How Do You Get More Fundamental Tones

Discussion in 'Acoustic Soundboard' started by Opj77, Apr 7, 2021 at 12:04 PM.

  1. Opj77

    Opj77 Strat-Talker

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    out of a rosewood/spruce guitar? I love the presence and punch of rosewood back guitars but I don’t necessarily care for overtone monsters. How might you tame em just a tad?
     
  2. Caddy

    Caddy Strat-Talker

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    Martin Retro Monel strings. Exactly what they are made for. I really like them, as did the late, great Tony Rice. He said that finally his guitars sounded the way they were supposed to sound.
     
  3. rolandson

    rolandson Most Honored Senior Member

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    Strings.
    Keep experimenting.
    Don't rule out electric strings.

    I've a Taylor that absolutely loves them.
     
  4. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Most Honored Senior Member

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    Try GHS Nickel Rockers - semi-flat, with much more of the fundamental note and not as many overtones - very easy to intonate.
    Warmer than typical roundwounds but not dark - favorite of both Eric Johnson and SRV.

    EDIT: Totally missed that you were asking about acoustic - nevermind. :whistling:
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021 at 8:09 AM
  5. Opj77

    Opj77 Strat-Talker

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    I’ve read that those don’t fit rosewood/spruce guitars very well. Obviously, kinda comical, given they are Tony Rice strings but have any experience with em on that configuration? I actually have a set laying around.
     
  6. Caddy

    Caddy Strat-Talker

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    I actually put a set on a rosewood/spruce guitar a couple weeks ago and like how it sounds.

    I also have them on a mahogany/spruce guitar and on two all solid mahogany guitars. Sound really good on the all mahogany guitars, but like them on all of them.

    Give them a try, you may find you like them a lot. They are made to cut down on harmonics and focus in on fundamentals. To my ears that is just what they do.
     
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  7. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Most Honored Senior Member

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    Try a tone guard. Just like moving an amp away from a wall, it creates space between the guitar and your body. I'm not sure what you're chasing but I fashioned one for my mandolin and it sounds like a whole different instrument.
     
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  8. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Fuzz Meister General

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    @Opj77

    While monel does enhance the fundamentals and limit overtones it tends to sound thin on RW/Spruce. Tony did make em sound good and every guitar is different so definitely try them. The best string I’ve found for reducing overtones is the DR Rares. Very strong fundamentals with minimal overtones. Still sounds rich and full but no that’s as many overtones so not as much sustain.

    I just tried a D’add XS for the past week on my two Taylor’s (RW/Spruce and Koa/Spruce) and the we’re the best coated/treated string I’ve ever played. Smooth but not slippery like elixir and the tone is not dulled like other coated/treated strings I’ve tried. They are just like regular D’add EJ16 in tone but a bit livelier and more overtones. The XS are 3lbs less tension across the wound strings compared to regular EJ16.

    Today I switched both guitars to DR Sunbeams and so far I’m liking them. Lighter tension in the wounds due to round core. I’ve been liking less tension for finger style but can’t go down below 12 gauge.

    My Koa/Spruce K14 is designed to be very light on overtones and enhance the fundamentals. It’s for recording and small singer/songwriter gigs with maybe one other instrument. No matter what strings I put on it I can get a bit more overtones but can’t match the incredible overtones that pour out of my RW/Spruce 914. Likewise I can tame it’s overtones some but can never get it as “dry” as the K14. This is part of the fun of acoustics and the reason my wife truly understands the reasons for having multiple ones. She does hear the difference in my two Taylor’s that are the same guitar except back and side wood and torrefied top on the K14.

    Bracing helps too. Listen or better yet play a Martin D 28 with straight braces and a HD 28 with scalloped braces and you’ll hear the difference in overtones from the additional top vibrations the scalloped braces allow.

    We need to meet up somewhere mid way between Asheville and Raleigh and jam some acoustic now that it’s warm out. I know you dig acoustics as much as I do. I play mine 90% of the time I play a guitar. Getting ready to play a 14 song acoustic gig at a house party Saturday.
     
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  9. Opj77

    Opj77 Strat-Talker

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    Thank you kindly for the info and offer! Sadly I am only a few chord strummer trying to learn the ropes. I ordered a Yamaha LL16 to try out. I’ve only owned one spruce/rosewood and still regret selling it. I love Rares and they have come to mind. Obviously I will play it a bit first but the Elixer 80/20’s just aren’t my jam and I will surely change them. I’ve been reading up, not to plan, but to gather info on saddle materials. Micarta is an interesting bird. I may even prefer the cheap plastic saddle on it, who knows. I just don’t want to enhance overtones. Not try and emulate mahogany, just find out what makes it sound as woody as possible.
     
  10. Opj77

    Opj77 Strat-Talker

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    I’ve never heard of such a thing. Interesting.. Will need to Google.
     
  11. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Most Honored Senior Member

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    I first saw them here:

    [email protected]

    But you can witness the effect if you just hold the guitar away from your body and strum it. It's quite a marked difference.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021 at 10:45 PM
  12. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Fuzz Meister General

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    Bone is good for saddle but micarta is fine. My Taylor’s use it instead of bone because of the ES2 system. I do use ebony pins on all my acoustics, I do hear a difference in those and plastic ones, even though vintage Martin’s came with plastic.

    Don’t sweat just strumming some chords, let’s meet up and do some strumming and picking. I love finding folks who get all into acoustics.
     
  13. Opj77

    Opj77 Strat-Talker

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    Bone is truly a superior saddle material but I’ve always found it to magnify overtones. Tusq, a bit less. I’ve read that micarta calms down overtones even more.
     
  14. BlurgyWurgyWibble

    BlurgyWurgyWibble Strat-O-Master

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    Put heavier tuning keys on. Instant bigger fundamentals. Locking tuners like Grover 502cs will make a very noticeable difference.
     
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  15. Opj77

    Opj77 Strat-Talker

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    Interesting theory. I’ve put Grover lockers on several acoustics but never paid attention to any change in tone.
     
  16. Caddy

    Caddy Strat-Talker

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    In my 64 years of playing primarily acoustics (began playing in 1957) this is the first time I have even heard of locking tuners on an acoustic. And I spend a lot of time on The Acoustic Guitar Forum.

    Any reason for doing so?
     
  17. Opj77

    Opj77 Strat-Talker

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    Yeah I hated restringing guitars. I don’t mind so much any more but I do still have a set on one of my guitars.