Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums
Sign in to follow this  
dvd5300

Maple vs Mahogany neck

Recommended Posts

Looking to buy my first Gibson ES-175. My budget is around $3,000-3,500, so I guess I'm looking to buy a 70's vintage. Is the maple neck better, worse or the same as a mahogany in terms of stability, sound, etc?

With regard to the "good" years of manufacture, what is the cutoff year for Gibson ES-175's for quality. I've heard some bad things about the recent (2000's) fit and finish, neck set, etc.

Thanks in advance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking to buy my first Gibson ES-175. My budget is around $3,000-3,500, so I guess I'm looking to buy a 70's vintage. Is the maple neck better, worse or the same as a mahogany in terms of stability, sound, etc?

With regard to the "good" years of manufacture, what is the cutoff year for Gibson ES-175's for quality. I've heard some bad things about the recent (2000's) fit and finish, neck set, etc.

Thanks in advance.

Maple doesn't sound different from mahogany, because that's just not how electric guitars work in general. Wood doesn't affect the tone, at all. Maple is a bit harder, so therefore not fragile. It's hard to say what's better...that's kind of subjective. The necks of my double-neck are made of maple, which is actually why the guitar tends to be a little neck-heavy. However, it does make the necks more solid. So, it all depends on what's important to you.

 

As for your other questions, I am not that familiar with the ES-175 guitars. I'm sure someone here can help you out.

 

Take care!

 

EDIT: I think we've gone over the tonewood thing a little bit too much. If anyone wants to discuss this any futher with me, just send me a PM.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks.

I never thought about the weight aspect.

 

Maple doesn't sound different from mahogany, because that's just not how electric guitars work in general. Wood doesn't affect the tone, at all. Maple is a bit harder, so therefore not fragile. It's hard to say what's better...that's kind of subjective. The necks of my double-neck are made of maple, which is actually why the guitar tends to be a little neck-heavy. However, it does make the necks more solid. So, it all depends on what's important to you.

 

As for your other questions, I am not that familiar with the ES-175 guitars. I'm sure someone here can help you out.

 

Take care!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maple doesn't sound different from mahogany, because that's just not how electric guitars work in general. Wood doesn't affect the tone, at all. ...

Please don't you spread such untenable nonsense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally, although tonewoods in electrics are nowhere near as significant as in acoustic instruments, I don't think it's correct to say they don't pay any part in the tone of an electric. The sound may be created by the electrical parts of the guitar but the envelope of the string is influenced by numerous factors with timber, frets, hardware all playing a part, and if you change the way the string vibrates, you also change the sound. A Maple neck, particularly a three piece laminate Maple, will be stiffer than a Mahogany neck of the same proportions and this could easily colour the sound. I've played a lot of 335s and I think the Maple necked examples do sound a little brighter and brasher than the Mahogany versions. But hey, it's a big subject.

 

The 70s are generally regarded as the weakest era for Gibson, with models suffering from a combination of 'improvements' that history has not looked kindly towards and more brazenly cost cutting measures. That's not to say they're not still good guitars in their own right and I love my 70s ES355 as much as I do my older Gibsons, but if you're thinking of buying a 70s guitar on the grounds that older guitars are likely to be better that's not necessarily going to be the case. In particular for the ES175, if you're looking at 70s examples check carefully for top sinkage because one of those cost cutting strokes of genius was a method of part sawing through the braces so they didn't need careful fitting, resulting in a lot of 175s with collaping tops where the braces cracked at the weak spots.

 

If you really want a vintage guitar it's worth looking for player grade 50s and 60s examples. A lot of 175s from the late 50s have fallen prey to the practice of stripping guitars with PAFs and LP style wiring looms to provide parts for Burst conversions and replicas, so there are bargains to be had in vintage examples with modern electronics. 80s examples are also pretty decent new enough to have shaken off the design flaws of the 70s examples and old enough to have a little patina to them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, I'm getting an education.

Many thanks!

 

Personally, although tonewoods in electrics are nowhere near as significant as in acoustic instruments, I don't think it's correct to say they don't pay any part in the tone of an electric. The sound may be created by the electrical parts of the guitar but the envelope of the string is influenced by numerous factors with timber, frets, hardware all playing a part, and if you change the way the string vibrates, you also change the sound. A Maple neck, particularly a three piece laminate Maple, will be stiffer than a Mahogany neck of the same proportions and this could easily colour the sound. I've played a lot of 335s and I think the Maple necked examples do sound a little brighter and brasher than the Mahogany versions. But hey, it's a big subject.

