There’s not much that you need to check to be sure that a Vo-96 Acoustic Synthesizer will fit onto your guitar.  Here are the main points to consider:

  1. You have a steel string flat top acoustic guitar.
  2. Your guitar should have a standard sound hole in the usual position.  A standard sound hole measures almost 4 inches in diameter.
  3. At its closest, the sound hole edge should be located at least 3 inches away from the raised wood of the bridge of the guitar.
  4. The spacing of your strings at the bridge measured between the E1 and E6 strings should be between 2 1/8″ and 2 3/8″ or 2.125″ – 2.375″.  It is a rare instrument that doesn’t meet that spacing.
  5. The guitar body must not be unusually thin. The Vo-96 reaches 3 inches down into the instrument measured from the top surface of the guitar.
  6. The waist of the guitar – the narrowest portion of the body – must measure at least 8 1/2 inches across.

Virtually every standard kind of acoustic guitar, with all the design variations, will meet these six points.  The thing that really needs to be determined, and the thing that could cause a problem with some older guitars, is the height of the strings.  There must be enough room under the strings for the Vo-96, it’s just that simple!

This can be a bit difficult to measure.  Here is an easy way: grab a AAA battery.  Those are 1 cm in diameter. If you can roll that battery freely across the guitar beside the bridge under the strings from the E6 string to the E1 string you are good to go!

If it’s a close fit more careful measurement is going to be required.  Virtually all guitars are made with at least 1 cm of clearance, but as the instrument ages sometimes the neck meanders away from its original angle.  A quick fix for this is to shave the bridge down to keep the strings from getting too high off of the fretboard.  This quick fix actually has an adverse effect on the sound of your guitar. The proper repair is to reset the neck but this is not always done.

If your guitar won’t quite pass the “battery test” it’s still possible that the Vo-96 will fit, but we will have to correspond so that I can help you evaluate this question.  Please contact me through the Kickstarter campaign – it’s on the right of the Kickstarter screen beside my head-shot thumbnail.

There’s one more thing to consider: Some guitars have an unusually thick pick guard. If this is the only clearance problem the pick guard can be trimmed to make room for the Vo-96.  If you later decide to remove the Vo-96, the pick guard can be replaced.  You will of course need the services of a luthier to do this. I have not encountered many guitars with this problem, although I did encounter a Gibson that we had to modify. Most guitars seem to use pick guards that are about 1 mm in thickness and that’s usually okay.  And many acoustic guitars have no pick guards at all.

I will soon post up some drawings and pictures that will illustrate the above points.

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