Organic Soundports

Guitars by Grant Goltz of Hackensack, MN
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whitespruce
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Re: Organic Soundports

Post by whitespruce » Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:26 pm

Well, I still need to get a few up to date photos, but first a few observations, questions, and solicitations for opinions.

This one has been played a bit by a number of folks and it just sticks in their hands. Some just keep playing it and smile and a few offer comments. As I mentioned in another thread, Garnet Rogers was "gobsmacked" by the sound, especially farther up the neck. To me, it obviously sounds different than my others when I play it, but I cannot describe what I hear. A week or so ago, my Grandson, Ben, was down for a day and he played it a bunch. This was the first time I actually listened closely. He commented on the sound up past the middle of the neck, and was getting kinda blown away. So I had him play 3 other of my guitars for comparison. These 3 are really good sounding, and sounded fairly comparable to the organic soundport guitar. ?But, up the neck, they all lost a bit. We spent most of the afternoon playing and listening.

There is something in this guitar that really stands out in the upper frets, all the way to the body. There is an awesome brilliance to the notes and a very clear balanced sound that I cannot put into words. The question I have is what in the hell is responsible? Cuz I want to do it again.

OK, the body is cocobolo rosewood and the top is white spruce. Ben played another guitar with that combination and not even close. The bracing is identical to my other guitars. Are the holes in the body doing any of this? Can't be the knots in the top :lol: What about the frets...bar frets made of copper. If that is a factor, is it the copper or just being bar frets with much more mass than regular frets?

Any thoughts or suggestions out there?

I have some nickel silver bar fret stock, so I am going to try that in one of my partly finished guitars. Guess I am groping for some answers short of experimenting on a whole pile of guitars.

Help :?

G

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Re: Organic Soundports

Post by BRuddy » Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:41 pm

Hey Grant

I'm certainly no - know-it-all in the guitar world especially stacked up to the likes of you, but when I read your post something came to mind.

So for what it's worth. And as you know. Bigger boards of the same size and thickness resonate naturally at a lower pitch than than smaller ones. (Knock on wood :lol: ) Thinner boards of the same size as thicker boards also resonate at a lower pitch.

So I'd consider that the "smaller boards" defined by the variety of natural organic splits in this guitar might be responding to higher frequency stimulation up the neck. Maybe leading to better high note response????

So it might have nothing to do with frets.

Just my mind meandering 2 cents.

Brian
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Re: Organic Soundports

Post by Dennis Leahy » Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:46 pm

Hi Grant,

May I suggest a "test rig" of some sort that has several identical strings, tuned identically (such as a 6-string neck with 2 high E strings and 2 B strings, (eb eb)

that, and fret a few upper frets with bar stock sort of halfway across the fingerboard, to get one of the E and one of the E strings on each type of bar stock/wire. Maybe fret a few other fret slots with regular fret wire. Use a regular body (luckily, your necks come right off!) and just use a partially completed neck and some scrap fingerboard material (because it will be slotted funny.) Once you make the determination if it is indeed the bar fret stock, or in particular the copper bar fret stock, you can heat the test fingerboard off the neck and will not have harmed any other parts.

In other words, trying to get as close to a direct comparison as possible, eliminating everything but the fret wire/bar stock.

When I saw Garnet in Duluth, he remarked that he was blown away at the sound of that guitar on the upper frets. :~)

Dennis
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Re: Organic Soundports

Post by BRuddy » Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:53 am

One other thought. Last week surfing guitar building youtube videos I ran across a factory vid that casually mentioned - "bigger sound holes favor treble and smaller favor bass". Seemed backward to what I would have expected would be the case so the thought stuck with me. Could it be the cumulative "organic soundport" openings?

The video didn't explain the statement unfortunately.

Too bad I'm not a guitar player - I have a new classical on the bench destined to have a sound port cut in the upper bass bout by the weekend. It would be a perfect test bed.
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Re: Organic Soundports

Post by whitespruce » Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:20 am

Thanks Brian and Dennis for the thoughtful comments. Ya, lots of possibilities.

Dennis, thanks for reminding me that my necks come off. One often overlooks the obvious. So is it something in the body or in the neck. Well, for starters, I can just make one of my "regular necks" and swap it onto the OS guitar :dohh: And I can also swap the OS neck onto a "regular" guitar body :idea: That may well isolate the location of the effect. That should put me part way down the road without having to build a bunch of guitars.

Please keep in mind that I am not "tooting my own horn" over the sound of this guitar, because it is nothing that I actually planned, just a total accident. But Garnet's reaction really said something to me. He is a very accomplished player who can, and has, played almost anything with strings on it. He owns about 200 guitars and is constantly trying others when the opportunity presents itself. For him to say that he has never heard a guitar with this sound is a very significant statement. What I want to figure out is how in hell did this happen so I, and any of you, can do it again.

G

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Re: Organic Soundports

Post by gilmoreguitars » Fri Jan 17, 2014 5:20 pm

I have never used "bar" frets. I am thinking that that may be where your difference lies.
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Re: Organic Soundports

Post by Pat Foster » Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:31 am

My money is on the bar frets. Those necks feel different. They're heavier, and with the kind of contact the frets have with the fretboard, I'd bet the mass of the neck has a closer acoustic coupling between the string and the fretboard. It might also be stiffer( because of that manner of contact between the fret and fretboard), which would definitely have an effect. Grant, you've built with bar frets before. Did you notice a difference in those guitars?

Does it have the neck stiffener setup? I've found that old t-bar Martins sound different up the neck compared to those with truss rods.

One thing you could do with the necks off is to compare their resonant frequencies. Dangle the neck from the nut end where the neck width flares out from the shaft to the headstock and tap at various places along the neck. The resonant frequency will be the loudest low one, and compare it with another neck. Not conclusive, but provides more questions for the guessing game.

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