Follow us on...
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Facebook Watch us on YouTube
Register
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 20
  1. #1
    Eruption rolsguitars's Avatar
    Join Date
    12.18.01
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    858
    Favorite VH Album

    Fair Warning
    Favorite VH Song

    Hear About it later
    Last Online

    01.22.09 @ 09:08 AM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Gang,

    Ok here goes I'm probably gonna start a shit storm, but has anyone noticed Ed claims the "Brown Sound" comes from (among several other things) his pickups being mounted to the wood
    right ?
    Ok what songs come to your mind when you think "Brown Sound" ? as for me I think first record particularly YRGM, well I started thinking, that song was recorded with the Shark, and that was a ring mounted pickup, also I remembered that on the first 2 records anything that didn't have tremelo in it was done on the shark and on the 3rd he borrowed the dude from WASP's (I think) ugly ass orange Ibanez Destroyer
    another ring mounted pickup.
    So what I'm getting at is that it's obvious that sound can be achieved with out mounting the pickup to the wood, do you guys think the mounting to the wood thing was just hype?
    Rol.

  2. #2
    Good Enough
    Join Date
    02.21.00
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    2,491
    Favorite VH Album

    Carnal Knowledge
    Last Online

    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Rols you're a builder. You know it's hype.
    Ed bullshitted a lot in those days and from what we can see, right up to the present.
    I always thought the brown sound was a reference he was making to the sound of his brother Alex's snare drum. A very warm sound, that he was trying to get on his guitar.
    Now, let the shit storm begin.

  3. #3
    Good Enough
    Join Date
    07.30.00
    Age
    44
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana.
    Posts
    1,746
    Last Online

    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Actually, I think the phrase "the brown sound[/b]" has got to go. When Ed first mentioned it, it was "A brown sound", simply meaning that it was dark and warm. As far as I'm concerned, there is no single brown sound.

    Anyway, I think the whole pickup-mounting question is akin to a baseball player wearing a certain pair of socks for a game; while it really makes no difference in reality, psychologically it does.

    The theory that 'everything has to be connected for optimum tone' makes sense to a degree, but the mounting of a pickup doesn't seem to be much of a factor. On the other hand, if you're gonna be neurotic about things being connected, then the body, neck, and fingerboard should be all ONE piece. Impractical to be sure, but that would be a guarantee of the WHOLE instrument resonating without interference.

    I also think that if Ed were to say in interviews that he has to have 2.75 windings on the low E's post, 3.14 on the A, 3.23 on the D, 3.05 on the G, 3.67 on the B, and 3.87 on the high E, then there would be a legion of anal fanatics doing their best to make sure that their string windings matched his. Further, if two guys have Ed's setup, and one has his strings as specified, and the other does not, the first guy would probably think that his gear sounds more like the 'real thing' because of that one factor.

    On a similar topic, if someone told Eric Johnson that his beloved Duracells sound better in his pedals when kept in a controlled environment of 76 degrees, 53% humidity, and a barometric pressure of 30.12 inches, rest assured that good old Eric would have a chamber built to assure that his stuff gets that optimum environment, no matter how much it costs or how much space it takes on stage.

    If there were machines capable of taking perfect measurements, you might find that the different pickup mounting possibilities result in a 0.000000000001% change in sustain and/or frequency response.

    From all the guitars I've played, never once was pickup mounting a concern. If there is any discernible difference, I have never noticed it.
    Don't bark at me...<b>I</b> didn't name ya.

  4. #4
    Eruption rolsguitars's Avatar
    Join Date
    12.18.01
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    858
    Favorite VH Album

    Fair Warning
    Favorite VH Song

    Hear About it later
    Last Online

    01.22.09 @ 09:08 AM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Originally posted by AbeVanHalen:
    Actually, I think the phrase "the brown sound" has got to go. When Ed first mentioned it, it was "A brown sound", simply meaning that it was dark and warm. As far as I'm concerned, there is no single brown sound.

    Anyway, I think the whole pickup-mounting question is akin to a baseball player wearing a certain pair of socks for a game; while it really makes no difference in reality, psychologically it does.

