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 they all work in the same way at a fundamental level, which is why there is value in sticking to your guns over the basics. If we cannot understand those, then we're always going to be floundering about in the dark.
     
  2. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Senior Member

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    Wood may have an effect, sure, but once confronted with the gain of even a clean amplifier, it pales into insigificance.

    No one here, myself included, can tell the difference between a Paul with a mahogany neck -- like most years -- and a Paul with a maple neck, by ear.

    It is that insignificant.
     
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  3. RAG7890

    RAG7890 Premium Member

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    I’m not arguing the merits of the fundamentals. I’m just saying that all Guitars are different which is why they sound & feel different.

    You also need to mention that a Guitar is not an exact instrument & is out of tune all the time subject to position on the board, fret Size, fingering Pressure etc.

    So you see you’re arguing over something that is basically not worth arguing about.........IMHO.

    I also agree with Thump, once you apply Gain & Speakers & Venues & a Loud Drummer, well you know the rest.

    Tumbleweed stuff. :)

    :cheers2:
     
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  4. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Senior Member

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    And another point not really hashed-over yet is the individual differences within the same species of woods, dependent on growing conditions, location, weather, and so on. Wood is not materially identical like, say, iron or water. Even the same species of trees produce wood of different densities and so on.
     
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  5. yeti

    yeti Senior Member

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    I really don't understand how you come up with these things you state with absolute certainty. What's well understood? That the string vibration has to be kept away from the guitar's body? Did someone postulate it back in the day, throwing centuries of convention out the window, saying:" while in acoustic guitars the strings have to drive the guitar's top into vibration (so the bridge better transfer a maximum amount of energy to the body) the opposite is true for electrics!"?
    If that were true then why do we need a good solid contact with the body, and why bother with neck-through-body designs. Why do toploaded Telecasters sustain less and string through body Teles sustain better, is it those magic string ferrules that completely isolate the string from the body?
     
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  6. RAG7890

    RAG7890 Premium Member

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    I played Vintage ‘59 Toploader Tele a year ago & it was Sitar City.

    I wouldn’t use other people’s money to buy one of those. They suck IMHO.

    :cheers2:
     
  7. yeti

    yeti Senior Member

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    Rudi, my friend, you couldn't be more wrong, they're super cool, just totally different
     
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  8. RAG7890

    RAG7890 Premium Member

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    Yeah a lot of my friends say the same thing but for me Werner, string though.

    My friend’s Top Loader was terrible & sounded like a Sitar.

    Maybe it was a dud, who knows.

    I vote string through........works for my myopic view on Teles. :)

    :cheers2:
     
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  9. yeti

    yeti Senior Member

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    I do agree, string through all the way, Teles, Strats......
    My Tele has a top loader bridge modified to string through, best of both worlds.
     
  10. BBD

    BBD Senior Member

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    Yes. As you point out, acoustic guitars work in exactly the opposite way to electric guitars.

    Let's go over the basics again.

    The key here (as others remind above, on this page) is the amplified sound.

    The amplified sound begins with the voltage induced in the pickup coil by the vibration of the string above it.

    If energy flows rapidly out of the string into the body, the string's vibration decays quickly, reducing the voltage induced in the pickup.

    This results in a weakened input signal to the amp which will lack sustain, brightness and 'punch' compared to a higher voltage signal.

    An example might be two single coil guitars, one which has singing sustain and presence in the mix and the other which lacks sustain and does not stand up in the mix.

    Assuming the guitar to be well designed, then probably yes. But if not, then it will be crappy for the reasons above.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017
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  11. BBD

    BBD Senior Member

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    To maintain string tension, without which vibration is impaired.

    I think some luthiers believe that through necks provide added rigidity between nut and bridge, so improving overall sustain compared with bolt-on or set neck designs.

    I don't know enough about Teles to comment on this, but there seems to be some disagreement about it already.
     
  12. BBD

    BBD Senior Member

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    I said exactly the same to Mouse and others on the endless old/new mahogany thread, several times, so it's a :cheers2: moment.
     
  13. PierM

    PierM Premium Member

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    That is.

    I can't really believe there's still denial on such basics. Oh well....:)
     
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  14. Mouse

    Mouse Senior Member

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    Can you explain to us how mahogany body cut affect tone and sustain, quarter sawn body cut vs flat sawn body cut ?
    What is your take on energy transfer, sustain, color within those two cuts. hope it's basics so i and everybody else can understand. Thank you.
     
  15. BBD

    BBD Senior Member

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    Not in exact detail - you might be the better person to comment on empirical experience - but the fundamentals will be as described earlier in the thread:

    Although I was speaking specifically about tone, the differential frequency filtering will also modulate the loudness and sustain of the amplified sound. We've been over this before.
     
  16. Thermionik

    Thermionik Premium Member

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    .
    .

    “You can’t always write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say,
    so sometimes you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream.”
    .
    .
     
  17. Mouse

    Mouse Senior Member

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    It was interesting to read this article, it is about what they found in early 50's lester prototypes regarding wood cuts. Strangely enough, as i found out later...the guitars of my heroes are mostly flatsawn mahogany body/flatsawn maple top and rift sawn mahogany necks.
    But it's interesting read for sure, very end of page 29 and page 30 - article http://www.abalonevintage.com/1959_Gibson_Guitars_Wilbur_Marker_Les_Paul_Explorer_Flying_V.htm
     
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  18. steve2

    steve2 Member

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    There are tons of comparisons on the interwebs, and while people can feel the difference of guitars that they know about, they cannot tell which is which when listening to them. The whole tone wood thing is mostly nonsense
     
  19. RAG7890

    RAG7890 Premium Member

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    ............IMHO tone is always in the ear of the beholder, unless your incapable of thinking for yourself that’s is. ;)

    :cheers2:
     
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  20. BBD

    BBD Senior Member

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    Thanks for the link, Mouse - as you say, interesting: vertical cut for the body; horizontal cut for the cap. Speculating here, but that should create a rigid structure with a somewhat poor vibrational transmission between the two sections. So the body as a whole would be that bit more resistant to forced vibration. This would make it less efficient at transmitting energy from the strings to the atmosphere, which would enhance the sustain and loudness of the amplified signal - as Marker appears to suggest it did.
     

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