Soundports: Any Cons?

powermrk
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Soundports: Any Cons?

Post by powermrk » Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:49 pm

In recent years a movement amongst guitar makers to place a soundport(s) on the upper and sometimes the lower bout of the guitar has gained momentum and acceptance into the classical guitar community.

The soundport seems to have pros such as better monitoring the sound, enhanced experience and improved dynamic range.

I am wondering if there are any CONS for having a soundport on classical guitars?

What should be concerned when making a decision on having a sound portal on CGs?

Can you share your experience?

:merci:
Last edited by powermrk on Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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jaan
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Re: Soundports: Any Cons?

Post by jaan » Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:54 pm

I have them on one of my guitars (2008 Traphagen) and can think of no cons. Guitar projects like a beast outward, so I don't think it has any impact on projection into a hall. But, gives me a little bit more feedback than if they weren't there.

Not a very scientific response, but. . .
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chelson
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Re: Soundports: Any Cons?

Post by chelson » Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:06 pm

Very personal thought for myself only, I felt my decision for them despite any pros, they are simply ugly.
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UKsteve
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Re: Soundports: Any Cons?

Post by UKsteve » Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:49 pm

I have one on a guitar of mine.
I liked it a lot initially - very "reverby" and diffuse sounding. The notes seem to envelop the player more than usual.
However, over time I've come to dislike it - it weakens the purity and fundamental of the note being played, I suppose because sound is reaching your ears both from the top and directly, via the port, and there is a phase delay? Don't know; I'm no physicist or sound engineer.
So, these days I tend to play with the port plugged.
It's easy to determine the effect - simply pull the plug in and out etc.

A big hole in the side of your guitar also changes the body resonance. That may be a good or a bad thing, but I've seen some people come along and simply drill a great big hole in the side of their guitar without thinking too much about it.

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souldier
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Re: Soundports: Any Cons?

Post by souldier » Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:01 pm

The main con would be some don't like the aesthetic so it may affect resale value. Then again, some don't mind or want them on their guitars.

Something neutral would be that putting an extra hole on the guitar causes the resonant pitch of the guitar to go higher a semitone depending on the size of the hole. A guitar I had was an F# with the hole plugged, but G with the hole open. Shifting around the resonance can affect how the guitar responds to different notes, so it could work for or against you. If I were to get a guitar with a sound port, I'd definitely want one with a magnetic cover so that you can choose to close, open, or partially open the port depending on ones needs and preferences.
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richtm
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Re: Soundports: Any Cons?

Post by richtm » Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:37 pm

I think they affect the Sound only a little bit - but you as a player can hear the guitar much better.
To me the guitar with sound holes is not ugly at all. Also you can look into the interior of your guitar much easier.
Maybe the guitar collects more dirt/dust due to the soundports, but after 6 months I don't have evidence for that yet.
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smoon01
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Re: Soundports: Any Cons?

Post by smoon01 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:27 pm

My mentor has a Stephen Hill lattice braced guitar with soundport and I’ve never heard a guitar so loud but with such an admirable tone. The sound port wasn’t just a simple hole in the side but it was patterned. So semi port hole? Haha.

I’ve played the guitar a few times and i can’t seem to find any cons
2018 Stephen Hill (Cedar)

celestemcc
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Re: Soundports: Any Cons?

Post by celestemcc » Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:26 pm

have them on one of my guitars (2008 Traphagen) and can think of no cons. Guitar projects like a beast outward, so I don't think it has any impact on projection into a hall. But, gives me a little bit more feedback than if they weren't there.
Same here on my Connor. Plus I can put a cover on the port if I want. I didn't get it because of the port, other features impressed me more, but I like the port fine.
2015 Connor spruce/Indian rosewood
1978 Ramirez 1a cedar

ben etow
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Re: Soundports: Any Cons?

Post by ben etow » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:26 pm

The main con to me is that you hear your guitar even more differently than the audience does. A major con to me.

smoon01
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Re: Soundports: Any Cons?

Post by smoon01 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:29 pm

ben etow wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:26 pm
The main con to me is that you hear your guitar even more differently than the audience does. A major con to me.
Surely there’s no evidence for this as sound is always perceived differently to every individual
2018 Stephen Hill (Cedar)

OldPotter
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Re: Soundports: Any Cons?

Post by OldPotter » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:45 pm

I did have the effect of a sound port in a guitar. I took out the pre amp panel. I liked the sound and didn't perceive any cons but in the end I put the panel back, I'm not sure if there was any good reason for replacing the panel, I just haven't found a good reason for removing it again.
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ben etow
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Re: Soundports: Any Cons?

Post by ben etow » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:50 pm

Smoon01,

This is obvious: the player hears himself even more with a soundport (that's the point)... Besides, the ones I tried at least were not powerful or projecting or whatever (three different builders - two of them provided for a plug and there was no real difference for the audience). Compared them to a reference guitar, with a friend, both playing and hearing as an audience.

To me, the soundport was much more disturbing than any "uncommuncating" guitar I had tried so far (for instance, the whole Bernabé range sounds nice from the audience - rather projective when compared to many luthier guitars ina famous Barcelona shop -, but the player can't really tell what the audience hears - more or less basses, more vibrato and so on...). I don't want a music tool I cannot control.

This is just my opinion and you may like soundports a lot, of course. I am just answering to the initial question.

smoon01
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Re: Soundports: Any Cons?

Post by smoon01 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:57 pm

ben etow wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:50 pm
Obvious: the player hears himself even more with a soundport (that's the point)... Besides, the ones I tried at least were not powerful or projecting or whatever (three different builders - two of them provided for a plug and there was no real difference for the audience).

To me it was much more disturbing than any "uncommuncating" guitar I had tried so far (for instance, the whole Bernabé range sounds nice from the audience - rather projective when compared to many luthier guitars ina famous Barcelona shop -, but the player can't really tell what the audience hears - more or less basses, more vibrato and so on...). I don't want a music tool I cannot control.

This is just my opinion and you may like soundports a lot, of course.

Interesting insite into your opinion.

The only soundhole guitar I’ve played is a 2017 Stephen Hill, Cedar top with lattice X brace. I’ve been on both ends of the guitar - playing it and listening to it and comparing it to other Hill models (lattice, cedar) without the soundport, the guitar was equally as controllable. I guess it’s personal preference just like not all people like lattice braces or some people prefer cedar to spruce etc
2018 Stephen Hill (Cedar)

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petermc61
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Re: Soundports: Any Cons?

Post by petermc61 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:14 pm

I find them just ugly and have never bought a guitar with a port, and won’t. So one possible consequence is lost of a wider resale market. Thai’s is real, not imaginary. There is a Ruck for sale on this site right now - if it didn’t have ports I would have bought it. It has ports, I just passed straight over it.

Of course, others may not consider a guitar without ports - but I have never heard this said to date. :)

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guitarrista
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Re: Soundports: Any Cons?

Post by guitarrista » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:25 pm

powermrk wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:49 pm

I am wondering if there are any CONS for having a soundport on classical guitars?
A sneaking suspicion that your guitar has been made by the Swiss?

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