Vibro-electric transfer path analysis of a solid body electric guitar

Elliott, AS ORCID:, Magill, J and Kendrick, P ORCID: 2018, Vibro-electric transfer path analysis of a solid body electric guitar , in: Acoustics 2018, 23-24 April 2018, Cardiff, Wales.

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Solid bodied electric guitars typically employ one or more magnetic pickups attached to the guitar body in close proximity to the guitar strings. At low frequencies the amplitude of the vibrating string is typically far greater than vibrations transmitted through the guitar body and it is likely therefore that the output current is largely dominated by the string vibrations with little contribution from the guitar body itself. However, musicians often describe subjective differences between instruments made from different body materials, with mahogany often being cited as sounding ‘warm’ for example. Described in the presentation is a method that has been used to determine the contribution to the guitar signal from just the guitar body itself so as to estimate at what frequencies the guitar body may make a significant contribution to a guitar’s ‘tone’ if any. The method is similar to the approach used to diagnose structure borne noise problems in vehicles and aircraft known as transfer path analysis. However, instead of determining forces and their contribution to vehicle interior sound pressure, we determine the forces applied to a guitar body through the bridge and nut together with their contributions to the guitar output signal. In this way the contribution of the string and the guitar body can be found independently and compared to the guitars total output signal. Preliminary experimental findings from a vibro-electric transfer path analysis of a Gibson Les Paul type guitar are presented.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: Proceedings ISBN: 978-1-906913-29-8
Schools: Schools > School of Computing, Science and Engineering
Journal or Publication Title: Institute of Acoustics Proceedings
Publisher: Institute of Acoustics
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Dr Andrew Elliott
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2019 14:02
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 18:56

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