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LarryUK

Binding to sound?

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I've been having a discussion of Facebook and someone was sarcastic when I commented that binding/no binding can make a difference to the sound of the guitar. What is your opinion? I think it can as there is more maple top and more fretboard.

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Guest Farnsbarns

I'm not sure that there is more maple top and more fretboard. I could be wrong but I doubt it makes any difference myself.

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i'm guessing every single part of a guitar contributes to it's overall sound, like a long mathematical equation. But whatever difference binding may make, I doubt it would be measurable by the human ear.

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I suspect it can. In fact I've heard testimony by some of the best guitarists stating such. Quantify that with statements like Joe Bonamassa liking the oversized headstocks of Customs and the '69 - '70 Les Pauls (Deluxe mostly) because the more wood the more tone-wood, the more tone...

 

He also likes baseball bat necks because the more wood the more tone-wood, the more tone...

 

I agree with others here that it's part of a larger mathematical equation that makes the totality of the overall sound/tone of an axe and you may or may not hear a difference from the very next guitar off the assembly line without all the binding. But I would expect you would hear a difference were it all removed from the guitar and played.

 

Less surface, less area, less material resonating.

 

How much of a difference would be completely unique to each and every guitar...

 

Could U hear it? I don't know...

 

Could I hear it? I don't know...

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This is indeed a very interesting question.

 

I have to admit that I was shocked the first time I viewed a bound Gibson fretboard upper edge without nut. The furrows for the binding heels reach well under both the E strings of the related Custom Shop Les Paul Standard of mine.

 

As an approximation I would say that, related to nut width, the routing for the truss rod eats up 25% of the neck surface, and both the bindings another 25%. So an unbound Gibson sixstring fretboard like that of a Les Paul Studio would have 75% wood/glue/wood contact to the neck, that of a bound one like on a Les Paul Standard 50% wood/glue/wood and 25% laminated wood/glue/binding/glue/wood connection at nut width. Of course, the share of wood areas directly bonded to each other will increase along the fretboard with increasing total width.

 

To my own surprise I couldn't find that Studio models are superior to Standards. The laminated connection of about the third of the overall fretboard to neck bond area doesn't seem to deteriorate tone or sustain of bound fretboards at all.

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Geez - I guess there's 12 planets in the Zubicon Galaxy. I'm ready to argue about it too!!

 

 

Guitar players are silly. [biggrin]

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Geez - I guess there's 12 planets in the Zubicon Galaxy. I'm ready to argue about it too!!

 

the sardonic wit of BBD strikes again, lol, ya gotta love it. msp_thumbup.gif

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...statements like Joe Bonamassa liking the oversized headstocks of Customs and the '69 - '70 Les Pauls (Deluxe mostly) because the more wood the more tone-wood, the more tone...

He also likes baseball bat necks because the more wood the more tone-wood, the more tone...

Bollocks. All of it. IMHO, of course, Jimi!...

 

First point : if so then why doesn't JB play nothing but '69 / '70 Les Paul DeLuxes - instead of using all those crap-sounding small-headed Standards from a dozen years earlier?

Second point : So if any given guitar was twice as large and twice as thick, therefore giving it more tone-wood, it would doubtless have 'more' tone?

Third point : Jimmy Page's #1 has a neck so slim that, on a bright day, you can see the truss-rod through the wood. He still sounds O.K. to me.

 

P.

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This is why those fret (nibs) nubs were so important. Tooooooooone. [thumbup]

 

Take a look through history and you'll see that all our Les Paul heroes played guitars with binding. Joe Walsh, Joe Perry, Jimmy Page, Peter Green, Gary Moore, Tom Scholtz, Slash, Madonna are all names we know and since we know their names they are Tooooone experts who know exactly how godly toooone is made. Not one of them plays a Les Paul Studio. Why? No Toooone...

 

Therefor we are left with no other possible conclusion. The more plastic a guitar has on it the better its tone will be.

