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My Weekend project - I ported my guitar!


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Don't worry...... I didn't do it to either of my Gibsons or my Taylor, but after playing a friends "Ported" guitar last year, I had wanted to do this to one of mine but certainly wasn't going to do it to a "Good" guitar myself. Last week, I picked up a 1979 Yamaha FG-331 in a trade deal. It sounded really good, especially for an all laminate guitar. I figured I had my guinnea pig guitar now and how bad could I screw up making a hole?

 

I chose a design that would be simple per instructions from Luthier Tim McKnight of McKnight guitars. He suggests an egg design. I googled Egg template and came up with several. I made several copies of different sizes and choose one that was good. I masked off my guitar with blue painters tape over the upper bout, drew my outline around my template and then went at the guitar with my drill. I stayed inside my line and drilled several small holes. I then made a bigger hole in the middle which gave me room with my handheld skill saw. I then cut the shape out moving carefully around the guitar as I sawed. Next up came sanding the edges into the final shape. I started with 80 grit, moved on to 100 grit and finished with 220 grit. Then I colored the inside wood with a black felt tip pin and finished it with a coating of superglue applied with a brush. While not a fully professional looking job, I was very happy with the results of my first "porting" project.

 

I can most certainly hear the guitar better as I play. The bass is louder and the overall tone of the guitar from my perspective above the hole is great! It made no difference to anyone listening to the playing, but to the player, the difference is amazing!

 

Here are a few photos I took of my newly ported Yammie Lammie!

 

YamahaSoundPort1.jpg

 

YamahaSoundPort2.jpg

 

YamahaSoundPort3.jpg

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would it be inappropriate to say " i like your hole'? lol. nice job. it looks professional. interesting the the bass response would find its way out at that point. thanks.

 

Hey Cunk......

 

I like your hole.............................................. (family)! There is a song about that I have heard somewhere before. Pretty funny!

 

I kind of assume the bass response is due to the close proximity of the bass strings to the hole and my ear. When I put one of my cloth diapers I use to wipe the guitars down with over the hole, it was a very noticble difference in volume and tone.

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I've always condsidered this to be essentially "trepanning" for guitars.

 

Those trepanned have occasionally claimed increased mental perception.

 

You're claiming increased sound projection.

 

Sounds logical to me.

 

:-

 

The increased sound projection, it should be noticed, is not to the listener, but to the player. Depending on your playing style will dictate where to place the hole. I play with my guitar on my lap or on a strap so the logical place was to put it where I have it. I can hear it well with my right ear as I play. If I played more in a "Neck-up" or classical style, the hole would be better closer to the neck. At least with a laminated guitar, I didn't worry as much about structure integrity. I just wanted to make sure not to cut into a brace or the interior kerfs.

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I remember when Larry (LJGuitar) on the AGF ported his Seagull. He was really pleased with the results too. It sure looks like you did a good job Paul. If I want to hear myself play I usually just sit on the edge of the bathtub and face the tiles LOL It's a bit inconvenient. ](*' date=') [/quote']

 

Larry's success is one of the reasons I did it. Matter of fact, when Larry was visiting his son in Minneapolis last year, he stopped by my house for a few hours to jam and talk guitars. He brought his Kronebauer which has a port that Michael Bashkin did for Larry. Hearing that made me want to do it, but not to any of my good guitars. If it wouldn't hurt the vintage value, my LG1 could benifit from a sound port, but I ain't gonna go there with it! :-

 

I can't imagine why either my Taylor 612C or my Gibson AJ would need one as both have a very 3 dimensional sound already that I can hear perfectly as I play and God forbid I need my AJ any louder to my ears!

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On the hole' date=' that looks like a good job.....has the sound changed from the "listener" side much? [/quote']

 

I had my wife listen as I played both with it open and then covered. She noticed no difference at all sitting across from me. When she came around and listened from behind me, (her head next to mine as I played) she could hear a significant difference, again though, only from the players perspective. There was no volume loss when she was in front of the guitar. A very worthwhile project for anyone with a beater. I really liked the Yamaha prior to doing this and only like it better now. So much so that I am thinking of replacing the soundhole pickup with a K & K mini and using this as a great DADGAD guitar.

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Paul....now that you've practiced on the in-expensive one......you ready for a Taylor or Gibson sound port? You know.....these ports are like a good Spruce top on a guitar' date=' they take a while to open up. Nothing like a good 20 year old port!~!!!![/quote']

 

 

Maybe a 20 year old port (wine) lol!

 

Like I mentioned above, both my Taylor and my AJ (and Mr. Gibs type guitars) most likely don't really need one, although I have played the Kronebauer with one that was awesome, the sound I get from both of them really is enough. The Yamaha, being an all laminate guitar, likely benifits more than those two would in that the sound now explodes out the hole to my ear which I really like. I am certain it would be a big improvement on what I hear from my LG1, which can be a bit on the muted side for a player, but I would never have the nerve to do that to a vintage Gibson. Vintage Yamahas are kind of a dime a dozen and I figured it couldn't hurt. I must say after I first finished cutting my "hole" with the drill and saw, I thought it looked like crap, but after sanding to my finished edge, I was very pleased with the outcome. I would highly recommend it for any and all laminate beaters. I will open up a new appreciation for the guitar. I would also recommend it for a luthier built custom guitar. I have seen several professional ones in photos and some are really beautiful and intricate in the design. One of my favorite is a dog paw print. With a dremel tool, I may have thought of trying that, but since I had crude tools, I picked an easy design.

 

Now I wonder how I could put an arm bevel on the lower bout? =P~[-X

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We were. Don't do this to your Gibson!

 

I most likely wouldn't but after playing the Yamaha a bunch more last night and then going straight to my LG1, I really noticed the decrease in volume from my playing perspective. Given the right persuasion and proper tools, (a real dremel and some fine edged saws, I might think of a real cool celtic type design for the LG1 someday. I never plan to sell it, it doesn't have the same vintage value as say an old J45 or Nick Lucas type model so why not? Hmmmmmm something to mull over for the next few years I guess.....

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