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Do Les Pauls Have Improving Tone With Age 2015 Les Paul Classic update

#21 User is offline   SteveFord 

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Posted 29 January 2017 - 05:25 PM

Not to change the subject too much but Clapton always sounds great on a Gibson.
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#22 User is offline   pippy 

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Posted 29 January 2017 - 05:35 PM

View PostSteveFord, on 29 January 2017 - 05:25 PM, said:

Not to change the subject too much but Clapton always sounds great on a Gibson.

This very track convinced me about several things on-topic;

EC playing a five / six-year-old Les Paul;



Pip.
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#23 User is offline   Retired 

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Posted 29 January 2017 - 10:30 PM

badbluesplayer said:

1485690309[/url]' post='1831357']
I don't think you can tell from one year to the next that a solid body guitar is getting more resonant. It's more likely that you're getting better at making that particular Les Paul sound good as you discover its capabilities.


Can't say mine sounds any different but I know I do. I've learned hammer on's, hammer off's, slides, bending strings, vibrating them up and down. And more difficult songs in 3 years now.
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#24 User is offline   merciful-evans 

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 05:35 AM

Controlled experiment. Subject ES-339 Studio.

Assertion 1: I notice that I get no tone from my fingers without the guitar.
Assertion 2: With fingers in contact with the guitar, there is tone.
Theory: Therefore the pairing of fingers & guitar is necessary.

Question. Can I get tone from guitar with a pairing other than fingers?

Experiment: The guitar is on a comfy chair. Lower bout on the seat pan, and neck leaning against back rest. Strings facing forwards with neck pup active.

Test 1: I throw a series of objects at the guitar strings. They are…

a/ Rolled up paper tissue (wood derivative)
b/ Asparagus spear (vegetable)
c/ Balled up underpants (synthetic fabric: polyester)
d/ A slipper (animal fabric: suede)

All the above produced tone. They differed slightly from each other. The tissue produced the softest tone and the asparagus the hardest. What was responsible for the tonal variation?

The object material? The object density? The object colour? Lets park that awhile…

Like the fingers, those objects only produced tone when paired with the guitar.

Conclusion 1. Tone is in the guitar.
Conclusion 2. That guitar tone may be modified depending on the object interfering with the strings, but those objects had no tone independent of the guitar.
Conclusion 3. The finest tone is produced by striking the guitar with 100% polyester underpants in royal blue.

Please repeat this experiment to consolidate the findings.
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#25 User is offline   Searcy 

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 05:41 AM

Someone told Chet Atkins, "Man, that guitar sure sounds good!"

Chet set the guitar down on a chair and asked him, "Ok, how does it sound now?"
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#26 User is offline   Sabredog 

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 05:43 AM

Lotta really good replies,

I read all of your old threads CApMaster, I believe a lot of it is in the mahogany neck, ffor my particular guitar. It took 2 years for the guitar to finally stay in tune.

As I said in combination with the observed fantastic harmonics, was the tuning stability. Which leads me to believe much like a bow and arrows strings My strings Have been applying pressure for 2 years and the wood Has finally permanently fixed.

I just watched one of the episodes on how it's made, Watching them making a wagon wheels, They just get the wood wet and the wood bends when you apply pressure, They keep it under pressure while it's drying and crystalizing with heat and the wood is permanently locked rigidly into its new position.

So it could be true the wood is becoming stiffer against the applied pressure, which allows the guitar to stay in tune perfectly, which leads to fantastic harmonic bloom when the notes are in tune with each other.

That could be the net observation, For the first year the guitar wouldn't stay in tune, so that's why it didn't sound as good.

Thanks for all the observations and stories
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#27 User is offline   Searcy 

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 05:49 AM

View PostSabredog, on 30 January 2017 - 05:43 AM, said:

It took 2 years for the guitar to finally stay in tune.



Or it took two years for you to adjust your grip so that you're not squeezing the notes out of tune. :-k
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#28 User is offline   capmaster 

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 07:52 AM

View PostSabredog, on 30 January 2017 - 05:43 AM, said:

... It took 2 years for the guitar to finally stay in tune. ...

View PostSearcy, on 30 January 2017 - 05:49 AM, said:

Or it took two years for you to adjust your grip so that you're not squeezing the notes out of tune. :-k


There are lots of points contributing here like nuts and bridge saddles. I often remember the words of wisdom that L5Larry posted some years ago as a comment into a robot tuning thread - I quote: "Tuning is an art in itself." I agree to the full extent of an artisan's craftmanship. For best results, different guitar makes call for different approaches to tuning. The only thing I do the same with all of them is the order G3rd - D4th - A5th - B2nd - E1st - E6th.

