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Hollow Body Anatomy

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I was going to attempt an archtop as my next project. Was doing some research and came across this.


I have been reading the Benedetto book as well and am wondering why PRS dosen't bend their sides? Is it because the PRS are more electric based guitars and need a more stability to put up with the extreme vibrations.

I believe the big block 7 pics down on the site I listed is a combo bridge plate/sound post. You guys think its a good idea to carve the entire top plate like a benedetto (not like the inside carve shown on the PRS) and have the bridge plate/sound post connect the top and bottom plates to allow a stop tail bridge to be installed and give the guitar more stability?

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I don't know anything about the PRS product line, but, the Ed Roman link says, "we hollowed out and retopped a PRS"... as in Ed Roman's shop did the work. They hollowed out an existing PRS body. Which is why there weren't any sides bent.

The advantages of one kind of construction versus another depends on the type of guitar you want in the end. If you want a more acoustically dynamic instrument, stick with traditional construction. A dynamic top can be a good thing for quality and versatility of the sound... but, are more sensitive to feedback. That said, big hollowbody Gibsons and Gretschs find their way into loud music.

Monoframes, thinlines, chambered guitars reduce the weight of solid body electrics and split some of the difference between archtops and solid bodies. They're less apt to feedback, but, at lower volumes they won't have the full voice of an archtop.

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Routing out a block of mahogany is easier than bending sides into a PRS shape, and probably cheaper due to labor issues (you need to bend the sides, make sure they're flat, add kerfed linings, and then glue the rest together.)

PRS does make both bent side and routed out guitars, I think (the proper Archtops and the hollowbody), although I'm not positive. There's no 'extreme vibration' issue, really, and bend sides are stronger than routed out ones with lots of runout. They are lighter, will hold up to feedback less readily, that sort of thing.

Chambering a guitar and blocking under the bridge (say in the PRS or ES335 style) works, works well, gives you one kind of instrument. Building what's essentially a 'solidbody archtop' in the Benedetto style (look at some of David Myka's designs) is something else again. If you want a stoptail, build in the former style, with a block (guitars don't have 'soundposts', that's violin family instruments), if you build in the benedetto style go for a tailpiece and a floating type bridge. Those apply force in a different way, and those instruments evolved as such for a reason.

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All the production PRS hollowbody guitars are from a solid piece of mahogany. They dont bend sides on anything outside of the custom shop for the very reason Mattia pointed out. I have seen them put together a couple true hollow archtops for NAMM shows. They have also done private stock instruments with maple sides which are either routed from a slab of maple or veneered to the same mahogany core (another interesting way of doing things), I can't be certain.

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