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Wood noise?

  1. Dec 5, 2005 #1
    My question is quite simple:
    It is common knowledge that most metals make a lot of noise when in contact with moving/vibrating parts. Some examples are the hood of your car, or a computer case with fans on it.

    Does wood have the same characteristic? I want to use wood to mount a few fans to, but I'm not sure whether or not wood will create more noise or not.
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  3. Dec 5, 2005 #2


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    Bass, cello, viola, violin, mandolin, guitar, piano, harpsichord ....
  4. Dec 6, 2005 #3


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    All of those examples have a resonance chamber built into them on purpose.
  5. Dec 6, 2005 #4

    While the chamber amplifys and shapes the sound it is not the sole producer of the vibrations. A good solid body electric guitar resonates very nicely. I play my elecrtics unplugged quite freequently when I don't want to disturb people.
  6. Dec 6, 2005 #5


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    In any case, Fred's point is that it isn't the wood itself that is vibrating - and he's correct.

    KingNothing, assuming you are talking about wood blocks as mounting points - no, they will not produce sound on their own, due to their geometry, and they will also isolate the motor's vibration better than metal-to-metal (they don't transmit as much as metal-to-metal would) - though not anywhere near as well as shock-mounts (neoprene, springs, etc).

    God_Am, my roommate is a bass player, and his unplugged electric bass produces very little sound - just barely enough to tell what he's playing. The shape of an electric-only instrument is mostly irrelevant - he even owns a bass that's just a stem (it fits in what looks like a pool-cue case) and sounds great through an amp. What kind of guitar do you own? I'm not an expert, but I think some classic-rock guitars that are meant to be electric (classic Gibsons) still have vibration chambers in them (I guess they are just acoustics with pickups installed), and thus sound almost like acoustics when unplugged, while most normal electric rock guitars don't.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2005
  7. Dec 6, 2005 #6
    Russ, You say the wood isn't vibrating in a solid body guitar (yes solid body not semi-acoustical), but I can feel vibrations all through the guitar. Different guitars sound different unplugged, even two guitars of the same make and model can sound quite different. Even in a chamberd guitar it is the wood vibrating first which vibrates the air inside the chamber to create the sound you hear.

    My guitar is a Gibson Les Paul standard, and it is not chamberd, unless you count the small weight relief holes in the body which are closed, and not open to the air. Gibson (of course) says the holes don't effect the tone at all.

    If what you are saying is true then the wood would have no effect on the tone of any guitar since it doesn't vibrate? I'm sure if you posted that in a guitar forum you would be met by rabid tone finatics that would quickly come to the defense of their beloved tone woods.
  8. Dec 6, 2005 #7
    A [edit] An electric [/edit] guitar's wood is important in creating sustain and producing a "pleasant" tone. The effect of the wood on a guitar's un-plugged volume is significantly insignificant.

    As for a fan mounted in wood, I guess it would depend on the shape of the wood. i.e. a big flat piece would probably produce audible resonant sounds, but a cube of wood would not vibrate much.

    (Oh, and how much wood would a wood-chuck chuck if a wood-chuck could chuck wood?)
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2005
  9. Dec 6, 2005 #8


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    Woods have narrower band widths than most metals (we'll exclude, lead, unalloyed gold, alkaline earths), but they transmit sound in the human audible range efficiently, and are actually better coupled to air for transmission to the ear than are most metals.
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