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How chambered is too chambered?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:06 am
by Brian Evans
I am thinking of making a chambered solid body telecaster style guitar. I have some fairly figured maple that I was thinking of using for the body, with some outrageous something or other for the top cap. The maple body would be one piece, and so would be pretty heavy so I was planning to chamber it out. What I don't know is how much can you take away before it starts to sound silly when done? My initial thought was to make it pretty hollow except for around the neck mount, and under the bridge, with a .25"-ish cap. I was even thinking of adding an F-hole like a Thinline.

Thanks for your thoughts...

Brian

Re: How chambered is too chambered?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:53 am
by Gordon Bellerose
Whenever I chamber a solid body, I try to place the chambers near the top of the body. From the top horn to just behind the sound hole, on the upper half, and from the bottom horn almost to the control cavity.
The reason I do this is balance. When you take weight out of the body, the neck becomes heavy in comparison. Neck dive is something I dislike intensely.
I try to leave as much wood in the heel of the body as possible.

Re: How chambered is too chambered?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:30 pm
by Freeman Keller
I have built two les paul clones, identical mahogany bodies, same pups, geometry, etc. The only difference is that one has a maple cap and one has a Spanish cedar cap (not really a cedar but in the mahogany family).

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Oh, and one is chambered and one is not.

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One evening we played them side by side, same amp, settings, pick, players, room, yadda yadda, and there is definitely a difference (however it is hard to put into words). If anything the chambered one is a little more "lush" or "complex" or something, and we felt that maybe it had a little less sustain. Note that the chambered guitars does not have f- or other holes, and of course it feels considerably lighter (slightly over a pound).

So, in my opinion, its worth doing and I'll look forward to your comments

Re: How chambered is too chambered?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:10 pm
by Beate Ritzert
Actually You'll need sufficiently large blocks to hold the neck and the bridge. These can be connected by two bars of 8-10 mm width over the full height of the body outside the pickups. This will be sufficient to give the body strength.
Even without sound holes the sound will be more "acoustic"; attack and decay will more and more resemble an archtop the closer You'll come to one.

Which means that You can make a "chambered" "solid" body with a nice acoustical touch by setting up a stiff internal frame which only needs to be massive underneath the bridge. You can even try to save wood by using a bottom plates and rims intended for acoustic guitars instead of routing 95% of the wood into dust.

Re: How chambered is too chambered?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:02 am
by Jason Rodgers
What Gordon said. You could do this incrementally. Make a simple chambering template (leave a 3-4 inch strip up the middle, with some sort of hollows on the sides) and plow out 1/8" at a time with the router. Check the balance, and make sure it's a little heavier in the tail. Weigh it, with the top cap, and have some sort of target weight in mind. Maybe shoot for 5lbs or just under. With a maple body core, it's probably going to sound pretty bright, and I don't know how much the chambering will mellow that.

Re: How chambered is too chambered?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:47 pm
by Bob Francis
Search Guitar Factory Orlando and dig around a bit.
These guys built with Tobias and have a lot of endorsers.