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Thread: Cheapy cheapy

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlofeldsCat View Post
    I've always wondered that when people throw it out there like it's Rising Force.
    I gotta admit it did take me awhile to remember all the different scale shapes, but once you get it to memory it's pretty straight forward.
    Yeah, if I said, I got Rising Force down...then I could see some serious skepticism. LOL

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    Personally, I think the wood makes a difference as well. It may not be super noticable every time, but like Brett said, there has to be a difference from a railroad tie to a piece of Alder.

    Don't have any experience with the larger brass blocks, but it makes sense with all that vibration going thru the bridge.
    Eventually, I'd like to try that upgrade.

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    Baluchitherium Jedi McFly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RRvh1 View Post
    You could make a particle board guitar sing, Jedi, yet I have to ask if you (or your phone etc.) made a typo? The post reads 'basswood necks...' I've honestly never heard of that before.
    Yup, definitely meant Birdseye necks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    I donít know about that dude I have the same pickups in two different guitars. One is maple and one is alder and they sound completely different. Woods do make a difference. Itís not just about setups and pickups. Where are you getting your information from that types of woods have no bearing on electric guitars? Science says? Iíd like read where youíre getting that from. Thereís dozens of videos where guitars sound totally different than other guitars with the same stuff so it goes both ways.

    I donít think itís a massively huge difference on an electric guitar but there definitely is a difference in the type of woods used. I also agree that focusing on things like pickups, set ups, and good hardware can make an even bigger difference. But donít think you can make a guitar that is made of plywood sound as good as one made of ash because it simply is not true.
    The sound from an electric guitar comes from the vibration of the strings interacting with the magnetic field of the pickups, so wood doesn't have much of an effect at all. The bridge/trem, the block, the strings, the height of the strings from the pickups, the pick being used, the manner of the picking, etc, all make FAR more difference because they actually effect the string's vibration in relation to the magnetic field. Maybe if you broke out scientific instruments you could possibly discern a difference between two exact setups with different bodies (although the science below says even that isn't true), but the human ear would not be able to perceive the difference.

    Keep in mind, to have a true A/B test that would pass scientific muster, you would need to have the exact same parts (not just the same models, as we know production can vary) and the exact same setup on two different guitars, but only using a different wood for the body. That means the strings are at the exact same height from the pickup, the intonation is identical, the components are all transferred from one to the other as is (including the strings), etc.

    As for the science behind it, here are a couple of examples:

    https://spinditty.com/instruments-ge...-Debate-Solved

    https://www.theage.com.au/education/...723-22k7b.html

    Again, it's controversial to guitar aficionados who have spent their lives lusting after the $4k guitar with their ideal tonewood, but the reality is that it doesn't matter.
    CNN may think my opinion matters, but you shouldn't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bsbll4 View Post
    The sound from an electric guitar comes from the vibration of the strings interacting with the magnetic field of the pickups, so wood doesn't have much of an effect at all. The bridge/trem, the block, the strings, the height of the strings from the pickups, the pick being used, the manner of the picking, etc, all make FAR more difference because they actually effect the string's vibration in relation to the magnetic field. Maybe if you broke out scientific instruments you could possibly discern a difference between two exact setups with different bodies (although the science below says even that isn't true), but the human ear would not be able to perceive the difference.

    Keep in mind, to have a true A/B test that would pass scientific muster, you would need to have the exact same parts (not just the same models, as we know production can vary) and the exact same setup on two different guitars, but only using a different wood for the body. That means the strings are at the exact same height from the pickup, the intonation is identical, the components are all transferred from one to the other as is (including the strings), etc.

    As for the science behind it, here are a couple of examples:

    https://spinditty.com/instruments-ge...-Debate-Solved

    https://www.theage.com.au/education/...723-22k7b.html

    Again, it's controversial to guitar aficionados who have spent their lives lusting after the $4k guitar with their ideal tonewood, but the reality is that it doesn't matter.
    Wood definitely changes the sound, in my opinion. But I agree with you that opting for the four-grand model with an exotic wood is probably not worth it. Especially if you are going to route your signal through multiple pedals and massive amps. Also, as you point out, there are numerous elements that create tone, including your own technique. And if you are using, say, a "darker" sounding wood, there are numerous ways to brighten it without changing guitars. Hell, I may be imagining it, but I feel like I can hear a slight variations in tone/attack when I change picks. No one in an audience would ever hear it. But I swear I can.

