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Old 04-18-2013, 11:08 AM   #1
FrauVfromPoB
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The shape of semi-hollow guitars - How much does it matter?

Simple question, complex answer? I have a semi-hollow that I love. It's body cavity is pretty rounded. Most semi-hollows are. I'm going to be building another guitar over the summer. I want to make a weird, flashy-shaped guitar, like an Explorer or something. But I also want to try my hand at a semi-hollow. It's obviously not impossible to make a semi-hollow Explorer, so I guess what I'm wondering is, how terrible will it sound? Does the shape of the cavity have a significant effect on resonance? I feel like an acoustic Explorer would sound like butts, but would it be noticeable on a semi-hollow electric?

EDIT: I've heard Devin Townsend was working with Peavey to make a huge-winged semi-hollow V. Would I have to make a giant Explorer?
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:18 AM   #2
gregs1020
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why do you think it would sound bad?

it's a great idea, do it.

just make it normal sized. the prs se hollowbody doesn't sound bad, why would the explorer?
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:48 AM   #3
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Warmoth used to make a heavily chamebered Explorer, try asking on their forums if any owners of one can tell you what the sound is like.

Bear in mind that construction alone is not the only contributing factor to tone and tone quality is entirely subjective. Nobody can really tell you what your guitar will end up sounding like and whether you would like it or not.
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:18 PM   #4
FrauVfromPoB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregs1020
why do you think it would sound bad?

it's a great idea, do it.

just make it normal sized. the prs se hollowbody doesn't sound bad, why would the explorer?


That's true about the PRS. The reason I thought it might sound bad is because semi-hollows are made with the intention of emulating some of the qualities of acoustic guitars. Acoustics have, almost invariably, large rounded bodies and have been that way for centuries. There must be a reason for that. I assumed such a shape would provide the best sound.

EDIT: But yeah, I might give it a go. If I hate it I can always pack it so god damn full of wood filler that I start sweating Elmer's products.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lewis Lightfoot
I opened the door and went round and round and I banged my head and then my arm fell off.

Last edited by FrauVfromPoB : 04-18-2013 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:29 PM   #5
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If you have a solid center block, what's on the wings will have an extremely minimal effect on the sound of the plugged-in instrument. I have built hollow, and semi-hollow and solid instruments and argue that scale length and pickups account for almost all of you tonal differences in the latter two styles. Go for it.
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:12 PM   #6
dannyalcatraz
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Shape matters more to acoustic than semihollows or hollowbodies- see the Dean acoustic V.

Which is why there are things like this:

http://www.daddy-mojo.com/
http://reddogguitars.com/
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:54 PM   #7
Acϵ♠
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrauVfromPoB
That's true about the PRS. The reason I thought it might sound bad is because semi-hollows are made with the intention of emulating some of the qualities of acoustic guitars. Acoustics have, almost invariably, large rounded bodies and have been that way for centuries. There must be a reason for that. I assumed such a shape would provide the best sound.

EDIT: But yeah, I might give it a go. If I hate it I can always pack it so god damn full of wood filler that I start sweating Elmer's products.



They are round because the sound waves are sustained for a greater amount of time when they are bouncing off of rounded walls onto other rounded walls. If you have a hollow or semi hollow body that has several sharply acute and obtuse angles like an explorer body, then certain frequencies would die out quicker due to being "trapped" in the corners. It would most likely be the higher frequencies which would fizzle out in a chamber with poor acoustics, which would ostensibly lead to the natural tone being muddy and unclear. Plugged in however it would hardly make a difference as there is equalization to compensate.

Still, a semi hollow or hollow flying V or explorer just wouldn't make sense from any standpoint other than a "just because" one.
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acϵ♠
Still, a semi hollow or hollow flying V or explorer just wouldn't make sense from any standpoint other than a "just because" one.


That's reason enough for me.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lewis Lightfoot
I opened the door and went round and round and I banged my head and then my arm fell off.
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:54 PM   #9
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Do eet. I actually really want to see this, it'd be kind of awesome, especially if you were going to use it in a jazz group
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Old 04-19-2013, 03:25 PM   #10
FrauVfromPoB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dementiacaptain
Do eet. I actually really want to see this, it'd be kind of awesome, especially if you were going to use it in a jazz group


If it comes out ok, I very well might. I'm in my university's jazz guitar program, so I'll at least have school performances that I can use it in. Also it's probably going to be lime green, because **** the jazz police.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lewis Lightfoot
I opened the door and went round and round and I banged my head and then my arm fell off.
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Old 04-19-2013, 07:43 PM   #11
dannyalcatraz
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Lime green...with pink tiger stripes (or skull & crossbones), if you really want to screw with them.
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Old 04-20-2013, 10:19 AM   #12
gregs1020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrauVfromPoB
it's probably going to be lime green, because **** the jazz police.

that works for jazz if you wear a bright purple suit, sun glasses and a big purple hat with a huge feather.

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