 

The 70s are generally regarded as the weakest era for Gibson, with models suffering from a combination of 'improvements' that history has not looked kindly towards and more brazenly cost cutting measures. That's not to say they're not still good guitars in their own right and I love my 70s ES355 as much as I do my older Gibsons, but if you're thinking of buying a 70s guitar on the grounds that older guitars are likely to be better that's not necessarily going to be the case. In particular for the ES175, if you're looking at 70s examples check carefully for top sinkage because one of those cost cutting strokes of genius was a method of part sawing through the braces so they didn't need careful fitting, resulting in a lot of 175s with collaping tops where the braces cracked at the weak spots.

 

If you really want a vintage guitar it's worth looking for player grade 50s and 60s examples. A lot of 175s from the late 50s have fallen prey to the practice of stripping guitars with PAFs and LP style wiring looms to provide parts for Burst conversions and replicas, so there are bargains to be had in vintage examples with modern electronics. 80s examples are also pretty decent new enough to have shaken off the design flaws of the 70s examples and old enough to have a little patina to them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maple doesn't sound different from mahogany, because that's just not how electric guitars work in general. Wood doesn't affect the tone, at all.

So so so not true in my experience. The plugged-in tone will generally be very reflective of the unplugged tone of a given instrument. The unplugged tone is generated by the selection of materials. The effect is usually easier to discern on a hollowbody, but it can be heard with solidbodies as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please don't you spread such untenable nonsense.

You might want to delve into a couple of videos from WillsEasyGuitar, such as this one:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svmOQuNC1Uw&list=PLSfhrWNmmUooNvHlJXvKhb86WUvloY22d

 

Tonewood is a myth, when it comes to electric guitars. Physics simple don't support this, as you'll see in his many videos. How would you explain how wood affects the tone? Magic? There's is no logical explanation. Even if wood - based on species - did affect the tone, it would be extremely subtle. Please, convince me. To me, tonewood is merely a trick to get you to buy a certain guitar. The reality is, it only has to do with $$$. Wood - is - imporant, but for different reasons. Structural integrity, weight, etc. If you can convince me, please share whatever scientific evidence you can come up with, and I will support that fully.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You might want to delve into a couple of videos from WillsEasyGuitar, such as this one:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svmOQuNC1Uw&list=PLSfhrWNmmUooNvHlJXvKhb86WUvloY22d

 

Tonewood is a myth, when it comes to electric guitars. Physics simple don't support this, as you'll see in his many videos. How would you explain how wood affects the tone? Magic? There's is no logical explanation. Even if wood - based on species - did affect the tone, it would be extremely subtle. Please, convince me. To me, tonewood is merely a trick to get you to buy a certain guitar. The reality is, it only has to do with $$$. Wood - is - imporant, but for different reasons. Structural integrity, weight, etc. If you can convince me, please share whatever scientific evidence you can come up with, and I will support that fully.

Here are short and effective cures:

 

Find a Fender Telecaster with one-piece maple neck and ash wood body, and another one with maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, and alder body. With same type bridge, pickups, strings, and a nice amp, you may believe to listen to very different guitars.

 

Find two Gibson Les Paul guitars with mahogany bodies and necks but one with rosewood fretboard and quartersawn flame top, the other one with Coração de Negro fretboard and flatsawn quilt top, same hardware, pickups, strings, and amp. You also may believe to listen to different guitars.

 

Believe me, I enjoy these differences of both the unequal pairs I mentioned above.

 

Convince yourself, unload your prejudices, dive into the world of various speeds of sounds, along the grain and across the grain, different densities, different designs and hardware.

 

There's lots to discover out there, mate, just dare and start to listen!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are short and effective cures:

 

Find a Fender Telecaster with one-piece maple neck and ash wood body, and another one with maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, and alder body. With same type bridge, pickups, strings, and a nice amp, you may believe to listen to very different guitars.

 

Find two Gibson Les Paul guitars with mahogany bodies and necks but one with rosewood fretboard and quartersawn flame top, the other one with Coração de Negro fretboard and flatsawn quilt top, same hardware, pickups, strings, and amp. You also may believe to listen to different guitars.

 

Believe me, I enjoy these differences of both the unequal pairs I mentioned above.

 

Convince yourself, unload your prejudices, dive into the world of various speeds of sounds, along the grain and across the grain, different densities, different designs and hardware.

 

There's lots to discover out there, mate, just dare and start to listen!

As I said in another thread, I am always searching for logic and the science behind things. To my knowledge, science doesn't support the tonewood thing. But maybe your advice is a good one...just open your mind. I will go to a store today, and I will ask them to hand me a couple of guitars, as you said. Might change my perspective on this whole thing.

