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Thick poly coating on Dot Studio good?


Starpeve

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Hello all , I've been reading some stuff on resonance and sustain of ilate, and it occurred to me that the thick poly coat on the Dot Studio may be actually working in it's favor by reducing body resonance and thereby increasing sustain. Any thoughts?

 

If you reduce the vibrations then sustain should decrease. More vibrations and slower decay should make the guitar sustain longer. YMMV. The thinner nitro finish of days gone by is one of the reasons vintage guitars are so good. Just like the myth that a heavy guitar has better sustain than lighter ones. Heavy means more energy is lost trying to vibrate thus lower sustain. Vintage LPs were rarely over 10 pounds, usually between 8.5 and 9.5.

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More vibrations and slower decay should make the guitar sustain longer.

 

This seems reasonable to assume. But exactly which part of the system are we talking about? The sound from an electric guitar comes from the pickups responding to the vibration of the string. So if the string vibrates longer, sustain is longer.

 

 

Heavy means more energy is lost trying to vibrate thus lower sustain.

 

Consider that weight per se may not have any effect on sustain. Density and resonance may have more effect. If the string is dampened from vibrating, then sustain will reduce. It may be that the density and ability of the guitar wood to absorb and dampen vibration, or conversely, support and enhance the vibration of the bridge and string, has more influence on sustain than just the weight of the guitar. For example, if you have a tuning fork, tap it and put the base on a soft cushion. Not much sustain. Tap it and put the base on a hard wooden table, lots of sustain. It's a complex question and all the different materials used in the construction of the guitar and its hardware could have an effect.

 

Whether a poly coat makes a difference, who knows?

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This seems reasonable to assume. But exactly which part of the system are we talking about? The sound from an electric guitar comes from the pickups responding to the vibration of the string. So if the string vibrates longer, sustain is longer.

 

 

 

 

Consider that weight per se may not have any effect on sustain. Density and resonance may have more effect. If the string is dampened from vibrating, then sustain will reduce. It may be that the density and ability of the guitar wood to absorb and dampen vibration, or conversely, support and enhance the vibration of the bridge and string, has more influence on sustain than just the weight of the guitar. For example, if you have a tuning fork, tap it and put the base on a soft cushion. Not much sustain. Tap it and put the base on a hard wooden table, lots of sustain. It's a complex question and all the different materials used in the construction of the guitar and its hardware could have an effect.

 

Whether a poly coat makes a difference, who knows?

 

Using that logic a banjo would sustain as long as a guitar. Sustain has nothing to do with pickups and the amplified signal. A guitar sustains whether plugged in or not due to the vibration of the strings transferring energy to the guitar body and back to the string. That's how an acoustic guitar works. Because the top vibrates as long as the string vibrates.

 

Put your tuning fork on a higher density material like a piece of lead and I believe that the fork will fade away faster. It takes less energy to move 9 pounds than 11 pounds.

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Everything in a guitar can contributes to the final sound of the instrument; it is just a matter of knowing to what extent...

Things like the construction itself, bracing, type of wood used, pickups and electronic and hardware will clearly have an effect.

 

My opinion is that poly has more effect on the eyes than the ears...

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Using that logic a banjo would sustain as long as a guitar.

Wut? I said all the materials of construction might have an effect. Banjos are built very differently, no?

 

 

Sustain has nothing to do with pickups and the amplified signal.

I didn't mention the amplified signal. I said, "the pickups responding to the vibration of the string". That is the signal before amplification. And, I wasn't talking about the pickups in relation to sustain. I said, "if the string vibrates longer, sustain is longer."

 

 

A guitar sustains whether plugged in or not due to the vibration of the strings transferring energy to the guitar body and back to the string. That's how an acoustic guitar works. Because the top vibrates as long as the string vibrates.

My point exactly.

 

 

Put your tuning fork on a higher density material like a piece of lead and I believe that the fork will fade away faster. It takes less energy to move 9 pounds than 11 pounds.

My point exactly, again. Do try and keep up :rolleyes:. Edit to add: it might be easy to confound density with lack of resonance. Here, we are both assuming more density = less resonance. But something might be dense and resonant, in theory. For example, would a lump of steel ring longer than a lump of wood?

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It is pretty much assumed throughout the guitar building industry that an electric guitar's sound is produced by the pickups, but enhanced by the materials used in construction, and again enhanced by good tight fitting hardware.

Also, a thinner finish will help maintain a piece of woods' natural tonality. This is especially true in semi and full hollow guitars, where the vibration of the top is a big part of tone.

 

If hardness of wood was the issue then spruce, basswood, poplar, or ash would not be used. Conversely, you could use wood like oak, which is not suggested.

