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How Does Body Depth Affect Acoustic Guitar Tone?


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I've been checking out the specs of OOO/OM size acoustic guitars, major manufacturers, small builders, and luthiers and they have varying body depths: 3 1/2, 4'', 4 1/4 , 4 1/2, 4 5/8, 4 3/4. How do these differences in body depth affect the tone of an acoustic guitar? I suppose, how does body depth affect a guitars volume? Do you guys have a preference? If so, please, tell me why. Thank you.

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IME the deeper the body the better the bass, but it doesn't always translate into a louder instrument -- maybe a guitarron is a good example.

 

For volume -- and perhaps cutting volume -- I'd look for an instrument that really pushes the mids. It seems like gits that do that can really be heard.

 

Related and not entirely off topic (I hope) ... have you noticed how violins are super freekin' super loud? Tiny sized compared to guitars, but they just bury them in terms of volume and projection. Is this a midrange thing, or just a whole 'nother package of things?

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I find that the shallower bodies can have more immediate projection - maybe that's what's going on with violins. My Martin 00016 wasn't very deep, but it "shouted" when I played it, and this punchiness is what made it such a good fingerstyler. It had plenty of bass, which I always credited, at least partially, to the rosewood back.

 

So, as others have intimated, body depth affects bass and volume, but not necessarily in a predictable way. Like everything else, seldom is one variable the single determinant of a guitar's personality or sound. The one thing I've learned from this forum is that everything - wood type, body shape, body size, bracing, string gauge, pick thickness, saddle material - can (and often does) have an effect on tone. Given the infinite possible combinations of those variables, its hard to predict what any one of them might do for a particular guitar.

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IME the deeper the body the better the bass, but it doesn't always translate into a louder instrument -- maybe a guitarron is a good example.


For volume -- and perhaps cutting volume -- I'd look for an instrument that really pushes the mids. It seems like gits that do that can really be heard.


Related and not entirely off topic (I hope) ... have you noticed how violins are super freekin' super loud? Tiny sized compared to guitars, but they just bury them in terms of volume and projection. Is this a midrange thing, or just a whole 'nother package of things?

 

Wouldn't you squeal loudly if someone tried to friction burn your strings with rosin loaded horse hair? :eek:

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On 9/24/2009 at 5:38 AM, Stackabones said:

IME the deeper the body the better the bass, but it doesn't always translate into a louder instrument -- maybe a guitarron is a good example.

 

For volume -- and perhaps cutting volume -- I'd look for an instrument that really pushes the mids. It seems like gits that do that can really be heard.

 

Related and not entirely off topic (I hope) ... have you noticed how violins are super freekin' super loud? Tiny sized compared to guitars, but they just bury them in terms of volume and projection. Is this a midrange thing, or just a whole 'nother package of things?

Violins are louder because of frequency range they produce (mid focused) and the fact that while bowing the strings, you constantly apply energy to them instead of just plucking them once

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33 minutes ago, Grant Harding said:

I wonder what the marketing team calls this sort of thing? Tilling? Mining? ;)

 

The guy is posting from the Balkans - completely on his own. We had nothing to do with his post beyond approving him when he registered / signed up. 

And while he's replying to an eleven year old thread, he does make a valid point. :) 

 

 

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On 1/28/2020 at 5:31 AM, Pos said:

Violins are louder because of frequency range they produce (mid focused) and the fact that while bowing the strings, you constantly apply energy to them instead of just plucking them once

True. My son plays violin and has become rather good at it. Bowing is an art in itself to maintain an unwavering tone. But, yes, as long as the bow is in motion it's releasing energy into the string(s). One thing that's difficult to do is play softly. The bow has weight and it takes a very deft hand to know that weight and relieve it uniformly while in motion to throttle the energy to the strings. The compromise is to turn one's body sideways such that gravity is relieved proportionately.

Edited by Idunno
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