 

I do still think a lot of emphasis is being put on tonewood to generate sales. I can't help that. If a company can convince you that a certain wood sounds great, they don't have to use expensive woods like ebony and korina anymore. That's why you'll see things like richlite, which is a huge slap in the face. For the kind of money a Custom Les Paul costs, you should always get the real tonewood, which would be ebony. But ebony is from Africa, and therefore: more expensive for Gibson. That's why you'll see this particular wood get used a lot less. Same thing with korina. That used to be a go to body material for companies. Now, it's getting used a lot less. Why? Because, it simply costs a lot more to build a guitar out of korina, than lets say, than to build a guitar out of ash, alder, basswood, or even mahogany.

 

So, I'm not completely writing your opinion off. I just think that tonewood is being exaggarated. As you suggested, I will do my own tests, and I will try to be less biased. But don't forget, it's a business. And in business, they just want to get the sales. Companies - and I'm not singling out Gibson, at all - will try anything to generate sales.

 

Gibson guitars are awesome, by the way. Nice attention to detail, nice sound, and they play great. This is all that matters. The necks and body are solid, and that's fantastic. Actually, I would never want to buy anything other than a Gibson again. But that's not because of tonewood, but because of the overall quality of their guitars.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do still think a lot of emphasis is being put on tonewood to generate sales. I can't help that. If a company can convince you that a certain wood sounds great, they don't have to use expensive woods like ebony and korina anymore. That's why you'll see things like richlite, which is a huge slap in the face. For the kind of money a Custom Les Paul costs, you should always get the real tonewood, which would be ebony. But ebony is from Africa, and therefore: more expensive for Gibson. That's why you'll see this particular wood get used a lot less. Same thing with korina. That used to be a go to body material for companies. Now, it's getting used a lot less. Why? Because, it simply costs a lot more to build a guitar out of korina, than lets say, than to build a guitar out of ash, alder, basswood, or even mahogany.

 

So, I'm not completely writing your opinion off. I just think that tonewood is being exaggarated. As you suggested, I will do my own tests, and I will try to be less biased. But don't forget, it's a business. And in business, they just want to get the sales. Companies - and I'm not singling out Gibson, at all - will try anything to generate sales.

 

This argument that the tonewood 'myth' is a construct of the industry to make us want guitars made from materials they can buy cheap and mark up highly doesn’t really hold water, historically or in the current market. Originally few guitarists knew or cared what woods their guitars were made of: the timbers for electric guitars were chosen by manufacturers largely for their availability and their aesthetic qualities. Manufacturers ideally protect their margins by using raw materials that can be easily bought in bulk at large discounts, and where reliable supply lines are available from merchants with whom they have an established relationship. If it wass cheap, easily sourced and it made a good guitar, then it was an ideal material to use. Although Gibson occasionally experimented with alternative timbers that feel into their laps, Korina being the most notable, during the McCarthy era from which most classic electric designs originated they never really stayed from their stock timbers.

 

The industry today operates in a very different scenario: timbers that were once widely available in the US are now scarcer, harder to source and often requiring licences and paperwork to legally import. However, the quest for tone driven by the same figures that drove the vintage market in the late 60s onwards has thrown a heavy spotlight on details about guitar designs that were previously not given a great deal of attention, so substituting another more easily sourced alternative isn't an option. Just as the 'good' wood has run out, suddenly guitarists are hip to the fact that the best sounding guitars were made from very specific parts and, rightly or wrongly, they expect to see those parts on the guitar they buy. If the market requires specific timbers to be used, so the manufacturers do their best to source those materials and the bill goes to the consumer: It's not a huge scam on the part of manufacturers, simply a response to what the market wants. Is there a premium on authentic materials? Almost certainly, but with any premium product you're buying into something more than just adding up the componant costs.

 

People like there to be a conspiracy about why stuff costs what it does, but it really just boils down to what will the market bear. People will pay a premium for certain timbers, and they will pay a premium for historical authenticity: Gibson are simply supplying what the market wants.

 

All that and I haven't even started on whether tonewoods effect sound...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[biggrin] Here's a quicky. Maple neck, all solid carved woods vs. mahogany neck and all laminate construction. Surely you hear a big difference! :rolleyes: What's say you?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To my knowledge, science doesn't support the tonewood thing.

 

Not to beat you up on this, but I don't agree. I think science does support it.

 

Scientist are not always scientific. The idea that if you can't proove a thing it doesn't exist is NOT based on sound science.

 

A scientific fact: there is no measuring device capable as human ears. Human hearing is still more capable of great complexities that mo machine can match.

