Heavier Guitars Sound Thicker?

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

  1. mgenet

    mgenet Earth = Cheese Burger Silver Supporter

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    Nope. I talk to no one...

    uh...
     
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  2. mgenet

    mgenet Earth = Cheese Burger Silver Supporter

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    I'm waiting around for...

    cake.

    Don't tell Lt Dave.
     
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  3. vivanchenko

    vivanchenko Senior Member

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    The bassiest guitar I ever had was an SA series Ibanez which was only an inch thick and which was made of African mahogany. It resonated at low frequencies very well, so that I could feel it with my stomach and it was easily bassier than any of the full thickness Les Pauls which I ever played. So, my experience tells me no, a thinner guitar might be bassier and fuller sounding. Wood density and composition is very inconsistent and each plank cut from the same tree can resonate at different frequencies.
     
  4. Mookakian

    Mookakian Senior Member

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    Damn i realised i didnt answer the op... does more mass equal more low end... i think is the question?

    depends on where the mass is taken from, hollow out near the bridge and you get less highs, take a chop from the tail of the slab you get more highs... its not as simple as the op suggests...tone war starts now :peace:
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018
  5. HogmanA

    HogmanA Senior Member

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    ibanez.jpg

    I just remembered - my brother had one of these (Ibanez GAX70). It sounded pretty good with all upgraded electronics, but was uncomfortable to play on a strap because of neck dive.

    So, we decided to add weight to the body in between the bridge and the edge of the body.

    We routed out a hole (on the back, obviously!) maybe about 1/2" deep, by 1"x3", and filled it with a 2lb lead sea fishing weight (by melting it and pouring it in).

    The guitar became much more playable on a strap.

    But did the sound change? Yes, it did! By a considerable amount.

    The sound became 'harder' - much more defined. Especially the treble component of the sound. It lost all 'transparency'. No where near as nice sounding. But, the extra definition and hardness has its uses.

    *edit

    which reminds me of something else - the topic of 'transparency'. Not talked about a lot (no where near as much as it should in my opinion).

    My main LP, before I upgraded the stock zinc hardware, was muddy, boomy but the most transparent guitar i have ever played.

    What does this mean in the real world?

    That I could fill a venue with my open backed 4x12 with a huge, lush sound (none of your boxy modern offerings!) while still seemingly providing space for everything else.
    Transparent. But, if you tried to take centre stage, it was too transparent. But it was a rhythm guitarists dream.
    Having to fill all roles, I relied exclusively on a treble boost and my guitar tone controls to reduce transparency.

    Not to be confused with a mere increase in treble - that is not what I am talking about.
    This transparency is also 'why' Les Pauls, and something Strats and even beloved Teles will never do.

    Since the days of cranked 100w stacks are over, I have stopped using treble boost, and instead achieve a similar result with smaller amps and more vintage correct hardware, especially the tailpiece on the same guitar.




    !
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2018
  6. Matt_Krush

    Matt_Krush Senior Member

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    I get the biggest/thickest tones out of an Epiphone dot (semi-hollow body).

    Best sounding guitar in my lot (It has non factory Pick-ups) but is better sounding than my high-end Jacksons & Gibsons.
     
  7. guidothepimmp

    guidothepimmp Senior Member

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    I vote false. SG and ibanez S Classics or S Series can sound nice and beefy.. and theyre pretty skinny
     
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  8. Antigua

    Antigua Senior Member

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    Sustain owes to rigidity. If a heavier guitar sustains longer, it's because the extra mass happens to make it more rigid.

    And if by "thicker" we mean midrange, hollow and semi hollow body electrics seem to give a lot more midrange, while sold bodies sound more scooped in the mids.
     
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  9. diogoguitar

    diogoguitar Member

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    law of diminishing returns... I had an ESP eclipse that was pretty light and good sustain, but I could feel the difference between that and my full thickness LP traditional
     
  10. Jewel the Sapphire

    Jewel the Sapphire Senior Member

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  11. ballou48

    ballou48 Member

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    Here we go again "into the black hole of subjectivism". All I know is that Billie Gibons uses a weight relieved LP with 8's and nobody can deny he gets the fattest nastiest tone in R&R.
     
