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KrispyKracker

Quick hollow body question

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Hey guys.

 

I have an old Ibanez AR50 i would like to turn into a hollow body/semi hollow. So I have been looking at images of the insides of some factory models. And I have noticed that most of them have some solid wood under the pick ups. So the pick ups are contained in a little box of sorts. Then the rest of the guitar body is open. Except for more solid wood for the tail piece.

And this has raised the question for me, is that the right way to do it. If the pick up is inside a little box. Sort of how it would be in a solid body. Then all the air space that has been created won't directly effect it.I could only imagine there would be a difference if those boxes were open so the pick up was floating in the air space, if you get my drift.

Am I wrong about this. I want to make sure I get everything straight before I start the mod.

 

Thanks guys.

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It used to be common for acoustic/electrics to have pickups mounted in in the sound hole or in a bracket suspended over the sound hole. And most semi-hollow bodies do have a center block that the pickups are mounted in. Those type constructions are likely more about rigidity and structural stability than the effect the air space would have on the pickup. I suspect the airspace has a minimal effect on the pickup. On the other hand, the differences between mounting a pickup to a vibrating sound board and a solid block would probably be audible. And I imagine the soundboard vibrations would be dampened somewhat with a pickup mounted to it.

I would be curious to here some other opinions on this as well.....

SR

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A solid centre block simplifies construction somewhat and will make the guitar more resilient to acoustic feedback. There's no doubt it would have some tonal impact, though predicting what might change would be difficult. You'd effectively be changing your guitar from a Les Paul solid body to an ES335 semi-hollow, so some of the tonal differences would probably be similar?

That said, are you sure you want to mod an existing instrument in such a drastic way? From what I understand the Ibanez AR50 wasn't exactly a budget model in its day, and hollowing out the insides isn't a trivial procedure. At the very least you'd be looking at slicing off a wafer of the body from the back, routing out the wings either side of the centre being careful to not punch through the front carved top, re-attaching a new back to seal up the chambers and a full refinish. I believe the neck is a set-neck, so you'd either need to do the whole procedure with the neck in place, or remove the neck and reset after the bodywork was complete.

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Its a really great guitar. I am an Ibanez fan and have had loads of the older models. I picked this one up for what would probably be around $30.00. IT has had many spray jobs over the years it seems. By the previous owners. And the binding is all destroyed. The only thing staying as it is will be the head stock. When they resprayed the body and the neck, they taped over the serial number so its still visible. And the front of the head stock is shot. The paint is old and cracked and the binding is barely there anymore. I will keep it all as is and clear over it to save that. But the rest of the body is a full respray if I choose to do anything with it at all.

Just thought I would give it a shot. If it fails, it is just what it is I suppose. If not. It could be a cool little blues guy. The pick ups are pretty bluesy. and I like their tone. So I will probably just hollow out the wings and the parts around the pups. I cant cut a piece off the back, don't have the machine for that. I will be using a bench dremel, so I can set the depth of the head. Then I will just grind it all out. Then around the edges I will have a shallow recess that I can drop a back plate into. Sort of like the plastic plates that cover cavities in guitar bodies. Just made of wood of course. Will be easy enough. Neck will stay on through the whole thing.

 

Didn't think about the feed back that may happen. So that's another reason I will just leave them suspended in their own little boxes as they are.

 

Thanks guys.

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