Tone wood videos

Discussion in 'Tonefreaks' started by d2_racing, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. d2_racing

    d2_racing Premium Member

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  2. SainT-314

    SainT-314 Senior Member

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  3. Ceunon

    Ceunon Junior Member

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    I believe those videos speak the truth. There's even one on youtube where a guy cuts huge chunks of his guitar and compares the tone before and after.

    I did some experiments too to just solidify my opinion like changing all the electronics and hardware from one guitar to another(except the nut 'cause i'm lazy :fingersx:). They, imo, sounded the same, just maybe a little difference in overall volume but nothing like "oh i this guitar is definitively brighter than this one".

    And of course, the science that guy uses is not pseudo-science so... he ain't no cork sniffer :)
     
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  4. David Collins

    David Collins Senior Member

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    And I thought my videos were too long. ;)

    I couldn't watch them all the way through (blame it on time and personality conflict), but my initial impressions are as such.

    His math is good and physics okay, but models he applies then in appear rather incomplete. This can lead to errors in conclusion even where the reasoning and intent may be good.

    I will not say if I believe his conclusions to be correct or not, but either way, his level of certainty seems to exponentially exceed what is appropriately warranted by his evidence.
     
  5. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    I thought he'd somehow applied the wrong formulas or something to the problem. He certainly to me has a very 'Scott Grove' type personality.....very adamant, and quick to put down even those who put up logical/reasonable objections.

    We all know from life that any surface either absorbs or reflects energy based on its structure. There is no material that does this the same way as any other. Just walk on hard concrete or bitumen to see this......or even put a plank of wood or steel or even a block of stone on supports and test how it flexes or sounds upon being struck.
    The shape of the material determines its ringing tone - tuning forks for example.
    Its easy to see that string energy is passed to the body, the body vibrating is proof of this.
    If you drop a guitar on the ground (preferrably a strat!!) you can see that energy applied to the body transfers into (or back into in the case of playing a guitar) the strings.
    We also know that if you add energy together (like with body energy back into the strings) that it will add or subtract based on its phase (pickups in and oop proves this). You can also see the same effect on a suspension bridge or on a trampoline if you jump with other people at the same time.

    How on earth he comes up with a conclusion that seemingly ignores all the real-world proof is somehow incredible to me.

    I'm not a physicist.......I'm a scientist in a way (horticulture/practical biologist), so have some qualification in the area. A lot of my own conclusions come from seeing all the various effects in isolation and 'adding them together'.

    I'm like a few posters here......science is a human way of making sense of real effects. I see the real effects.......I don't see him 'finding the correct way' to explain what is happening.
     
  6. SainT-314

    SainT-314 Senior Member

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    Okay okay, I've never responded to anything on this topic before, so here goes.

    I have no clue why guys like Scott Grove and this WillsEasyGuitar are so passionate and adamant about convincing people wood doesn't matter. I own 6 guitars, all made out of different materials.

    First, I don't think you should buy a guitar based on the wood, but I don't think that is as massive of a problem as these guys would have you believe. I highly, highly, highly doubt that Guitar Center gets overrun by guitarists needing "something mahogany" or what have you.

    To the heart of the matter, the anti-tonewood guys are over thinking it. A guitar is a unique instrument, it has so many variables at play. I can tell you, as will any experienced player, that changing the saddles to a different material changes tone. Changing nut materials changes tone. The nature of the guitar is that with a string vibrating, every little thing is going to have some effect, however negligible, on the sound.

    So why, oh why, do people spend so many hours of their lives making videos, trying to convince players (who really don't care about the wood anyway) that the wood that comprises the entire body of the guitar, the wood that makes up the entire neck, has absolutely zero effect on the sound of an instrument?

    In closing, anytime someone uses always or never, be wary, there are always exceptions.

    AND JUST PLAY THE F***ING THING!
     
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  7. Mr.Paul

    Mr.Paul Senior Member

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    I was watching the videos and some others about the topic last night.
    After good nights sleep here are my thoughts about it.

