Comparing Subjective and Objective Data from a Pool of Classical Guitars

Mark French, Laura Lydy, Miles Crawford


A pool of classical guitars was evaluated subjectively by a group of trained musicians and frequency response functions were measured. The two goals of the effort were to determine whether musicians would largely agree on the tonal quality of the instruments and whether their subjective opinions could be correlated with features in the frequency response functions. These questions are the subject of debate within the community of guitar makers and there is little academic literature that can inform the discussion. The quality of the guitars varied widely, spanning the practical range of instruments available. Subjective results showed that the group tended to agree on the quality of the lowest rated and highest rated instruments. Furthermore, there was no clear correlation between features of measured frequency response functions and subjective ratings. Cover Image

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Savart Journal

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  • Article published Nov 21, 2019.
  • This article has been accessed 476 times since publication.