The Tests

Acoustic steel-string and classical guitars made with tropical woods (T) will be compared with Leonardo guitars (L) made of non-tropical woods which are not 
generally used in guitar making.
For this project we are building around 25 to 30 steel-string and 10 classical Leonardo Guitars.  
The main goal is to see if the two types of guitars  (T and L ) can be distinguished from each other in terms of sound quality both by players and by listeners. We will also assess whether aesthetic or other  preferences  can affect the sound rating of the guitars.

There are 3 groups of tests:
A/ tests for guitar players ( blind and not blind ) to perform before Cordefactum, may 2013
B/ tests for an audience ( blind and not blind ) to perform during Cordefactum
C/ physical tests on guitar parts (during construction) and on the stringed guitars

Overview of the testing program 
A/tests. In 6 separate evaluation sessions these tests will be carried out by 1 guitarists (+1 listeners) per session, (3 session for steel-string and 3 sessions for classical guitars).

Part 1 : PAIR TESTING,  BLIND, assessment of the guitar’s sound. 
             Pairs of guitars (one Tropical(T) and one Leonardo Non-tropical(L) ) are played under blind conditions (30 sec/guitar).                  Scores are given after each pair. Question: which one sounds the best ?

Part 2 : GROUP TESTING, BLIND, assessment of the guitar’s sound. The guitars ( mix T and L ) are placed in groups of 5.                          2.1 Groups of 5 guitars ( mix of T and L) are played (30 sec/guitar) under blind conditions. Scores are given after                         playing each guitar. (assessment scale: perfect,very good, good, average, poor ) 

             2.2 Now the tester plays the guitars of his choosing, in order to refine his opinion ( max. 7 min. per group). He than                             explains his final preference in his own words.

Part 3:  AESTHETICS. Assessment of each guitar’s aesthetics 
              3.1 First assessment,  scale: very beautiful / nice / plain / not so beautiful . ( max 1 min/guitar)
              3.2  Second assessment,  explain preference in own words (max 1 min/guitar)

Part 4:  PAIR TESTING, NON-BLIND  (same as A/ Part 1, but now NON-blind.).
             Pairs of guitars (one T, one L),  are played under non-blind conditions.(30 sec/guitar). Scores are given after each pair.                 Question: which one sounds the best? Same pairs as in A/Part 1, but now in a different order. 

 A/tests, estimated testing time per session for steel-string guitar : 2h45 (breaks not included) / for classical guitars: 2h (breaks not included)

Detailed-test-procedures, click here

B/tests. In 2 separate audience evaluation sessions, steel-string and classical guitar, a guitarist will play all the guitars in pairs,                   similar to the A/Tests, Part 1 and Part 4.   30 to 50 people will be invited as audience.

             Similar to A/test-Part1. The guitarist can see, the audience can not. Guitars are played in pairs .
             Scores are given after each pair. Question: which one sounds the best ?

              Similar to B/Part 1. Now the audience can see the guitars. Before each pair is played the audience is told from what kind 
              of woods the guitars are made . Same pairs but in a different order. 

 B/tests, estimated testing time for steel-string guitar 1h30 min..  / for classical guitars: 1h

Detailed-test-procedures, click here