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Solid Body "acoustic" Ideas


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I'm thinking I might have this in the wrong area, so, mods feel free to move it.

Here's my plan, I'm going to build a solid body acoustic, very similar to a gibson Chet Atkins SST. the only things that are set in stone about this build are:

Mohogany neck and body, pinless rosewood bridge, 24.75 scale, big fat frets.

So the question is.... If you were building YOUR perfect solid acoustic, what else would you throw into this?

It will be electric, so pick up ideas are welcome.

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If you were building YOUR perfect solid acoustic, what else would you throw into this?

An acoustic body?

No seriously, I would use a real spruce top and rout the body with chambers, possible even large enough to be able to brace the top. Even without the larger routs some smaller chambers together with a good spruce top will make the guitar much more acoustic sounding.

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a decent peizo system otherwise it will sound like those terrible stratacoustics....& definitely some chambering.

I would guess that from your specs you might as well fit the graphtech ghost system to a Les Paul which will give you the mahogany body & neck, 24.75 scale & acoustic sounds PLUS all the electric sounds.

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Y'know, I'm not entirely convinced a braced top is the best way to create a great-sounding amplified stage acoustic. Rick Turner, who's got a ton of experience building solidbody acoustics and designing pickup systems, feels piezos work best in solidbodies, and coupled with some nice off-board processing you can get a great acoustic sound. Amplifying real acoustic guitars is pretty challenging overall.

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I’m by no mean an expert on those matters (solid body acoustic guitars), but it figures that Rick Turner recommends using outboard gear to get a good amplified sound. Especially if you buy the fancy (not to mention expensive) preamp that he has designed together with Seymour Duncan. :D

Not meaning to slam Rick. The preamp (I think it’s called D-tar) have got some really nice reviews.

.

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I'm gunna go with the suggestion of a fully hollowed out mahogany shell (say leave 1/2" on all sides, and a 1/4" back, and then of course a nice amount for a "heel block") and hten prop a spruce top on it, brace it traditionally, and put one of those 2-way pickups in there (they're got a piezo and a mic in there).

Chris

I DO however think that that would be a very cool project.... I may have to do one of my own...

Chris

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I would focus on the piezo system. I can see how someone would want to try to modify the pressure to emulate the a braced soundboard in action. However you are not sampling the soundboards reaction you are sampling the pressure at the bridge saddle. The braced top will modify the pressure for sure, but I am not sure if it really helps the signal to emulate the soundboards responce as much as give you something altered but different. The trick would be in how you process that new signal to bring it back to something that sounds like an acoustics responce. The real question comes down to what signal is easier to work with while you aim for your acoustic sounding responce. I think you should stick to the spec. of the model you like the sound of and shoot to emulate that set up. If you want to go for something from scratch, but have no plans to build your own electronics and processing gear. Then look to the manufacturer of the system you want to buy and find out what type of signal their system is designed to work best with.

If I wanted to attack actual acoustic amplification and sampling I would take a different approach. The solid body piezo electric/acoustic is cool and should be optimized to allow it to work well. I would avoid trying to fit the system on an acoustics framework just so it looks acoustic and can be called "an acoustic". If you love the sound of the SST find out everything you can about it and clone it (if you want to make small tweeks to the design go for it, but keep the design and main functional components in tact).

Peace,Rich

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I’m by no mean an expert on those matters (solid body acoustic guitars), but it figures that Rick Turner recommends using outboard gear to get a good amplified sound. Especially if you buy the fancy (not to mention expensive) preamp that he has designed together with Seymour Duncan. :D

Not meaning to slam Rick. The preamp (I think it’s called D-tar) have got some really nice reviews.

.

Oh, that's true enough :D

However, he's been building the things and designing pickups for his own isntruments for years; the D-tar is relatively recent...

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The solid body piezo electric/acoustic is cool and should be optimized to allow it to work well. I would avoid trying to fit the system on an acoustics framework just so it looks acoustic and can be called "an acoustic". If you love the sound of the SST find out everything you can about it and clone it (if you want to make small tweeks to the design go for it, but keep the design and main functional components in tact).

Peace,Rich

That's actually a pretty good description of the idea. The use of the term "acoustic" in this sense is more of an appearance and vibe. Its going to nearly useless unplugged. The idea behind it is pretty much the same as the SST, 0 feedback, and lower string tension than a normal acoustic. I've given some thought to chambering the body to add a bit of warmth, but all the research I've done leaves me with the impression that the chambers need to be done in very precise locations, depths, shapes, etc, and I really have no idea how to determine all of that. I'm basically trying to come up with some unique ideas that would be fun to have in a guitar. This is either going to turn out well, and replace my Alvarez as a gigging instrument (I really hate having her out of the house, she's irreplaceable) or a big funny-looking number 2 pencil to sketch ideas for songs out.

Having said that, I'm curious if the soundhole mic types of pickups (like the LR Baggs system) would pick up string vibration, or just soundboard vibration. It will definately have an undersaddle piezo, I'm just undecided on which one.

Great suggestions so far, keep em coming!

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