Can you convince me HM improves tone?

abracadaben

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EDIT: don't throw stones at me, I really dig HM. just want info.

So i was kind of looking at a HM in the future. Really dig some of the features like Brazilian board, look etc. But what about the tone?
Is the improvement really worth the $.

So I looked on youtube to kind of find/hear some examples and found this:
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nSYI1HDBs0]Gibson 1959 Les Paul RI / Dave Johnson Historic Makeover with original PAFs! Part6 - YouTube[/ame]
and this
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObZ4YIaKCXg]2010/2012 Gibson Les Paul Custom Shop / Historic Makeover Goldtop '57 Part1 - YouTube[/ame]
and this (this one sounds very good and woody to me):
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZiXQxhiGSU]Historic Makeovers of a 2006 1958 Reissue Les Paul - YouTube[/ame]

and then I watch this:
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AR2ufLFq_34]2013 Gibson Les Paul CC-8 "The Beast" Part4 - YouTube[/ame]
and this
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHJZEJlosEg]"Pearly Gates" Gibson Les Paul Signature Custom Shop Billy Gibbons Guitar - YouTube[/ame]

and Im not that convinced anymore that HM really "improves the tone" to bring it closer to a real '59... I mean, tone is very variable right but it doesn't seem to be more woody/resonant to my ears than some of the best reissues.
It doesn't seem to be night and day.

I know a lot of members have HMs here, so what would be your best description of before/after tone, sustain etc and with examples if possible that would be awesome.
 

Big John

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Devil's advocate here...youtube clips are 100% worthless for assessing guitar tone.
 

7gtop

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I can only judge with moving real air in real time.


:D
 

Sct13

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That third one is me......:D

Great guitar!

But correct on the you tube or ANYTHING electrically converted to digital and played through your crappy desktop or laptop speakers, just wont happen....In fact mine was shot through the Canon 60D's on board mic, so there is no sonic quality there whatsoever.

That said....The tone does change a little, and what that means is the guitar vibrates "differently" in your hands from what you remember it, and its a little louder than my others but not by much.

Much of the HM product is an honest attempt to bring that 59' feel to your grip. Two things that made that for me were how the neck came alive, and how that wet blanket disappeared. I think its the nitro. Can't be too sure.

The other thing is the experience. Kim makes it fun, your involved in your guitars outcome.

It was a very positive experience. :)
 

RAG7890

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Devil's advocate here...youtube clips are 100% worthless for assessing guitar tone.
+ 1, ain't that the truth. Compressed files suck.

Gregor's clips all sound the same because of his setup; i.e. Amp, Pedals & the way he Records.

:cheers:
 

kingsxman

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Great thread. I lust after HM's. However, my guess is that at this point...we are at the point where any improvement in tone is going to cost lots of $$. And most of that is going to be mainly in the ear of the player and in how the guitar feels to the player. I know I've chased that stuff a lot. New tailpiece, new studs, etc. And in the end...a lot of the improvement is noticed mainly by me. Which....does add value if you enjoy an instrument more.

I just love the HM threads and how they look.
 

abracadaben

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That third one is me......:D

Great guitar!

But correct on the you tube or ANYTHING electrically converted to digital and played through your crappy desktop or laptop speakers, just wont happen....In fact mine was shot through the Canon 60D's on board mic, so there is no sonic quality there whatsoever.

That said....The tone does change a little, and what that means is the guitar vibrates "differently" in your hands from what you remember it, and its a little louder than my others but not by much.

Much of the HM product is an honest attempt to bring that 59' feel to your grip. Two things that made that for me were how the neck came alive, and how that wet blanket disappeared. I think its the nitro. Can't be too sure.

The other thing is the experience. Kim makes it fun, your involved in your guitars outcome.

It was a very positive experience. :)
Awesome. I actually liked this one the most. what do you mean by "wet blanket"?
 

RAG7890

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BTW Greg, if you read this, I just love all your videos man.
For the record, so do I. I have seen most of them but as I alluded to above, they all sound the same. :)

Listen to his 2009 Bloomfield Clips........there are about 4 of them for the same Guitar & they sound great.

But remember these clips are a selling tool.

:cheers:
 

Sct13

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One more thing on the tube vids, careful about processed signals too, even though the speaker is miked and its a pro recording and what not.. you are mostly hearing the chain of signal from the pickup to the speaker, there is very little guitar ness in there, then cover it with distortion, chorus and reverb and you have a soup of electronic embellishments. The only way is to pick it up and see if it speaks to you. The Vids show some real great players, I love watching Gregor H.

Not knocking anything you posted, just food for thought....also watch how Gregor is "selling" the guitar....Brilliant....:)

A word about CC's....IMHO HM is better....Love my CC 7 but......:hmm:
 

Fiftywattmafia

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Does a 'burst improve tone? People spend upwards of 200K for a clean one...and in blind tests (like The Pat and Doug Show) people have a hard time distinguishing the difference between the real thing, Reissues, and MIJ copies etc...

