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Discussion in 'Tonefreaks' started by d2_racing, Jan 4, 2015.
"I'll take famoush titties for 400...."
Yesh, a good piech of ash... I can just "see & hear" Sean Connery saying that!!!!!
Getting back to the tone wood debate; wood matters, big time.
Evidence #1. - I had a Les Paul Classic with an amazing AAA top years ago which looked terrific(!) the kind of guitar that every time I opened the case people went "whoa...!" but it just never sounded...right no matter what pickups I fitted to it, then I got another one, a custom Shop Reissue, moved the pickups literally from one to the other and the CS one sounded awesome.
And here's evidence #2. - Few years ago I bought a '58 Reissue which was basically a 3 year old new guitar as the owner never actually played it, it still had all the tags and even that "new" smell but he desperately needed the money, and exactly one week later I took it to a gig at this club in London, England.
Now, one of the members of the band invited this other guy to the show, a well known English luthier who also happens to "ghost build" guitars for a famous English player, and occasionally for his bass player too, and when I say "ghost build" I mean the whole thing as this luthier not only builds the guitars (and the basses) but he also winds his own pickups; he's not an idiot.
Anyway, at the end of the show he comes right at me, all excited and very much an "in your face" kinda guy, introduces himself, then pointing to my Les Paul he says "wot's dat????" to which I politely reply, then he says (or shall I say "resolutely states") "in 6 months it'll break up", as in it'll bloom.
I carry on with my life and kinda forget about all of this when, after few months of having played the guitar almost every day, suddenly I'm in a studio and go "wow, it sounds a little different, it sounds better"; and it did.
Now I've had this guitar for 3 years and it has become my #1 Les Paul and I can confidently say that every year (shall I say every 6 months...?) it just goes up a notch in sound, depth & resonance, and now it has really turned into the perfect Les Paul, and I'm sure it's due to the fact that the right woods had been used in the first place, properly put together, and also by playing it constantly the vibrations have caused all the components to just harmonise with one another.
Pickups & hardware are indeed part of the equation but let's not forget that good pickups only pick up the inherent sound of the guitar, that's why if a guitar sounds like crap acoustically it'll never sound killer whereas if when played acoustically sounds killer then even if you put crap pickups although it'll never sound awesome you can still hear that it's an awesome guitar.
My guitars pay my bills, so I take these things very seriously, otherwise my bills would still need to be payed anyway...
Also, I never really trust what I hear played on the web (YouTube etc. etc.) as the sound is totally different than when present in the room and also it can be easily doctored in order to prove one's point too. I'm not for a second implying that those YouTube guys did anything of that sort, but I cannot deny reality, and my own experience.
Well, that pretty much ends the debate!
FWIW, I used to be a denier. After doing multiple neck swaps using different woods, I'm now a believer.
LOL. Now we can replace "beating a dead horse" with "beating a bald man"...
Your point 1 is evidence that tonewood is a myth.
That triple A cap is made of a piece of tonewood. Period.
It just didn't give the desired effect (point of tonewood not having 'F all to do with TONE...)
Point 2... I have a guitar which sounds like crap, acoustically. Killer electric sound. Better sustain then my LP (it's a Fernandes APG-80 b.t.w.).
Tonewood.... it's not "the tone", it's a grade of wood.
Read up on "wood grading".
No myth then......makes all the skeptics look like idiots.
Concerning the original post,. Damn that guy in the videos sure takes a long time to make a point.
The bottom line is the physical structure of a guitar matters. The structure of the wood is part of that. But, as with all things, some things are significant and some aren't.
Different species of woods have different general characteristics. But, within any given species there going to be a wide range. Also, even cut from the same log, pieces of wood can have different anomalies and defects. These could possibly effect the tone of the guitar, or not. So to generalize how a specific species of wood will sound is a bit silly. There are likely some broad differences that could be determined over a sample of 1000 guitars. But for any one guitar, it will come down to the characteristics of that piece of wood. And I for one don't think that is even all that important for a solid body guitar.
I buy guitars based on how they sound and look. To the extent that I care about materials, it's only for the "coolness" factor. I.E., I think nitro lacquer is cooler, more retro than poly. But I don't think for a minute it makes a difference in the tone.
^ It will be impossible to tell about finish really......as a general 'x finish makes x difference' rule. It becomes one of the many variables. If indeed it behaves differently to wood in its physical properties the technically it could make a difference. It might be something that is right on the edge of audibility though.
As the most recent vid has demonstrated there are (or more accurately 'can be') audible differences with a body. Interestingly the differences became more or less apparent depending on how the guitar was played (to my ears). This test alone should show that we should not discount body wood....even though the neck has typically been seen as the more crucial aspect. And also that wood is most certainly important - even for a solid body guitar.
Ill say this... all the nay sayers seem to lack soul and imagination in their personality, so i see why the doubt. Could be hearing but thats prob gonna piss em ofd even more than the former comment
I have experienced the same thing with my current guitar, though I've now had it over 20 years from new - the sound changed for the better, leading me to think that Gibson usues not fully seasoned wood. Big landmarks for me were the 1 year old mark, and the 3 year old mark - doing something with the band and just feeling the difference - something in the sound that just wasn't there before.
^ Wood does change with vibrational input, partly why i like to buy from players with a similar style to my likes, new guitars... pass Unless i build it... then magic starts from the beginning and grows with me, priceless
There are aspects of wood aging that seasoning doesn't touch. There will be no doubt that Gibson will dry the wood to the right moisture content, as a shrewd businessman factors in warranty returns into his business strategy.
But what method is used to achieve moisture equilibrium?
Just saying "It has the correct moisture level" is not telling the wole picture.
There are several methods to dry wood. Some of them are not suitable methods for "tonewoods".
Is a certain species of wood a "tonewood" because of it's species?
Is mahogany always a tonewood?
Is maple always a tonewood?
Is ebony always a tonewood?
Or does it have to pass certain quality standards to be called a tonewood (see the eggsample of that AAA Maple topped LP which sounds like a dud)?
And what are those qualities (if you think there are quality standards)?
There are tons of ebony which are not suitable to be used as fingerboards, same goes for rosewood (for fingerboards).
2 planks of mahogany from the same tree, but with different drying methods or different sawing methods. One could be tonewood, the other could be a dud (growth defect, drying defect, storage/storing defect etc.).
Tonewood is a grade of wood.
There is no such thing as a tonewood from a timber point of view. Its a buzzword used by certain sections of the guitar buying market.