Gerber Guitar: African Blackwood SJ cutaway
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This guitar is the second generation of my sound paddle prototype. (the first version is listed below). As you can see in the pictures, there is both a standard soundhole in the top, as well as a full side sound port. The guitar is made to be able to played in four different configurations. Both the side sound port door, and the sound paddle are easily removed or installed by hand, with no tools.
- Soundhole open and side sound port closed. With the side sound port sealed off, it becomes a traditional steel string guitar. The tonal characteristics are what you would expect to hear on a similar Gerber SJ with the same tonewoods.
- Soundhole closed and side sound port open. This setting provides an experience that is much different from a traditional guitar. People who are familiar with Tom Bills guitars, know what playing a closed front guitar is like. The volume produced by the side sound port goes directly to the listener, and creates a very full, rich sound. It is strikingly different from setting 1, or any other traditional guitar. This is my personal favorite.
- Soundhole open and side sound port open. This provides a little extra volume, and a very open, aggressive presence. Similar to configuration number 2, with just a little extra oomph.
- Soundhole closed and side sound port closed. I have not yet had the chance to test this, but in theory this setting would be ideal for live situations, similar to using a soundhole plug on a traditional guitar.