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So I'm building my first resonator, it will be a 4 string baritone.  30" scale, tuned BEAD.  Looks like I'm going to use one of Old Lowe's 9" resonators w/ a biscuit.

The thing I'm wondering is what to build the body out of?  I'd love for it to sound as bass-y as possible, so that's making me think wood.  Does anyone know what types of wood and what thicknesses I should be angling for here?

Also, I live with 3 welders (am learning a bit myself), and a metal box would be more portable when travelling...but I'd lose a ton of the bass sound there, right?  Hmm, desisions.  Maybe I will have to build two.

Tags: baritone, body, metal, resonator, wood

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Replies to This Discussion

hello just stopped by ta put in my opinion,first thing is i think that the depth of the box is how to determine the amount of bass response,and i would say you can get better bass response from a wood box.if ya gonna use the monster cone from old lowe you prolly gonna need a good size box,but in all fairness if i had the means and i was in your position i would build 2 of them one wood and one metal. also for the best bass response the box should be sealed completely inside with no vibrations to escape except through the top soundboard. just a few ideas for ya to consider. if any other ideas crosses my mind i,ll try to return with them for your consideration.
Makes sense. I'm expecting the box to be a good might bigger than most of the CBGs I'm seing around here. ;)

When you say the box should be sealed completely, 'cept the soundboard, are you saying that it shouldn't have the little soundholes in the top, even? Just trap that sound in there completely? Or are you saying that there just shouldn't be any holes in the sides and back, like a door that opens up?

And that's making me think that maybe the sides and back should probably be thicker or heavier wood than the soundboard, as well?
what i was trying to say was about sealing the back and sides completely from the inside,like run a bead of some type of silicone along the edges on the inner walls where the back is attached to the sides(kinda like in a clear glass aquarium) and then all the sound vibrations will go to the top so the pressure inside the box is escaping from the sound holes in the top only. i think a baritone type vibration will be more pure with a box that is sealed well and you will get a better tone that way. just trying to help with a few suggestions that might be worth considering during construction of the build. the sealed box theory comes to me from 2 different nephews of mine that are audio sound specialist that have skills on a level that are beyond most. on another thought about the metal box use,you will be amazed at the tone you would receive from a metal box,and the thing about that is you can change the tone more easily with metal by using dampeners if necessary if you feel like the tone is too bright. if you would use dampeners in a metal box they should be placed in an area that vibrates more freely like for example direct center of inside back.the dampeners can be made from any type material like a wood block for example.you would get different results from different size blocks say for instance if you used a 1inx1in. block compared to a 3in.x3in. block, the 1in.x1in. block might be exactly enough to change the tone to what you like as compared to the 3in.x3in. block might be to much dampening to muddy up the tone too much for your taste. its all about scientific changes in the design that makes a difference in the end result, and also about thinking of possible theories that could make a difference before you execute them. i am always trying different things,just to find out what the end result might be. hope some of this is helpful for you to get good results.
Thanks much for the clarification. The block swapping idea is pure genius. All of a sudden I'm mighty thankful that Ted pointed this clubhouse out to me. :)
Also just found a useful way to calculate the resonant frequency of an air chamber, to help me determine what dimensions to make the boxes to get more bass out of them:


Thought other folks might find this useful, too. So I'm thinking that adding tubes under the sound holes will drop the pitch of the overall tone of the instrument without dampening or muddying the sound. Basically making bass-reflex ports instead of the normal sound holes.

Here's a link to a webpage that can do the math for you:
Cavity Wave Calculator

For the T=___C part in the calculator, it's asking for the temperature in °C. Plugging in T=20C gives you the speed of sound at 68°F, roughly "room" temperature.

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