 

Bring back the (nibs) nubs!!

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Guest Farnsbarns

"More tone"? I've seen this combination of words around here a bit recently. Exactly how much more tone? What is the unit of measurement for tone? If I have too much tone will it sound bad? How much tone does jimmy page have, I'll have that much please. But wait, would more tone than Jimmy be a good idea, or is that the sweet spot?

 

guitar players are silly

 

No, they are as mad as a box of frogs.

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What "Tone?" Good tone, bad tone, bright tone, dull tone, "woody" tone,

warm tone, cold tone, etc., etc., etc.! :rolleyes:

 

Binding, is purely cosmetic.

 

IF it ideed effects the tone of a guitar, it would be so subtle, as to be

non-consequential, IMHO. We all know, that "good tone," is subjective.

And, it's often what "we" want to believe it is, as opposed to any scientific

determination.

 

So, if you like "bindings," buy guitars with it, if not, don't. [flapper][biggrin]

 

 

CB

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...

First point : if so then why doesn't JB play nothing but '69 / '70 Les Paul DeLuxes - instead of using all those crap-sounding small-headed Standards from a dozen years earlier?

...

P.

[lol] [lol] [lol][thumbup]

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This is why those fret (nibs) nubs were so important. Tooooooooone. [thumbup]

 

Take a look through history and you'll see that all our Les Paul heroes played guitars with binding. Joe Walsh, Joe Perry, Jimmy Page, Peter Green, Gary Moore, Tom Scholtz, Slash, Madonna are all names we know and since we know their names they are Tooooone experts who know exactly how godly toooone is made. Not one of them plays a Les Paul Studio. Why? No Toooone...

 

Therefor we are left with no other possible conclusion. The more plastic a guitar has on it the better its tone will be.

 

Bring back the (nibs) nubs!!

[biggrin]

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I don't know if it matters on tone or not..........my take is that everyone buying a guitar should first be blindfolded.

 

Pick the one that plays and sounds best........then open your eyes.....the one that is best to your ears and hands is the BEST one......period.

 

The preferences of famous players to me is only a guideline......in the end, I pick the one I like......might be nudged in a direction due to someone famous......perhaps try "their" model.......but if it doesn't sound good to me then I don't care what their reasons are....lol.

 

NHTom

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Yes, binding most certainly affects the tone.

It affects it just as much as what material your strap is made out of. :-s

For sure it does. A convenient strap contributes a lot to my performance. [rolleyes]

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I dunno...

 

After reading arguments by some acoustic-only type forum members, I think perhaps an argument might be made that any piece of a guitar could bring measurable change in "sound."

 

I think perhaps abalone on the rosette of an AE and on the fingerboard position markers on either an electric or acoustic would make a huge difference since they're far less likely to give in to any sort of torsion and the greater solidity certainly would add at least 10 to 15 percent more sustainable tone generated from the fossil ivory nut on any guitar.

 

Binding on the F holes of an archtop, ditto. It's obvious that the additional decrease in flexibility of the "F" by gluing any sort of binding would emphatically stiffen the top and give a significantly different response to any vibration.

 

However, in both cases, it's more likely that the differences would predominate in certain sections of the audio spectrum, and on different guitars differently.

 

It's also probable that much of the difference would be at the frequency levels inaudible to the human ear, which may give a clue to why some guitars bring more response from dogs and cats than others.

 

Hmmmmmm...

 

Right?

 

<chortle>

 

m

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You are missing the real important part of great tone, that is the kind of glue they use makes all the difference. I can certainly hear a difference and the glue they use today does not have the same sonic properties to get that sustain and sound. Vintage wood glue ftw [thumbup]

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You are missing the real important part of great tone, that is the kind of glue they use makes all the difference. I can certainly hear a difference and the glue they use today does not have the same sonic properties to get that sustain and sound. Vintage wood glue ftw [thumbup]

 

I can hear what temperature the glue was.

 

rct

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