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Let's say we have two identical acoustic guitars with the only difference being the body size. How will the body size effect sound volume when considering a string plucked with the exact same amount of energy? Will volume increase or decrease?

Additionally, for the exact same scenario above, how would the body size effect sustain when considering a string plucked with the exact same amount of energy? Will sustain increase or decrease?

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    The problem is that the output SPL ( dBc ) varies wildly with wavelength. Mostly what you'll see is a dramatic low-end cutoff for wavlengths significantly greater than the body size. Plus resonances, of course. – Carl Witthoft Jan 3 at 14:38
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If everything else is identical, the larger body will have greater resonance at lower frequencies, and as you commented, volume at resonant frequencies can be increased, so a larger guitar teens to give greater volume. This doesn't necessarily correlate with either increased or decreased sustain, though.

It may lead to increased sustain at certain frequencies or reduced sustain at others.

  • The volume is being increased by adding more energy though. What if you use the same amount of energy? – wayofthefuture Jan 2 at 22:09
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    no, that is not necessarily correct. – Doktor Mayhem Jan 3 at 8:32
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    @wayofthefuture That's not correct. As was discussed in some recent posts, the volume depends on how well energy is transferred from the strings to the body as well as the body's elasticity, hole sizes, and more. – Carl Witthoft Jan 3 at 14:36
  • Both guitars are the exact same except the body size, so the transfer of energy mechanism should be almost constant. If the same energy is applied and the volume is greater, then something has to give, possibly the sustain. – wayofthefuture Jan 3 at 15:42

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