Why violin-makers adopted the f-shaped hole

@jlw @beschizza the link on http://boingboing.net/2015/03/09/why-violin-makers-adopted-the.html to the BBS is broken, plus I cannot find a discussion thread for it.

hmm, I’m glad you posted since I wouldn’t have found the permalink since I browse from BBS.

welp, guess this makes this the official comment thread, so here’s my official comment:

does this mean my woofers should use F-shaped cutouts for the ports? that would look really classy and high-end, eh?

1 Like

I agree it would look fab, but I suspect sonically it would be a waste. The driver for the sound of the instrument is going to be a squared relationship to the size of the tone producer. What I am trying to say is as the size of say the tone wood (or speaker) increases the less of an impact the tone hole (f shape or ports) has on overall quality.

So perhaps for smaller tweeters it could potentially be neat, but 20-160 hertz my gut says you wouldn’t hear a difference.

Buy I am all for doing some A/B testing, if Wilco on vinyl is involved :slight_smile:

1 Like

Ug, f hole porn. I’ll grab some violin pics in a moment, but these guitars make me weak kneed.

Edit: I would do unspeakable crimes for that dangelico.

hmm, yet the shape is used for bass fiddles–needless mimicry?

I’m wondering if the cone/electromagnet pumping the air in/out of a speaker renders the shape moot (or optimizes a round shape) versus the more stagnant musical instrument favoring the F-shape.

pretty interesting how the luthiers (sp?) derived the optimal shape over the centuries, though.

It is an interesting question, and one I wish more people like Benade could answer. When it comes to larger instruments the quality and amount of tone is more greatly influenced by the tone boards than the hole shape. Not to say shape and location isn’t important–far from that–but it is a point of diminishing return.

With speakers the tone is measured by the round driver, so with regards to ports they may add “color”, but it is usually easier to control differences when the sonic paths are the same.

That said I may build a few f hole speakers, just for fun. They would look awesome.

1 Like

I am a total nerd about this, so here are one ouc of a cremona violen and two hardangers (which have the sympathetic strings in the last photo). Cremona have more ‘power’, largely more dynamic range. But the hardangers are more ‘interesting’.

99.9% of the time this is because the author does not have a bbs account, or the bbs account is not in the authors group, or the Wordpress name does not match their bbs account. Not sure which is true for Clive… @beschizza ?

I’ll check it out!

Right … my mountain dulcimer has f-holes. But the more traditional dulcimers have two pairs of heart-shaped holes, or heart-shapes superimposed on an f … most dulcimer players aver that it’s the gross volume of the instrument that affects the volume of the sound, and that the important vibratory surface is the back, not the top. I’d like to see these guys tackle a traditional instrument versus my more modern Folkcraft.

I’ve one of these in my family.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed after 709 days. New replies are no longer allowed.