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Guitar Acoustics Quality: Shift by Humidity Variations

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Measured and perceived changes in the sound of a steel-stringed guitar induced by the atmospheric relative humidity (RH) were investigated. RH was continuously varied during a 72-hour interval while the guitar's sound and weight were monitored. From the recorded guitar mass, the wood's moisture content was estimated, clearly related with RH variations but exhibiting a lag of 9 hrs (the guitar mass changed several grams according to RH variations). Continuously measured spectrograms revealed that there are changes in the guitar sound for very small moisture variations. Even more interesting is the fact that people without musical instruction were capable of perceiving the corresponding sound change by listening to a set of three recorded sounds. Therefore, detectable changes in an acoustic guitar induced by RH fluctuations were systematically proved, beyond empirical comments, through measurements and psychoacoustical tests.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2014

More about this publication?
  • Acta Acustica united with Acustica, published together with the European Acoustics Association (EAA), is an international, peer-reviewed journal on acoustics. It publishes original articles on all subjects in the field of acoustics, such as general linear acoustics, nonlinear acoustics, macrosonics, flow acoustics, atmospheric sound, underwater sound, ultrasonics, physical acoustics, structural acoustics, noise control, active control, environmental noise, building acoustics, room acoustics, acoustic materials, acoustic signal processing, computational and numerical acoustics, hearing, audiology and psychoacoustics, speech, musical acoustics, electroacoustics, auditory quality of systems. It reports on original scientific research in acoustics and on engineering applications. The journal considers scientific papers, technical and applied papers, book reviews, short communications, doctoral thesis abstracts, etc. In irregular intervals also special issues and review articles are published.
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