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November 15, 2005 | It's in the Hole Pt. 2
More on the difference between Oval Hole and F Hole instruments from the always articulate Niles Hokkanen. This subject was first brought up in this archive of Tips and Tricks: "It's in the Hole."
"From my own experience, oval-hole instruments will give you a wider spectrum of tone quality. A lot of people prefer F-hole instruments because they are so tonally consistent. You play soft - you get a certain sound at low volume; you play harder - you get the same sound/tone at a higher volume.
On ovals, when you play with a hard attack, you end up getting a different tone quality (as well as increased volume) than you do when playing more softly. I find that I have to work a lot harder to pull the type of dynamics and sounds I want out of an F-hole instrument as opposed to an oval-hole. Plus there are the matters of sustain and having a more powerful bottom end. I can get closer to an electric guitar attack on a round-hole instrument. (And having a metal bridge saddle gives you and edge on this additionally.) And use steel strings instead of bronze - more bite."
Niles is both master and innovator of all things Mando, a true Renaissance Man.
Check out his Mandocrucian Catalog, or better, take advantage of one of his many clinics.
Posted by Ted at November 15, 2005 3:07 PM
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