    The theory that 'everything has to be connected for optimum tone' makes sense to a degree, but the mounting of a pickup doesn't seem to be much of a factor. On the other hand, if you're gonna be neurotic about things being connected, then the body, neck, and fingerboard should be all ONE piece. Impractical to be sure, but that would be a guarantee of the WHOLE instrument resonating without interference.

    I also think that if Ed were to say in interviews that he has to have 2.75 windings on the low E's post, 3.14 on the A, 3.23 on the D, 3.05 on the G, 3.67 on the B, and 3.87 on the high E, then there would be a legion of anal fanatics doing their best to make sure that their string windings matched his. Further, if two guys have Ed's setup, and one has his strings as specified, and the other does not, the first guy would probably think that his gear sounds more like the 'real thing' because of that one factor.

    On a similar topic, if someone told Eric Johnson that his beloved Duracells sound better in his pedals when kept in a controlled environment of 76 degrees, 53% humidity, and a barometric pressure of 30.12 inches, rest assured that good old Eric would have a chamber built to assure that his stuff gets that optimum environment, no matter how much it costs or how much space it takes on stage.

    If there were machines capable of taking perfect measurements, you might find that the different pickup mounting possibilities result in a 0.000000000001% change in sustain and/or frequency response.

    From all the guitars I've played, never once was pickup mounting a concern. If there is any discernible difference, I have never noticed it.[/b]
    WOW, Excellent post this is exactly what I had in mind when I started this topic.
    I just recently listened to a Steve Vai interview that ended up along those same lines.
    For the song "Boy from Seattle" off the Alien Love Sectrets CD, he said he was looking for a new guitar to record that song and he wanted something vintage, he went up and down Hollywood
    looking for it and said he must have tried 50 guitars and out of all the ones he tried he bought a $400 Japanese Strat and that's what your hearing on that song, But he said he went ahead and bought a vintage strat because it was the cool thing to do and you know more than once I've done the same thing (I don't anymore since I make guitars the way I want them to sound) like whne I first bought a Jem VWH (the white one Vai plays) I thought it sounded like shit and there was an RG450 there that kicked it ass I bought the RG for the sound and the Jem because....um I though it was the cool thing to do [img]tongue.gif[/img]
    is anyone else guilty of this?
    Rol.

  5. #5
    Eruption rolsguitars's Avatar
    Join Date
    12.18.01
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    858
    Favorite VH Album

    Fair Warning
    Favorite VH Song

    Hear About it later
    Last Online

    01.22.09 @ 09:08 AM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Originally posted by tribb:
    Rols you're a builder. You know it's hype.
    Ed bullshitted a lot in those days and from what we can see, right up to the present.
    I always thought the brown sound was a reference he was making to the sound of his brother Alex's snare drum. A very warm sound, that he was trying to get on his guitar.
    Now, let the shit storm begin.
    Oh yes I know it's hype, and you'll see that in my own line of guitars, I've talked with LarryJ about this if my pickups goto the wood it's only because it looks better I just wanted to see if anyone else would admit it [img]tongue.gif[/img]
    Rol.
    Rol.

  6. #6
    XTC man! homeunit's Avatar
    Join Date
    01.08.00
    Location
    Vancouver, Canada
    Posts
    4,113
    Favorite VH Album

    Cover Bands from Pasadena
    Favorite VH Song

    Babe Don't leave Me Alone
    Last Online

    09.05.15 @ 12:20 PM
    Likes
    29
    Liked 9 Times in 7 Posts

    I completely agree with you guys. I was thinking this one through a while back and I figured that a pickup ring actually has more contact with the wood than the two feet that attach to the wood. So if this theory of Eds were true and it's about picking up the woods tone, it would make more sense to me that pickup in a ring would not only get the direct wood contact but also the sound from underneath and above it, thus more tone.

    I think the wood/pickup combo is the ticket to a good sounding guitar. I'm a firm believer in matching the right p/u with the right peice of wood. I have a swamp ash guitar that I've done this experiment with. To me, I tried the Beck, Paf Pro, EMG (I know, I know), custom custom, and to me the best sounding pickup is the Seth Lover. It's low output and seems to transmit the true characteristics of the wood. Having said that, swamp ash isn't my favorite wood.

