Soundports: Any Cons?

GerryM
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Re: Soundports: Any Cons?

Post by GerryM » Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:59 am

You should consider what the sound hole in a guitar does before cutting additional ones.

The body of a guitar and in fact all acoustical stringed instruments acts as a Helmholtz resonator. It is tuned, typically at the frequency of the lowest note of the strings (roughly 80hz. for the low E). The frequency is a function of the volume of the body and the size of the opening. A Helmholtz resonator inverts the phase of the sound from lower strings so that the sound from the back of the top (inside the body) will be in phase with that the of outside of the top when it emerges from the opening and reinforces the sound over a range from about 120 hz down. If it is mistuned it can actually decrease the loudness of the lower strings and increase the level of higher mid bass notes. The main effective range is going to cover the notes from the middle E (4th string) to the open 6th string.

This is very common knowledge and is used in everything from loudspeakers (ported) to engine mufflers, in addition to musical instruments. I used these to design marine mufflers back in the 1960's for Chris Craft. It works extremely well, and predictably in these days with computer simulation. In fact an Ovation Adamas I owned had the tuned frequency on a label inside, right around 80 hz.

When you cut an additional random opening you will increase the resonant frequency of the body and change the response of the lower strings. Basically you will create a hump in the mid bass response and decrease the lower bass. You could calculate this but the whole thing is pretty complicated considering the directivity of the sound at various frequencies and the complex environment of the body against the body of the player. The guitar will sound different when the port is open compared to closed. You may like the difference or you may not. Seems like a lot of people on this thread don't eventually.

A builder can take this into account by making a port extension or tube, or by changing the opening size. You cannot when modifying an existing guitar. Personally I think it is not a great idea. The results would be unpredictable and may well be detrimental overall. Soundwise that is.

robertino
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Re: Soundports: Any Cons?

Post by robertino » Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:38 am

What about the difference between having just one sound port on the upper bout vs having two? (Upper and lower). Ruck guitars and Andrea Tacchi among other Luthiers have implemented two instead of one.

Any hints there?

GerryM
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Re: Soundports: Any Cons?

Post by GerryM » Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:13 pm

It is not the number of soundholes or their location, it is the total area, with some correction for smaller holes. They have greater resistance to flow than a single hole of the same area. Ovation and several other makers use multiple small holes. I suspect they actually tune the resonance by testing rather than any calculated area-length. Modern computer tech makes that pretty simple. Once you have set the opening configuration and the body volume, subsequent guitars will have the same resonant frequency.

Multiple holes may change the overall response of the guitar somewhat though, as the distance from the top to the hole will be different, leading to different cancellation/reinforcement frequencies. I don't expect a huge difference though.

A famous musician increased the size of the soundhole in his dreadnaught and loved the sound. He was basically altering the response of the guitar by raising the resonant frequency of the body. I suspect it had better mid-bass sound, at the expense of the lowest notes. He liked that.

Dofpic
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Re: Soundports: Any Cons?

Post by Dofpic » Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:32 am

Soundports change the body resonance often raising it a half step of so this does effect the overall tone IMO. I was told by a very respectable builder that its "washes out" or takes away the tone character of the basses. I Agree with this. They are probably good if you play a lot of chamber music for the other musicians. If you hear yourself better and you think you sound good then this should help a public performance because you are more confident.

But when it comes to beauty of sound not for me. Have played and owned many instruments and have yet to hear a guitar with a soundport that made me say...wow that is a beautiful tone. In fact like peter said I heard one that had the ports by ruck and to me it destroyed the beauty of the sound.
2006 Greg Byers(fan)2009 Eric Monrad(maple) 2018 Simon Ambridge Model 40 Satinwood. 2003 Tacchi Simplcio satinwood 2017 E. Bottelli 52 Hauser, 2002 Jeff Elliott spruce, 2017 Richard Reynoso, spruce/maple, 2015 Herman Hauser III(Cedar)2005 Tacchi Coclea

wombosi
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Re: Soundports: Any Cons?

