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  1. #1

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    This is a weird one

    i really like the look of archtops with “thinner”/skinny f-holes

    to me, Gibsons look too thick to me

    which electric builders have a thinner style f-hole?

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  3. #2

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    Start with Collings to see the right way to do it.

    F-hole design is one of my pet peeves in guitar design, and IMO most makers get it wrong, sometimes tragically so.

  4. #3

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    Moffa Mithra

  5. #4

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    Eastmans have very "thin" elegant looking f-holes.

  6. #5
    I should have been more specific

    I’m looking to hopefully purchase next year, so the Collings is unfortunately out

    specifically looking for a 17” cutaway electric, under $5k

  7. #6
    Maybe this is off topic, but the F holes do serve a functional purpose before the appearance. They determine the air resonance of the guitar body, one of the factours that plays into the projected sound of the instrument acoustically. Jimmy D'Aquisto made a real study of this, violin makers have long observed technical specs that control the balance of arch height, length, waist dimension, plate thickness and resonance and the frequency of the helmholtz air resonance inside the body of the instruments that plays into bass frequency response especially. While aesthetics is what is apparent in the beauty of the guitar, the F holes have a lot to do with establishing a balanced sound in the way the guitar projects and sounds.
    For a luthier, form follows function.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by tfling
    I should have been more specific
    I’m looking to hopefully purchase next year, so the Collings is unfortunately out
    specifically looking for a 17” cutaway electric, under $5k
    "Under $5k" means a lot of things, but there are plenty of choices up to $5k, so it's down to getting one with f-holes that appeal to you. Are you OK with purchasing a used instrument? Carved top? Laminated? Rim depth? Style of pickup or pickups? Any other criteria?

  9. #8
    I’m totally ok Purchasing used, this guitar will be for electric playing only, strung with Thomastik flatwounds

    I have a really great Sequel Tribute amp and am looking for the perfect guitar to “match” it for a 50s smoky type of sound

  10. #9

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    I always thought the Super 400 f-holes were kinda slender, especially considering its size.

    Odd question - electric archtops with “thin” f-holes?-super400-jpg

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by blue_lu
    Moffa Mithra
    ???


  12. #11

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    Here's my plug for Stephen Holst. You can have Stephen build you a carved top archtop with your desired style of f-holes for under $5000.

    archtop guitar luthier Stephen Holst

  13. #12

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    I understand you! Cheaper Asian guitars come with f-holes that are way too wide! (The 12-year old in me giggles about this sentence....). Can totally ruin the look of a guitar imho....

    Norlin-era Gibson also gave wider f-holes, but in general I find Gibson’s f-holes okay. (More giggles by the the 12-year old....).

  14. #13

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    If it’s an electric with really slender F-holes, pray that there’s no problem with the electronics, or it’ll be hell to fix...


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  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by xavierbarcelo
    If it’s an electric with really slender F-holes, pray that there’s no problem with the electronics, or it’ll be hell to fix...


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    You can work much more comfortably through the pickup cutouts.....

    I had to with this guitar:


    (Painted on f-holes :-D)

  16. #15

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    I suppose. Lately I’m using floaters and top mounts, so admittedly it didn’t occur to me that there was an easy way Odd question - electric archtops with “thin” f-holes?Odd question - electric archtops with “thin” f-holes?Odd question - electric archtops with “thin” f-holes?Odd question - electric archtops with “thin” f-holes?Odd question - electric archtops with “thin” f-holes?


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  17. #16
    Now in the guitar building world, we also have issues with the drilled peg openings at the end block of the guitar. Being of no set standard, too big and the end strap pin doesn't fit in. Too small and you can't get an electronic jack to fit.
    They create their own resonance and the great violin builders of Cremona used to tap tune the end pin opening to a 440 "A" resonance. It was thought that this would be the key to creating a strong projecting tone. But when opened up too much it would be overwhelming and obnoxious.
    It's said that when a violin had an endpin aperture that was too large, ensemble players would give the player a sidelong glance and mutter "What an A hole!"