    TK

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    Quote Originally Posted by bsbll4 View Post
    Keep in mind, to have a true A/B test that would pass scientific muster, you would need to have the exact same parts (not just the same models, as we know production can vary) and the exact same setup on two different guitars, but only using a different wood for the body. That means the strings are at the exact same height from the pickup, the intonation is identical, the components are all transferred from one to the other as is (including the strings), etc.
    I'm still not buying it. I did exactly that for a friend - he had a mahogany body / maple neck partscaster that he didn't like the tone of. So he switched to the same exact body but alder. We transferred the same neck, hardware, loaded pickguard, etc. over to the new body. Sounded like a totally different guitar.

    If this were truly the case you could have a plywood guitar with a boutique pickup sounding like a million bucks. There has to be some feedback or interplay between the strings vibration and the sympathetic vibrations/resonance of the body and hardware causing different tones.

    If you build a Les Paul with 3 Strat pickups it's not going to sound like a Strat. It's sound like some mutant hybrid, but it won't sound like a Strat.

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    Default Cheapy cheapy

    Quote Originally Posted by bsbll4 View Post
    The sound from an electric guitar comes from the vibration of the strings interacting with the magnetic field of the pickups, so wood doesn't have much of an effect at all. The bridge/trem, the block, the strings, the height of the strings from the pickups, the pick being used, the manner of the picking, etc, all make FAR more difference because they actually effect the string's vibration in relation to the magnetic field. Maybe if you broke out scientific instruments you could possibly discern a difference between two exact setups with different bodies (although the science below says even that isn't true), but the human ear would not be able to perceive the difference.

    Keep in mind, to have a true A/B test that would pass scientific muster, you would need to have the exact same parts (not just the same models, as we know production can vary) and the exact same setup on two different guitars, but only using a different wood for the body. That means the strings are at the exact same height from the pickup, the intonation is identical, the components are all transferred from one to the other as is (including the strings), etc.

    As for the science behind it, here are a couple of examples:

    https://spinditty.com/instruments-ge...-Debate-Solved

    https://www.theage.com.au/education/...723-22k7b.html

    Again, it's controversial to guitar aficionados who have spent their lives lusting after the $4k guitar with their ideal tonewood, but the reality is that it doesn't matter.
    I just donít believe any of that is true at all. Because I know that if you put different pickups in different woods they sound different. Iíve done it. Like Jedi said if you put three Strat pickups in a Les Paul itís still not going to sound like a Strat.

    If that were the case everyone would buy plywood guitars.

    I know thereís a bunch of guys on YouTube that have dedicated their lives to saying guitar wood doesnít matter at all, and I just donít agree with them at all. And those guys oddly enough never play plywood guitars either. Obviously a guitar is a system of things that make it sound the way it does, but to think that wood has nothing discernible to do with the sound is just incorrect in my mind.
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  11. #68
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    I’ve decided against buying and upgrading a cheap guitar unless it’s mind-bogglingly rare – like a custom graphic reverse headstock.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bsbll4 View Post
    The sound from an electric guitar comes from the vibration of the strings interacting with the magnetic field of the pickups, so wood doesn't have much of an effect at all. The bridge/trem, the block, the strings, the height of the strings from the pickups, the pick being used, the manner of the picking, etc, all make FAR more difference because they actually effect the string's vibration in relation to the magnetic field. Maybe if you broke out scientific instruments you could possibly discern a difference between two exact setups with different bodies (although the science below says even that isn't true), but the human ear would not be able to perceive the difference.

    Keep in mind, to have a true A/B test that would pass scientific muster, you would need to have the exact same parts (not just the same models, as we know production can vary) and the exact same setup on two different guitars, but only using a different wood for the body. That means the strings are at the exact same height from the pickup, the intonation is identical, the components are all transferred from one to the other as is (including the strings), etc.

    As for the science behind it, here are a couple of examples:

    https://spinditty.com/instruments-ge...-Debate-Solved

    https://www.theage.com.au/education/...723-22k7b.html

    Again, it's controversial to guitar aficionados who have spent their lives lusting after the $4k guitar with their ideal tonewood, but the reality is that it doesn't matter.
    This is like the CD/Vinyl discussion. Plus, you can't necessarily rely on one set of ears if you did the experiment, nor just ears only.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jedi McFly View Post
    I'm still not buying it. I did exactly that for a friend - he had a mahogany body / maple neck partscaster that he didn't like the tone of. So he switched to the same exact body but alder. We transferred the same neck, hardware, loaded pickguard, etc. over to the new body. Sounded like a totally different guitar.

