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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    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.
     
  2. yeti

    yeti Senior Member

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    I didn't point out that they work in opposite ways, I hinted at the absurdity of believing that they'd work in opposite ways. You can believe whatever you want, Rudi is right, what's the point? My reason for involvement in this thread has run it's course so allow me to go over it once again and bow out:
    OP posts video of acoustically recorded Lester, I click on t, expecting nothing good ( cuz I'm a skeptic), then I hear a very familiar tonal response from the video that I recognize from every good Lester I've played over the last 35 years. I agree with OP and others that it is these acoustic properties that define the amplified sound of these guitars...the end.
     
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  3. BBD

    BBD Senior Member

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    Of course they do. It is self-evident.
     
  4. BBD

    BBD Senior Member

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    Yes - because you are hearing the acoustic properties of the STRINGS. Remember how hard the guy was picking - how people commented on that? The acoustic properties of the strings are what goes to the amp. The acoustic properties of the strings are set by the physical properties of the body. It's all there upthread, if you would only read what is written *carefully*.
     
  5. yeti

    yeti Senior Member

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    okay, last post on the subject....
    Do yourself a favor and take a voltmeter and measure the signal strength of a pickup mounted to an acoustic guitar with pickup (say a Gibson L-5 CES) and then compare to the signal strength of that PU mounted on a solid body. According to BBD there should be a big drop in output on the ES-5 because all the energy is driving the top by design and can't be picked up since the L-5 workes in reverse in terms of energy flow. Post the AC voltages and then we can continue this discussion.
    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017
  6. Mouse

    Mouse Senior Member

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    Strangely enough i did tests and i made guitar like Wilbur Marker said and i do not confirm more sustain than in flatsawn mahogany /flatsawn maple top, just usuall les paul sustain but that guitar sound a bit different than others, harmonics color department. So for me sustain part is out, but color part is relevant to me as Wilbur said ''you could change combination (cut) but sure as i sitting here you would change the tone of the guitar '' And i do believe that matters, we are after the - tone - in the end of the day.
     
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  7. Mouse

    Mouse Senior Member

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    One more thing about mahogany, it's not that simple wood like with maple or any domestic wood. it has interlocked pattern, it's evident when splitted. So to make simple statements of the wood grain and it's 'wire' and stability it is not very plausible on the theoretical level and simple like we do with, let's say, spruce or maple.
     
  8. BBD

    BBD Senior Member

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    Please scratch your own itch, Yeti.

    And the switcheroo from the discussion of solid body electrics vs acoustics to CES / ES-5s was either naughty or careless of you.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017
  9. EpiLP1985

    EpiLP1985 Senior Member

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    One thing i'm noticing is the seemingly interchangeable back and forth between output/sustain and tone. In searching (very cursory/exploratory searches) much of the sustain/output discussion seems plausible, i.e. BBD's position. Obviously we can agree that as higher volume situations come into play, player position relative to the sound waves coming from the amp, neck wood driving body vibration, etc. can all have a more profound affect on string vibration then at lower volumes.

    As far as tone is concerned, construction and material selection can play a huge role. "Uphill" Body and Neck wood (like described in Million Dollar Les Paul), hide glue, hardware, etc. Also, unplugged tone may be better suited for conversation of the tone qualities of the instrument.

    Maybe part of the "problem" (quotations here because obviously discussion is never a problem if it's civil) is that some of the concepts are being intermingled (sustain and string vibration vs. tone and frequency) and in some sense, and in certain situations, they are mutually exclusive.

    Just my thoughts after reading the whole thread.
     
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  10. Mouse

    Mouse Senior Member

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    ^^yup

    Billy Gibbons “These things were made to be played. They were not thought of as classic instruments. They were made to make loud noises, irritating sounds. That’s my view.”
     
  11. EpiLP1985

    EpiLP1985 Senior Member

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    Sustain may very well be negatively impacted by a resonant instrument (I admit that I can't readily "poo-poo" or dismiss BBD's comments because they are for the most part accurate), but for me, and for others obviously, sustain isn't really the metric i'm all that concerned with. Construction methods and materials is the thing I like to analyze and, in my opinion, the thing that a good resonant, un-amplified guitar tells you is more of a tone thing.
     
  12. BBD

    BBD Senior Member

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    How do you know that what you are hearing unplugged isn't predominantly the sound of the strings rather than actual resonance from the body?
     
  13. korus

    korus Senior Member

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    Hollow body, acoustic, solid body, semi-hollow and you name it - any and every guitar ever made executes it's function of producing tone governed by the same laws of physics - string vibrates, the support absorb harmonics differentially. The difference in the materials used for string, hardware and wood and construction deployed to support the string while it vibrates define what the word differentially used in previous sentence describes. These differences in materials color the tone, but the principles by which tone is generated are always one and the same. It does not matter what is used to amplify string vibrations to level audible for most humans. Wood underneath the strings vibrates on all of them, it just happens that vibrations of wood on non solid body guitar are audible by themselves as that wood is simply thin enough and it does vibrate sympathetically with strings' vibrations. On solid body guitar wood is thick by design, hence vibrations of wood by themselves are not loud enough, so string vibrations have to be picked up and amplified. Still, the tone is generated exactly the same way and within exactly the same physics phenomena and laws that explain them.

