Feedback solutions for hollowbodies???

(5 posts)
  1. anjroo.burg
    Member

    I've been playing a small hollow-body for about 6 years and I still haven't figured out how to completely eliminate feedback. I love the tone I get out of it, and I've been trying to figure out a way to run it through some light distortion and effects without any feedback. I can get a great tone at lower volumes, but when I crank it up, it feeds back like crazy. The only partial solution has been shoving wool socks in the f-holes, but this messes with the tone of the guitar. Any solutions guys? (besides standing position and socks)

    If you happen to read this, Kurt---have you had any feedback issues with your full-size Moffa, or other hollow-bodies? Any solutions?

    -A

  2. egav
    Member

    What kind of guitar is it? Do you have a floating pickup on it, or is it sunken in, and if sunken in, are there one or two pickups?
    Floating pickups provides no "grip" on the top plate, therefore it will vibrate like crazy when you hit the right frequency and cause insane feedback. Sunken in sort of "grips" the plate and allows it to vibrate less, and with two of those feedback will hardly be a problem.

    There's many solutions for this. My own is just to get to know my amp and my guitar. After a lot of tinkering, I have a setting that produces no feedback whatsoever. I use a fully acoustic archtop with a floater. The key is to know how to level the bass in the amp with the low end sound your guitar produces acoustically. It seems to me that bass frequencies are the bigger problem in feedbacking for archtops.

    Other solutions, which I would not spend the money on, is to cover up the holes on the guitar. There are professional foam plugs (I believe Doug's Plugs) that will charge you somewhere around 60 bucks for a pair. You can make your own though with rubber foam. You can also just tape up the holes.
    Another more costly option is to get your guitar to a luthier to place something under the wood, between the plates, to keep the plates from vibrating. Different luthiers have their own methods, some place a thick block in there, some place a long, but thin block under the top plate. It's more costy, and it takes away from the acoustic sound of the instrument. I am personally getting a new guitar for more electric stuff, still a carved top archtop, but it's gonna have a huge block in there, plus sunken pickups.

    Some people might argue on positioning as well. I don't believe positioning is much of an issue in feedback though. If you're playing you should be able to move freely, and not be limited by feedback issues if you move an inch too much to the left or whatever. That's why I think amp settings go above all, because there will always be a setting where you will sound good, and not feedback.

    Magical rainbow ponies
  3. jorgemg1984
    Member

    I basically agree with almost everything egav said. I think the f-plugs are a nice solution because they are easily removable; Kurt used them in his Moffa - but they do slightly change the sound.

    A friend of mine, a designer, just designed the plugs for me in a software and I went to a CNC store with the files and some foam and balsa and they made me the f-holes - one that fits the hole and the other slightly larger. My luthier glued them together and it's perfect.

    Another solution - get a pedal with a notch control, which basically removes the offending frequency. Any pedal builder can make you one, you can even ask for a two notch pedal for the extreme situations. This is the solution that keeps your original tone more preserved.

  4. Basile865
    Member

    I have been struggling with this as well - I have a gretsch 5122 double cutaway which is a beautiful guitar - and relatively inexpensive, but it has the same issue. It will feedback wildly to where you can feel the whole guitar vibrating like its going to explode - lol

    For me - although its not the cheapest route - I have come to accept that specific guitar in itself as a tool for certain things. I actually primarily use my american strat for that very reason. Its like trying to use a flat head screw driver for all screws. Yes it will turn a phillips head but its not ideal.

    I would say ultimately - keep the guitar - and love it for what it is - but get something semi hollow, or solid to allow you to play at louder volumes and experiment with different tones. I talked to a good friend who builds guitars for a living about what could be done to "save" this gretsch. He said its just the nature of a hollow body guitar - keep it and enjoy it for what it is or sell it to find something that suites your needs better.

  5. anjroo.burg
    Member

    Thanks for all the FEEDBACK guys! (sorry I had to say it haha) It's a Foster 7-String 15-inch Basin Street model. I'm just gonna drop some cash on Doug's Plugs, because if I can get her as versatile as a semi-hollow it will make my life complete. Thanks again for all the replies.

    Peace,

    -A


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