
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« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2012, 03:53:16 AM »

Please think carefully before you cut a hole in the side of your lovely Larrivee Guitar and wreck it's resale value.

I concur.

Also, aesthetics and resale value aside, the guitar was designed to sound it's best as it was built and I can't imagine how putting the port in would improve it in any way, sound wise.  I don't have any experience with guitars that are built with side ports, however.  Wouldn't it be better to obtain one that was designed to incorporate a port in it from it's conception?
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« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2012, 04:07:16 AM »

I've removed on board electronics box's and turned them into soundports.Never really notice a difference tone or volumn except the guitar was a little lighter.
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« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2012, 04:33:41 AM »

I've removed on board electronics box's and turned them into soundports.Never really notice a difference tone or volumn except the guitar was a little lighter.

That's interesting. I may not be as hesitant to buy a guitar with barn door electronics now. I don't think adding a sound port would adversely effect the sound of the guitar. Some luthiers argue that the way traditional sound holes are positioned that the player, unless positioned appropriately (such as sitting facing a corner or facing a well etc.), never hear the true sound of the guitar but the reflected sound.

I've never seen a guitar with a sound port in person so I can't speak from experience. They look cool though   .
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cbarclay
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« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2012, 04:54:00 AM »

That is a piece of Ebony veneer inside your guitar not felt, it is there to reinforce the side for the electronics as you stated. You shouldn't need any other additional reinforcement.

Doh!  In a previous Larrivee I had a piece of green felt and I assumed the dark spot I had in this one was the same.  Thanks!
In that case I'll go ahead with a small piece of maple veneer to tie in the binding.

Please think carefully before you cut a hole in the side of your lovely Larrivee Guitar and wreck it's resale value.
Thanks for your concern, I really appreciate it. However, I have been considering doing this for a long time but wanted to wait until I found a guitar that I will hang  on to.  I feel that I have finally found that guitar after playing this one exclusively over the past 11 months.  

As a little background to WHY I'm doing this, not to defend myself but to help the nay sayers understand and stop bothering me ;).  I can hear myself fine when alone but when I play with others, I can't hear what I'm doing.  Not where I am in a song, what others are doing ini relation to what I'm supposed to be doing, nothing.  It drives me absolutely crazy.  It's a result of my body's response to something called Central Auditory Processing Disorder.  The way it manifests itself is that I have basically super sonic hearing - I hear everything, literally.  But I also can't filter out those sounds to hear individual sounds unless it's front and center.  
I've tried in-ear monitors, various pickups and amplification systems but they don't help.  I need to reach my sound before gets to the board so I can tell where I am in comparison to everyone else.  This is why I play through a mic, not a pickup.  So I can back away while playing to hear myself if necessary.
When I've played a guitar with a sound port, this seems to help with that problem.  It's not a cure, but a help.  And it's the last help that I feel that I have before I stop playing with others on a regular basis.  
Make sense?  
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Chris
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« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2012, 04:54:28 AM »

Playing close to a wall will reflec the sound of your guitar back at you.If you play pluggged in you will hear what your guitar sounds like plugged in.I have played every guitar that I have converted to sound ports and it still sounded the same.
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« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2012, 05:06:10 AM »

Playing close to a wall will reflec the sound of your guitar back at you.If you play pluggged in you will hear what your guitar sounds like plugged in.I have played every guitar that I have converted to sound ports and it still sounded the same.

Right, which is why I guess some people play facing a wall so that they can get the sound waves from the guitar bouncing back to them, which is kind of the point of a sound port from what I've researched. Like I said, I have never played one in person but think it is an interesting concept. FWIW, I've never felt the need to play my guitars in a corner or facing a well (except when my wife makes me!  whistling )

cbarclay, I would definitely try out a sound port if it was the difference in having to quit playing with other people. I hope it turns out well and hope you keep us posted with the progress!
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« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2012, 05:34:01 AM »

..........................
As a little background to WHY I'm doing this, not to defend myself but to help the nay sayers understand and stop bothering me ;)...................When I've played a guitar with a sound port, this seems to help with that problem.  It's not a cure, but a help.  And it's the last help that I feel that I have before I stop playing with others on a regular basis.  
Make sense?  

