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Chambered Body


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If you are doing a chambered body do the cuts have to be in a specific place or just where ever there is room?

The holes seem to be in quite unusual places on this warmoth body, is that to give a good sound or to just where there was space left to cut?

http://www.warmoth.com/Guitar/Bodies/LP/ho...hollowoptlp.htm

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"Following our hollow Strat® routine, we've made multiple chambers to avoid any funny resonance or feedback problems."

Seems like it's not completely random.......

But at the same time, all it really is, is a series of small chambers instead of one large.

So, if you were to do this, simply mark out the FULL area that you want to chamber, and then break it up into smaller areas...

You obviously want to leave alot of wood around the neck pocket, bridge, p/u's, and strap pins.

But besides that, it's whatever you want to do....

:D

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I would like to know the answer to this as well. I did make two chambers in my current project and I just removed wood where I thought it made sense, leaving quite a bit alone. Certainly less than the Warmoth. Has anyone actually seen any research about the acoustic properties of chambers? I would imagine the variables are so many as to make reliable predictions very difficult. Different woods, chamber size and shape along with variable such as neck attachment, pickup type, etc.

I'll just listen to this next guitar when it's done.Hopefully it sounds good and I'll maybe tweak a bit from that on a future one...

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Do what you like, as long as you leave enough meat to keep it all structurally sound. The warmoth route is very fiddly for a home builder, but you can replicate the small separate chambers by just swisscheesing the body with a forstner bit. I opted for two large chambers, one filling pretty much the whole bass side of the body, and a smaller one on the treble side, with a small separate chamber for the electrics.

m3131008-9257.jpg

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I would think that the more you rout away, the more you will effect the tone, approaching the sound of a hollowbody. The bigger the cavity, the more you will change the tonal emphasis from hi/hi-mid bite to a lower tones. Attack and other acoustic properties change as well, as you start getting more "acoustic" type qualities. And the more to add to the acoustic resonance of a guitar, the more prone it will be to feedback.

As far as research goes, I think there's been quite a bit done by the builders that specialize in hollow guitars - only it's the trial and error type, not the quantitative type.

Here are a few interesting FAQs from the Harmonic Designs site:

Tele weights

http://harmonicdesign.net/faqsfolder/faq15.html

How Do Non-Factory Routs Affect Tone?

http://harmonicdesign.net/faqsfolder/faq4.html

This one is interesting too: Are maple necks really always brighter than rosewood necks?

http://harmonicdesign.net/faqsfolder/faq21.html

-Sven

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I guess what I was hoping for was more than just general guides, since I think I understand that end fairly well. Setch, my guitar is quite similar to yours, I did the same arrangement of main route on bass side, small route on treble and a control cavity. I couldn't see from your photo whether the route extended below the bridge area. Mine has the bass route curving under the tail over to the control. Since the top is on, I can't take the picture that would show all this. The main difference is I didn't route so deeply, but I did take some wood out of the top cap, not just the main body. My goal was to get some airy /hollow /mellow tone but avoid any feedback issue and leave room for some moderate contouring on the back. I also tried to blend in all routing, leaving no sharp angles. Part of me thinks this makes sense and part of me thinks this is BS....

LCG, would you say the depth (or at least the thickness of wood r retained on the back) and the overall volume of hollow space are the main factors of a mellower/bassier tone?

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I have a lot of the same concerns myself. All I know about this is what I've pieced together. But the my info is sketchy at best.

Here's a plan:

Get a cheap hunk of acceptable tonewood, cut out the rough guitar shape. Screw on a cheap piece of 1/4-1/2" unfigured maple or something, router the neck pocket and pickups, throw together a quick and dirty guitar and record a bunch of tones from clean to dirty, and jot down playing impressions.

Unscrew the top, router out some cavities like the warmoth mentioned above, repeat the playing impressions. Then continue to router away wood, recording sound and impressions with each pass.

It seems like a little extra work and expense, but in the long run, you may avoid a blotched attempt, and get a much more dialed in result on the first attempt, which is what we all want, right? You may even be able to get wood that is blemished, checked or otherwise substandard from a supplied at a discounted brice.

Any thoughts on this?

-Sven

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Sven, that sounds like a good idea, if someone tries it out, let me know what results you get. I think I'll have enough trouble finishing the real guitars I want to build to work on a testbed one. Maybe if the current one doesn't meet my expectations at all, I'll give it a shot.

I wonder if the top being screwed on as opposed to glued would give an accurate picture of the tones.

It would be much easier to do this with a bolt neck guitar, I seem to be more drawn to chambers in set neck, Gibsonish designs.