  18. #17

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    Certain Godins have eccentric, if not somewhat irritatingly slender, scrolly and violin-like 'F' holes. Puts me right off. Worse than that, some makers seem to perch vol/tone controls right on the edge of the hole looking precarious, but with no thought for aesthetics. Wierd.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy blue note
    Maybe this is off topic, but the F holes do serve a functional purpose before the appearance. They determine the air resonance of the guitar body, one of the factours that plays into the projected sound of the instrument acoustically. Jimmy D'Aquisto made a real study of this, violin makers have long observed technical specs that control the balance of arch height, length, waist dimension, plate thickness and resonance and the frequency of the helmholtz air resonance inside the body of the instruments that plays into bass frequency response especially. While aesthetics is what is apparent in the beauty of the guitar, the F holes have a lot to do with establishing a balanced sound in the way the guitar projects and sounds.
    For a luthier, form follows function.
    It is true that the f-holes combine with the internal volume to determine the Helmholtz resonance which, in turn, controls the bass response but it is the total length of the perimeter of the f-holes that is the determining factor so there is plenty of leeway for making them wider or narrower. It also seems that the f shape is optimum for a given sound projection from the soundholes with minimum removal of wood from the top. This is perhaps more important in the violin than in the much larger guitar.

    https://royalsocietypublishing.org/d...rspa.2014.0905

  20. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by aquin43
    It is true that the f-holes combine with the internal volume to determine the Helmholtz resonance which, in turn, controls the bass response but it is the total length of the perimeter of the f-holes that is the determining factor so there is plenty of leeway for making them wider or narrower. It also seems that the f shape is optimum for a given sound projection from the soundholes with minimum removal of wood from the top. This is perhaps more important in the violin than in the much larger guitar.

    https://royalsocietypublishing.org/d...rspa.2014.0905
    The points on the "f" also help to align the bridge on a violin and violin family instrument. On an electric instrument, my own experience is Make them big enough to get pots and electrical harnesses through easy. PLEASE!

  21. #20

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    I like the look of narrow f-holes as seen on 30's Gibson archtops -- from an aesthetics sense I prefer thinner to fatter f-holes. But the question here is about electric archtops and most 30's archtops were acoustic instruments (or like the Gibson ES-150 or ES-250 modified acoustic guitars built to accommodate the newfangled electric pickups.) Those early electric guitar days were interesting times with builders trying all sorts of different configurations for knobs, input jacks, pickup locations and build configurations (carved top vs laminate top) to figure out what worked best. In time, things became more normalized as far as knob and input jack locations and I think deciding to build with fatter f-holes for electric archtops may have been part of this assessment -- as jimmy blue note says to make it easier to access pots and wiring harness.

    With that said, I haven't noticed any real discernible tone or volume difference on an acoustic archtop due to thinner or fatter f-holes. So me... I like the thinner old-school look. As for an electric guitar, I think it makes even less difference.
    Last edited by archtopeddy; 11-23-2020 at 02:27 PM.

  22. #21

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    What the F were they thinking with this one...

    Love it though!

    Odd question - electric archtops with “thin” f-holes?-fdcc3347-d6e3-4305-8607-95c782c5cb9a-jpeg

  23. #22

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    I like these:

    Odd question - electric archtops with “thin” f-holes?-holst-orange-ish-jpg


    @tfling -- with your budget, you can order any skinny holes you want!

    Let us know what you find!

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles
    ???

    Love that!

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some F-holes work for some guitars, not others.

    The larger F-holes in the Epi 175 for instance bug me.

    As a woodworker I know that sometimes it’s a game of mm. Some things just look right at an exact size. All subjective of course.

    Personally I’m not a fan of non-standard F-holes such as cat’s eyes. I like my jazz boxes to look like jazz boxes to the average Joe. But even then I’m sure I’d find something I liked with weird holes.

  25. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by marcwhy
    I like these:

    Odd question - electric archtops with “thin” f-holes?-holst-orange-ish-jpg


    @tfling -- with your budget, you can order any skinny holes you want!

    Let us know what you find!
    that is quite beautiful, who makes this? I’d love to hear more about it

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by tfling
    that is quite beautiful, who makes this? I’d love to hear more about it
    As a woodworker I love the wood grain of course and use of wood accents. I even like the f-holes.

    JMO the orangish stain on the body doesn’t work so well with the ebony tailpiece and zebra wood (I think) pickguard. A blonde finish would have been perfect for this combo.

    If I liked the orange finish I would go with an ebony or plastic or other uniformly dark pickguard.