    My point? The wood/pickup combo has to be matched for a honest tone to come out. What color that tone is depends on your woods, fingers, strings, gear, pick, and talent
    My Band
    Baluchitherium

  7. #7
    Banned!
    Join Date
    05.09.02
    Location
    vancouver, bc
    Posts
    1,375
    Last Online

    02.18.11 @ 08:09 PM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    well has anyone taken one pickup, and mounted it on 5 or 6 different guitars? do they sound the same or different?

  8. #8
    XTC man! homeunit's Avatar
    Join Date
    01.08.00
    Location
    Vancouver, Canada
    Posts
    4,113
    Favorite VH Album

    Cover Bands from Pasadena
    Favorite VH Song

    Babe Don't leave Me Alone
    Last Online

    09.05.15 @ 12:20 PM
    Likes
    29
    Liked 9 Times in 7 Posts

    Originally posted by lil'devil:
    well has anyone taken one pickup, and mounted it on 5 or 6 different guitars? do they sound the same or different?
    Different
    My Band
    Baluchitherium

  9. #9
    Good Enough
    Join Date
    02.21.00
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    2,491
    Favorite VH Album

    Carnal Knowledge
    Last Online

    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    I guess some of us might not want to admit it, but I'm one of those who bought a guitar or three just because it was "the" guitar to look cool.
    I also slapped together bodies and necks so they'd look like the guitars I wanted in stores.
    I finally started putting them together so they sounded like I wanted, rather than just looked like I wanted. I spent a lot of years in trial and error situations, mostly with a lot of errors.
    Now I've got a guy who can build them much better than I ever could, and they sound like they should.
    And yes, like homeunit says, the same pickup on different bodies will sound different, but the same pickup, whether screwed to the wood or mounted on a pickguard or pickup ring will sound pretty much the same.

  10. #10
    Romeo Delight
    Join Date
    04.04.02
    Location
    DC
    Posts
    81
    Last Online

    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Ehh...I've got mixed feelings about this.

    First, my confession. When the EBMM EVH first came out, I had to have one. Just like all you other Ed-heads, I simply HAD to have one. Period.

    So I eventually scraped the dough together, and me and a couple buds went to Hollowood music in Pittsburgh and they let me check one out. They had two there. A sunburst quilt, and another (I want to say gold top, but it might have been natural quilt...I can't remember anymore). I played the sunburst and hated it! In the era of wide-flat necks and superstrat bodies, the EVH just felt so completely wrong! But you're damn straight that I walked out with it anyway. And I walked out with the sunburst because it was cooler looking - I didn't even bother to try the other guitar! (which was probably also a rare and super-coveted finish now). So yeah, I was totally suckered. Luckily for me, it just happens to be a great guitar. Over the years, I have gotten used to the feel, and pretty much can't stand anything else. Okay, enough confessing.

    I also believe that the body-mounting probably doesn't amount to much of a discernible difference in sound. With the right instrument or ears, I guarantee you would find a difference, how large/small it would be or whether it would be better or worse - who knows. The laws of physics dictate that there would be a difference, however small. I like it because it looks better.

    Whether or not it can be classified as hype is a tough call. The word "hype" to me means that it was entirely overblown and I don't think it was. It's not like they announced the "New Ernie Ball/Music Man Van Halen Guitar Featuring Body-Mount Pickups™!!" Ed just said they did it that way because it vibrates better and it gives him a better tone. He may or may not be full of shit, but you can't prove it one way or the other, which leads me to my final point...

    I have absolutely no doubt that Ed, EJ, and Vai have better ears than those of us reading this thread. No doubt. I know that's hard on the ego to accept, but I believe it to be true. And it's part of the reason that they're where they're at and we're where we're at. That's not to say that you agree with their ears (in particular, I think Vai sounds like wet ass most of the time) but they're better, objectively. When EJ says that fat speaker cables sound better for clean tones and thin speaker cables sound better for lead tones, as he hears them, I don't doubt for a second that he's right.

    My bottom line: There are much more important tone-oriented things to worry about than how the pickups are mounted...like, for example, WHERE they are mounted!!!

    Ok, I've rambled too much.
    ratter

  11. #11
    Hot For Teacher
    Join Date
    12.06.01
    Location
    Waco, Tx
    Posts
    274
    Favorite VH Album

    1984
    Favorite VH Song

    GGB
    Last Online

    09.20.17 @ 08:12 AM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    I don’t post here too much these days but I think that this is a great topic with an answer that is still highly debated. This is something that I was always curious about in my guitar building days as well. Do I think that it makes a difference? At a small level, I do. Does the difference matter? Not at all to me.

