Heavier guitars sound thicker, true or false?

Discussion in 'Tonefreaks' started by Elkoki, Nov 18, 2018.

  1. Elkoki

    Elkoki Senior Member

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    I don't know if i'm crazy or not, but to me heavier guitars sound fuller & thicker. I've owned a small collection of guitars from Schecters, Epiphone, Ibanez, Jackson, Squier, Westone, Hondo and on and on... The guitars that always sounded best to me, because it's what I preferred were the heaviest guitars. They just sound fuller & "richer"...

    The lighter & thinner the guitar was physically, the thinner it sounded to me. I know lots of things matter.. your amp, your pickups, scale length, wood, construction etc etc... and there's lots of things you can do to compensate for a thinner sounding guitar, like pickups, EQ settings, but sometimes they aren't enough to match a heavier guitar and you end up with an artificially thicker sound...

    All guitars have their use, and none are bad or worse. But just based of what i've heard I feel the heavier the guitar is the fuller/bassier/warmer/ thicker (how ever you want to call it)it sounds.

    I think this idea becomes more obvious when people change the weight of their guitar like either through weight relieve or adding more mass like adding a bigger,heavier block to their tremolo...

    So anyone agree...or am I crazy?

     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
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  2. northernguitarguy

    northernguitarguy SWeAT hOg

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  3. MooCheng

    MooCheng Senior Member

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    nope all they do is knacker ya' back,

    there might be some truth in heavy guitars might sustain longer (emphasis on might )
     
  4. Elkoki

    Elkoki Senior Member

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    So then why even have big heavy guitars if there are no benefits to them?
     
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  5. Norton

    Norton Senior Member

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    Brightest guitar I have is a 74 hagstrom Swede. It’s sold. And HEAVY. it’s the second one I’ve had both were heavy and bright.

    I had a 70’s tele deluxe that weighed a ton and was also super bright.

    That video is interesting. The added weight adds volume, transients and brightness. None of those things are necessarily what I want.
     
  6. MooCheng

    MooCheng Senior Member

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    some folks feel heavy guitars have qualities they are looking for which is fine if its been their experience, its just not mine.
    hard to know how it all came about, were Les Pauls deliberately made heavy or was it a by-product of design, choice of wood and cost saving involved by not chambering a otherwise solid piece of wood. who knows ?

    going by my own admittedly limited experience with heavyweights they always feel acoustically dead I know that should'nt matter pluged in but it does somehow alter the feel of a guitar.

    maybe I'm the wrong guy to comment, playing Tele's most of the time, though the best Tele's I've found, have always been lightweights
     
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  7. Elkoki

    Elkoki Senior Member

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    Deliberately designed with a big, heavy, body for the sound or not, I do think they sound much bassier/ fuller than thinner guitars and that could be really helpful for certain styles of music...

    They are acoustically more "dead", i've also realized that. I think that's somehow tied into why it sounds so much thicker when plugged in. I like all types of music but I mostly play hard rock & certain styles of metal,for those styles I have found that I like the heavier guitars, although lighter guitars like Ibanez RG's sound good too in their own way. There are so many different styles of metal

    It's a hard thing to prove because there are so many things that come into play, that and some people simply aren't very good at noticing differences in tone ...ask someone with a very untrained ear like your wife and they think all guitars sound exactly alike.

    I think the best way to prove that more mass does change the sound is to experiment on a single guitar. These videos do show that adding more mass does in some way or another affect the sound. This one here is with a Tele



    there's also this guy who loves to experiment, he chops off pieces of the guitar body little by little



    and this one here is just me jamming with my Epiphone LP, regardless of the pickup, cheap or expensive it still sounded fat and awesome.

     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
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  8. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    Things aren't made just for benefit. But you cannot make a simplistic judgement about benefit, as that implies some rather poorly formed view of what constitutes a global 'benefit' to any one or all players.

    Plus - all guitars have a range of weight due to the variability of wood. The heavier ones exist simply because there are not all light blanks of wood. The lightest Les Pauls weigh the same as some heavier strats, so its not like the LP was made only to be heavy. And despite a lot of thought behind the construction and choices of wood for tone, it certainly wasn't a weight related situation.
     
  9. dodona

    dodona Junior Member

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    I agree older, heavier Les Paul without weight relief sound much thicker and better.
     
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  10. Redfish

    Redfish Senior Member

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    I agree with OP. I've owned around a dozen LP's over the last 41 years. My No.1 was used for approx. 20 years and it was a 25/50 Anniversary Custom that was nearly 11 pounds and it sounded amazing. I finally couldn't take the weight any more and bought a 2001 R8 that was barely over 8 pounds thinking it would be the perfect guitar. Wrong. It totally lacked that "compression/thickness" for want of a better word. Since then I've bought and sold about 10 Historic les Pauls from 8 pounds to 10 and I've concluded (for my taste) around 9 pounds is the sweet spot. That's as heavy as I want to do two sets with and they still have balls at that weight. My current 2016 R8 weighs 9 pounds on the nose and I'm satisfied all the way around with it. I know many guys will argue that their sub 8 pounder sounds like Thor's hammer and good for them but that has not been my experience with LP's. YMMV.
     
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  11. Travis19

    Travis19 Senior Member

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    This ^

    As a nearly exclusively LP guy for decades I believed the same thing...until I picked up an SG. By far the smallest and most delicate guitar I've ever played, yet the damn thing sounds huge and sustains for days. I still prefer the feel of my LPs, but I'll never doubt the tone of an SG ever again.
     
  12. Elkoki

    Elkoki Senior Member

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    How much does your SG weigh?
     
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  13. northernguitarguy

    northernguitarguy SWeAT hOg

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    6-7 pounds. It feels like a boat paddle compared to a full-bodied LP.
     
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  14. Travis19

    Travis19 Senior Member

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    Good question, I've never weighed them (I have two, a 2017 '67 reissue and a 1986 '62 reissue). Probably around 7 pounds would be my guess, as @northernguitarguy said.

    Boat paddle pretty much sums it up. After playing LPs for years, the SG definitely took some getting used to. Good fun though.
     
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  15. Elkoki

    Elkoki Senior Member

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    I think with the right settings you can make any guitar sound pretty massive even the thinnest,lightest,pancake thin guitar. But I still stand by my point that heavier guitars have certain characteristics that light guitars don't and vice versa.
     
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  16. lunchbox

    lunchbox Senior Member

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    Yes and no?

    Semi hollows typically don’t sound as thick as a Les Paul. But a Tele is a solid body and sounds really twangy.

    So I guess I have no idea.
     
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  17. filtersweep

    filtersweep Senior Member

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    My SG is lighter than a hollowbody- I swear the wood resonates differently on a featherweight.
     
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  18. cybermgk

    cybermgk Singin' the body lectric Platinum Supporter Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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  19. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    Thats ok.....I have guitars that completely contradict your findings.....as do many others. But you have to see the world the way you want to otherwise maybe the chaos of variability in all things might lead to a spiral into madness.
     
  20. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    I find the slab body guitars do sound a bit different to the maple on top ones.
     

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