A Theory On A Guitars Sound :)

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Digiplay, Nov 10, 2021.

  1. Bob Spumoni

    Bob Spumoni Senior Stratmaster

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    I don't see this as complicated. It is simply that there are two variables in the situation: the player and the listener (often one in the same person, though importantly distinguishable!). Most phenomena in this world have more than two variables, after all.
     
  2. dirocyn

    dirocyn Most Honored Senior Member

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    The thing that makes guitars great is the variability of tone. Pick lighter or harder and it sounds different. Pick closer to the bridge and it sounds different. Use a different pick or strings and it sounds different. Turn the volume and tone knobs and it sounds different. Guitar isn't like a Casiotone. Every little thing makes a difference, even if you are just talking about one guitar. A guitar doesn't make just one sound, it makes a huge wide range of sounds.

    So the difference between players can still shine through, even when the equipment is the same.

    That doesn't mean all guitars sound alike. They all have their own range of sounds.
     
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  3. StratChat

    StratChat Strat-Talk Member

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    Wait I’m confused
    There are 10 guitarist playing in the woods with the same guitar and amp but no one can hear them?
     
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  4. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

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    No we are not in agreement.

    And you didn't say that. You said this:

    The guitar and amp do not sound exactly the same. As evidenced in the Vaughan Bros clip...the sound changes dramatically when the players change. A non- guitarist/musician can hear it.

    Anyway, this is analyzing the size of a donut hole and it's effect on the taste of the donut. Navel gazing. Go play your guitar.
     
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  5. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon

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    ST-54.png

    How's it sound now?
     
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  6. StratUp

    StratUp Senior Stratmaster

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    If ten Gibsons fall in the woods but there's no one around to hear it, do the headstocks break?
     
  7. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

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    Yep. Without the player, it's furniture.

    We aren't signal generators. We don't put out a consistent 440 Hz tone. Take five tone generators. Plug them into the amp. Set it at 440. They'll sound very close if not the same.

    Now take two players. Play 440. Your 440 and mine will sound different, because we're signal creators.
     
  8. Bakelite1

    Bakelite1 Strat-Talker

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    Humans only take in a certain percentage of new information, the rest is subjective expectation.
     
  9. guitarface

    guitarface Most Honored Senior Member

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    This is also closely related to an important point about pedals. A pedal has no sound. It interacts with your amp and guitar to do something. There is no pedal that sounds like a Marshall. There are pedals that perhaps when paired with a blackface amp and a strat will make the whole rig sound a little more like what you might expect with a Marshall.
     
  10. publius

    publius Strat-Talker

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    Are all those damned knobs set the same? Is the humidity controlled? Had anyone smoked any weed or had a taste of the curative?
    Were the windows open and the wind howling through?

    I thought that Strat Tone thing had been settled long ago.....all ( reasonable persons) agreeing on the 57 sss Alnico 5 black bottomed staggered pole with that there formvar wire and the Pat. Pend. saddles, and a Swamp Ash body......or am I wrong?

    P.S.
    Where is my friggin coffee cup?
     
  11. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

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    The label on the pedal suggests the sound. It says Marshall...you hear Marshall. A LPB-1 into a Deluxe Reverb sounds more Marshall than straight in.

    A lot of guitarists who know what they're talking about (See Kenny Vaughan's flat wound video) say this:

    There is a point where a distorted signal is all about the distortion. The guitar doesn't matter. The amp doesn't matter.

    Put that on your donut and eat it. :D
     
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  12. Bob Spumoni

    Bob Spumoni Senior Stratmaster

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    Now now. I find the discussion interesting. When your petty anger fades, how about you go play your guitar? I agree with you, fwiw, but do find another parade to rain on, willya?
     
  13. rojo-funk

    rojo-funk New Member!

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    Agreed! And there are even more things that make a difference, including especially the angle at which the pick crosses the string and the attack (not to mention fretting finger differences).

    A common problem for me watching youtube demonstrations of a model of guitar is that the musicians they choose to demo the model are people who sound bad to me (ugly attack) but would sound bad on *any* guitar. I think the original poster is vastly underestimating the differences from player to player.

    Even non-musicians would easily discern the differences between 10 players playing the same guitar/amp/speaker.

    This has nothing to do with the (correct) observation that we each hear things differently. How does one know that? Elizabeth Wenzel (NASA Ames) did studies of Head Related Transfer Functions (HRTFs). By recording identical sounds in an anechoic chamber w/ tiny microphones places within the inner ears of the subjects in the experiment, she demonstrated pinnae filtering differences from person to person, related to our ability to localize sounds. Our outer ears selectively filter frequencies based on the angle/position from which a sound originates (and the physical properties of our outer ears differ from person to person). One can essentially listen "through the ears" of another person w/ headphones, by applying their HRTFs, and this will affect one's own ability to localize. I mention this entire digression to make the point that there is objective evidence to support the idea that we each "hear differently" (no doubt pinna filtering is just one of the ways )- but this has nothing to do with why 10 players sound different playing the same guitar through the same amp/speaker!
     
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  14. Scott Baxendale

    Scott Baxendale Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    If they play the exact same song or lick it probably will sound pretty much the same to a point of the basic difference in playing technique.
     
  15. PonyB

    PonyB Senior Stratmaster

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    Interesting, thanks.
     
  16. bluebeard

    bluebeard Strat-Talk Member

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    What this guy said !

     
  17. Chuck Conner

    Chuck Conner Strat-Talker

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    In 1964 I had a Gretsch Country Gentleman Guitar, so did Chet Atkins and George Harrison. Neither of them sounded like me so they kept their guitars.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2021
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  18. bmikultyak

    bmikultyak Strat-Talk Member

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    I think the overall tone/overdrive would be the same but . . . If Santana or Jeff beck were to play they would add nuances using the setup and volume/tone controls on the guitars to give totally different sounds. Santana uses a pick and beck usually doesn't along with the different dynamics of each of them.
     
  19. Rickman365

    Rickman365 Strat-Talk Member

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    Complicate the idea, try to get them all play the same tune, and good luck with that. In fact, try to play a piece ten times and notice how different they are. I went to a guitar workshop, the instructor played a piece of a song twelve times, once for each student to play the lead and he nailed it each time. Blew my mind. Of course all of the lead pieces varied remarkably.
     
  20. MoHump

    MoHump Strat-Talk Member

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    To my mind(and ears), a guitar will sound differently depending on several factors such as pick stiffness, shape of the pick, how hard the pick is applied to the strings, and the pickholder as well.
     
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