    What I did one day to check out this theory is to bolt 4 different kinds of pickups (A JB, Custom, Distortion, and a standard Fender single coil Strat) to the back of my guitar, then wire it up. I wanted to see how much of the sound resonated to the coils out of the pickups without the string interfering with them. This certainly was not a scientific test, but more the “adolescent hack in the garage” approach. What I found was that the hotter pickups (Distortion, and somewhat less the Custom) transmitted a muddy, deeper sound through the pickups. It was actually pretty pronounced going through a Marshall with my normal settings. A clean signal was much less obvious. As I remember, in fact, the single coil going straight through my bass head (Acoustic 320) was not audible at normal levels. This effect is very similar to how a piezo works in an acoustic guitar. Keep in mind that piezos rely primarily on the vibration of the instrument to get a sound to transduce, albeit through a radically different preamp situation.

    Now all that being said, there is another issue here: Does it matter? The reality of the situation is that you are opening up yourself for potentially deterring from your pickup’s sound.

    Here is the theoretical side of the coin:

    In this situation a pickup, being microphonic, can actually suffer from some phase cancellation because it is picking up sounds from different sources simultaneously. Without getting too boring here, the wavelengths being transmitted through the body of the guitar will not be perfectly in line with what the pickup has been designed to take from the strings. Therefore, the lower-mid frequencies (much of what is thought to make up that “brown” sound) that I noticed were being picked up in my unscientific test could potentially be phased out (or amplified). In addition, a fixed bridge guitar (one that transmits vibration to the body more efficiently) would have more chance of effecting the direct-mounted pickup than say a Floyd-equipped guitar.

    In a nutshell, IMHO if it does do much of anything, it may not be a good thing, but either way it is going to depend entirely on all of the variables in a specific situation. Pickup placement plays a big role, as the woods used. Heck, the pick that you hold in your hand and the way that you hold it probably effects sound more than this does. It is just another factor on the overall sound of a particular instrument with hundreds of variables that make up it’s sound. Like anything else, what works for one guitar may not work for a seemingly identical guitar. Most all of use have play two seemingly identical guitars and hear a difference that we could not pinpoint. Heck, my old Les Paul has that “silverburst” finish on it. IT is said that Gibson quit using that finish because it killed the sound of the Les Paul. To me, it sounds great. Just another variable that may or may not make a difference.

    My days of ripping apart Ed’s (or anyone else’s) equipment, style and technique are long behind me, but I took it very seriously for a while and I learned a lot. These days, however, I feel that the technologies and brainpower that go into some of the guitar making today is much more than I could worry about.

    Just food for though. I am outta breath and I need more coffee…

  12. #12
    Banned!
    Join Date
    06.11.02
    Age
    91
    Posts
    54
    Last Online

    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Originally posted by rolsguitars:
    Gang,

    Ok here goes I'm probably gonna start a shit storm, but has anyone noticed Ed claims the "Brown Sound" comes from (among several other things) his pickups being mounted to the wood
    right ?
    .
    I would say "wrong". While I agree with you that mounting the pickup to the wood does very little if anything to effect the sound, I disagree that Eddie ever said or suggested that his "brown" sound had much to do with a pickup screwed to directly to the wood. All I recall is that he thinks it adds sustain.

    As You know a pickup "picks up" the vibration of the strings.. it's nothing but a microphone.... Mounting the pickups directly to the body will increase the guitars mass there by allowing the strings to vibrate more... But when you are talking about very loud distorted tones.. It is hard to imagine that you would percieve any differences between a pickup directly mounted and a spring loaded design.

  13. #13
    Sinner's Swing! Rick S's Avatar
    Join Date
    09.29.99
    Location
    Wilmington ,Delaware
    Posts
    3,128
    Favorite VH Album

    fair warning
    Favorite VH Song

    mean street
    Last Online

    06.23.17 @ 09:49 PM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 1 Time in 1 Post

    my only opinion is that direct mounted pick ups look better,more clean. mounting rings look kinda clunky or bulky on the guitars face.
    www.rickshick.tumblr.com

    1love4chi

    Deftones , now and forever and only second to VH.