Makes a lot of sense.  I never considered the kind of hearing issues you are having.  Thanks for the clarification.
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« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2012, 09:53:53 AM »

I cut a sound port in my Fender acoustic last year.  It is a solid top, laminate B&S dreadnaught - really not a bad player.  I found the sound port increased the volume from the players perspective dramatically, and had no detriment to the forward projection.

HOWEVER

It was a laminate side, and upon cutting the port I encountered an extremely hard part of the guitar, and the edge of the hole was somewhat untidy.  Given the success in terms of sound, I simply decided to make the port slightly bigger, and thus address the cosmetic problem.  I reckon it sounded better with the smaller port unfortunately.

It does, however, sound a great deal better than before i started, and I am very glad I did it.  It would take a lot for me to do it to my Larrivee, but then I don't play in a band like you.  If there were good reason to do it, I wouldn't hesitate.

I have subsequently played my fender in a busy camp fire setting, and found the soundport to be extremely valuable.  This was also backed up by others who played it that night.

If it helps, I used a drill to make the initial hole, and then used a granite stone bit to shape the hole slowly and cautiously, before rounding the edges with sandpaper.  I had previously removed much of the finish from the guitar, and buffed it to a satin finish, so finishing off with wire wool meant there was no visible join.  Since you have an 03 series satin guitar, you should be able to make a very neat job of it without binding the port.

Here's a couple of pics of mine for reference.
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« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2012, 01:53:39 PM »

I've removed on board electronics box's and turned them into soundports.Never really notice a difference tone or volumn except the guitar was a little lighter.

I did this unwillingly on my L-03-E as the Fishman basically gave out.

I DID notice a change in volume as it sounded to me while I played it.  That was pretty clear to my ear.  Do others notice it, I guess I don't know.  I have K+K in there now wired directly into the endpin jack.  I did leave the fishman transducer in place, as it functions like a shim and I'd have to order a new saddle if I didn't.

I'm thinking of making a 'plug' for the hole that I can put in and take out at will - record the front of the guitar with and without the plug in place to see if it affects the output (it really should from an acoustics/physics standpoint).

-Scott

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« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2012, 02:30:55 PM »


I'm thinking of making a 'plug' for the hole that I can put in and take out at will - record the front of the guitar with and without the plug in place to see if it affects the output (it really should from an acoustics/physics standpoint).

-Scott



http://youtu.be/SR4ZKKmtRY8 - it's not the best video in the world, but offers a comparison.  I would suggest that from the front there is a slightly better bass response with the port open, but the difference is marginal.  From the players perspective, the difference is considerable, both in overall volume and bass in particular.
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Ben
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« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2012, 02:41:35 PM »

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo.  I only say this out of sentimentality as I used to own this guitar.
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cbarclay
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« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2012, 02:46:31 PM »

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo.  I only say this out of sentimentality as I used to own this guitar.

I was wondering if you'd respond!  I completely understand, believe me!
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Chris
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« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2012, 03:15:24 PM »

Sound ports are great.  I don't need to play facing a wall, can pic n' grin on my front porch, and the tone comes right up to me as I play.  It sounds wonderful.  I don't know that I would ever consider cutting into a Larrivee though I don't doubt that it can be done with care and experience.  As mentioned, it would devalue but if you know you never want to sell then no big deal.

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« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2012, 03:46:32 PM »

Thanks for the support and information, guys!

http://youtu.be/SR4ZKKmtRY8 - it's not the best video in the world, but offers a comparison.  I would suggest that from the front there is a slightly better bass response with the port open, but the difference is marginal.  From the players perspective, the difference is considerable, both in overall volume and bass in particular.


Ben, thanks for your input and for the video - very helpful.  Nice job on yours too. 

UncleRob, when you've done ports, how did you do it? (if you don't mind me asking?)
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Chris
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« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2012, 04:36:32 PM »

When it was just done by removing the barndoor electronis I would us a file to clean up the original hole including the screw hole's.I would then cut and bend wood binding to trim out the outer edge.Inside I would install some wood veneer to strenthen the hole inside.When cutting from scatch I would mount the design either by attaching the original paper design to the spot that gets the cut.Mount a wood veneer to the inside area thats going to get cut.Drill out at any corners,short cut with a Dremal cutting wheel what is to be removed then hand file to the line,then find sand.If they are large enough opennings I will trim out with binding,if there smaller opennings I will apply finish to seal the wood.
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