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Author Topic: Cutting holes again.....  (Read 2826 times)
fitness1
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« on: June 09, 2016, 12:52:29 AM »

As most of you know I've grown very accustomed to instruments with ports.   All my custom builds have had them for a while now, and most instruments that stay here for any length of time (easy Rob) tend to get them installed one way or the other.

After I had my Charis dread built in January, I sold a Cervantes Rodriguez I'd had for about 1 1/2 years.....it was the best classical I'd owned or played - so it hurt, and I missed it right away.   I've been keeping my eye open for something reasonably priced to take it's place.

A couple weeks back I found a great deal on a Cordoba C9 Spruce top - I had a cedar top C9 for a couple years before the Cervantes and really liked it.  Always wondered what a spruce would sound like.

It showed up in pristine condition, and just needed some tweaks to the setup and intonation to make it very pleasing.   After the new strings stretched in I was quite surprised by it tonally, but intuition told me there was more sound in there waiting to get out.   The same intuition told me that it needed smaller dual ports.  I played a Josh House guitar with dual ports once that was really nice and had put duals in an Eastman dread in the past with great results.

So yesterday I got brave and devised a way to start small and slowly work my way toward dime sized holes on both bouts.   The results are fantastic - actually like the tone on this one better than the Cervantes, and the C9 also has nice, wide (nearly 60mm spacing) at the saddle, which works well for me!  Increases in volume, "roundess" of tone, sustain and fattening of trebles are quite evident.

Can't imagine owning a guitar without a port or two anymore!!





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« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2016, 02:17:55 AM »

I'll be nice  bigrin . what do you mean any lenth of time,a week, month,a couple of days.






Looks nice and clean like all your other jobs.
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fitness1
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« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2016, 02:24:42 AM »

I'll be nice  bigrin . what do you mean any lenth of time,a week, month,a couple of days.






Looks nice and clean like all your other jobs.

Well buddy - I'd have to say that normally if something gets past a month, it's here for a while......it's certainly been a crazy run since '02 when I sold my "one and only" Taylor 512c 1 7/8 Florentine in lieu of an OM-05. Probably did 1000 gigs with that old guitar after buying it in '91.  It would be fun to know how many have come through the guitar hospital since!
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« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2016, 06:33:17 PM »

  Such fine work and always top shelf pictures. You put the bug in me to put a few sound ports in. I'm too busy with selling the house and A/C work now. But when things slow down the O project parlor and my 44 year old all hog 000 are getting one port each.
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« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2016, 06:43:18 PM »

I cannot see the pictures, just two large white squares in the OP. Any ideas why?

I have not had this issue with other posts, just this one.   
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Anthony J. Dern
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« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2016, 07:18:49 PM »

  Such fine work and always top shelf pictures. You put the bug in me to put a few sound ports in. I'm too busy with selling the house and A/C work now. But when things slow down the O project parlor and my 44 year old all hog 000 are getting one port each.

Thanks for the kind words Dan - I'll be interested to see what you have to say once you take the leap.

I thought some of you may be interested in an exchange I had with Tim Mcknight today.  He'd ask me what I thought the effect of the extra port on the lower bout was, so it got me thinking.   I did quite a bit of plugging holes/playing/removing this morning early and this was my reply:


I spent about a half an hour this morning playing with one/both/none of the holes plugged and my perception is that the current size of the holes has a MUCH larger effect on what's happening out front than the sound to the player.   When I'm doing "critical" listening, I play about a foot from a wall so I get reflected sound.   When I backed away, the sound was not nearly as dramatically changed when I pulled the plugs.   So I went back up against the wall and played while putting them in and out (both) and I'd say there was a 20% or so difference in volume/tone/sustain

In regard to the lower bout port - it was quite hard to get my ear close enough to it while playing well to hear what was actually coming out of it compared to the upper bout - but it certainly seems the sound coming from their is much less natural and more "boxy" sounding - kind of flat midrange tones as compared to full range/overtone laden sound coming out of the upper bout hole.  This remained the same whether both holes were open or I covered the one I was not listening to.

There was a difference, although slight, in the sound when I'd play with just the upper bout open and then pull the plug on the lower bout.  Very slightly rounder and fuller, but an openness and slightly more sustain I think.

It sure seems that the effect of the current size of the holes is almost entirely on the air resonance of the box and not so much of the information coming back to the player.   I may try to make these (slowly) slightly larger and see what happens.
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« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2016, 07:21:31 PM »

I cannot see the pictures, just two large white squares in the OP. Any ideas why?

I have not had this issue with other posts, just this one.   

Not a techie, so I can't give you a reason.  If there's an email address attached to your profile I'll try to send them to you that way.
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« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2016, 11:49:10 PM »

Thanks for the kind words Dan - I'll be interested to see what you have to say once you take the leap.

I thought some of you may be interested in an exchange I had with Tim Mcknight today.  He'd ask me what I thought the effect of the extra port on the lower bout was, so it got me thinking.   I did quite a bit of plugging holes/playing/removing this morning early and this was my reply:


I spent about a half an hour this morning playing with one/both/none of the holes plugged and my perception is that the current size of the holes has a MUCH larger effect on what's happening out front than the sound to the player.   When I'm doing "critical" listening, I play about a foot from a wall so I get reflected sound.   When I backed away, the sound was not nearly as dramatically changed when I pulled the plugs.   So I went back up against the wall and played while putting them in and out (both) and I'd say there was a 20% or so difference in volume/tone/sustain

In regard to the lower bout port - it was quite hard to get my ear close enough to it while playing well to hear what was actually coming out of it compared to the upper bout - but it certainly seems the sound coming from their is much less natural and more "boxy" sounding - kind of flat midrange tones as compared to full range/overtone laden sound coming out of the upper bout hole.  This remained the same whether both holes were open or I covered the one I was not listening to.