    If this were truly the case you could have a plywood guitar with a boutique pickup sounding like a million bucks. There has to be some feedback or interplay between the strings vibration and the sympathetic vibrations/resonance of the body and hardware causing different tones.

    If you build a Les Paul with 3 Strat pickups it's not going to sound like a Strat. It's sound like some mutant hybrid, but it won't sound like a Strat.
    That's true, but that's also because the scale length is different. Plus all of the hardware is different. That's the point. If the only difference with the same scientific setup is the body of the wood, you're not going to be able to tell the difference. Don't underestimate the power of suggestion in these scenarios as well.

    I get that people don't want to believe it because it goes against the lore of guitars, but the science just doesn't back it up.
    CNN may think my opinion matters, but you shouldn't.

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    I still did the experiment though - same neck, same hardware, same pickups at the same height, etc. - only difference was body wood. The guitar sounded different.

    Why does a semi-hollow Telecaster sound so different than a solid body Tele then? If the species of wood makes no difference then the shape shouldn't make a difference either. The center of the guitar where the neck, pickups and bridge are mounted are all solid. If wood didn't matter then semi-hollows should sound the same as a solid body.
    Last edited by Jedi McFly; 02.22.19 at 08:51 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bsbll4 View Post
    That's true, but that's also because the scale length is different. Plus all of the hardware is different. That's the point. If the only difference with the same scientific setup is the body of the wood, you're not going to be able to tell the difference. Don't underestimate the power of suggestion in these scenarios as well.

    I get that people don't want to believe it because it goes against the lore of guitars, but the science just doesn't back it up.
    So how many plywood guitars do you have?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    So how many plywood guitars do you have?
    I have a Fender Squier that when I sanded it down to paint as the BW Franky, it turned out to basically just be plywood....so one.
    CNN may think my opinion matters, but you shouldn't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jedi McFly View Post
    I still did the experiment though - same neck, same hardware, same pickups at the same height, etc. - only difference was body wood. The guitar sounded different.

    Why does a semi-hollow Telecaster sound so different than a solid body Tele then? If the species of wood makes no difference then the shape shouldn't make a difference either. The center of the guitar where the neck, pickups and bridge are mounted are all solid. If wood didn't matter then semi-hollows should sound the same as a solid body.
    The shape doesn't make a difference. That's why you can't tell if a guitar is a flying V, or a star guitar, or a wolfgang shape, or a fender shape, etc. Hollow body guitars might be a different animal though.

    Look, I'm not expert on this so I'm not going to be able to claim to explain it. Here's an example on Quora that goes into a bit more detail about the argument:

