50's Wood? This is How a Good Les Paul Supposed to Sound Like

Discussion in 'Vintage Les Pauls' started by d1m1, Nov 6, 2017.

  1. BBD

    BBD Senior Member

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    But I didn't say there was no interaction. I said that the energy flow back from the body to the strings is negligible, which it is because the body is vibrating at a much lower amplitude than the string and is connected to the string at only two points.

    Nor did I make any strong statement about tone, only about the relationship between body resonance and the loudness and sustain of the amplified signal. So we're basically in agreement as far as I can see. Although not about this, I'm afraid:

    And:

    Everything I've said upthread very much does stand up to 'scientific scrutiny' and if you disagree then I ask you - again - to explain in detail where the errors lie. Nor is any of it 'contrived' - it's basic energy flow physics. But I think what may have happened here is that you've taken me to be arguing more about tone than I ever was. So, here's what I didn't say about wood resonance and tone:

    Different species of wood and different timber from the same species and different mechanical constructions all resonate slightly differently. They will transmit energy at different frequencies more (less) efficiently than at others. In this way, the wood and construction of the guitar acts as a set of filters that robs energy differentially depending on frequency from the vibrating strings. This is why wood and construction have a modest but discernible effect on tone.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  2. Bobby Mahogany

    Bobby Mahogany Senior Member

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    How about choice of strings used in making these acoustic tests on electric guitars?
    Gauge, number of turns on the tuners and actual "string elasticity" at the moment of the recording?
    :hmm:

    That should take us to page 20.
     
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  3. rockstar232007

    rockstar232007 Senior Member

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    This, in a nutshell.

    Anyone who has ever actually played a guitar, made from non-conventional materials (plastic/acrylic, carbon-fiber, aluminum, etc) can atest to this.

    Pickups, though designed not to be microphonic, are inherently so. So any minute, secondary vibrations from the body will be picked up. This is where "undertones/double-tones", that most '50s LPs are famous for, come into play.
     
  4. BBD

    BBD Senior Member

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    The relative motion of pickup to string is extremely slight, therefore the voltage induced in the coil will be so small as to have no audible effect on the amplified tone.

    Can we just let go of the idea that vibration of the body does anything significant apart from transmitting energy away from the strings? Because really, that's all that is happening.
     
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  5. rockstar232007

    rockstar232007 Senior Member

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    Depends on the over all quality of the wind/coil - coils that are wound tight will be less prone to vibrations. While loosely/scatter-wound wound coils (as seen on most PAF/clone/boutique pickups) will be more sensitive to even the most minute vibrations.

    You also have to take into consideration, the pickups basically "float", wich makes them even more prone to vibrations, hence feedback.
     
  6. yeti

    yeti Senior Member

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    Pickups aren't inherently microphonic, it all depends on construction, wind, potting, etc. Plus they might be microphonic due to little areas of air forming a cavity that attracts feedback (ever cup your hands around a vocal mic onstage?) while immune to any mechanical vibration of the body or otherwise and vice versa. If pickups were only sensitive to sting vibration then how can there be microphonic ( the squeal-type) feedback at all? A solid body guitar with microphonic Pus can "make sounds" without having any strings, ask any Telecaster player, you can talk into those things. There's obviously more to the picture and again, empirical evidence becomes paramount. Talk to anyone proficient in winding pickups about potting and they'll tell you, based on customer feedback, that too much potting kills the microphonic lively character of the PU. How can this be if PUs just respond to string vibration? Again, reality trumps theory.
     
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  7. BBD

    BBD Senior Member

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    Then I would like to see some empirical evidence that extremely slight vibration of the pickups by the resonating body can induce a voltage large enough to have a detectable effect on the amplified sound. The problem being that it can't as there is a direct causal relationship between amplitude of vibration and voltage induced.

    The talk about microphonic feedback is another apples / oranges rhetoric. First, it typically occurs when there is a mechanical issue - improperly fitted covers on humbuckers being a classic - that causes the pickup to begin to vibrate in such a way as to induce voltage in the coil. Second, it has nothing to do with the mechanical connection between the pickup and the body of the guitar, and nothing to do with guitar body vibration.
     
  8. judson

    judson Senior Member

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    ok now that we got that settled...explain this !!

     
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  9. DW4LesPaul

    DW4LesPaul Senior Member

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    Obviously, the answer to that is you can practice without an amplifier and with other people, anywhere, anytime. I think it's a great thing to be able to do with a solid body electric. Pick it up, and go--like an acoustic, but not.
     
  10. DW4LesPaul

    DW4LesPaul Senior Member

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    Wow, really?
     
  11. DW4LesPaul

    DW4LesPaul Senior Member

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    Yeah I like that. You can practice all day w/o an amp.
     
  12. rockstar232007

    rockstar232007 Senior Member

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    By design, pickups shouldn't be microphonic, but in most cases, they are. Whether or not that would be considered a "flaw", is subjective.

    But, the fact of the matter is, they, especially HBs, are extremely sensitive to even the most minute vibrations.

    Don't be lieve me? The next time you do a string-change, plug in your guitar (sans strings) tap on the back, and you should be able to hear it through the amp. In fact, that has been the case with just about every HB-eqipped guitar I've ever owned, with the exception of my Alvarez Dana II, which is a SSH with EMGs.
     
  13. BBD

    BBD Senior Member

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    Tapping the back of the guitar isn't a 'minute vibration'. The tap is a significant energy input - enough to make the body vibrate audibly with a transient high frequency peak. The problem with this argument is that it doesn't demonstrate that HBs are sensitive to even the most minute vibrations :).
     
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  14. rockstar232007

    rockstar232007 Senior Member

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    I said "tap", not "slap". A slight tap wouldn't produce any more vibrations, than a vibrating string. But, is still able to produce enough inductance, to be audible.
     
  15. BBD

    BBD Senior Member

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    I don't hear soft taps through the pickups, only harder ones - which are much higher energy inputs than a picked string because picked strings actually don't make the body resonate sharply and audibly like a tap does: 'tap'. QED. Can we move on?
     
  16. rockstar232007

    rockstar232007 Senior Member

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    Fair enough.
     
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  17. BBD

    BBD Senior Member

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    Thanks for an interesting discussion - I wish somebody would do some quantification of these things and publish it. We should be told!
     
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  18. Thermionik

    Thermionik Not Fade Away Premium Member

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    There's been worse than that cacophony posted, often proudly, on here before now.
     
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  19. rogue3

    rogue3 Senior Member

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    another simple test i've observed. If you have a fret buzz that you can hear acoustically...do you hear it through your amp too? I find,by and large,you don't. The acoustic fret buzz is much louder,and, you do not hear it anywhere near to the same degree at all,through the amp...maybe a little? But no contest,the wound pickup is a poor vector for acoustic tone...mostly, imho. What you hear is a string decaying prematurely through the amp.

    The body as a band pass filter affecting the vibration of the strings...and therefore tone?...well,thats a whole nuther ball game.There is no question wood affects tone.How it does it is the key.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
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  20. BBD

    BBD Senior Member

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    How else?
     
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