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How does Mass affect Vibrational Frequency?

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by Guy Named Sue, Jan 22, 2018.

  1. Guy Named Sue

    Guy Named Sue Beer me up Scotty Strat-Talk Supporter

    Feb 11, 2015
    Limbo
    I know I'm possibly opening a can of worms here but I have to say what I think on this subject. Because I find it ridiculous that there are people attaching various types of heavy metal plates on their guitars and expecting the guitar to have a longer sustain because of it.

    So the question is, how does mass affect vibrational frequency?

    Any object that can vibrate is capable of creating a tone. Two factors determine the frequency of the vibration: the Mass of the object and it's tension. As the Mass is increased, the frequency and the pitch decreases. For example, men in general have more mass in their vocal folds than women and therefore have lower voices.

     
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  2. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    59
    May 21, 2010
    Sheffield, UK
    Weight? Player or guitar? :whistling:
     

  3. Guy Named Sue

    Guy Named Sue Beer me up Scotty Strat-Talk Supporter

    Feb 11, 2015
    Limbo
    I guess I didn't take the weight of the player in consideration, now that you mention it the size and weight of the player's beer belly should be accounted for in the equation too. :thumbd: I'll get back to you on that!
     
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  4. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    59
    May 21, 2010
    Sheffield, UK
    I was thinking of the dampening effect. I have none, being a skinny rat all my life.
     
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  5. rolandson

    rolandson Senior Stratmaster

    The word you are looking for is oscillation, and mass has a definite affect upon it. Spend a few minutes looking over this...
    http://farside.ph.utexas.edu/teaching/315/Waves/node3.html
    and realize that there is indeed a relationship.

    However, I think what you are truly asking is in relation to resonance... But I am reluctant to presume.

    Both phenomena involve complex variables and are not as simple as attaching a weight to a neck and increasing sustain...but it is also true that attaching a weight to a neck will affect the overall system.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018
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  6. thomquietwolf

    thomquietwolf Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    77
    Dec 2, 2010
    Peardale CA
    Looking to republish the Masters and Johnson report are we?
     
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  7. knh555

    knh555 Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    46
    Dec 6, 2016
    Massachusetts
    Yes.
     
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  8. Paperback Rocker

    Paperback Rocker Nitro-mancer Strat-Talk Supporter

    Sep 18, 2014
    Victoria TX
    Who might be
    this person . . .
    Posting below
    As in under
    The moniker
    Of thom
    Breaking form.
    No haikus.
     

  9. heltershelton

    heltershelton ASKED TO LEAVE THE STAGE Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 5, 2013
    Not Florida
    somebody used to make a plate (fathead) that you put on the back of the headstock and it was supposed to increase sustain. i dont know if it worked or not.
    fathead.jpg
     
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  10. CigBurn

    CigBurn Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    60
    Jun 22, 2014
    Same Shed Different Day

  11. johnnymg

    johnnymg Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Sep 5, 2015
    Central Coast Ca
    It worked VERY well................... lined the pockets of some smart entrepreneur.

    Present company excluded, guitarists (and musicians in general) are a rather gullible lot. The allure of buying tone is just too much for a simple mind to resist.
     

  12. Ebidis

    Ebidis Providing the world with flat bends since 1985 Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    51
    Nov 14, 2013
    Alabama
    Gullible? Simple minded? Speak for yourself!:mad:

    Now if you'll excuse me, I have to install this new Backbone contraption I just got in mail. I hope it won't cause any problems using with my with my Fathead, and Leo Quan Baddass bridge. :whistling:
     

  13. Ebidis

    Ebidis Providing the world with flat bends since 1985 Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    51
    Nov 14, 2013
    Alabama
    Seriously, I have an ash bodied strat that is quite a bit heavier than any of my other guitars. It is also brighter sounding with a tighter, more focused low end than my other two alder bodied Strats. It sustains at least as well as any of my other guitars, and is the only one with a floating trem.

    I have no idea if all of this is due to the weight/mass of the body, or the fact that I'm a Libra, but it is my experience.
     
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  14. Ebidis

    Ebidis Providing the world with flat bends since 1985 Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    51
    Nov 14, 2013
    Alabama
    I can't state enough how utterly wrong, and ill informed the guy in that video is. As a matter of fact, I had to watch it twice, because I could not believe the utter BS that I was hearing the first time.

    Everything the guy in that video said is opinion stated as fact, or just dead wrong. His jumprope analogy was the stupidest thing I have ever heard. That is a completely different matter of physics altogether, and has nothing to do with mass and string vibration.

    The statement that a more resonant body which vibrates more will increase sustain is not only wrong, but displays his complete lack of understanding of physics (unfortunately I hear and read similar statements all the time). The exact opposite is true. Simple physics tells us that if the body vibrates more, that means that it is stealing energy from the vibrating string, therefore the string vibration will be dampened, and die sooner, not later. If the body vibrates less, then the string will retain more of its own energy, and vibrate longer. Why do you think that just about any solid body electric will sustain longer than an acoustic? And acoustics sound (acoustically) much fuller than an electric? Because the body is robbing far less energy from the vibrating string on the electric, and the acoustic is using much more energy from the string to (acoustically) amplify a fuller range of frequencies.

    Does this resonance effect tone? Yes, because if certain frequencies are dampened by a "resonant" body, then those frequencies are less prominent in the string's vibration, and transformed instead into acoustic energy from the vibrating body, and therefore not present in the string to be picked up by the pickups.

    His statement that "a heavier, less resonant body will sound dead" is classic opinion stated as fact. Dead compared to what? I have a heavy ash bodied Strat that does not sound as loud and resonant [acoustically] as my other lighter, alder bodied Strats, but when plugged in, it is bright, and lively sounding, snappy, punchy, with great sustain (the opposite of dead).

    This guy has no clue.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018

  15. dogwatermike

    dogwatermike Strat-Talker

    174
    Oct 2, 2014
    albuquerque
    That video is just dead wrong. Ebidis eloquently stated the case.

    Regarding the fathead weight.... I can see what the inventor was thinking: the neck vibrates at specific frequencies [the standard problem in the math books is a beam fixed at one end]. The neck fundamental is rather low, and can come close to the frequency of some of the wound strings. So, to avoid exciting the neck vibrations with the string “normal modes” (string vibrations), make the neck frequency lower than the low E string frequency. This Is done by adding mass to the neck. This trick is used in structures in vibrational environments by mechanical engineers (e.g., aircraft)

    If the neck vibration matches a string vibration, the string transfers energy efficiently and preferentially to the neck vibration, making the string vibration weak - no sustain and a dead note. Note this is a “resonance”..... that term is often misused in these forums to mean “vibration”.... it is a preferential transfer of energy from one system to another.

    (Note Added: by the way, your neck may not have a “high” vibrational frequency, so this device would offer no benefit in that case!)

    And with all that, it's time For me to get back to weightier topics, such as looking at silly cat photos! Cowabunga!
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018

  16. FormerTeleGuy

    FormerTeleGuy Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 17, 2013
    Oak Lawn, IL
    It's all about the resonant frequency. Every piece of wood, neck and bodies both, will have some frequency that "excites" them. I firmly believe the truly magical guitars "ring" just right in accordance with the pickups because they, themselves, also have a resonant frequency. Everything comes down to resonance, hell, even our amps have a resonant frequency. Change the speaker and now THAT changes everything. This is a rabbit hole.

    If I had the energy, I'd open a guitar buildin' factory with all sorts of expensive and lengthy tests to see what the magic numbers are, precisely measure every piece of wood, and build them according to a mathematical system that ensures every guitar has "it". But I don't, so I just try guitars and when one of them rings right (and better than what I already own), I buy it if I can afford it. Life's too short for this ****.
     
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  17. Inverness

    Inverness Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    50
    Dec 24, 2013
    Salt Lake City
    I am going to get a thinline tele and fill it with ballbearings (insert Fletch quote here) then fill it up with clear resin for extra mass and density. Thanks Joel! @Guy Named Sue
     
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  18. thomquietwolf

    thomquietwolf Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    77
    Dec 2, 2010
    Peardale CA
    Were I to read studies accompanied by scientific repetative documented, double, perhaps quad blind studies
    Rather than anecdotal urban rumors....
    I might
    I might
    I might
    No I wouldn't
    Unless Groucho Marx came to me in a dream...
    And
    Aw what the heck
    I'm a fish...
    I bit on the notion that I could learn to make music...
     

  19. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh needs you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too. Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 10, 2014
    Initech, Inc.
    How does Mass affect Vibrational Frequency?
    Generally speaking, a heavier mass will have a lower vibrational frequency. That's why thicker strings are lower in pitch than thinner strings, assuming that the scale length and string tension are the same.
    Does this mean we can predict the sound of a guitar based on the weight of the body, as in this video?
    Erm, no. There are far too many variables to make any simple claims like this. As others have said, opinion offered as fact without proof.
     
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  20. dirocyn

    dirocyn Strat-Talker

    Age:
    43
    181
    Jan 20, 2018
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Not only offered as fact without proof, but he's exactly opposite what I (pu pu, an internet expert!) believe, and also opposite physics and the history of electric guitars.

    The first electric guitar was Les Paul's "Log." It was notably heavier than acoustic guitars and was noted for having much longer sustain than acoustic guitars. Heavier guitar generally means more sustain, though changing weight also changes the resonant frequencies. Just my observation, feel free to reach your own conclusions.
     
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