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How The Electronics / Pickups Setup Affect The Tone of The Guitar

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by SurfErDud29, Feb 2, 2020.

  1. Jimgchord

    Jimgchord Strat-O-Master

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  2. jvin248

    jvin248 Senior Stratmaster

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    .

    Swap pickups, pots, and caps as a set between the two guitars and they will sound the same.

    Pots vary by 20%
    Caps vary by 10%
    Pickups vary by an industry that does not give out tolerance specs (because they would be too shamefully wide)

    And thus any two guitars can sound different from all that variation. Since most players can't "see" the pots, caps, and behind the pickup covers they resort to proclaiming this or that wood is the reason for 'bright' or 'dark'. The guitar industry is happy to reinforce that view because they have structured their pricing layers on premium woods. More expensive woods must have better tone. And that is how profits are made.

    Adjusting pickup heights and pickup screw pole heights can alter the sound too, and careful measurement of the string to pickup height difference is often poorly monitored in tests comparing pickups or component swaps.

    If you have a guitar that sounds bad to you... adjust pickup heights, test, swap pots and caps, test, then swap pickups, test. Most players swap pickups first when they are ten times the cost of the pots and caps that are also part of the system.

    .
     
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  3. henderman

    henderman Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    geometry and physics of guitar setup make the feel and sound different between 2 "identical" units.

    a variable is a variable so it gives variables.

    this is actually 7th grade science and not guitar voodoo even though voodoo and guitar seem to be lovers.
     
  4. fezz parka

    fezz parka Duke of Dilligaf Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Yes.For those who doubt what we are talking about:

    This link will take you to posts supposedly made by a teenaged Chinese girl. Note the pidgin English and offensive racial charged language. These posts...were made by a 60 year old Caucasian male. With full knowledge of other members of Strat-Talk. And this is one of dozens of personas created by this banned member.

    https://www.strat-talk.com/search/58129660/

    Yeah..we're suspicious. Especially when certain patterns are a solid match. Once bitten...twice shy. :D
     
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  5. Cerb

    Cerb Anti conformist reformist Strat-Talk Supporter

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  6. Wound_Up

    Wound_Up Strat-Talk Member

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    You all are trippin. Wow.


    I guess I hit it right on the money when I said paranoid. Man you guys should take a break from this place sometimes.
     
  7. thewizardofaz

    thewizardofaz New Member!

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    That's a good question. Most think that given the same pickups, electronics, etc. that the guitars should sound relatively the same. But techniques used by the builders can vary a lot. Body wood can vary tone. I've seen some installations that look like works of art in wire, but others have looked haphazard. I have to think that non-shielded wire arrangements have to sound different from shielded wire installs. Even though there are no requirements to use shielded wiring, it just makes sense to think that the wiring itself can make a sonic difference. Just my thinking, I don't think there have been direct comparisons.
     
  8. Venuss

    Venuss New Member!

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    Say you were to give two master builders at the custom shop a neck and body (similar) and have them load the same electronics (soldering pups, etc.) in the body, will they sound different? Sure no two guitars sound 'exactly' the same, but what factors would influence the tone (brightness, twang, warmth, etc.) with regards to the set up? I'd love to know what you guys have to say!

    Hi all,

    As you can see i am a new member here and hi everyone. My first post too.

    Let's put things into perspective. What's wrong with above post from SurfErDud29?

    Does it matter the content of the post if it not be offensive? Why are some of you taking high snobbery and slating this fellow forum member asking for your point of view. I am as a new member very disappointed to read some of the bad comments posted against SurfErDud29. Be ashamed guys! The best forum members help and assist each other to higher understandings.

    Be good to each other

    Kindest,

    Venuss
     
  9. Venuss

    Venuss New Member!

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    I believe you might have hit onto something here. Questions to ask: Are the two guitars made from the same block of wood. Even if they were, are they cut exactly same tolerance. Temperature, environment, different playing styles, etc. Tons of everythings can make a difference even a slight difference to tone of guitar from the same factory/ luthier/ builder with the same pickups. There be not two guitars alike. So it is that your post is a good post! Can anyone say there is an exact match on tone between two instruments never mind just guitars. I think not!
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020 at 9:14 PM
  10. hexnut

    hexnut Strat-O-Master

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    I showed this to my cat and he didn't give a crap either way.
     
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  11. fezz parka

    fezz parka Duke of Dilligaf Strat-Talk Supporter

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  12. dueducs

    dueducs Senior Stratmaster

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    I read this and just started uncontrolled laughter. I don't know why, but I find this quite funny.
     
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  13. fezz parka

    fezz parka Duke of Dilligaf Strat-Talk Supporter

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    If it wasn't so pitiful....it'd be hilarious.
     
  14. dueducs

    dueducs Senior Stratmaster

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    I am so ready to ditch the Dueducs persona and come back as Borat...
    "Jak sie masz? My name Borat. I like you. I like sex. Is nice!"
     
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  15. dueducs

    dueducs Senior Stratmaster

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    I have no idea who Chuck Hardwater, or Roger Pennyflick are, but I am finding some good laughs in the thread and am shocked no one has contributed something like this yet...

    Scooby Doo Meme.jpg

    To the OP, if you are a new member that presented an unfortunately worded question, my apologies... I couldn't resist.
     
  16. Wayfinder

    Wayfinder Strat-Talk Member

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    From (subjective) experience I'd have to say: no two guitars sound identical.

    But subjective is the word here, because sound perception is a very subjective thing. People's ears work differently; some are more sensitive to sound than others and can tell even tiny differences. Some can tune a guitar solely by ear. Others are near tone deaf and have to use an electronic tuner to set their strings right.

    There are those who will argue with great vehemence that the wood a body is made of has no effect on the sound. I will counter that the laws of physics insist that not only does body composition affect sound... even the same kind of wood will cause minute differences in sound because no two pieces of wood are identical. Now, whether a person can audibly discern that difference depends on the person.

    I have found that just about everything on a guitar affects the sound, from the type of strings used, to bridge setup, to pickup type, to the composition of the body, neck and nut. Many people will state that the types of pots used and even the guitar cord connecting it to the amp will change sound.

    In short, it's probably accurate to say that there's not much that doesn't affect the sound of a guitar. Again, whether an individual can discern that difference depends on their sense of hearing, perception, and even musical training. One of the major mistakes I see repeatedly is people believing their personal perception is the entirety of musical reality. "I don't notice a difference, so there isn't any." Nothing could be further from reality. Perception between individuals differs widely.

    A more interesting question might be: can a master guitar builder create two guitars that are identical in sound... even when measured electronically. Now that would be an interesting experiment. ; )
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020 at 1:09 AM
  17. Jaan

    Jaan New Member!

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    To answer your question from personal experience with *gasp* Les Pauls. I have a modern construction LP with a circuit board in the control cavity instead of soldered wires and you know what it sounds like? A Les Paul. It's incredible how many Gibson guys will take out the circuit board and replace it all before they even play the guitar.
     
  18. CalicoSkies

    CalicoSkies Most Honored Senior Member

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    Maybe get a blister on your little finger. Maybe get a blister on your thumb.
    We gotta install these microwave ovens. Custom kitchen deliveries..
     
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