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F-hole mandolins versus round hole mandolins...
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#37119
F-hole mandolins versus round hole mandolins... 10 Years, 7 Months ago  
For anyone interested, I thought I'd start a discussion on f-hole mandolins versus round hole mandolins with regard to tone and construction. Gibson made both varieties, with the round (or oval) hole mandolins pre-dating the f-hole models by twenty plus years beginning in the late 1890's. Basically, the modern preferences are:

F-hole: Bluegrass & contemporary
Round hole: old-timey, irish, blues, ragtime

There are no hard and fast rules, but what is your preference? Or are there simply any questions on these different approaches to mandolin construction?
TGMandolinMike
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#37125
Re:F-hole mandolins versus round hole mandolins... 10 Years, 7 Months ago  
Would it be the relationship between the sound from electric guitar with the f hole more jazzy and mellow sound vs a regular electric guitar where the sound is more direct?

Marc
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#37156
Re:F-hole mandolins versus round hole mandolins... 10 Years, 7 Months ago  
Hi Marc,

Somewhat, but mostly we're dealing with a difference in the way tension and sound waves are distributed across the top between these two different construction styles. It would be more akin to the difference in sound between an f-hole archtop acoustic guitar and a round hole flat top. (Although both style mandolins I'm referring to are of archtop construction.) Basically, an f-hole mandolin will have a more percussive and clearly defined chord sound, while a round hole mandolin has a softer edge to the tone. For my particular style of playing, I find the f-hole mandolin more versatile, but it's all personal preference.
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#38144
Re:F-hole mandolins versus round hole mandolins... 10 Years, 6 Months ago  
Mike, I sure hope you are right about the F-hole being more versatile, but I am going to give it a shot.

Bill
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