    The whole problem with getting modern sounding guitars to sound like originals is based on almost 70 years long childish fascination with then new electronic transfer system that sends electric signal towards amp which simply happened to be pickup and not microphone nor piezo-sensor nor modelling controller. The epic omission is that the tone is already made before any tiny current is induced in pickup. Failing to comprehend this trivial fact is what keep us from having tone of originals in new guitars. We have been doing it wrong - inventing myriad of ways to 'fix' the signal by electronic manipulation naively believing there's magic in pickups and amps instead of simply identifying the change in design that altered the tone where it is generated and shaped before it becomes signal - string, hardware, wood.

    And this is exactly what clip in OP demonstrates - the tone of unplugged original is the tone we can not reproduce on modern made LP, no matter if modern LP deploys the original PAFs and all other original electronic parts, played through stock vintage amp(s), and no matter if the operator/the player is a person who owns original(s) for decades and does his best on such a modern LP with all his knowledge, experience, playing skill and overall musical ability. The unplugged tone which clip in OP clearly demonstrates has yet to come out of any post 1968 made Les Paul guitar. This is what OP (clip) and this thread is all about, nothing more, nothing less and certainly nothing else.

    So, surely we can go on with this 8 or 18 or whatever pages, but right now, let's just stop for a moment and try something else. I admit that I do fail to comprehend how your almost technical and almost scientific contribution helps. While entertaining at moments, it surely belongs at some other forum(s) with term '(almost) physics' in title. Also, I am old enough and grown up enough to accept the possibility that I am wrong, and that I maybe fail to understand which part of your 'teachings' is practically applicable on the matter of this forum and that it is you who understand how it (=original LP) works and why it sounds like in clip.

    Therefore, would you be so kind to tell us what should we do to make our post '68 Les Paul guitars sound like the original one in the OP clip, when played unplugged. I mean, do what you are good at by all means, but let us have some use of it as guitar players and LP owners, not as readers of 'Almost physics for dummies'.

    Really BBD, let us have it - it's a direct question to you, based on what you already demonstrated in this and other threads here, a question as plain and clear as one can be - what should be done in 2017 to achieve that simple goal - original LP tone in modern, post '68 LP?

    I mean, trust me and others who get the idea of the clip in OP being recorded and made public - this is the tone yet to be achieved with any modern LP - what to do? And the previous sentence is what is written in it - a simple question in a forum discussing vintage/original LP guitars.

    Modern LP made sounding like original LP. How?
     
  14. BBD

    BBD Senior Member

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    Not exactly, as repeatedly explained on this thread. Perhaps, as you suggest, you just don't quite understand the explanations.

    Several commenters said the LP in the OP video sounded like their own non-vintage LP. So not just a question for me. But others also pointed out that the nature of the recording was such that no definitive statements could be made about it.

    So you assert, but assertions based on the type of evidence presented in the OP are meaningless.
     
  15. EpiLP1985

    EpiLP1985 Senior Member

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    That’s certainly part of it.
     
  16. yeti

    yeti Senior Member

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    Neither naughty nor careless, you said "Of course they do (work in opposite ways). It is self-evident.", so I brought up an L-5 CES, essentially an acoustic jazz guitar with pickups fitted to amplify. If a guitar build for maximum acoustic tone with no modification to amplify it beyond the added PU were to work the opposite way from a solidbody in terms of how "energy flows" then it stands to reason that there wouldn't be much for the PUs to pickup since in acoustics, according to your logic, the energy is directed towards the body to vibrate the top whereas in solidbodies the energy is quarantined to the strings and PUs as much as possible. It stands to reason that in an instrument build with the acoustic "energy flow direction" there would be significantly less energy available for the PU to sense and convert into AC .
    IME the output/ signal strength of a P-90 or PAF mounted on what is essentially an acoustic guitar is comparable to that of P-90'sr PAFs mounted to solidbodies, an observation that is not reconcilable with your hypothesis regarding energyflow in guitars.

    And one more thing, where I come from it is customary to let someone leave the discussion without insisting on one more controversial or accusatory statement like "And the switcheroo from the discussion of solid body electrics vs acoustics to CES / ES-5s was either naughty or careless of you", that's just bad form altogether.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017
  17. Mouse

    Mouse Senior Member

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    Just to add more confusion i made a short video. Second lester is made the way Wilbur Marker described in article so you can follow what it does acoustically ( high harmonics coloration) in compare with first paul. strings, bridges, stop tail, tuners are the same
    :cheers2:

     
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  18. RAG7890

    RAG7890 Premium Member

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    .........................tumbleweeds on their way back. :p :D

    [​IMG]

    :cheers2:
     
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  19. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Senior Member

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    I'd imagine the dispersion of energy is much more thorough in solid-bodies than acoustics. I think that implies that the woods shape the tone much less, just as you get less tone shouting into a mattress than a chamber.

    And again -- once the pickup output hits the signal chain, with its myriad gain-stages, all bets are off. I've owned vibrant guitars that didn't work the amp well, and dead bones that made it sing.
     
  20. RAG7890

    RAG7890 Premium Member

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    :hmm:...............I am thinking that the reason we use Stereo Cabs is because there is a Parallel Universe.







    I jest..............:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :naughty: :D

    :cheers2:
     

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