Are '50s Les Pauls really much more resonant than later ones?

Discussion in 'Vintage Les Pauls' started by the passenger, May 24, 2017.

  1. Open_Book

    Open_Book Senior Member

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    Gibson had a Kiln... Some luthiers dry their wood out in boxes with a lamp in - that'd be a home made kiln

    I think theres a lot of voodoo in that Old Growth tale... I don't even know any luthiers who go 'omg, listen to that old growth'. Most rockers are half fvkin' deaf anyway...
     
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  2. Sunburstman

    Sunburstman Senior Member

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    I agree to a point with you but, I've read that they used materials that were carcinogenic, like the RF glue for gluing the maple top to the mahogany, the paf pickup wire 42 awg plain enamel, the nitro has no plastizer's in it. Also, I've read that a lot of the wood was cut and left to air dry for up to fifty years before it was used by Gibson in the 1950's. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but it would seem that really dry stable wood, would resonate more than new kiln dried wood.
     
  3. Open_Book

    Open_Book Senior Member

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    What does a carcinogenic material have to do with tone? Too much water will kill you... The nitro had plastizers in it.

    How many guitars have been made with Kiln Dried Wood with people complaining about a lack of tone? I mean, Jimmy Hendrix sucked...

    Seriously people lap this sh*t up - we haven't done the Hide Glue bit yet theres a ton of tone in that one. After that we can get onto Hitler, cuz, thats where the internet argument usually ends,..... and then we all implode to later come back to a recurring circular argument...
     
  4. Sunburstman

    Sunburstman Senior Member

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    It all goes back to how things were made and materials used period.
     
  5. RAG7890

    RAG7890 Premium Member

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    + 100 Eric :thumb: :applause: :applause:

    The recording equipment of the day definitely had a major impact IMHO.

    Cheers, Rudi
     
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  6. yeti

    yeti Senior Member

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    I do agree to a point but the reality is that tube gear was what was available then, those guys would have loved a protools rig if it were available then, most of the old tape/ tube guys did embrace solid state, then digital in it's various forms. What the old gear did was add color that's pleasing to the ear, color= distortion but hey, it doesn't matter if it's real, it only matters if it's believable and musical.
     
  7. Open_Book

    Open_Book Senior Member

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    If so then why do a lot of the same old guitars sound shite while others sound great - they're all using the same materials, no. Its Old Growth so it must be good is a failing motto... Sorry, I have a bug-bear with the myth of that old Unicorn. I mean 335's have a laminated/plywood top and we all know how good they sound.

    I think most people/or us go down the voodoo Rabbit Hole and eventually surface after the weasel has chased us out. I mean, there are a bunch of great boutique Paf builders all using the correct materials and each one has their own ideal. Quite a few people buy the period correct stuff stick it in the guitar and then remove it to try someone else's with the same materials, weird, huh.

    The glue they used wasn't magical - in regard to PF. It was a time saver (hence RF usage) and there was no intention to remove the top for repair work. UF is just as good if you don't want to play the guitar in water...

    I don't have a Debbie Downer on vintage gear but sheesh the worship of some of the balloney gets old.
     
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  8. sws1

    sws1 V.I.P. Member

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    I don't know what the technical reason is, and it's probably a combination of all those things, but I haven't played a 50s LP that wasn't doing something different in my hands. I don't care if it's carcinogens or fairy dust...but I'm sticking to the story.
     
  9. Bill Hicklin temp

    Bill Hicklin temp Senior Member

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    I think what we have here is some hand-waving woo-woo based on an assumed premise, "They don't make 'em like they used to." Or, rather, the false syllogism starts with the hidden premise that vintage guitars just have Better Tone than new ones (define "vintage" and "new"*), and then tries to explain the assumed difference by the alleged use of Unobtanium, whether extinct Magic Wood or the mythical 6,4 nylon.

    (BTW- wood is either denser or lighter, you can't have it both ways)

    -------------------------

    *68-69s and early Norlins used the same wood, folks
     
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  10. PierM

    PierM Certified Naysayer Premium Member

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    After six pages I guess it's something like that;

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. GermHerm

    GermHerm Member

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    well, about 10 '59 LP or so. I do not an '59 LP. Not my price level but I do own some other ones from End '60 and early '70 and some CCs which gives me a good reference point. As I said before watch your fingers :420:
     
  12. BBD

    BBD Senior Member

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    Why would 'resonance' be an advantage in an electric guitar? Resonance in the neck / body damps volume and sustain in the amplified signal.

    Next to the probable myth about old growth unobtanium, this is a particular irritant.
     
  13. Sunburstman

    Sunburstman Senior Member

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    I've owned quite a few electric guitars and the first thing I do before I buy one is strum it without the amplifier on to hear it acoustically, is it loud, bright, warm, or sterile sounding. Resonance does matter on an electric guitar, because the pickups are amplifying that guitars sound!!!!
     
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  14. PierM

    PierM Certified Naysayer Premium Member

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    Wood in a solid guitar can only shape the tone via damping from the strings, since you can't grab any wood tone (acoustic) in a pickup system (electromagnetic). Density and resonance properties are few of the factors you have to (barely) control the wanted final tone, given the pickups. If you need to save the entire pickup volume and the full string twang, you can buy a slab of basswood with active EMGs and save lot of money (if that's your priority), but if you want to tame that pure electromagnetic system, shaping your tone (even at some volume cost), the resonance it's one of the keys. In a solid body guitar the magics happens through frequencies damping from the strings, through the wood, pickups wil do the rest.
     
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  15. Open_Book

    Open_Book Senior Member

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  16. BBD

    BBD Senior Member

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    If I've read your comment correctly, then we are saying the same thing:

    Vibrational energy is lost from the string directly to the atmosphere and through forced vibration of the nut, bridge, neck and body of the guitar.

    The more the neck / body resonate, the more efficiently they transmit energy away from the string.

    The dominant effect on the amplified signal is a loss of volume and sustain.

    The resonant properties of the wood will have a subtle effect on tone (timbre) as they will transmit some frequencies more efficiently than others.

    I'm cautiously persuaded that the reason acoustically resonant LPs can sound good [EDIT: when amplified] is that they are removing some of the low end from the frequency spectrum generated by the vibrating strings.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
  17. PierM

    PierM Certified Naysayer Premium Member

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    Yes we are saying the same thing. I was just offering you a different perspective. :)
     
  18. Bill Hicklin temp

    Bill Hicklin temp Senior Member

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    The fact of the matter is, a lot of great builders over the years have believed a lot of silly things and passed them on as "fact" when actually they were just doing the right thing for the wrong reasons, like medieval doctors. It worked, right? Fleta and Ramirez III went to their graves believing soundboards have a "treble" and "bass" side (they don't). Luthiers are not (usually) scientists, engineers, or acousticians.

    To second @BBD: the pickups amplify the strings. Period. The body and neck only play a role to the extent that they modify the strings' vibrations. The only way a solidbody's "acoustic tone" would be relevant would be if you taped a mic to it (the better acoustic-guitar amplifying systems in effect do just that).

    Again: are vintage 335's Tone Monsters because they used old-growth, air-dried plywood?
     
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  19. BBD

    BBD Senior Member

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    Medieval doctors. Love that and will have to steal it. Spot on.
     
  20. BBD

    BBD Senior Member

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    Many paths, one urinal, as my Zen master used to say :cheers2:
     
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