Measurements of body vibration characteristics of five different stringed musical instruments have been used to address the question of whether and when they might be expected to produce transient response featuring a “double decay” sound profile. The phenomenon has been well documented and studied in the context of the piano but has not been systematically studied for other instruments. The results show considerable variation among instruments. The piano is indeed predicted to show double decays over most of its range. In the tested guitar, by contrast, double decays are likely to be confined to a few notes near strong body resonances. Other instruments fall between these extremes. The lute and the mandolin, both normally strung with double strings, should both exhibit double decays over much of their playing range, especially towards the higher end. The banjo is single-strung but is also predicted to show strong double decays, especially for higher notes in its range.

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