Post by wombosi » Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:51 am

My personal experience:
My dad has a Connor with a massive soundport and it's a beast of a guitar. The port can be closed off but my dad seems to leave it open full time.
My brother has a Ken Whisler with dual "Ruck ports" and it's also an amazing guitar.
I would be so lucky as to own either.

I don't personally like the aesthetics of the Ruck ports, and question the validity of their placement, but I do enjoy playing with one upper bout sound port more than without, on the various guitars I've played. The increased feedback to the player is significant.

I plan on building one into my current guitar in progress.

celestemcc
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Re: Soundports: Any Cons?

Post by celestemcc » Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:37 pm

My dad has a Connor with a massive soundport and it's a beast of a guitar. The port can be closed off but my dad seems to leave it open full time.
I have one too. I actually leave it open full-time also, but some people who've tried mine find it too much, and have to use the cover. Matter of taste, I guess. Dunno if I'd call it a beast, but I love it! :D
2015 Connor spruce/Indian rosewood
1978 Ramirez 1a cedar

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Arduous
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Re: Soundports: Any Cons?

Post by Arduous » Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:54 pm

I have owned several guitars that have sound ports and have consistently not liked them.
They seem to throw off the bass somehow and exaggerate it to a point, on some of the guitars, where it was just a boom box.

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Keith
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Re: Soundports: Any Cons?

Post by Keith » Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:30 pm

I think it would hurt resale value. If I were in the market for a guitar and the choice between port or port-less I would choose port-less. Just my opinion but I would suspect a good number of folks feel the same. As to ports themselves, Al Carruth wrote a good treatise 10 years ago. See below.


http://www.alcarruthluthier.com/Downloads/sidePorts.pdf
be true to the one you love but have many flings with different guitars

guitarras en la espiritu de la:
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Jose Ramirez III

Dofpic
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Re: Soundports: Any Cons?

Post by Dofpic » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:54 pm

Tacchi does not use them as a general rule but only does it if a custom build and requested by the buyer.
2006 Greg Byers(fan)2009 Eric Monrad(maple) 2018 Simon Ambridge Model 40 Satinwood. 2003 Tacchi Simplcio satinwood 2017 E. Bottelli 52 Hauser, 2002 Jeff Elliott spruce, 2017 Richard Reynoso, spruce/maple, 2015 Herman Hauser III(Cedar)2005 Tacchi Coclea

ivan
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Re: Soundports: Any Cons?

Post by ivan » Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:45 pm

Dofpic,

In my Tacchi coclea thucea, he asked my permission to make soundports since he feel it will makes the sound richer and more open. And of course i agree, sound quality is always be my top priority when ordering or observing a guitar.

sleeper2
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Re: Soundports: Any Cons?

Post by sleeper2 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:13 pm

My lo Prinzi has the thurman port system. I been a player and a listener while others play it. It appears to me that their is very little difference in the sound in front or behind. When I play my other guitars there is a definite difference. I would guess that it might make a difference if you are performing or just playing for your own enjoyment.

nmshu1
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Re: Soundports: Any Cons?

Post by nmshu1 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:56 am

Cons: sound separation is not good when I play Villa-Lobos Etude No.1. In other words, the sound is not clear. And the base is not good when the strings are getting old...I think because the sound goes out from its body in different way/direction and goes to your ears in different time...its sound is louder but not clear...so it's sound separation is not good!
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smoon01

Re: Soundports: Any Cons?

Post by smoon01 » Sat Feb 16, 2019 2:29 pm

nmshu1 wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:56 am
Cons: sound separation is not good when I play Villa-Lobos Etude No.1. In other words, the sound is not clear. And the base is not good when the strings are getting old...I think because the sound goes out from its body in different way/direction and goes to your ears in different time...its sound is louder but not clear...so it's sound separation is not good!

Depends on the guitar! I’ve played a soundport guitar and the basses are more spectated compared to the trebles

Jabberwocky
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Re: Soundports: Any Cons?

Post by Jabberwocky » Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:10 pm

I don't find any advantage to a soundport.

As it is said in the song:

Somebody thought of it
Somebody chose to believe it
And look what it has done so far...


All in my very very humble opinion, of course. YMMV.

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