    Dave or Sammy ?.........pffffft Eddie.

  14. #14
    XTC man! homeunit's Avatar
    Join Date
    01.08.00
    Location
    Vancouver, Canada
    Posts
    4,113
    Favorite VH Album

    Cover Bands from Pasadena
    Favorite VH Song

    Babe Don't leave Me Alone
    Last Online

    09.05.15 @ 12:20 PM
    Likes
    29
    Liked 9 Times in 7 Posts

    Originally posted by ratter:
    I played the sunburst and hated it! In the era of wide-flat necks and superstrat bodies, the EVH just felt so completely wrong! But you're damn straight that I walked out with it anyway.
    That's funny. It's probably the one time in your life that you're thankful for going against your gut feeling.

    Originally posted by ratter:

    I have absolutely no doubt that Ed, EJ, and Vai have better ears than those of us reading this thread. No doubt. I know that's hard on the ego to accept, but I believe it to be true. And it's part of the reason that they're where they're at and we're where we're at.
    I would for the most part agree with the first point, but not the second.

    I think that because they spend soooo much more time playing then the rest of use with day jobs, school etc, that their ears are better. I'm not saying aquiring good ear comes soley from time spent playing, but it's a big part of it.

    I think the ears thing is something you have or don't have, and time develops them. I've played with other guitar players in the past who are great players but couldn't dial in a tone to save themselves. It's genetic, lol
    My Band
    Baluchitherium

  15. #15
    Good Enough
    Join Date
    07.30.00
    Age
    44
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana.
    Posts
    1,746
    Last Online

    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
    Likes
    0
    Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Since this thread has turned toward the 'ear' aspect of playing, I'll throw in my wooden nickel.

    The ONE thing that divides us between the two groups of 'musicians' and 'wannabes' is more a function of LISTENING that anything else. The human brain is capable of amazing things, most of which are subconscious in nature.

    You are capable of 'listening' to music that isn't being played; your mind can imagine the notes and the sounds on its own. It does so in an idealized form. The biggest struggle for tone is the result of trying to duplicate EXACTLY what you hear in your head. The harder you try to do this, the greater the number of tachnical and mechanical factors come into play. You start to scrutinize everything possible, often to the point of extreme insanity.

    I don't think that the players mentioned above have 'better ears', per se, but they are simply more picky when it comes to achieving the sound they want. It all depends on how detailed you want to be.

    Personally, I consider myself extremely picky when it comes to sound, but talking to guys like Homeunit and Tribb, I realize just how complacent I am with my sound compared to them. That's neither here nor there, really, just how I see it. They have one thing in their mind that they need to have in their sound, and I simply have another.

    Do they have a 'better' ear for tone than I do? It's quite possible in many respects, but we're comparing apples, oranges, and pears. I have NO CLUE as to what they are looking for in their sounds, and they have no clue what I am looking for. It's a great exercise to try and put into words what we want to hear, but if words could convey it, there'd be little need to play.

    Does Eddie have 'better ears' than the rest of us? In the sense of "Eddie's sound", of course he does. Same for Vai, Johnson, and anyone else you could name. I don't think ANY of those guys has a better ear or my sound, or anyone else's for that matter.

    Further, I can't speak for anyone else, but the things I want in a guitar sound changes on a regular basis. The sound I loved today may offend me tomorrow. It's frustrating to be sure, but it helps keep things fresh and interesting. It's also very educational; while a certain sound may bug me now, I may have a need for it later, and I'll be able to find it based on the experience.

    Ahhh...the joys of being a part-time gearhead...
    Don't bark at me...<b>I</b> didn't name ya.

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. 5150 kramer body wood..
    By strangegrey in forum Guitar Room
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 09.14.09, 09:41 AM
  2. Small Wood Massager With Two Balls
    By FH in forum VH Fans Meeting Place (Non-Music)
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 04.16.05, 07:08 AM
  3. Replies: 5
    Last Post: 02.20.05, 08:13 AM
  4. Agathis as a tone wood?
    By beergin84 in forum Guitar Room
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01.11.05, 01:05 PM
  5. Morning Wood
    By Crown Royal in forum VH Fans Meeting Place (Non-Music)
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 03.09.02, 09:16 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •