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The importance of the wood?

Discussion in 'Non-Fender S-Type Guitar Forum' started by cappei, Nov 25, 2017.

  1. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    I an in a unique (sadly) position to weigh in on this. For reasons that I don't feel like recounting right now, I have spent a lot of time with professionals "adjusting" the way I hear. I have also spent many hours as a research subject participating in studies relating to human perception of timbre and pitch. I am not going to claim that what I am saying is a fact, it's my take on the subject and take it as you will: A/B comparisons of sound are very very tricky. When I go to the optometrist and he/she puts me on the machine and starts clicking lenses "1 click or 2..." I can instantly perceive a difference and only at the end of the process, when differences are small, I might need a repeat. Not so for hearing. As Ron pointed out with his Hendrix comments, there seems to be a LOT of some kind of auditory memory/overlap/expectation brain processing going on that makes it much harder to do "A or B?" The ability to hold an auditory perception for a long period seems to be difficult so the whole "swap bodies/pickups" tests seem compromised.
     
    RobZ69 likes this.

  2. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    57
    Apr 21, 2010
    London, UK
    Sounds like fair comment to me.
     

  3. Highway Star

    Highway Star Strat-Talker

    Well that guy could really play Hendrix stuff and as skilled as he was, gear is not that important to sound a certain way. Thats all I'm saying.

    Or maybe my memory fails me. In reallity he might have just played "smoke on the water" on the low e-string with bad intonation and I've watched way to many Hendrix dvds since then :D:D
     
    RobZ69 likes this.

  4. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Most Honored Senior Member

    Jun 8, 2009
    Area 51
    Go to 14:15 -

     
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  5. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Certified Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    Ron Kirn or voodoo?
    Ron Kirn or voodoo?
    Ron Kirn or voodoo?
    Ron Kirn or voodoo?

    do-you-feel-lucky-punk1.png
     
    62CIJ likes this.

  6. Nate D

    Nate D Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    37
    Apr 2, 2016
    Ohio
    will do! thank you :)
     

  7. nikola

    nikola New Member!

    7
    Apr 16, 2015
    Malaysia
    If a guitar is subtractive, which I agree, would you think that a guitar that resonates less would subtract less?

    The thought is that as the string vibrates, a guitar that resonates more would take the energy from the strings. On the other hand, a guitar that resonates less would subtract less and letting the energy be "picked" up by the pickups.
     

  8. RobZ69

    RobZ69 Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    48
    34
    Apr 22, 2017
    The Netherlands
    But is it subtractive? That (for now for me) is an assumption on your part. As winds and resonation of bridges can amplify the wave to the point of destruction, I would argue that a "good" guitar is not subtractive but has an 'internal resonation' that enhances "Tone".***


    *** What @Dadocaster said.
     

  9. albala

    albala Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 10, 2012
    stamford, CT
    I can live with 'happenstance magic'
     

  10. Silvercrow

    Silvercrow Strat-O-Master

    899
    Nov 6, 2014
    Bucks County, Pa.
    I ALWAYS play electric guitars acoustically before buying them. If it has resonance and a great acoustic tone and I can feel the vibrations of the strings (particularly the three higher ones) through the body, for me, it's a good one. My "method" has never failed me yet.

    As Mr. Lumbergh states- it's hard to quantify this- or develop a combo of wood types, parts etc. to get a repeatable result. Not being a scientist, I'll do a crap job of explaining why I think (my opinion) wood matters, but if you get a string oscillating, ultimately, the "contact point" parts are attached to the wood(bridge, saddles, nut), that wood in turn has an effect on those parts, in the manner in which they vibrate. In other words, all come together to form a "signature" / manner, which translates to tone.

    Ever put your ear to an electric guitar's horn or upper bough? You should hear a rich tone / overtones when a chord is played. Through a clean amp, that tone is very well replicated (unless your pickups are very overwound, etc.)

    I could be full of beans (or other substances) but again, I've never had a dud electric plugged in, that sounded great acoustically.

    Brian
     

  11. Inverness

    Inverness Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    49
    Dec 24, 2013
    Salt Lake City
    I have built a lot of parts casters. Sometimes the best of parts joined together, just doesn't feel right or sound right. Swap to a different neck or different body and BAM great sounds. Nothing wrong with either part, sometimes they aren't in spiritual harmony with each other;)
     
    CigBurn likes this.

  12. Gladius

    Gladius Strat-Talk Member

    16
    May 17, 2014
    China
    It's a lot to do with build quality. A famous player that I mentored myself after in my younger years said that if a strat sounds loud and clear when it's not plugged in, it's going to sound great with the amp.

    I've found it to be 100% accurate and it hasn't mattered if the body is basswood, mahogany, or alder.

    Build quality also refers to ease of playing. When you pick up a guitar and feel it connect and it feels like it wants to play music every time you touch a string, it's a real gem.

    All that said, once I sit down in front of the Marshall it's all about loud and awesome tone. Whether there's a subtle difference between wood types is anyone's guess at that point. I'm sure if I had some precision monitors and some time to really pick it apart I might find I prefer one guitar over another because of the sound and not the feel when I play it but wood is not really a huge consideration for me.
     

  13. Nate D

    Nate D Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    37
    Apr 2, 2016
    Ohio
    This is rad. FYI everyone should watch it. :)
     

  14. Cesspit

    Cesspit Strat-Talker

    Age:
    61
    267
    Sep 4, 2016
    Oxford England
    As a person who has played a guitar for a lot of years, my only qualification, I believe all the parts of a guitar contribute to the sound is some way. How they interact together is important but ultimately it is the player that counts. Having the right mix for 'you' helps with your confidence because if you're content you play better.
    It's in the fingers boys.
     
    mikej89 likes this.

  15. PelhamSG

    PelhamSG Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    19
    33
    Sep 19, 2017
    chicago
    Like others have said, its the sum of its parts. I think every little piece makes a difference, but I doubt you can hear it. Its more psychological than anything. People say they hear the difference with the tiniest things... nuts, string trees...everything. I don't buy that you can hear a difference. Maybe acoustically, but any little change in tone isn't going to make it through the amp and into your ears lol.

    But I digress... I think pickups and wood are the biggest factors. I do think wood makes a difference, but pickups make the biggest difference.
     

  16. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Certified Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    Yup,without wood there is no tone.

    tonewood.jpg
     
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  17. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    57
    Apr 21, 2010
    London, UK
    Of course - surely that's obvious?

    Nile Rodgers Daft Punk.jpg
     
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  18. Dan_Q

    Dan_Q Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    38
    Jan 26, 2016
    NW UK
    plenty of wood in thrupny's picture :D
     

  19. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Certified Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    All the tone is in the ciggy... ;)
     
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  20. Dan_Q

    Dan_Q Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    38
    Jan 26, 2016
    NW UK
    dagndammit, that's why i sound rubbish- its not cos i'm a terrible player, its because i gave up :whistling:
     
    Thrup'ny Bit likes this.