 

It really isn't hard to tell there is a difference between maple and mahogany neck in the resulting sound of a guitar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...

It really isn't hard to tell there is a difference between maple and mahogany neck in the resulting sound of a guitar.

There's another point I experienced over the years. The string reaction to attack seems stronger on maple necks. Given same string makes and playing style, they always called for slightly more neck relief and stiffer action.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's another point I experienced over the years. The string reaction to attack seems stronger on maple necks. Given same string makes and playing style, they always called for slightly more neck relief and stiffer action.

Never really thought of it that way, but if I think about it, your're right. The "attack" part.

 

I don't know about neck relief, but one thing I have noticed is that Gibson "types" as opposed to Fender "types" are able to have much lower action. I know, I know, fretbaord radius plays a part. But it's more than that. I find it's in the way the strings vibrate.

 

Of corse, how the string vibrates IS the determining factor in neck relief. (So right again?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quote: "Maple doesn't sound different from mahogany, because that's just not how electric guitars work in general. Wood doesn't affect the tone, at all. ..."

 

 

 

Complete Nonsense.

 

Scientific Analysis of Differing Electric Guitar Tonewoods.

 

With Fourier Transform Graphs of the Resulting Frequencies, Visually Show the Difference when Recorded Electrically, a matter which is also Perceivable by Ear. With Certain Materials the Differences are Small, with Others, Much Greater Altogether.

 

Whilst these are Clearly Observable when Recording Single Strings, as More Strings, More Fundamentals, More Frequencies and More Harmonic Information is Added and More Sounds Combine and Interact in Ever More Complex Ways, as in any Chordal Instrument the Sum of these Differences Add Up.

 

AB Testing or ABX Testing are Methods of Testing, Fraught with Multiple Anomalies, and Experienced "Golden Eared" Experts, Usually Avoid them for this Very Reason. There's a Small Number of Well Known and Loved Professional Folk with Very Experienced Ears, Recording Studio Equipment Designers use as Consultants for this Reason.

 

Allow me to explain just one problem that the users of such Methodologies have Not Properly Contemplated. The Human Brain holds Audible Information (The Sound you Hear) in its Short Term Memory for a Bare Milliseconds. Far, Far Less Time than it takes for a Sound approaching from One Side of You to Pass Around your Head and Enter the Far Side Ear (Inter-Aural Difference 6-7 Milliseconds).

 

Following that. The Brain then Processes and Transfers the Information to its Long Term Memory, but in doing so Strips Away Complex Harmonic Information so that More Information can be Stored in Less Brain Space. Jimmy Johnson Inventor of the MPEG-2 AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) Standard used a similar Idea with his MPEG Coding, so if you understand the difference between a Full Information CD and an MPEG File of the Same Music you will realise, Some Quality has been Sacrificed for Storage Space.

 

So the Longer it Takes, Listening Between Sound Samples, the Less Reliable any Decision you might make will able to be, and significantly, what you are Comparing won't be the First Sound you Heard with the Second Sound you Heard. But in reality, the Second Sound you Heard will be Compared with an Harmonically Reduced Version from your Long Term Memory of the First Sound You Heard. Don't be Deceived in regard to such Issues with ABX Testing, with Long Periods Between Samples, or Consecutive Samples featuring Heavily Processed Guitar Sound, and by what might at first appear to be Straightforward Common Sense.

 

There is Absolutely Nothing Common at all about Genuine Sense.

 

It is a Very Rare Commodity Indeed.

 

 

 

And the Differences in Tone can be Subtle, but Clearly Noted by Ears Experienced Enough to Perceive them. Good Ears and Depth of Experience Count.

 

If you have spent the last few years with an IPlayer plugged into your Ears, listening to MP-3's every day, I would strongly doubt if you will have the Requisite Ear/Brain Ability.

 

 

 

One very significant thing I learnt from Producer, the late Gus Dudgeon many years ago, was that as a Complex Recording Mix Builds as a Song Develops..

 

As the Majority of Voices and especially Musical Instruments are present in the Middle Range Frequencies, where things can become Confusingly Competitive and Muddy Up the Mix...

 

It's Better to use Subtractive Equalisation from Competing Instruments which brings Clarity and Cleanness to the Overall Sound, than to utilise Additive Equalisation which will Over-Fatten and Mask certain of the Competing Elements in the Mix. This way you can hear them all, Clearly Together. I have added a Photo of Gus Below with Session Friends the late Bobby Graham and Jim Sullivan.