I tend to making it faster and easier and use Gibson TP-6 finetuning bridges wherever applicable. Comparing a solid stopbar tailpiece and the typical Gibson string runs across the nut, an Explorer string run, and a Fender string run combined with a typical Fender hardtail, the best ways of tuning are a bit different. Double-locking vibrato systems may call for certain detunings before locking at the nut to achieve the required travels of the fine tuners for either flat and sharp directions.

Long-term tuning stability, that is for days and weeks, will also depend on environmental conditions. However, some guitars appear to be quite stable while others are more prone to drift some cents off, sometimes sharp, sometimes flat. I can't say that maple and mahogany necks show differences inherent to the wood species. For instance, my guitars with Floyd Rose systems have the best long-term tuning stability, regardless if Gibson Les Paul (mahogany/rosewood), Fender Stratocasters (maple/rosewood and one-piece maple), or Ibanez Roadstar (maple/rosewood).
DVCVNT VOLENTEM FATA NOLENTEM TRAHVNT
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#29 User is offline   rct 

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 08:08 AM

View PostSabredog, on 30 January 2017 - 05:43 AM, said:

Lotta really good replies,

I read all of your old threads CApMaster, I believe a lot of it is in the mahogany neck, ffor my particular guitar. It took 2 years for the guitar to finally stay in tune.

As I said in combination with the observed fantastic harmonics, was the tuning stability. Which leads me to believe much like a bow and arrows strings My strings Have been applying pressure for 2 years and the wood Has finally permanently fixed.

I just watched one of the episodes on how it's made, Watching them making a wagon wheels, They just get the wood wet and the wood bends when you apply pressure, They keep it under pressure while it's drying and crystalizing with heat and the wood is permanently locked rigidly into its new position.

So it could be true the wood is becoming stiffer against the applied pressure, which allows the guitar to stay in tune perfectly, which leads to fantastic harmonic bloom when the notes are in tune with each other.

That could be the net observation, For the first year the guitar wouldn't stay in tune, so that's why it didn't sound as good.

Thanks for all the observations and stories


The wood is at under 4% when it is put together. It is not possible for it to lose enough moisture to make any difference other than a teeny bit of fret sprout. You probably have adjusted to playing that guitar such that you aren't pushing the strings around and out of tune...

or...

You've been playing long enough now that you can play around minor anomalies in tuning, therefore you don't care to sit around obsessing over how in tune something is, realizing that there is only close enough, which can be perfectly in tune, but doesn't have to be.

rct
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#30 User is offline   capmaster 

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 08:38 AM

View Postpippy, on 29 January 2017 - 05:35 PM, said:

This very track convinced me about several things on-topic;

EC playing a six-year-old Les Paul;



Pip.

Great playing by Eric Clapton. Thanks for sharing this clip here. [thumbup]

I'm with Joe Bonamassa - see video description - that the use of a Dallas Rangemaster is questionable. Like mentioned there, too, it would be interesting to know if EC remembers... :-k


View Postrct, on 30 January 2017 - 08:08 AM, said:

The wood is at under 4% when it is put together. It is not possible for it to lose enough moisture to make any difference other than a teeny bit of fret sprout. ...
rct

Combined with kiln drying, the little humidity left slows down the chemical reactions I mentioned here in the 2nd paragraph: http://forum.gibson....ost__p__1831444

In other words, when about a steady state of chemistry within the woods, in particular sapwoods like maple, alder, ashwood, basswood or spruce, air-dried timbers are much closer to it and in this regard "older" when processed for guitar building. Witnessing my Ibanez Roadstar made in 1986 age has been a crucial experience until she reached that "old" sound around 2000, with very fast reaction to attack and lots of natural compression. Their basswood body and maple neck blanks were kiln-dried I think, as well as the rosewood fretboard blank, but since this is heartwood long dead and aged within the tree trunk before it was chopped, it makes next to no difference for it.