    First about the music industry:
    Yes we are victims of the guitar industry. Let's face it: we burst lovers are true believers that if you want to get the right LP tone it must have the same materials and the same construction as back in the old days.
    Jimmy Page got his guitar from Joe Walsh as a present. Billy Gibbons was offered his '59 buy a guy and he bought it unplayed. These are just two examples. Many other famous players got their LP's and just used them (e.g. Mike Bloomfield). So they started to explore the sound of their instruments and what kind of sound the want to achieve with it.
    Jimmy Page finally plugged it in to some 200 Watt Hiwatts, Billy Gibbons used a 100 Watt Super Lead and Mike Bloomfield as a Blues player used Silverface Twin Reverbs.
    More important to sound is the gear and the amp you use to produce it!
    These guys never said "my tone sucks, I need to buy another guitar" like we do today.
    So yes we are influenced by the marketing of the big companies.

    But actually back to tone wood:
    I also do believe that most of the tone comes from the pickups with a solid body guitar.
    BUT I also do believe that the wood has some effect on the tone. And when I say wood I mean mainly the quality of wood.
    Let's use swamp ash as an example. If you play a swamp ash strat unplugged vs an alder strat most of us will notice that the swamp ash is louder and has more acoustic sound to it.
    But only if it's good quality swamp ash wood. Why? Swamp ash usually grows in the water.
    So the lower part of the tree is filled up with water mostly all the time. That's why the lower parts of swamp ash trees have more open or wider pores to hold and take the water.
    If you use this kind of wood and let it try long enough so that the water is out of it you get a very resonant piece of wood because these wide pores are now filled with air. That's also the reason why swamp ash bodies usually are lighter. If you look now at the tree again than the higher you go you loose this quality to the wood because the tree only holds the water in the bottom part. So roughly only 1/3rd of the tree has this quality.
    Honduras mahogany is different than the african or asian mahogany species. The strings vibrate and the body resonates. That's a fact. With good wood with the right quality the body resonates more. Amplified this effect is not so prominent any more but it's still there.

    So wood does matter but not as much as we might think!
     
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  8. Bill Hicklin

    Bill Hicklin Senior Member

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    ^This

    I would point out, in addition, that a guitar is a dynamic system of many parts- and the wooden parts are all unique, because every piece of wood is unique. You can't set out the acoustic properties of "mahogany" like you can, say, 80/20 nickel silver: at best you can come up with a mean and a range, somewhere along which a particular board might fall.* Add to that the fact that in a Les Paul Standard you have separate unique pieces of wood for the body, cap and neck, each of which is unique and- here's the key thing- interact with each other in a way particular to that combination of particular pieces of wood. Can this be controlled, or even predicted? Beyond the most basic aspects of wood selection, not really: acoustic luthiers have been working the issue for years, going so far as to measure the modulus of elasticity of every top brace (Daniel Friedrich), but even there nobody has come up with a "scientific" approach which is a notable improvement over feel and ear- and that's in acoustic guitars, where top response actually can be controlled to a certain extent (A pretty substantial extent if you're Bob Benedetto, even using pine construction lumber)

    But a solidbody? Pick wood with a good "ring" when tapped and let the chips fall where they may- and remember, the pickups are part of the dynamic system too, and some pickups and guitars happen to get along well (or not so well), so if you think you've built a dog swap out those pups and see what happens.

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

    * In this connection, the overlap of the ranges of hardness, density and elasticity between Brazilian and Indian rosewood is so substantial as to be almost coextensive: while the quoted average figures for Brazilian are slightly harder, denser, and stiffer, any given BRW fingerboard may well be softer, lighter and/or more flexible than a given IRW fingerboard. This is especially true now that so much of the little remaining BRW is second-rate. Anyway, you can get more of all of the above (which is not necessarily a good thing, "dynamic system," remember?) with Amazon rosewood (Dalbergia spruceana), African blackwood (D. melanoxylon), cocobolo (D. retusa), or ebony.
     
  9. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    Good points the two of you!!

    I think when we say 'wood makes a difference', some people must somehow transpose that statement in their heads to 'the ONLY thing that affects guitar tone is wood'.

    No one who knows electric guitar would ever say that the pickup does a good job of simple amplification.....it does a lousy job, but actually a better job for our ears and our amps. The pickup is incredibly influential, and imparts a very strong character to what happens after the string vibration is captured.