 

If the density, or weight was the primary issue, then certain woods like zebrawood, walnut, bloodwood, purpleheart, or many others would not be suitable.

 

The method I use for selecting wood for my guitars is firsty looks.

Secondly I use the tap test, whereby I knock on the wood to see if there is a tone, or "note" to the sound made by knocking. Having said that, if there is no tone produced by knocking, I may put a piece of wood back on the shelf in favor of another, not so good looking one.

 

Multi piece guitar bodies still resonate, as long as the glue joints are tight, and construction is solid.

 

Most importantly is the quality of the hardware and nut, and how it fits, the quality of the electronics, and how well the neck joint fits.

 

All of these factors play into the sound of a guitar. To say that any one of these is the cause of bad sound or poor sustain, is over simplifying the whole thing.

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Does anyone out there know how thick this coating actually is? I,ve got a chip in the back of the neck and the impression of thickness is that of a couple of millimetres! I was looking at sanding the neck back but have come to realize that it doesn't actually bother me as far as playing goes.

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Typical high-gloss finishes are varying between one and two millimetres in most cases. This will still leave some obvious ripple on it like the typical orange peel over mahogany, or ridges and grooves over alder.

 

In general, thickness of finishes should not be overrated. The tonal behaviour of resonating tops and backs of hollowbodies is considerably affected since the finish depth/wood depth ratio is relatively large, but there is rather small influence on semi-hollows and solidbodies.

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Wut? I said all the materials of construction might have an effect. Banjos are built very differently, no?

 

Of course they are. And that is my point.

 

I didn't mention the amplified signal. I said, "the pickups responding to the vibration of the string". That is the signal before amplification. And, I wasn't talking about the pickups in relation to sustain. I said, "if the string vibrates longer, sustain is longer."

 

Then why bring it up? We are talking sustain. Before it is amplified the signal means nothing, just a wire vibrating in a magnetic field.

 

 

 

My point exactly.

 

 

 

My point exactly, again. Do try and keep up :rolleyes:. Edit to add: it might be easy to confound density with lack of resonance. Here, we are both assuming more density = less resonance. But something might be dense and resonant, in theory. For example, would a lump of steel ring longer than a lump of wood?

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Thanks folks! Nice discussion and lots of things to think about. I've read that acoustic requirements differ hugely between acoustic and electric guitars in regard to sustain. That body resonance so sought after in acoustic guitars is the death of sustain in electrics, I'm guessing in that body vibration conflicts with string vibration. Not talking tone, which I guess would be all about those interactions, but in the dampening of string vibration by them. Hence my curiosity about the poly thickness.I know in my own limited experience that my fully black Dot Studio looks like it's been dipped in molten plastic but it literally rings like a bell which seems to be a bit of a contradiction.All this with a Bigsby and a roller bridge which some posters have described as "tone suckers" and sustain killers so it's a little hard to make sense of it all! :blink:

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I figure that the es335 Gibbie and the Epi Dot are "semi-hollow" which means there's a block of wood in there making it a solidbody with hollow "wings."

 

Yeah, it seems to affect the sustain and tone a bit, but it's also a metal bridge tied to a metal stopbar both screwed into the block of wood under a laminated top. In theory with those two, you could literally cut away the "wings" that make it look "hollow" and still play away as though it were an oddly shaped solidbody.

 

An archtop OTOH usually has a "floating" bridge, with direct contact only with the top itself through a metal or wood top over a wood base that is supposedly shaped with the top itself and has no other connection - other than the tailpiece that will have varying amounts of contact with the top and back (bottom?) of the guitar around the endpin.

 

So really on a Dot or 335, I don't see much difference could be made by the finish because functionally you've a metal plug through the finish, top and into the wood block. I'd wager that density of the wood in the block and/or qualities of the laminated top would make far more difference than whether there's this or that finish.

 

But I doubt you would find testing that would bring repeatable response to the question - and likely as much or more variation between different examples of both Epi and Gibbie than one could attribute to finish, since each guitar has a different chunk of wood for the block and for the neck.

 

It seems to me that a full hollow archtop... even the Gibson and Epi thinbody variations... would be more likely to have finish questions on sustain - but don't forget that the laminated top of the ES175 was touted as lessening feedback, hinting that it would overall lessen sustain. So again, I'd wager that the variables of the specific piece of laminate, or the solid top of an archtop, type of bridge, etc., would have more effect on sustain. Ditto, too, the scale length and type of string used.

 

That's all aesthetics aside. The poly probably better protects the wood; but note that a lot of flattoppers would say bad things about it regardless the company or price tag on a flattop.

 

m

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