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I wonder if the top being screwed on as opposed to glued would give an accurate picture of the tones.

It would be much easier to do this with a bolt neck guitar, I seem to  be more drawn to chambers in set neck, Gibsonish designs.

Yeah, I wonder about the screws too. probably not ideal, but close enough to get an idea.

Definitely bolt on! I'm talking about just slapping it together. No rounded edges or anything, just a hunk of swiss cheese with a neck and pickups screwed on.

-Sven

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Over the years, on other forums, I have seen this question get raised time and time and time again, it seems like it's a great question that lets everyone weigh in no matter what their personal experience (lots of times, none at all, just pure conjecture...it's fun!) simply because no one really has any answers, so the game is open to everyone who has an interesting idea or opinion...

I look at this question now as more of a Rorshach test, it tells me more about the poster by what he says more than about chambering, it makes for interesting reading.

I've chambered several of my guitars, mine being done very similar to Setch's pic, and even tho I've done it several times to different guitars, I still really have no answer at all in the end. I just enjoy 'fahtin' around' with it. It makes the guitar lighter obviously. What it adds to or takes away from in resonance, sustain, tone, or whatever I don't bother even trying to deduce really, I just like doing it. :D

I have seen some of the most seriously insane, 8 paragraph analytical, scientifically-based answers by people who have never even actually built a guitar (still working on their first one) themselves to this question...Go figyuh!...

I have also seen some small-time builders spend a lot of serious time studying with this subject, and they have very interesting and coherent observations, but again, not really 'repeatable' (meaning you could do the same thing to 2 guitars and the result won't be identical)...

So...does it make a difference? Yeah.

Can anyone really quantify what it does? Not really to any serious extent...

I think it's just a popular 'faddy' thing to do these days as the boundaries of what you can do to a 1 X 2 X 1 3/4" hunk of wood before you slap a neck on it is becoming a bit limited, and companies have to keep coming up with nifty little ideas to keep you buying their guitars year after year...

But I still do it to mine a fair amount of the time.

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I can see one problem if you make a bunch of chambers all the same size...you'll get one frequency (and its harmonics) that will dominate the sound. I think the same goes for a single large chamber, but in a true hollowbody that is exactly the effect you're after when you shoot for that "hollow woody sound".

Also, I think large chambers help the lower frequencies. I think if you compare the sound of a ES335 to an L5 you'll get the picture.

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I have seen some of the most seriously insane, 8 paragraph analytical, scientifically-based answers by people who have never even actually built a guitar (still working on their first one) themselves to this question...Go figyuh!...

Umm.... That'd be me :D

Interesting observations Drak, especially about the Rorschach test. Well put.

Although, I would like some of you guys who have built a bunch of chambered guitars to share your impressions and describe what has and what hasn't worked.

-Sven

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Guest Litchfield Custom Gutars

Actually all my bodies are chambered. I have no ryme or reason, just different size, shape & depth all over. I usually stick to ovals and circles, and "steps" occasionaly in the routes.

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And here's John Fadden's take on a Tele:

"As I remember there are three chambers. I was concerned with retaining a solid attack sound in the chambered Tele's, so never bothered to implement f holes. I have never found a Tele with f holes that has a good body resonance, I think they sound thin. The chambered design makes a Tele sound much fatter."

chamber.gif

(Notes on drawing: The thin part above the bridge is 1-3/8". The solid area under the bridge is about ½" wider on each side of the bridge and ½"longer at the base of the bridge. The rim around the body is about ¾" thick.)

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holy crap...i want to do that to something sometime. x-rays are so much fun...

anywho...i am currently (for those of you that read posts and have been for a while) about to start my first project which i plan on making a "semi-hollow" body, which i guess is being called chambered now. i've always seen it as semi, but chambered does a better job describing it.

so i guess i'm the person that fits in to the niche: hasn't even built a first guitar yet, but wants to find some way to contribute

now...during my building process, i think i am going to attempt to do the "multiple steps of routing" that was spoken of earlier. the way i see it, it's my first guitar so it'll probably suck anyway, and this way, i can learn something out of it for the "project guitar world." (maybe even earn a VIP badge!)

so, once i get some measurements secured, i'll be beginning this expiriment, as well as updating another page with my pictures so everyone can see a: my progress on the guitar and b: my progress in the tests.

this is not to stop anyone else from doing anything. please, everyone, if you want to do this, DO NOT take my word as a scientist! i am an art student, for god's sake...i have no clue how anything in the "science" world really works. i just know it does, and it's really cool...

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