Remember that guitar builders turn to using thermally treated, uncorrectly aka "torrefied" woods for building guitars, in order to create new guitars sounding "old". However, in fact this is no substitute for air drying. You can't accelerate organic chemical reactions this way, or you would have to believe hatching an egg could be speeded up boiling it. :o
DVCVNT VOLENTEM FATA NOLENTEM TRAHVNT
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#31 User is offline   rct 

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 08:42 AM

View Postcapmaster, on 30 January 2017 - 08:38 AM, said:

Great playing by Eric Clapton. Thanks for sharing this clip here. [thumbup]

I'm with Joe Bonamassa - see video description - that the use of a Dallas Rangemaster is questionable. Like mentioned there, too, it would be interesting to know if EC remembers... :-k



Combined with kiln drying, the little humidity left slows down the chemical reactions I mentioned here in the 2nd paragraph: http://forum.gibson....ost__p__1831444

In other words, when about a steady state of chemistry within the woods, in particular sapwoods like maple, alder, ashwood, basswood or spruce, air-dried timbers are much closer to it and in this regard "older" when processed for guitar building. Witnessing my Ibanez Roadstar made in 1986 age has been a crucial experience until she reached that "old" sound around 2000, with very fast reaction to attack and lots of natural compression. Their basswood body and maple neck blanks were kiln-dried I think, as well as the rosewood fretboard blank, but since this is heartwood long dead and aged within the tree trunk before it was chopped, it makes next to no difference for it.

Remember that guitar builders turn to using thermally treated, uncorrectly aka "torrefied" woods for building guitars, in order to create new guitars sounding "old". However, in fact this is no substitute for air drying. You can't accelerate organic chemical reactions this way, or you would have to believe hatching an egg could be speeded up boiling it. :o


I've been around guitars a long time. I don't believe any of it.

rct
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#32 User is offline   capmaster 

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 08:58 AM

View Postrct, on 30 January 2017 - 08:42 AM, said:

I've been around guitars a long time. I don't believe any of it.

rct

Lots of my pals would be with you. They modded around, tried different pickups, five string gauges and seventeen string makes of half a dozen of brands, lots of setups, and often owned most of their guitars for short periods only. If I had done this, I couldn't have witnessed many of the changes within the woods, let alone discerned the causes for alterations.

Buying a new guitar and expecting it was in a steady state is an illusion if sapwoods are concerned. These instruments may hide surprises to come. Some friends of mine experienced that, too. It always is a matter of luck, too.
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#33 User is offline   Drog 

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 12:49 PM

I definitely think there is a break in period and that instruments change as they age. But, it's also a combination of the player and the instrument. No doubt as you play the frets wear, electronics wear, finish wears and this all has an effect. Just as we get more comfortable to to the instrument. Even the amp we play through will change as it wears. Still, no matter what guitar or amp I play through I still sound like me but; my comfort with those instruments change.
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#34 User is offline   Sabredog 

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 02:59 PM

One other observation

I used to work with the contractor, we occasionally would rebuild kitchen cabinets. for the door rails we would buy Kiln dried oak or ash 1 x 8
and cut it down on a table saw to 1 x 4, we would select perfectly straight boards, and whenever you would cut it or shape it, the stored tension within the wood grain would release and warp the board after cutting, I was always surprised from a perfectly straight board to a banana by just cutting one edge off.

so the stability of kiln drying would make the blank more stable but as soon as you re-shape and remove wood the internal forces allow the wood to change slightly, of course we would clamp and glue it but the wood is moving for a few months. finding new equilibrium in its new shape.

I think this happens with necks especially.




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#35 User is offline   Searcy 

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 03:15 PM

 Sabredog, on 30 January 2017 - 02:59 PM, said:


I think this happens with necks especially.


That's why you want quarter sawn or laminated neck blanks. Properly made neck blanks will not change shape.
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#36 User is offline   surfpup 

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 04:12 PM

What I really need to know is will the tone in my fingers improve as they age? :rolleyes:
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#37 User is offline   Searcy 

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 04:33 PM

 surfpup, on 30 January 2017 - 04:12 PM, said:

What I really need to know is will the tone in my fingers improve as they age? :rolleyes:


What kind of nail polish do you use?
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#38 User is offline   pippy 

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 04:39 PM

View PostSabredog, on 30 January 2017 - 02:59 PM, said:

...I was always surprised from a perfectly straight board to a banana by just cutting one edge off....I think this happens with necks especially...

I'm not quite sure I'm following your train of thought, Sabredog; are you saying you have seen a large number of guitars which have necks shaped like a banana?
I do know the effect you are describing happens when you slice a carrot lengthways. Most annoying.

Pip.
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#39 User is offline   surfpup 

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 04:40 PM

View PostSearcy, on 30 January 2017 - 04:33 PM, said:

What kind of nail polish do you use?


Nitrocellulose of course. Everyone know poly kills tone. [biggrin]
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#40 User is offline   capmaster 

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 05:39 PM

View Postpippy, on 30 January 2017 - 04:39 PM, said:

...
I do know the effect you are describing happens when you slice a carrot lengthways. Most annoying.

Pip.

[biggrin] I prefer carrots quartersawn. [woot]
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