 

Why am I explaining this? Well there's a Basic Misunderstanding around how Tonewoods work, and the better we Understand how a Parametric Equaliser on a Large Format Recording Console Works, the better we will understand them. Broadly, people appear to think of Tonewoods in Terms of the Tone they will Add to the Sound of the Guitar. However, in Reality I believe it's perhaps rather more helpful to think of them in Terms of the Sound they will Subtract!

 

So whilst folk might say Mahogany is a Wood that Adds Warmth to the Guitars Sound, we could also think of this in another way entirely, that in fact, Mahogany is a Wood that Absorbs, thus Subtracts High Frequencies, and the Lessening of the Brightest Frequencies, result in a Warmer Sound. On the other hand, whilst some will claim that Maple Adds Brightness to the Tone of a Guitar, we could also look at this in terms of the Fact that what is actually going on, is that the Maple is Absorbing More Low and Low Mid Frequencies, and that gives more Clarity and Brightness to the Tone.

 

However you Prefer to Think About this, (and I like to think in Terms of Reflection and Absorption) what we are discussing is Mainly Differences in the Relationship or Sonic Balance Between Fundamental and Harmonics, and Very Subtle Differences in the Huge Slew of Harmonics that Follow.

 

These are Recordable and Measurable Scientifically and people that have a Lot of Sonic Experience Listening can Detect the Differences.

 

 

 

But allow me to give you, another Good Reason for Utilising Great Tonewoods.

 

They Have a More Interesting and Better Looking Grain, Resulting in an Instrument that has Greater Stage Presence, they can also be Repaired by Traditional Methodologies.

 

For sure today, many Guitar Manufacturers are using Substitute Materials, for a Variety of Manufacturing Purposes. Fingerboards as with some Gibson's, Bodies and Fingerboards as with some Martins et al.

 

I think it's fair to state that the Manufacturers choose Sustainable and Cost Effective, Alternative Materials that are as Far as Possible Inert from a Musical Perspective. That they neither Add nor Subtract in any Significant Manner, that any Average Person would Find Audibly Detectible.

 

 

 

 

 

Quote: "I am always searching for logic and the science behind things."

 

 

 

O.K. This Scientific Paper is Quite Large. Do Search It!

 

http://www.dkg-custom.com/docs/ex2009-076.Pdf

 

 

 

"7. Conclusion of Master Thesis

 

7.1. Summary

 

Experimental Modal Analysis has shown that the dynamical behaviors of the three

tested guitars are really similar, with very close modal frequencies and modes shapes;

however some discrepancies appear for the modal dampings, especially at the 4th

mode of Ash guitar, which is much higher than the others. The string ends measurements

have shown that the string connections are not rigid at all (at least for the bridge),

although this is generally wanted by guitar makers to insure a high sustain. The simulated

string vibrations and corresponding spectrograms have predicted that Ash guitar

should have the shortest sustain (at least for the open E2 string).

 

Throughout all these vibroacoustical measurements and simulations, it appears that

the material of the body of an electric guitar has indeed an influence on the tone of the

instrument.

 

But this influence is subtle and complex to characterize, and even more

complex to correlate with the way the instrument is perceived by its player. Of course,

we should not forget that the pickup microphones strongly contribute to an electric

guitar’s sound (more than its material), since these latter exert some sort of electronic

post-processing of the acoustic sound. But for any electric guitar, the sustain which is

maybe the most important and first notice parameter is primarily related to the vibrational

behavior of the instrument."

 

 

 

 

However.

 

Designing and Fabricating Musical Instruments is NOT a Science.

 

It is Fundamentally, Primarily, First and Foremost a Craft, an Art and at its Highest, Practiced by Artisans.

 

In Factories that Mass Manufacture Musical Instruments, the Complexities of that Art is broken down into many, many Simplified Processes, for Production Operators.

 

But the Original Design and Specification of the Instrument along with the Layout and Tooling of the Factory, requires Artisan Skills to Oversee and Guide the Manufacturing and Perform the Highest Level Skills.

 

In is invariably the Case, that whenever some "Expert" comes along and try's to introduce Innovative Scientific Theorising into the Guitar Design and Manufacturing Business, the inevitable result is a Catastrophic Sales and a Marketing Flop of Gargantuan Proportions.

 

I can Recall a "Scientist" and a Good Luthier who Fabricated a Classical Guitar according to the flawed Scientific Theories of the "Scientist". He proudly presented the Unique Design of Instrument to a Symposium of the World's Top Classical Guitar Players. They told him it was an interesting Guitar, but the Problem with it was that it didn't Sound anything like a Classical Guitar should, so was No Good to them At All.

 

 

 

This simple fact hadn't even occurred to them!

