Wood has no affect on an electric guitar's tone.

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by P-Ride, Jun 3, 2016.

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  1. Andrew May

    Andrew May SS.org Regular

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    Did they all have different pups, scale lengths, bridges, other hardwear etc?
     
  2. scottro202

    scottro202 I'm walkin' here!!!

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    It's more or less accepted knowledge that wood has a non-zero effect on a guitar's tone among players and builders. The burden of proof actually lies on the person who's trying to change the status quo's opinion, IE in this case whoever's trying to change the commonly held belief that wood affects a guitar's tone. But enough with my philisophical mumbo....

    See, sound is made up of vibrations. Vibrations are made my the molecules of a matter moving rapidly back and forth (in this case the matter being wood). Different species of wood have different densities, meaning they vibrate differently. So, it would be reasonable to think that the sound coming from said vibration will be different too.

    Whether these changes are audible to the human ear in a post-recording situation is up for debate, but if you know even a little about physics and audio engineering you can pretty safely assume wood has at least a small amount on a guitar's tone.
     
  3. Chokey Chicken

    Chokey Chicken mouth breather

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    Sort of irrelevant if any one of those changes the tone so much that it renders the woods tonal characteristics unhearable. Even ten of the same exact same model guitar will vary though.
     
  4. GuitarBizarre

    GuitarBizarre Listen to physics.

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    What the hell are you talking about?

    You said it seems like the neck is the most improtant thing. I then pointed out that nobody in this thread has said that.

    Now you're apparently responding to me as if I were advocating "expensive tonewood"?

    In fact, I went to great pains to explain precisely how bull.... the concept of tonewood is, and to point out the applicability of several alternative materials and methods to the same engineering problem.

    You seem to have genuine difficulty articulating what it is you mean, and equal difficulty actually determining the thread of someone else's argument.

    I would advise you read what I said MUCH more carefully.
     
  5. CaptainD00M

    CaptainD00M Lungsman

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    Oh sure man, I totally agree I've played a wall full of LP's many from the same run with same stock electrics and as you say it was all different. Some were gnarly bright, great for Rockabilly and some were thick and mushy. Frankly I love that because it keeps life interesting when shopping for a new guitar.

    But I did a quick and dirty search though and I mean it actually seems to come up somewhere between 3-5 months as a thread on this forum. At least for the last couple years since I came back.

    I mean its like pickups right YMMV as to what you like.
     
  6. Andrew May

    Andrew May SS.org Regular

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    EXACTLY.:wallbash:
     
  7. marcwormjim

    marcwormjim SS.org Regular

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    In before the lock.
     
  8. Noxon

    Noxon Is a Lurker

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    I was taught that in a polite, civilized society, decorum dictates that we do not discuss religion, politics, or the tone wood debate publicly. :lol:
     
  9. GuitarBizarre

    GuitarBizarre Listen to physics.

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    I was taught that on the internet, the men are men, the women are men, and little girls are FBI agents.
     
  10. marcwormjim

    marcwormjim SS.org Regular

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    Again, I say: I always string my electrics up with nylon; so only the tonewood come through.
     
  11. Noxon

    Noxon Is a Lurker

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    It was just a joke because these tone wood debate threads never end well. Ha Ha
     
  12. CapnForsaggio

    CapnForsaggio Cap'n (general)

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    Literally 99.9% of people that listen to music don't ....ing care.

    My GF can't hear the difference between a telecaster and a LP (after mixing)....
    Most records are released clipped and distorting everywhere, no one notices.....

    Does it look cool? Cause that's 90% of the electric guitar mojo right there. Sounds like crap, there's probably a pickup that can help out.

    Go join a steely dan fan forum if you wanna cork sniff gear and production.
     
  13. Andrew May

    Andrew May SS.org Regular

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    I'd like this post 100 times if I could.
     
  14. CapnForsaggio

    CapnForsaggio Cap'n (general)

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    Thanks man!
     
  15. P-Ride

    P-Ride SS.org Regular

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    Of course the neck is important, for playability, not tone. That goes without saying.

    The original post and conversation was about tonewood. You seem to assume every response is directly in reply to points you've raised. I would recommend conversations will flow better for you if you remember you are one of many posting here.
     
  16. P-Ride

    P-Ride SS.org Regular

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    I would just like to know if science suggests I should buy a £3,000 guitar to replace my £500-£800 guitars that I'm upgrading. I'll try some out too, but I am interested in what physics suggests to expect.
     
  17. P-Ride

    P-Ride SS.org Regular

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    Reading your post again, I could take this a few ways. Would you recommend simply trying multiple versions of the same model, in the hope one is built from a denser piece of maple? Or is ordering a custom guitar with pre-selected wood likely to produce a good result?
     
  18. P-Ride

    P-Ride SS.org Regular

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    Were those differences apparent when plugged in as well as acoustically?
     
  19. GuitarBizarre

    GuitarBizarre Listen to physics.

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    If you're ordering a custom guitar, every builder will have a different philosophy. If you're trying different instruments, every one will be built differently and other variables will make the decision less clear cut.

    My entire post was a reduction of the entirety of guitar design and manufacture to one fundamental principle - a principle that, for example, Archtop guitars, willingly compromise on for reasons of tradition and having a different end goal in mind.

    As a result you cannot take my post as advice on how to buy a guitar or even have one built for you, because many more factors will come into play.

    Considering you made this thread with the title you did, it seems perfectly reasonable to expect a similarly theoretical response.

    If you had asked me "what guitar should I buy for $600-$700", I would have told you to buy a Steinberger ST2-FPA, because frankly that PRS you're eyeing is not different enough from the two guitars you already own, for me to say it's worth buying. I would advise the money is better spent on something that will expand your tonal pallette, options, and musical horizons further, which the Steinberger absolutely would do, because it is so drastically different to anything you currently own, and is also incredibly unique (and highly specced) for the price range it occupies.

    But you didn't ask that in this thread, so I didn't provide that advice, because it's an answer for a totally different question.
     
  20. P-Ride

    P-Ride SS.org Regular

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    That's helpful and I agree that the PRS SE is unlikely to be a radical departure from the Les Paul or Telecaster HH.

    The main reason I'm looking at owning several similar guitars as I enjoy different tunings. I've played in Double Drop C for years and love the tonality and Eastern-style drone chords, but have really enjoyed playing in Double Drop D with the Telecaster, because (with lighter strings) it's faster too.

    I'm taking lessons again to really work on theory, in standard tuning and a third guitar means I can have one in standard, to pick up for practising for my lessons, as well as playing songs by the majority of bands.

    I'm keen to get some more speed and a tremolo, while keeping the curve I love on an electric guitar, so the PRS Custom 24 seems a good choice, as the neck is wide and thin. I'll likely place this in Double Drop D and use the Telecaster for standard tuning.

    I'm afraid I'm unashamed about aesthetics and love sexy, curvy guitars. Functionality is important, so I won't buy a bad, pretty guitar; but I wouldn't buy a good one I didn't like the look of. And the Steinberger isn't for me.

    I wasn't sure I would own a doublecut TBH, but the PRS manages to be DC while also curvy.

    Cheers. I do appreciate your advice, which is thoughtful and theoretical, even though we had a slight clash on delivery!
     
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