Q. What is the difference in sound between the oval hole guitars and the d-hole guitars?
A. With an oval hole all the air movement generated by vibration is channeled through a relatively small opening resulting in the top functioning somewhat like a drum head. The energy is focused into a stream of air through the small opening. One of the intentions achieved with this design is excellent directional projection. Though oval hole models often don’t sound as loud as D holes to the player, they are usually just as, or even more audible to the audience.
The characteristic bright focused petite bouche sound also has a lot to do with the smaller opening withholding some of the lower frequencies, as well as many of the overtones. The net effect is a focused punch and refined assertiveness.
The beloved gaping maw on a D hole allows the body and top to function more like a bell than a drum head. Most of the frequencies and overtones generated by vibration cascade out of the mouth, resulting in the characteristic rich and hearty sound. Ample bass response provides a touch more thud and sustain, and the more abundant escaping overtones impart a delightful raunchiness.
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