 

 

 

The Best Sounding Large Format Recording Consoles and Equalisation were Designed by Rupert Neve.

 

http://rupertneve.com/company/honors/

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rupert_Neve

 

 

 

He has NO SCIENTIFIC QUALIFICATIONS or ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING QUALIFICATIONS at all.

 

He Designs his Equipment simply by Listening, and Carefully Choosing Components after a Great Deal of Listening, not by Scientific Theory's or by Component Specification Sheets from Suppliers.

 

His Recording Equipment Designs are however what Scientists and Electrical Engineers have for Decades been Required by Competitor Companies to Copy and Emulate. Because they have "THE SOUND" that Recording Artists, Producers and Musicians Prefer. Don't allow yourself be Blinded by what can Appear to be Science, but is not Proven Truth.

 

 

 

 

Quote: "To my knowledge, science doesn't support the tonewood thing".

 

 

 

Clearly.

 

You have Precious Little Knowledge.

 

Along with a Complete Lack of any Genuine Depth of Experience.

 

But don't go Spreading the Falsehood and Ignorance that goes along with that around the Net.

 

 

 

 

 

Quote: "Wood doesn't affect the tone, at all. "

 

 

 

So. You Don't Believe Woods differ significantly in Tone!

 

 

 

 

 

Quote: "For the kind of money a Custom Les Paul costs, you should always get the real tonewood, which would be ebony."

 

 

 

You Appear to be Deeply Confused.

 

And are now Arguing directly against your Own Fundamental Point.

 

Now you are saying that Better, more Expensive Guitars, "Should" feature Genuine ToneWoods.

 

 

 

 

You can't have this both ways!

 

 

 

Why Should they feature Tonewoods?

 

If your First Point, is Valid and Correct?

 

You have Argued Against and Tellingly Disproved.

 

The Very Opinion and Standpoint that you First Stated.

 

We can Conclude that You Don't Know what you are talking about.

 

 

 

 

Quote: "I'm not completely writing your opinion off."

 

 

 

Hopefully, you are not taking any notice of your Own Opinion.

 

 

 

 

Many years ago.

 

Leo Fender was sat at home enjoying a cooling drink one weekend and watching Television.

 

The Musical Entertainment Program featured many different Artists. They Played Gibson's, Martins, etc. but suddenly he sat up and paid close attention, because a Group came on that Played Fenders.

 

He was Appalled by what he Saw. All the Gibson and Martin Instruments with Rosewood and Ebony Fingerboards looked Great on Television, however the Maple Fingerboards and Necks on the Fender Instruments looked Terrible, and very Dirty Indeed.

 

This was because the Old Black and White, Very Basic Television Broadcasting Picture Resolution had so few Lines that the Screen Contrast made the Maple Guitar Fingerboards look Really Terrible. Leo was Deeply Upset by what he felt Visually would be a Marketing Disaster.

 

So in the Fender Musical Instrument Factories, he very quickly Ceased Production of Maple Fingerboards and Substituted Rosewood Fingerboards instead. Up to that time, Fender Musical Instruments had only used Maple Fingerboards, so this was a Massive Deal for the Manufacturer.

 

However, Consistent and Perpetually Rising Demand from Professional Musicians who Distinctly Preferred the Tonal Difference and Feel of the Maple Fingerboards and Necks, over Two Solid Years of Lobbying, most particularly from Telecaster Players, made Leo finally relent his decision. Leo Reintroduced Maple and Divided the Factory Production Quantities into One Half Maple and One Half Rosewood in the beginning, thus now giving the Artist and Customer the Choice.

 

The Players Ears and Hands themselves Dictated their Sonic Desires and Created the Demand for this Wood Material Difference!

 

 

 

 

This is just One Example

 

Taken from the History of Instrument Manufacturing.

 

There are many, many others but the Salient Point to take from this, is the following.

 

If you were to the slightest degree right in your assertions, then all the Artists, Musicians, Instrument Designers and Manufacturers, throughout Musical Instrument Manufacturing History in the Development of the Electric Guitar must be Wrong.

 

 

 

 

With Respect.

 

If Science is Genuinely More Important to You than Art.

 

Then you will never be particularly any good as a Musician, and especially not, as a Guitarist.

 

For the Players Touch itself makes the Most Significant Contribution and Genuine Difference to the Sonic Signature of the Instruments Sound. This is something Science Cannot Quantify.

 

And Each and Every Single Instrument, wrought from a Singularly Individual Tree, Possesses a Distinct and Unique Character and Tonal Personality. Resulting in a Rare Combination of Great Design, High Quality Raw Materials, Excellent Manufacturing and Superbly Reliable, Hardware and Electronics.