    There are so many factors that affect the tone of an electric guitar, that imagining you can hear the coloration of a type of wood is a dubious proposition at best. Think of what a claim like this means: for the wood species to impart a significant difference, one that is immediately identifiable by ear, you would need to be able to separate the sound of the wood:
    1. from other pieces of wood it's attached to (body, neck, fingerboard),
    2. from the type of pickups (single coil/humbucker) and their configuration (neck, middle, bridge or combined),
    3. from the length of the coil wind,
    4. from the magnet type, including alloy composition which includes impurities,
    5. from the cables, (sometimes cables even go bad and impart a slightly weird tone until they fail completely)
    pedals,
    6. amplifier type (tube (EL34, EL 84, 6l6) solid state, (and this is hardly a complete list)
    7. EQ,
    8. room,
    9. microphone and
    10. playing technique.
    So, here's a true story. I play a regular gig (acoustic/electric) every week and one night while the band is playing (there's no stage so people can come right up to us), a guy leans in and says "Hey, I'm a sound engineer/producer. You guys are great, but can you boost 100hz on the bass guitar?" I did have a mixer next to me, but while I was playing I didn't want to spend energy trying to explain our setup and that I had no control over the bass rig which was across from me, about twenty feet away, so I just nodded said "yeah, sure". After we finished the song, he came back over grinned and said to me- "Hey, wasn't that 100Hz boost just way better?"
    My jaw just dropped to the floor- I'd done NOTHING to the bass. Zero. Zip. It was exactly the same the entire song. The bass player had changed nothing. Later, the guy got the bass player's number and texted him after the gig saying how much BETTER our sound was after he'd fixed our EQ.
    This blew my mind. He'd really believed I'd made the change and I think he was so sincere that he REALLY heard a difference. I feel kind of bad that I didn't tell him.
    I should clarify that I'm not making fun. I listened to his material online and he knows what he's doing. I've been subject to being fooled myself- one time I'd miked up the kick drum and began turning up the volume on the mixer channel and heard the drum get louder until I felt like something was weird and then realized with horror that the amp wasn't on.
    The other guitarist in the band has been playing electric lately. That amp sounds different depending on where it's placed in the room relative to my head. I sit basically in the same spot every week. When the speakers are off axis, the sound is warm and full. If the speakers are pointing at me from the other side I get the "death ray": loud, spiky, somewhat harsh midrange. Same guitar, same wood, same player, same amp, different room placement.
    Earlier, I mentioned "significant difference". This means that the tone is so easy to identify that most people can tell the difference every time. Single coil vs humbucker tone would be significant. Positions 2 and 4 on a Strat is significant. Alder vs Ash? After 20+ years of playing I can't reliably tell the difference.
    So, to me, here are the factors that affect tone:
    1) Strings (age, gauge and scale length).
    We all know that strings go "dead" (they lose highs) after a while. On my acoustic, dead strings sound horrible. I can bring them back to life temporarily by detuning them and tuning back up. This means that strings have a much bigger effect on tone than even the wooden box of an acoustic guitar. You're not going to hear your acoustic guitar well with dead strings no matter the quality of the wood and no matter how expensive the instrument. A fine, handmade classical guitar with the best woods sounds terrible with super dead strings. My college professor used to complain when I'd show up for my lesson with dead overplayed strings. I started flipping the basses around to get the brightness back and also save some money. The nylon strings are soft enough for this to work well. However, the nylon string guitar I use amplified at my weekly gig sounds fine with old strings. New strings do sound better, but I leave those strings on much longer than my strictly acoustic guitars.
    2) Pickup type. We can all hear the difference between humbuckers and single coils.
    3) Picks and technique.
    The thickness of your pick, the material and the position on the string where you play has a huge influence on tone. Angle the pick slightly and get big changes. Vibrate the string perpendicular and it sounds very different than vibrating it parallel to the top.
    4) Amp/Cabinets.
    Amps and cabs all have major impact on sound, not to mention speakers, their relationship to your ears and the room you're playing in and whether or not they're directly connected to the floor. Twist the EQ and the sound changes dramatically. Play through a tiny solid state amp with 5" speakers and then through a tube amp with a 12" speaker. Which one is the "true" sound of the wood?
    Wood is not going to dramatically change the sound of your electric guitar. It's still going to sound like metal strings through a pickup. If there is some small, subtle tonal variation. that could be picked up, there's no way to know because it will be masked by the electronics and all the other factors. A $500 electric guitar can sound great with the right setup.
    If the wood makes such a big difference, how in the world does routing out wood for pickups and electronics not "ruin" the sound? Do you think that your solid body guitar (which has been designed to be as quiet as acoustically possible so you don't hear the wood resonating) has the string energy going into the nut and saddle then into the body and then into the pots and wires and switches and comes back through the nut and saddle again with enough energy to influence your tone?
    We didn't even get to pedals and cables or bridge design and how much string is contacting the surface usually through those little adjustment pins.
    You're not supposed to hear the wood of your electric guitar. If you are, you're likely feeding back on stage at performance volume.
    CNN may think my opinion matters, but you shouldn't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    I just don’t believe any of that is true at all. Because I know that if you put different pickups in different woods they sound different. I’ve done it. Like Jedi said if you put three Strat pickups in a Les Paul it’s still not going to sound like a Strat.

    If that were the case everyone would buy plywood guitars.

    I know there’s a bunch of guys on YouTube that have dedicated their lives to saying guitar wood doesn’t matter at all, and I just don’t agree with them at all. And those guys oddly enough never play plywood guitars either. Obviously a guitar is a system of things that make it sound the way it does, but to think that wood has nothing discernible to do with the sound is just incorrect in my mind.
    C'mon Brett. You're wasting your money buying these bodies when you could just go down to Home Depot and buy a 2X4 and mount some pick ups on it!
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