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Thread: Feedback in hollowbody

  1. #1
    Senior Member Todd's Avatar
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    Default Feedback in hollowbody

    I have a new Ibanez AF75. I just installed Seth Lovers a n&b. I 'm getting no feedback from my tube amp, but alot from my SS amps. I plugged the f-holes and that helped but didn't resolve the problem enough. How is it possible to eliminate the feedback from these types of guitars? Does anyone have problems with hollowbodies and tube amps.?
    Mexi-Strat - STK-S4n, STK-S4m, lil 59b
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  2. #2
    25's Nemesis Benjy_26's Avatar
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    Default Re: Feedback in hollowbody

    It has a lot to do with where you stand in relation to your amps. Also, you're probably running way more gain with your SS monster than your tube amp. That moght have an effect too.
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  3. #3
    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
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    Default Re: Feedback in hollowbody

    I've used a hollowbody for the last seven years playing guitar, two years with a seth lover bridge. There are a couple of key things to controlling feedback with a hollowbody:
    1. Be very careful about your positioning from the amp . . . try not to ever stand directly infront of your amp! Always go off to the side a bit or behind it if you can. This is the simplest and best way to stop your guitar from feeding back.
    2. Turn down the gain that you're using, even if only a bit. Semi-hollows can't handle EXTREME metal distortion (although you should be able to get some heavy hard rock tones from them)
    3. If you're not playing your guitar, use your volume knob to turn off your pickups. This prevents that screetching you hear when you go to grab your beer and your guitar goes crazy
    4. When you're soloing, try to mute the strings that you're not actually playing. This is kinda tough to do at first, but eventually you'll get the hang of it.

    If you follow all of these, you shouldn't have any problems whatsoever with feedback at full gig volumes. At least I havn't . . . anyone else have comments?
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  4. #4
    Ultimate Tone Slacker sufferinrewind's Avatar
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    Default Re: Feedback in hollowbody

    Yep, just don't stand in front of the amp. I've done this with acoustic/electrics without any effects on, thru a noise gate even, and it still started to feedback, heavily.

    Hey, GuitarStv, sorry to ask you this in the pickup forum, but I just ordered a Traynor Reverb Mate without even hearing it because of all the good stuff I heard about Traynor. Just curious to know what you think of it.
    Last edited by sufferinrewind; 03-09-2006 at 10:36 AM.

  5. #5
    In Fluence Y'all frankfalbo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Feedback in hollowbody

    First you have to figure out what's feeding back. Is it the high pitched squeak because the SL's aren't wax potted? Or is it the slightly lower whistle from the cover against the pickup top? Is it the lower midrangey sound of the pickup vibrating against the mounting ring or the top? Or is it the low end woofy sound of the actual guitar feeding back? Try holding the pickup with your fingers physically. Does it stop? If it stops really easily then it's probably the outside of the pickup against the rings. If it stops only after you press harder, then it might be the cover or the coils. If it's the coils, then you now know why most pickups are potted.

  6. #6
    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
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    Default Re: Feedback in hollowbody

    Quote Originally Posted by sufferinrewind
    Yep, just don't stand in front of the amp. I've done this with acoustic/electrics without any effects on, thru a noise gate even, and it still started to feedback, heavily.

    Hey, GuitarStv, sorry to ask you this in the pickup forum, but I just ordered a Traynor Reverb Mate without even hearing it because of all the good stuff I heard about Traynor. Just curious to know what you think of it.

    I'll PM you . . .
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    Quote Originally Posted by Douglas Adams
    This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Feedback in hollowbody

    I gave up archtops and switched to semi-hollows for this reason. Plus most archtops only have 20 frets and I want all 22. My 355 makes me very happy now -- plus since I've learned to make my own pickups, I can wind a neck pu so woody sounding that it can make even solidbodies sound like an archtop.
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Feedback in hollowbody

    Archtops are not designed to play at big volume....period. In the heyday of the electric archtop, 100w amps did not exist and anyone playing that loud would have been institutionalized (there's a thought...)

    It can be done, but it's a PITA. Getting away from the amp, the bass player, and the monitors helps. Other fixes include: a sound post, heavier hardware, a thinner bridge base, covering the f-holes, compressing the top with your arm while you play, bigger strings, and the old school 'balloon trick' ala Tal Farlow.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Todd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Feedback in hollowbody

    Quote Originally Posted by ES350
    Archtops are not designed to play at big volume....period. In the heyday of the electric archtop, 100w amps did not exist and anyone playing that loud would have been institutionalized (there's a thought...)