 

 

 

 

If it was Easy to Blend these into a Scientific Formula.

 

Anyone could Play and Make Great Guitars.

 

But Patently, that is Not The Case!

 

That's why you buy a Gibson.

 

 

 

My Experience would suggest that not only are there Distinct Differences in Differing Wood Types.

 

But that Different Densities of Exactly the Same Wood Types, will Create a Strongly Different Sonic Signature.

 

A Difference in Sound that is Easily Detectable, even when both the Same Guitar Design and the Same Electronics Are Involved.

 

If someone tells you the opposite of what you have read here, ask them about the Anechoic Chambers they have extensively used to Test their Theories.

 

I've yet to encounter anyone that has them. However, Companies I have an "interest in" not only own many differing types of Specialist Anechoic Chambers of their own.

 

They have even hired the Benefield Specialist Anechoic Chambers at Edwards Air Base named after a Flight Commander Test Pilot . It is currently the World's Largest Anechoic Chamber.

 

It has Unassailably been my Experience that if an Electric Guitar has been Carefully and Superbly Fabricated from the Best Tonewoods, that the Direct Acoustical Reflected Sound when it is Not Plugged, in Sounds Better.

 

Few I suspect, will Argue with that Point. The Instrument is Well Made with the Best Materials. Acoustically and in Playability you should be able to Detect a Distinct Difference and You Can. Very Well, but when you Plug such a Guitar in, it ALWAYS SOUNDS GREAT!

 

The same cannot be said for Guitars created from Cheaper Materials. Usually they Sound Lousy when Played Acoustically, and even When Plugged In, even if we were Bending Over Backwards to their Apologists and said they Sound Fairly Reasonable, there's no Genuine Comparison in Quality of Sound and Playability to my Ears.

 

What I mean by that is this very simple point. I've never Heard a Sound I Wanted to Record, with such Guitars.

 

A Sound that I Knew would Make a Killer Record.

 

 

 

 

On that Point, and in Memory of Gus.

 

Have a Listen all the way through these Dungeon Productions.

 

See if you can Hear the Clarity of All the Musical Instruments in an Ever Crowding Mix.

 

It's not always what is added that makes the Biggest Difference in Sound, sometimes it's what is Subtracted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything Single Thing you Build In or Build Out of a Guitar will Affect at Some Level, or to Some Degree the way the Instrument Sounds, Feels, Plays and Looks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everything Single Thing you Build In or Build Out of a Guitar will Affect at Some Level, or to Some Degree the way the Instrument Sounds, Feels, Plays and Looks.

 

Dear Anthony,

 

 

What I quoted here, is what I believe to be what's right. I might have been quite harsh with my claims like "wood doesn't affect the tone, at all." I must admit, I was taking that a little too far, and it stems from the fact I let myself get influenced a whole lot by this guy on Youtube, WillseasyGuitar. This guy goes over the physics behind tonewood, and the way he presents his stuff - I got to admit - is quite convincing. You might want to check his stuff, and his tests out. What Will does, is purely scientific...it's physics. And with the way he presents his case, physics don't support tonewood. That's why I got smacked in the face, because I used to be a big tonewood guy.

 

As you correctly stated, I am now deeply conflicted about this topic. On one hand, you have these guys like WillsEasyGuitar (luthier, owner of his own guitar brand) and Scott Grove using physics to debunk tonewood. On the other hand, I have my own ears and experience, along with your masterfully written piece here. Although, there's no reason for personal attack here. You don't need that, frankly.

 

Guitars and music are very important to me, and I actually make about half of my living with it. The other half is through my job at the university. And yes, science is a huge part of my regular job. See, that's where I become conflicted. One part of me is telling me to trust my gut, whilst the other part of me is sceptical. As I said to someone here, I will perform my own test in which all variables are 100% identical, except for the wood. If the sound changes, then yes, wood makes a meaningful difference. Then, I will come up with my own conclusions. I will leave it at that, okay. I'm not going to get into this any further, at the moment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For those that are interested, here is a link to this guy that debunks all kinds of stuff:

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svmOQuNC1Uw&list=PLSfhrWNmmUooNvHlJXvKhb86WUvloY22d

 

 

Just check it out. Will is pretty convinced that all what he claims, is not debatable. In his mind, it's reality and that's it. I would urge you to - at least - watch it, and to see how Will makes his case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For those that are interested, here is a link to this guy that debunks all kinds of stuff:

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svmOQuNC1Uw&list=PLSfhrWNmmUooNvHlJXvKhb86WUvloY22d

 

 

Just check it out. Will is pretty convinced that all what he claims, is not debatable. In his mind, it's reality and that's it. I would urge you to - at least - watch it, and to see how Will makes his case.

