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At last. Proof that it's all bull s**t.


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At last. Someone has done a test that shows it all rubbish about tone wood or that paint colour affects tone. He should do it about pickups next.

I believe that most pickup differences can just be simply dialled out on the amp.

Edited by LarryUK
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I don't think that guitar had a nitro finish though and that would have made a difference because it would let the wood breathe, meaning much better tone [biggrin]

 

Someone posted this video the other day btw.

Edited by cody78
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I believe that most pickup differences can just be simply dialled out on the amp.

 

Well.....

 

Last week I took my Squier Strat with a single bridge humbucker to a jazz group rehearsal.

Shouldn't have done it. But I thought I'd be able to get a reasonable fat, clean sound.

No matter how I set my pedals (clean boost and graphic eq) or the amp I couldn't get a suitable tone out of it.

You may say "of course not".....which proves the point.

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Well.....

 

Last week I took my Squier Strat with a single bridge humbucker to a jazz group rehearsal.

Shouldn't have done it. But I thought I'd be able to get a reasonable fat, clean sound.

No matter how I set my pedals (clean boost and graphic eq) or the amp I couldn't get a suitable tone out of it.

You may say "of course not".....which proves the point.

 

 

I too have tried a jazz tone on a Squier strat before jdgm and had similar results...they just don't sound right for jazz. I have also found most single coil Fender's do not sound good for jazz. Regarding cheaper guitars, an Epiphone LP Special would be much better or most types of humbucker equipped guitars. Having said that, Joe Pass did use that Jaguar and a Jazzmaster for a while before getting his 175 and had a pretty good sound...though I prefer the 175.

 

Edited by cody78
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I have used a 70's Fender Strat for jazz with reasonable results (they were all single coil then). Of course you need to favour the neck pickup and keep it clean.

 

Tele's are widely used for jazz. As Tim Lerch demonstrates (single coil again)

 

Edited by merciful-evans
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At last. Someone has done a test that shows it all rubbish about tone wood or that paint colour affects tone. He should do it about pickups next.

I believe that most pickup differences can just be simply dialled out on the amp.

Ahh but the tone wood debate isn't about this... This is about body shape, size effecting tone.. Tone wood is about the same body shape being a different tone with different woods.

 

But yes, even though I do believe there are some differences when you use different woods, I also think that the differences are small and most of it can be compensated with through pedals or the amps EQ, which is the whole point of an electric guitar.

 

So while I do think there is something to it, its not really important. None of it will help you play better (unfortunately :) ).

 

Oh and this vid was posted already here http://forum.gibson.com/index.php?/topic/144988-weight-vs-sustain-tone/

Edited by Rabs
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Tele's are widely used for jazz.

 

 

Absolutely.

 

Ted Greene and Ed Bickert both 'humbuckered' their neck pickups but for me Jim Mullen (when he used a Tele in Morrissey-Mullen) was Da Man!!

I used to go and see that band and its offshoots every couple of weeks from 1979 to the mid-80s. Fantastic times.

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Since I did take electronics in college, I understand how pickups work.

 

The strings disturb a magnetic field and that in turn generates an electric current. There is absolutely nothing acoustic about it. The wood can affect the sustain of the guitar, but not the tone.

 

The tone is a function of the pickup design, the tone control circuit in the guitar, the fx pedal(s) preamp, amp and speakers. Until it gets to the speakers, it is 100% electric and zero percent acoustic.

 

That is unless your pickup is defective and it has gone microphonic, in which case the effect that has on the tone is terrible

 

No other proof needed for me.

 

Acoustic guitars are affected by tone wood, but in Electric guitars, tone wood is an excuse to shrink the membranes in your wallet.

 

Notes

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I have used a 70's Fender Strat for jazz with reasonable results (they were all single coil then). Of course you need to favour the neck pickup and keep it clean.

 

Tele's are widely used for jazz. As Tim Lerch demonstrates (single coil again)

 

 

Nice video and an equally nice tone, but the Tele still sounds a little to bright to my ears. I found this video a short while ago (below) and whilst the tune is beautifully played, the tone still seems a little off compared to a regular jazz tone. However, really there are no rules as to what to use for jazz and I guess having a brighter tone sets you apart from the norm, but I'm not sure about Tele jazz still!

 

Edited by cody78
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYK0XX-nDVI&feature=youtu.be

At last. Someone has done a test that shows it all rubbish about tone wood or that paint colour affects tone. He should do it about pickups next.

I believe that most pickup differences can just be simply dialled out on the amp.

 

there was already a thread about this

 

http://forum.gibson.com/index.php?/topic/144988-weight-vs-sustain-tone/

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Having had 3 guitars with P90s (Les Paul double cutaway faded slab body, SG Classic and Les Paul Special slab body) they all sounded markedly different.

The cheapie faded sounded the best, the much more expensive Les Paul Special sounded the wimpiest but was the nicest guitar with the SG in the middle.

Same pick ups, same manufacturer, same era but different tones.

 

With humbuckers just plug in a Les Paul and an SG and play them side by side.

Edited by SteveFord
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If there were no acoustic properties to an electric guitar, then all guitars with identical pickups would sound identical ... which they don't.

While that sounds logical at first, knowing what I learned in school about electricity and magnetism I must respectfully disagree.

 

All of these affect the tone (some more than others)


  •  
  • String height,
  • string age,
  • string composition,
  • magnet strength differences (no two are alike or even that close),
  • how identically the coils in both guitars are wound,
  • the tone circuit (how close the resistors, capacitors, and coils made with 10% tolerance components are),
  • force of pick
  • angle of pick (assuming you are using the same pick)
  • exact distance between the bridge and where the string is picked
  • and that is assuming you are using the same cable, preamp, amp and speakers for both.