There was a difference, although slight, in the sound when I'd play with just the upper bout open and then pull the plug on the lower bout.  Very slightly rounder and fuller, but an openness and slightly more sustain I think.

It sure seems that the effect of the current size of the holes is almost entirely on the air resonance of the box and not so much of the information coming back to the player.   I may try to make these (slowly) slightly larger and see what happens.


I am gonna have to try this Todd.  Does the size/location vary from guitar to guitar?
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« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2016, 12:08:48 AM »

I am gonna have to try this Todd.  Does the size/location vary from guitar to guitar?


I've experimented with several styles and placements and never had anything but great results.   I think there's a lot of intuition involved.
The easiest and most simple method is what Tim and some of the AGF crowd has come to call a Toddport......an oval in the upper bass bout on the curve.
It's easily accomplished by wrapping some 220 around a steel bar I have for one of my fitness machines that's probably a little less than an inch in diameter and about a foot long.   You just basically drag it back and forth after marking off your start spot until you get a nice, beveled oval.  I have found that larger bodied instruments may benefit from having slightly larger ports, and the consistently best place is this upper bass bout style I think.......if you sit and play like I do (footstool and semi-classical (neck up) position, it's directed right at your ears.

if you go to the 18th post on this page you'll see a pic of an OMV-10 (that I wish I had back!) that I put a Toddport in....the first few pics on the thread are of an Eastman dread I put some fancy dual ports in.

http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=362555&highlight=another+port
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« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2016, 10:13:03 AM »

You, sir, are a braver man than I.
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fitness1
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« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2016, 10:26:10 AM »

You, sir, are a braver man than I.

Or maybe just a little more crazy
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« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2016, 12:08:57 PM »

Or maybe just a little more crazy

I dunno ..... I am pretty crazy.
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George
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« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2016, 01:38:54 PM »

You, sir, are a braver man than I.

I wasn't so brave either, so I just bought one that already had a port on the bass side in the upper bout, probably about an inch in diameter.  It is an Eastman AC822 fanned fret Engelmann/Rosewood with a Lydia EQ UST pickup.  I like this guitar acoustic and plugged up, and the fanned fret is very easy to play.  Remember I am that guy that has great difficulty with 1.75 inch nut widths, but no so on this one...
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« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2016, 05:14:15 AM »

Michael Kelly guitars, known for interesting takes on lower priced guitars (I had one with the variable set neck technology that Martin used for a couple years and Babicz uses as well), is now selling an offset sound hole AND side ported guitar for $299:

https://www.michaelkellyguitars.com/en/products/view/forte-port-1

There's some really interesting guitars there right now, including a 10 string (top 4 strings doubled).

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« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2016, 02:57:19 PM »

Michael Kelly guitars, known for interesting takes on lower priced guitars (I had one with the variable set neck technology that Martin used for a couple years and Babicz uses as well), is now selling an offset sound hole AND side ported guitar for $299:

https://www.michaelkellyguitars.com/en/products/view/forte-port-1

There's some really interesting guitars there right now, including a 10 string (top 4 strings doubled).



I have owned some Michael Kelly guitars and they were all pretty well made and always played well...
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« Reply #15 on: June 21, 2016, 07:23:19 PM »

if you go to the 18th post on this page you'll see a pic of an OMV-10 (that I wish I had back!) that I put a Toddport in...
http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=362555&highlight=another+port

that guitar now lives back in Vancouver, and gets played nearly everyday...  sounds awesome in CGDGAD

unfortunatly not likely to be sold on any time soon, it's just too good!

but if it does want to move on, i'm gonna ask you first!
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« Reply #16 on: June 22, 2016, 10:30:24 PM »

that guitar now lives back in Vancouver, and gets played nearly everyday...  sounds awesome in CGDGAD

unfortunatly not likely to be sold on any time soon, it's just too good!

but if it does want to move on, i'm gonna ask you first!

That was a great little guitar for sure - my heart sunk when it showed up with the headstock off (again)   I probably should have kept it and tried to fix it myself.  Glad you are playing it a lot.   And thanks for keeping me on the list!
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« Reply #17 on: June 23, 2016, 01:37:20 AM »

i had come home from work, picked up the OMV10 with the ToddPort, and played it on the balcony untill the sun went down, a few hours, then read the forum and saw the thread.. yea it get's played ALOT

Paul Iverson did a great job of gettng the neck sorted, still visable but not "feelable" when playing, and rock solid!

Thanks again for everything...

How much did the ToddPort change it?
 
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« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2016, 01:40:06 AM »

i had come home from work, picked up the OMV10 with the ToddPort, and played it on the balcony untill the sun went down, a few hours, then read the forum and saw the thread.. yea it get's played ALOT

Paul Iverson did a great job of gettng the neck sorted, still visable but not "feelable" when playing, and rock solid!

Thanks again for everything...

How much did the ToddPort change it?
 

It was a big difference - volume,warmth, sustain were all increased.   stuff a sock in it and play it for a bit, then pull it out and play the same things - you'll get the idea!
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