Trevor Gore - Designing Contemporary Acoustic Guitars
While opinions differ as to what forms a “perfect” acoustic guitar, one that is loud, has an even gradation of tone and timbre across all the frets and plays in tune to the evenly tempered scale is quite rare, and will be perceived as having a rather alluring sound. This lecture examines how a “perfect” guitar might be designed, starting with string vibrations and the forces they exert on the soundboard and the way the soundboard consequently behaves to radiate sound. It examines the design decisions that must be made to achieve a high mobility soundboard whilst simultaneously avoiding frequency bands of high admittance that would otherwise lead to “dead” notes and “wolf tones”. The coupling that takes place between guitar components is explored leading to an explanation of why some instruments seem impossible to tune. The paper concludes with a summary of the author’s rules used to design high performance acoustic guitars.