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  12. jimijam33

    jimijam33 Member

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    The best sounding (and loudest) guitar I've ever played was an original '58 Les Paul (weighing well over 10lbs). It was factory refinished in 1961 (sunburst) revealing an off center maple top seam. Amazing experience for sure..
     
  13. korus

    korus Senior Member

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    Sustain owes to resonance. It happens when, mostly by chance, resonant frequencies (actually, frequency ranges) of metal hardware and wood parts happen to overlap with certain overones the guitar string's vibration consist of.

    You can have exactly the same wood used to make 2 or more guitars of the same model, with exact same dimensions, exact same hardware parts and exact same electric parts. And setup exactly the same to 1/128 of an inch. These guitars can be selected so they have same weight eg no more than 1/2 ounce of difference for lightest and heaviest of several 9 lbs LPs. We all know they will have a difference in tone and sustain.

    If we were to measure all the mechanical properties of every mahogany back of the body and every neck and every maple top, prior to using them for building these guitars, they would measure the same, within 1-2% variance. Therefore, the resultant rigidity of all samples would be also the same - within 2-4% variance.

    But tone and sustain differs among them. The cause is simple. The wood is a natural material, result of living things growing. It's internal structure is irregular, unlike man made homogenous materials. That variance in structure results in variance of resonant frequencies. Different resonant frequencies result in different level of absorbtion/resonance of various overtones that create guitar tone/timbre, and that also causes different duration of certain overtones, which we call - different sustain. And parts used have same rigidity.

    The simplest proof is the way longest sustaining notes change the tone the most, from attack to final decay. The relative level of overtones change. Some overtones do not create resonance and they die faster. Those supported by resonance last longer. Hence, tone changes. It is usually called 'bloom' on stock original LPs. It has nothing to do with pickups. Original PAFs have no bloom on Rx and $10k replicas. Stock originals have bloom with Seth Lovers.

    The reason why stock original electric solidbody electric guitars have longer sustain than modern made replicas is different hardness of alloys used for making hardware, back then and now. Original gardware is made of softer alloys. Softer material has lower resonant frequency. Lower resonant frequencies favor lower overtones. Lower overtones carry more energy. Lower overtones are closer to resonant frequency of wood used. More energy and closer frequencies create greater resonance. We detect it as louder acoustic, primary tone of solidbody electric. Greater resonance make string (certain overtones, not all) vibrate longer, so we detect greater sustain.

    It is not complicated as it might seem. There are indeed some terms not common in everyday colloquial English, but they all describe some real life phenomena, and are not abstract and hard to comprehend like theories on structure of universe or structure of matter. Ask any physicist(s), using these terms - symphatic vibrations, overlap of resonant frequency ranges, short standing vibrations of particular overtones in resonance range, absorbtion reduced because of resonance resulting with prolonged overall duration of vibration, altering relative level of overtones in resultant tone being different timbre - he/she/them will get interested and listen. And then confirm it is a valid explanation of physical phenomena at hand, consistent with reality perceived.

    Beware of oversimplification. Illusion of inclusion is good cause, but an obsolete obstacle in solving problems or finding valid explanations.
     
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  14. PierM

    PierM Premium Member

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  15. freebyrd 69

    freebyrd 69 Premium Member

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    So according to what you are saying, no modern Reissue that I own will sustain or bloom notes like a vintage guitar of the same model? Because if that's what that long, drawn out statement is claiming, that's bullshit. If I misinterpreted your statement, I apologize, but otherwise, see the above "bullshit" meter provided by Pier M.
     
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  16. garybaldy

    garybaldy Senior Member

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    Love the Tele clip and your Epi tone.
     
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  17. splatter

    splatter Senior Member

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    I have found it to be just the opposite .
    the thinner mahogany guitars sound darker than the thicker
     
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  18. Elkoki

    Elkoki Senior Member

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    Thanks, I really liked the tone of that EPI, but I sold it like an idiot. It sounded so nice! I used it on this video too for some $15 Amazon pickups
     
  19. Bobby Mahogany

    Bobby Mahogany Senior Member

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    Nothing speaks tone like an Epiphone with a trio of 2 x 6's!
    :facepalm:
     
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  20. charlie chitlins

    charlie chitlins Senior Member

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    The most surprising sounding guitars I've played have had hefty necks.
    Body mass doesn't seem to make much difference.
    YMMV
    It's a given, to many bass players, that added headstock mass helps cure dead spots.
     
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