Posted on June 21, 2019August 1, 2019 by Dale Phillips Three Holes are Better than One Three Holes are Better than One by Robert Ruck previously published in American Lutherie #91, 2007 See also, “There’s a Hole in the Bucket” by Cyndy Burton “Sideways” by John Monteleone “Herr Helmholtz’ Tube” by Mike Doolin Classical guitar maker Robert Ruck pioneered sideports for nylon string gutiars. He describes how the idea materialized out of several experiences going back to the begining of his career in the ’60s. A strong advocate, he now offers ports as an option on all of his guitars. Since late 1999, I have regularly used sideports in my guitars. My experience with the resulting 150 or so ported classical and flamenco guitars with various designs is consistent, predictable, and all positive. There is an increase in loudness both for the player and for listeners. In listening tests with several fine players, we have concluded that the guitar is louder for the audience, too. The fundamental tone quality of the guitar stays the same, but it is louder, has stronger trebles, and has a more balanced quality for the player, opening up an area of sound around the player that is not normally heard. Since we as players sit somewhat asymmetrically to the guitar and the conventional soundhole is positioned to our right, there is an area on the left side of our heads that does not receive as much sound as the right side. We grow up hearing the guitar this way, so we never question it. Players comment that it’s as if one is hearing the guitar in stereo for the first time. Become A Member to Continue Reading This Article This article is part of our premium web content offered to Guild members. To view this and other web articles, join the Guild of American Luthiers. Members also receive 4 annual issues of American Lutherie and get discounts on products. For details, visit the membership page. If you are already a member, login for access or contact us to setup your account.