    Where so many of the tonewood sceptics fall down is their inability to think of the guitar as a whole. The strings cannot be held at tension without the structure and integrity of the wood/metal parts that are firmly anchored together. Striking the string makes the whole guitar react as one. The parts will be affected by the combination of the materials that make up the whole.
    Similarly, hold up some blue cellophane to light, then put some yellow in front of it....hey presto, green. Same thing - energy waves (light) being altered by the combination of two materials. Alter the hue of either and the result is altered too.


    And I'm with Bill.......you can get a range of of tonal qualities from the one species of wood. Mostly within a certain ballpark as specified. Does this mean you can get two the same.......of course. Its VERY possible to get two bits of the same wood to be almost identical. Hell, given there is a range of possible tonal outcomes for one wood, its possible for two woods to overlap considerably.

    I do laugh when some people say "hey, this tonewood stuff is bs.... I changed out the body on my guitar and I found no difference"

    Seriously.....you tried it all of once! That like saying 'I picked up a white pebble, therefore all pebbles are white'. What worse is another thread where a certain person on this forum who claimed he was a physicist did exactly the same thing. Sorry, but with a sample size of one you've just proved you are no scientist.:shock:
     
  10. vivanchenko

    vivanchenko Senior Member

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    Nonsense. When science contradicts reality, I stick to reality. Strat owners know, that when you replace the body with a body made of different wood, that changes tone dramatically. I did that and I could see the difference. I personally can easily tell a difference in a blind test between a Japanese copy (Edwards LP) and a Gibson LP with the same pickups, strings and hardware. The difference is painfully obvious to me, because I made a blander and initially bought an Edwards LP (a very good guitar in it's own right, very good workmanship, but it is made of Asian "mahogany"). Edwards will always sound softer/spongier without those "whistling" overtones intrinsic to Gibson Les Pauls and with a lot less low end. Fortunately, I was able to sell it and I got me a real LP.

    Statements like wood does not make a difference for tone kill that guy as a guitar builder.

    Also, physics of hollow and solid body guitar string vibrations is the same.
     
  11. Sp8ctre

    Sp8ctre Senior Member

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    The good part was over in the first 5 seconds...
     
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  12. JCM900MkIII

    JCM900MkIII Senior Member

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    Blasphemers!!!!


    We would all be playing this:
    [​IMG]

    or this

    [​IMG]

    If tonewood was a hoax.

    Several points why we actually would be playing these instead of wood guitars.
    Cheap, easy to fix, recyclable, light, any imaginable finish is possible.

    But we are not...

    I would also like to add that the best instruments are actually not perfect.
    The best amplifiers are old school amps, where the materials used didn't have high quality standards as we have now etc.
    Slightly unmatched tubes sound better than exactly/perfectly matched ones for instance.

    The secret is in the imperfections (take synths as an example, they can simulate a guitar. But it will NEVER feel or sound like one because the sound they make is perfect ?!?!?! :hmm: )
     
  13. jimmyjames

    jimmyjames Senior Member

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    Those Dan Armstrongs are bloody heavy, another reason they didn't replace the woodies.
     
  14. Bill Hicklin

    Bill Hicklin Senior Member

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    Nowhere truer than with regard to tube amps: they have The Sound precisely because tubes are very imperfect nonlinear amplification devices; transistors are near-perfect, and therefore SS amps never sound quite "right."
     
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  15. skindley

    skindley Premium Member

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    Something about a "pot calling the kettle black" comes to mind :wow:

    Anyway ... I hope 2015 is treating you well.
     
  16. David Collins

    David Collins Senior Member

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    No, please go on...
     
  17. GitFiddle

    GitFiddle Premium Member

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    He did say a good piece of ash is expensive. :laugh2:
     
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  18. dwoverdrive

    dwoverdrive Member

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    The fact the guy mentions Scott Grove in the title and seems as if he could be his disciple based on his mannerisms, I couldn't watch. Does wood make a difference? absolutely. Is it enough that everyone would notice a big difference. No. It's so funny how a "type" of person is so predictable. The guy saying and doing exactly what I thought he would just by seeing 5 seconds of him. funny
     
  19. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    ^ Read the comments, if you can be bothered. They show another example of the same belligerence.
     
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  20. Marshall & Moonshine

    Marshall & Moonshine Senior Member

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    There's a Sean Connery joke to be made here...
     

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