Why an Acoustic Port? When I first heard of porting guitars, I was naturally curious about if they worked and if so, why. The acousticians tell us that ports may effect the Helmholtz or body cavity resonance. I intuitively hoped that they might positively affect the way the guitar worked and this certainly seems to be the case.
Players testify that, with the port, one can hear the instrument much better during performance especially in ensemble. In my limited testing, it seems that the guitar also sounds better out in front, although many players feel like the ported guitars may not return any better projection than unported versions. It is, of course, easy enough to do your own experiments with this feature simply by covering up the port and involving others in an A/B test. One player who is headed for the recording studio suspects that the port will allow another location to mike in the studio thus producing a richer sound.
I expect that there may be a lot of experimentation required to refine the ports in terms of size and location. My own port design is larger than others I've seen (as is my soundhole) and located on the player side of the guitar exclusively. The design I've chosen is from Native American art and is from the early 19th century. It is fun to carve and lends an opportunity for another design element.
Is the port for everyone? Not by any means. Some players don't care for the aesthetics while others seem to feel that it puts too much guitar in their face. Most, however, select the port; and right now, 80% of my orders include it as an option. Personally, I like it as it seems to have a positive effect on extending the tonal range of the instrument in the treble and bass ranges.
Future developments for the port include producing a version that is tunable and would allow the player to quickly adjust it for musical purposes. This will be an extra cost option as is the regular port.