So it's not just about tone. Sure what they do gets you closer to what they did back in the day...but what that means aurally is hard to say.
 

Sct13

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Awesome. I actually liked this one the most. what do you mean by "wet blanket"?
Well, the Gibson nitro is packed with plasticizers to prevent unwanted checking and to provide a "Armor Coat" if you will, stands up to dings a little better and isn't supposed chip and crack. Give up one for the other.

I think that the plastic coat suppresses the woods natural resonance, removing that coat "Wet Blanket" and applying a harder finish helps with resonance. Also the aged look on the back has something to do with it i think, Large areas of the guitars back are exposed. this has to account for some of it. No real proof here, but the CC 7 has a large area exposed and its loud as hell and vibrates like crazy. The HM did not have a large exposed area but the checking on the back was like a shatered pice of glass. The finish was something like candy apple coating.....Very cool....:fingersx:
 

Sct13

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Great thread. I lust after HM's. However, my guess is that at this point...we are at the point where any improvement in tone is going to cost lots of $$. And most of that is going to be mainly in the ear of the player and in how the guitar feels to the player. I know I've chased that stuff a lot. New tailpiece, new studs, etc. And in the end...a lot of the improvement is noticed mainly by me. Which....does add value if you enjoy an instrument more.

I just love the HM threads and how they look.


Exactly!!!! :)
 

Sct13

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That is cool!

Love that wall!!!

I just hung a big tapestry in my basement to "deny" the over reflectivity!
 

Bristol Posse

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Anything that effects the way the guitar vibrates will make a difference, from a perspective of the physics of vibration moving through a medium. Whether it's actually humanly perceptible is of course up for debate, especially once you start putting amps and pedals into the equation

There are a few of things in their packages that could theoretically make a difference

Top carve changes. since all they can do is remove wood from the existing top, there will be less maple in the cap which will impact the way the guitar vibrates and possibly sounds

Reshaped neck would again take mass out of the guitar and effect how it vibrates

Different fretboard. no two pieces of wood are identical so there will be minute differences in how a braz board sounds versus the stock one

different nitro formula, questionable but a thinner coat could theoretically sound minutely different than a thicker one but either way the whole "allowing the wood to breath" thing is a marketing piece of BS.

Hot hide glue: if you're making over a 2013 then your replacing hot hide glue with hot hide glue so no real change. If you are doing an older model, hot hide glue does work differently than titebond. The way it shrinks back as it dries does actually pull the pieces tighter into each other and could allow for better transfer of vibration and arguably make a minuscule difference to how things sound

Neck reset. Any change to the neck angle will change how the guitar plays and in theory could change the sound

It seems a lot of folks change the pickups, wiring and caps at the same time which makes it hard to tell what, if any, changes the HM modifications make on their own.
To me it's significant that the focus of the HM site is pictures and not sound clips too, but maybe I'm just being overly paranoid there.

I'd imagine that acoustically a guitar with slightly less wood mass and thinner nitro than it originally had could be very slightly brighter after the HM process. Higher frequency sound requires more energy to move through any medium and the energy is absorbed very quickly. So reducing the amount of wood in the top and neck and thinning the nitro means there is fractionally less mass to absorb the HF energy. I don't know if this would make any difference to what the pickups send through the circuit to the amp though

I'd also argue that the happier and more comfortable you are with your guitar, the better you will play it which will impact your sound

However it's a very expensive experiment to undertake and I'd never do an HM myself, But I have the luxury of being able to make and modify my own guitars so don't need to spend the big bucks to get the same results

YMMV
Matt
 

abracadaben

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Well, the Gibson nitro is packed with plasticizers to prevent unwanted checking and to provide a "Armor Coat" if you will, stands up to dings a little better and isn't supposed chip and crack. Give up one for the other.

I think that the plastic coat suppresses the woods natural resonance, removing that coat "Wet Blanket" and applying a harder finish helps with resonance. Also the aged look on the back has something to do with it i think, Large areas of the guitars back are exposed. this has to account for some of it. No real proof here, but the CC 7 has a large area exposed and its loud as hell and vibrates like crazy. The HM did not have a large exposed area but the checking on the back was like a shatered pice of glass. The finish was something like candy apple coating.....Very cool....:fingersx:
I was wondering the same about the CC#8, but then my PG seems to resonate at least as much (not my CC#6 nor R8 nor R9). but the resonance is different. PG is darker but maintains more sustain. CC8 is definitely much brighter than any of my other historic. Its very distinct. all my historics vary little from one to the other in term of resonance color, when cc8 appears to resonate much brighter when you pick it. But the one that is the most woody is probably PG.
 


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