Just curious here.  I've noticed almost all CBGs have sound-holes anywhere but under the strings like a traditional guitar.  Why is that?  Is it because the actual "real-estate" of the cigarbox lid is too small or because the neck would be seen in the hole?  Or maybe a combination of all the above?


Bill W

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Most folks build neck-trough CBGs.

One answer is: Because there are no rules.

But that, doesn't really address your question.

Since most builders use a neck-through design, a big hole in the center of the box under the strings would be somewhat restricted for sound.

If you look at other builds you'll likely see a lot of "F" holes in the box top. These are not obstructed by the neck and I've found that they produce good acoustic volume.

Most CBGs are electric of some sort so acoustic holes are less critical than on a totally acoustic instrument. That is another reason you find holes almost anywhere on the box. They are less important on most builds.

So, put holes where ever you want. Rounds holes, F holes, whatever. In the end, I guess the "There are not rules." mantra holds up.

It’s because we put em’ where we want em’? No rules, “this is where I want it”approach. Lots of builders don’t like seeing the neck peaking through the sound hole, but you can paint the neck to camouflage it some? But purely out of preference? No rules do what you want, it’s yours :)

I always thought because of the different tones you get. Another reason why No Rules rules. Its like putting piezos on different spots inside the box, the different tones you get.

I have avoided the center hole because of the neck through design. But I have had good success with the acoustic builds concerning volume.

My latest build is strictly acoustic and the volume is amazing. The placement of the hole was more necessity as to not interfere with the top artwork.

I use drain hole covers over centre holes, they sit a few mm above the through neck, & I paint the neck under it black. Still heaps loud!

Just yesterday I was at the big orange-box store and found a shower-drain cover that will be perfect for my build.

Thanks for all the replies.  I'm already planning out my next dozen guitar designs and I haven't even cut the neck for the first one!  Help, I've fallen down the rabbit hole.   I mean the sound-hole!

Bill W

Hi Bill,

I'm somewhat of a CBG newbie myself, so consider that fact in my reply.

I could see that the lack of bracing that a formal guitar would have underneath it's top may be a factor. I could imagine some deformation occurring over time. 

I guess just seeing the neck through a hole under the strings might not be enjoyed by all who see it, although, hey, do what you want. Paint a pretty picture on the neck that you can see through the hole.

I like mitch jones drain hole cover idea. 

My further reply kind of gets away from your question, but here goes.

I remember reading somewhere on CBN that someone did some experimenting and found that a simple 7/8" hole drilled on the bass side of the box, towards the neck end, yielded as good a result for sound as any of the typical methods that a lot of folks use. It's easy to do, especially for a newbie like me. I kind of cringe when I think of trying to cut f-holes without messing them up.That's the method I've used for the two builds I've done so far and I've been happy with the results. I didn't even put any finish grommets in the holes. I just sanded the holes smooth and sprayed the lacquer finish that I applied to the entire CBG down into the holes. I'm happy and my CBGs seem to be happy as well.



Hi, I'd like to add a few points of interest and answer some of the question on here.

As I have mentioned in the past I have carried the experiences and understanding I have gained over years of building acoustic guitars over to the building of CBG's. I enjoy the freedom and the no holds barred approach to building these instruments. Experiments successful or unsuccessful are less expensive.

So.......In an acoustic guitar top brace positioning is very important to the structural integrity and tone and volume of the guitar, so soundhole placement is often made with that in mind, and generally somewhat limited.

In a simple CBG top there is very little bracing needed due to the small surface area of the top, so soundholes are not as restricted in their positioning. Don't forget that the role of the top is to vibrate so you don't want to put a hole in an area of the top that contributes to the sound.

 However depending on it's  positioning a soundhole can weaken a top, so I strengthen that area under the soundhole with a very thin veneer with the grain going across that of the top. As shown in the photo. The cross bracing is uncarved at this stage and was an early experiment anyway.

Putting a soundhole in the side of the guitar is also something I do, {see photo] in both acoustic guitars and CBG. I put them in the side of some acoustic guitars  so as to direct some of the sound generated in the body up the player. There is still the normal soundhole in the front. In this case the extra hole in the side is called a sound port.

The hole I put in the side of the CBG pictured was done due to there not being one at the front at all, So very little of the sound produced was being heard. This is an electric guitar so a sound hole would not have been required had I not wanted to hear what I was playing when practicing unplugged.

It of course does not direct the sound to the listener out front, but more to the player.

Lastly, you will find that in a CBG the size of the soundhole is possibly more important than its positioning. It is very important to the sound quality of an acoustic guitar. In the guitar pictured there is a grill, remove this from the hole and the volume nearly doubles. Just to prove a point.

Something happened here and I cant chage it, sorry

Cheers Taff


great guitar!

Thanks BJ.



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