Quantifying Acoustical Properties of Tone-Woods as Related to Stringed Instruments

Dr. Gary Mahoney, Timothy Holman, Jayme Spaugh, Billy Edwards, William Haizlett


During the summer of 2007 our team of one professor and four undergraduate students from Berea College in Berea, Kentucky worked together to try to better understand the acoustical properties of stringed instruments and the ways in which they are tested. Through our work with the three most common testing methods, Chladni testing, deflection tuning, and tap tuning, we sought to produce quantifiable data which could be used to search for correlations between these three testing methods. To do this we first built test equipment and then built a total of six acoustic guitars which we tested throughout every step of the construction process. We have set up this site so that anyone can pull up the test result pages side by side and be able to easily compare and contrast the results of each test method at each step of construction. We are currently working on running the same tests on a pair of jumbo guitars and will post the results from those test shortly.