Will's theory in short:

 

The builder of solidbody guitars obviously found by accident the way how to overcome Hooke, Newton, Einstein, Planck and all the other obsolete physics. Now we know that they use miraculous stuff with infinite speed of sound for making these instruments. Or does any material get overnatural properties when making solid guitars out of them?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will's theory in short:

 

The builder of solidbody guitars obviously found by accident the way how to overcome Hooke, Newton, Einstein, Planck and all the other obsolete physics. Now we know that they use miraculous stuff with infinite speed of sound for making these instruments. Or does any material get overnatural properties when making solid guitars out of them?

Yeah, it's quite humorous when you say it like that. But he has many videos like this one. Another real gem to watch, is his video called "What guitar companies don't want you to know."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, it's quite humorous when you say it like that. But he has many videos like this one. Another real gem to watch, is his video called "What guitar companies don't want you to know."

Obviously Will found out that creating odd videos is an easier way to make money than building guitars.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quote: "I will perform my own test in which all variables are 100% identical."

 

 

 

 

Will your Personal Hearing Acuity.

 

Actually be a Variable that you Actively Take into Account?

 

The Hearing Acuity of Every Individual Person can Change Subtly from Day to Day, According to their Environment, Mood and even the Weather can Directly Affect Hearing.

 

This is Scientifically Provable, and even Changes in Humidity Affect Sound and How it Travels due to Air Density. Studio Recording Engineers and Producers that get to Traverse the Globe, Immediately can Sense these Minute Differences.

 

Any Guitar Owner can tell you that their Instrument Sometimes seems to Sound Different. Sometimes it's the Moisture Content in the Wood, due to the Weather, but more often than not, it's how they are Feeling Physically and Psychologically that day. So this is another Variable You Need to Eliminate.

 

This is one reason I Stressed the need for an Anechoic Chamber and Experimental Recording Equipment to Conduct such Tests, which I must presume that you have the Use Of. Companies I have "an interest" in have Numerous B& K Linear Scientific Measurement Mic's which you will need, along with Anechoic, Semi-Anechoic and Many Additional Different Types of Measurement Chambers.

 

You will appreciate that a True Anechoic Chamber will have no Floor, as that would Reflect Sound, and become an Additional Part of what was Measured. You need to Eliminate Everything like that which could Contribute Unwanted Additional Reflections and Just Measure the Difference in the Wood.

 

Good Luck with your Experiments!

 

 

 

 

Quote: " there's no reason for personal attack."

 

 

 

 

It's not Personal at all.

 

You Alone Chose the Words You Wrote.

 

And Aligned and Indentified them with Science.

 

I have merely Demonstrated with the Most Consummate Ease.

 

That Your Carefully Considered Written Assertions and Statements are Inconsistent.

 

That You in Point of Fact, Directly Contradict Yourself and in Doing So are Writing Unscientific Nonsense.

 

I Genuinely Regret and Apologise if the Humour involved in Exposing these Inconsistencies has Dented the Veneer of Your Ego.

 

But Wonder, if The Music Business, Featuring So High in Rejection for So Many, would be the Best Place, for Someone Lacking a Thick Skin?

 

 

 

So.

 

Be Clear.

 

I'm Attacking Nonsense.

 

If you Write Nonsense, Expect Scrutiny.

 

I note that you own Three Gibson Guitars of Completely Different Types.

 

Congratulations on your Excellent Choice of Instrument Brand, and indeed the 2014 and 2015 Models.

 

Please Consider that the Person Writing to You, may have in their Possession, Double Digit Figures of Pristine Mint Condition, Vintage Examples of Precisely the Same Guitar Model.

 

With Only the Density of the Original Brazilian Hardwoods to Create a Difference. Frankly, I have One Les Paul with a Body Slab So Dense, that the Electrified Sound makes the Instrument only suitable for Warm Jazz Playing. It is Very Heavy Indeed. Quite Extraordinarily So.

 

And you can Easily Hear the Difference that Density Makes through the Electrified Sound, compared to Other Examples of the Exact Same Model.

 

 

 

 

For some people.

 

Such Direct Comparisons are a Matter of Daily Life.

 

And have been for Very Many Decades, This Experience helps to Inform What We Write.

 

With All Due Respect, I note you appear to lack this Facility and the Abilities that are Commensurate with That.

 

 

 

None the Less.

 

 

Good Luck with Your Guitar Playing and Your Experiments!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...