    It can be done, but it's a PITA. Getting away from the amp, the bass player, and the monitors helps. Other fixes include: a sound post, heavier hardware, a thinner bridge base, covering the f-holes, compressing the top with your arm while you play, bigger strings, and the old school 'balloon trick' ala Tal Farlow.
    Yeh, I plugged the holes with large foam which helps a good bit a moderate volume only. Whats a balloon trick? Inflating a balloon inside the guitar?
    Mexi-Strat - STK-S4n, STK-S4m, lil 59b
    Mexi-Tele - Stock pups
    Ibanez AF75 hollow body - Seth Lover n&b
    Traynor Blue YCV50 50w 1 x 12
    Takamine Acoustic/Electric
    Ultrasound AG 50 DS4

    Pedals: Boss BD-2(Keeley mod) & NS-2 & GE-7, Boost R.V.B. (reverb), RC Booster, Ibanez CS-9, DigiTech JamMan

  10. #10
    Senior Member Todd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Feedback in hollowbody

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarStv
    I've used a hollowbody for the last seven years playing guitar, two years with a seth lover bridge. There are a couple of key things to controlling feedback with a hollowbody:
    1. Be very careful about your positioning from the amp . . . try not to ever stand directly infront of your amp! Always go off to the side a bit or behind it if you can. This is the simplest and best way to stop your guitar from feeding back.
    2. Turn down the gain that you're using, even if only a bit. Semi-hollows can't handle EXTREME metal distortion (although you should be able to get some heavy hard rock tones from them)
    3. If you're not playing your guitar, use your volume knob to turn off your pickups. This prevents that screetching you hear when you go to grab your beer and your guitar goes crazy
    4. When you're soloing, try to mute the strings that you're not actually playing. This is kinda tough to do at first, but eventually you'll get the hang of it.

    If you follow all of these, you shouldn't have any problems whatsoever with feedback at full gig volumes. At least I havn't . . . anyone else have comments?
    This is alot to keep up with, but I guess it goes with the territory! I wonder if playing in a small room causes feedback more than a large concert hall?
    Mexi-Strat - STK-S4n, STK-S4m, lil 59b
    Mexi-Tele - Stock pups
    Ibanez AF75 hollow body - Seth Lover n&b
    Traynor Blue YCV50 50w 1 x 12
    Takamine Acoustic/Electric
    Ultrasound AG 50 DS4

    Pedals: Boss BD-2(Keeley mod) & NS-2 & GE-7, Boost R.V.B. (reverb), RC Booster, Ibanez CS-9, DigiTech JamMan

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Feedback in hollowbody

    Tal Farlow told me about a trick he used to use where he'd blow up a toy balloon inside the guitar through the f-hole. It works up to a point, but not if you're playing real loud. About 15 years ago, I used to use 2 Supers or a Super and a Twin with an P90 archtop for live shows and it was always a problem...

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Feedback in hollowbody

    There is a reason, after all, that the Lucille doesn't have f-holes...
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    Default Re: Feedback in hollowbody

    Has anyone tried f-its feedback blockers, (similar to Dougs Plugs).

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Feedback in hollowbody

    Get good and quick with the volume knob, worked for Nugent

  15. #15
    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
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    Default Re: Feedback in hollowbody

    Quote Originally Posted by bluesboybob View Post
    Has anyone tried f-its feedback blockers, (similar to Dougs Plugs).
    I've jammed a couple pairs of socks into the f-holes once when my semi-hollow was really feeding back a lot and I needed to play very loud. I think it helped a bit. Nowadays I just don't play as loud or with as much gain. At least not with my semi-hollow.
    Join me in the fight against muscular atrophy!

    Quote Originally Posted by Douglas Adams
    This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

  16. #16
    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
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    Default Re: Feedback in hollowbody

    I've been posting on this forum for too long.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Douglas Adams
    This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

  17. #17
    LoveMachineologist jeremy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Feedback in hollowbody

    HA!

  18. #18
    Mojo's Minions blueman335's Avatar
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    Default Re: Feedback in hollowbody

    Since this thread has been reactivated, I talked to Florida bluesman J D Soars at a local blues festival, who plays an Epi Joe Pass hollowbody with a pair of Gibson P-94's. I asked him how he's avoided feedback on stage. He said he dials down the low end in his amps, that that's where the trouble comes from.
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    LoveMachineologist jeremy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Feedback in hollowbody

    i think thats true of many things. i always pull low end out of monitors, once you get up to stage volume that low end turns to mush on stage.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Feedback in hollowbody

    Quote Originally Posted by blueman335 View Post
    Since this thread has been reactivated, I talked to Florida bluesman J D Soars at a local blues festival, who plays an Epi Joe Pass hollowbody with a pair of Gibson P-94's. I asked him how he's avoided feedback on stage. He said he dials down the low end in his amps, that that's where the trouble comes from.
    You should always dial down the lows in a stage situation compared to practicing even if you use a solid body guitar. This helps to prevent muddy sound in a band setting. The more musicians with middy instruments, the less lows should be produced. Rant over from FoH engineer!
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