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How Many Sound Holes Should My Guitar Have? Exploring the Side-Mounted Soundhole

The new Breedlove Organic Solo Pro Series’ Side Monitor Soundholes are causing a stir. The guitar’s put boutique design elements like Fishman electronics and all-solid tonewood construction into a line of surprisingly affordable acoustic guitars. But it’s the soundholes that get the most attention.

No, we’re not talking about the one in the guitars’ top. We’re talking about their Side Monitor Soundhole.

Typically, side-mounted sound ports are only found on high-end boutique acoustic guitars. But the design has gained a lot of steam recently and has caused many guitarists to start asking questions such as; What are they? What do they do? Does my guitar need one?

We’ll answer those questions and explain why they’re vital to these new Breedlove acoustics.

The Standard Acoustic Guitar Soundhole

Soundholes have always been an essential part of acoustic guitar design. From the f-holes found in archtops to the familiar round version on most other acoustics, they’re just part of the instrument. That said, they’re still misunderstood.

Soundholes are not simply to project the sound of the guitar. For proof, stick your ear close to the soundhole and play. You’ll mainly hear muddy bass frequencies. It’s the guitar’s top that creates the sound. The soundhole is what allows air to escape from inside the body of the instrument. In doing so, the instrument can ‘breathe’ and vibrate optimally.

The round soundhole design is excellent at this. That’s why it’s on nearly every flat-top acoustic out there. But it does have one drawback; it projects all of the guitar’s tone forward, away from the player. That’s where the Side Monitor Soundhole comes in.

The Breedlove Side Monitor Soundhole

First seen in handmade classical guitars, side-mounted sound ports gave players a much louder and more precise picture of their guitar’s voice in action. Luthiers realized that, by cutting a carefully designed hole in the player’s side of an acoustic, the air was allowed to escape toward their ear. It wasn’t long before the construction technique also found its way into steel-string acoustic guitars as well.

For guitarists, the ports were perfect for self-monitoring acoustically. They even help cut through the din, letting acoustic-electric players hear themselves better onstage. But that’s not their only benefit. These soundholes can also open the guitar’s overall voice, adding detail and warmth. Many even claim they make their guitars louder.

Do You Need a Side-mounted Soundhole?

Side-mounted soundholes are much more popular today. There are even countless YouTube videos demonstrating how to cut them into the guitars you already have. But before you drill into your prized instruments, know that there are a lot of great options on the market that come ready to go.

We’re, of course, talking about our new Breedlove Organic Solo Pro Series. These instruments marry solid tonewood construction, natural-sounding Fishman electronics, and unmatched comfort with our Side Monitor Soundhole and other boutique touches. And they do it at a surprisingly attainable price. So if you are curious about the benefits of a side-mounted soundhole but aren’t ready to cut into your guitar, check them out. They’re a great way to experience a side-mounted soundhole and are great guitars, period.