 

Putting any components with more than 10% tolerance (only 90% identical) is very expensive and usually reserved for extremely critical applications like space probe parts. So when that resister says 1,000 ohms it could be 900. The next one that comes off the assembly line could be 999. Add to that turning two potentiometers (variable resistor) which are built to 10% tolerance to create the exact amount of resistance without taking it out of the circuit and measuring with a zero tolerance ohm meter is impossible.

 

The pickup is a coil which I would guess has less than a 10% tolerance and the resistor and capacitor of the tone circuit are most likely 10% components. I would suspect the difference between the magnetic fields of two magnets would have even a greater than 10% difference as individual atomic alignment in a magnet is not currently possible.

 

If the pickup was microphonic, picking up the sound of the wood, you should be able to take the strings off, plug the guitar in, turn the amp on, sing into the pickup and hear your voice and words come out the speaker.

 

But if you want to believe in 'tone wood' for electric guitars, go ahead.

 

Insights and incites by Notes

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... knowing what I learned in school about electricity and magnetism I must respectfully disagree ... But if you want to believe in 'tone wood' for electric guitars, go ahead.

This is asymptotically approaching a pissing match (which I hate), so this will be my last post on the matter regardless. A couple of things, though, that I need to pass on before I vacate ...

 

1) Regarding what you "learned in school", there are many others here besides just you with an education too. I have an electrical engineering degree from the University of California and -- just like you -- got all A's in all my E-M classes.

2) It is the construction and structure of the wood that maintains the integrity and strength of the string's vibration. That is why we don't see guitars made of soft plastics, for example. And to ignore this element so as to conclude that "there are no latent resonant/vibrational effects or nuances passed on to the string by the structure that is maintaining it" seems absolutely crazy to me. It is shocking to think that any guitarist that has played a large variation of guitars a significant amount of time over many years could possibly come to that conclusion...

3) Beyond ignoring the item in #2 ... and then to leap even further to explain the differences in guitars with the same electronics but different tonal qualities as "the variation of the electrical components" is even crazier.

4) I am sure that most of us here have experienced a guitar in a store's rack that was very different the exact same model guitar right next to it (i.e., different sustain, not as sweet sounding, etc.). Based upon my experiences as both a guitarist and someone who works in electrical-related manufacturing, I can personally guarantee you that those differences have more to do with wood and construction variations than resistor/capacitor/pickup/wiring component value fluctuations -- I am not saying 'none', but no way is that the primary factor.

 

I will definitely go on to believe in 'tone wood' for electric guitars such that the specific wood and its construction have significant effects on the final tonal qualities of the guitar. And, further, I will also pity those that don't ...

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This is the big thing for me...

 

I don't think it matters one iota why a guitar sounds the way it does.. We all know from experience that guitars of the same model and construction can sound and feel different from each other..

 

This means that every guitar is unique and should be judged on its own merits..

 

We can talk about it forever. Theres no real proof. Both the inconsistencies and variance found in different pieces of wood and the electronics and construction method all make a small difference.. Its those differences that add up to what a guitar will sound and feel like.

 

So if we can all agree that all guitars sound slightly different regardless then its not really important why.. Is it?

Edited by Rabs
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Excellent points made on both sides of the argument!

 

And....I do have a 'proper' jazz archtop - spruce/maple with Schaller Golden 50 humbuckers, which are microphonic.

Sounds like an ENORMOUS acoustic guitar when you plug it in....I'll swear I can hear the wood...... [wink]

 

[laugh] [laugh]

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So years ago I posted a comparison between my weight relieved Les Paul and my chambered Les Paul. I asked you all to tell me which was which. I forgot the actual results but it was around 75% correct. So you can tell the difference. I can tell the difference with my eyes closed every time. In fact I can name each one of my guitars in a blind test. Even between my MIM Strats.

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That was a fun video. Enjoyed it.

 

I felt 90% sure that body bulk didnt influence sustain. Darrel's vid seems to add weight (pun intended) to the notion.

 

Pickups: I had hoped to get Fender type sounds from an LP style guitar by fitting Fender spec s/c pickups. Sadly it didnt work. On the other side of the coin there are the Strats with HBs onboard. They sound fuller, but they still like Fenders.

 

 

What does seem to make the difference is the bolt on neck feature of the build. For that reason I think design (not body shapes)features are mainly responsible for distinctive guitar sounds.

 

Like Rabs, I suspect wood species can make a small difference.

 

But if I were to be proved wrong about any of this, I'd be glad to accept it and get a bit closer to the truth of it all.

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That was a fun video. Enjoyed it.

 

I felt 90% sure that body bulk didnt influence sustain. Darrel's vid seems to add weight (pun intended) to the notion.

 

Pickups: I had hoped to get Fender type sounds from an LP style guitar by fitting Fender spec s/c pickups. Sadly it didnt work. On the other side of the coin there are the Strats with HBs onboard. They sound fuller, but they still like Fenders.

 

 

What does seem to make the difference is the bolt on neck feature of the build. For that reason I think design (not body shapes)features are mainly responsible for distinctive guitar sounds.

 

Like Rabs, I suspect wood species can make a small difference.

 

But if I were to be proved wrong about any of this, I'd be glad to accept it and get a bit closer to the truth of it all.

The difference you’re hearing there is the scale length which is very significant

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