Posted on August 1, 2022February 29, 2024 by Dale Phillips Questions: Significance of Q Questions: Significance of Q by Brian Burns Originally published in American Lutherie #86, 2006 John Belluci of Baltimore, MD asks: Please explain what “Q” is when referring to wood or instruments. The definition I’ve seen is, “internal damping.” Brian Burns of Fort Bragg, CA responds: “Q” is one of the basic qualities of the materials we use to make stringed instruments. The traditional low-tech Q test is to listen to the tap tone of a piece of wood and hear how long it takes for the sound to die away. The longer the tap tone lasts, the higher the Q, and the greater the potential of that piece of wood to make a loud instrument with long sustain. The design and construction of the instrument of course determine the ultimate result; the Q test just gives you an idea of the potential of that particular piece of wood. 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.