Heavier Guitars Sound Thicker?

somebodyelseuk

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The Yamaha has neck-through construction of a mahogany neck and body wings, has a heavy and dense bridge, and the bridge itself is mounted on a 3/4 pound chunk of brass that's screwed into the dense body...
All that was proven back in the '70's.
Regarding the Yamahas. The SG2000 had the same bridge as the rest of the SG range, except for the SG200 and SG3000 which had copies of the ABR-1.
The brass "sustain plate" doesn't weigh 3/4 of a pound. It covers an area the same size as the bridge unit and is less than a quarter inch thick.
The through neck is a maple centre section with mahogany either side.
I have owned, since '84, both an '82 SG2000S and an '84 SG1000S.
The SG1000S has a thinner body, slightly thinner neck profile, set mahogany neck, rosewood board (as opposed to ebony on the SG2000) and the bridge posts are screwed direct in to the top, like on an ABR-1 equipped LP.
The sustain of the two is exactly the same. The SG1000 is brighter in tone, most likely because the pickups are open coiled versions of the SG2000 pickups - they're otherwise identical.

Nothing much was "proven" in the '70s. It was mostly myths and guesswork.
 

ehb

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Consistency of grain/density/weight distribution....

Consistency of all three...

There is heavy shitwood... Weight alone means little...

Consistency.
 

Tomsmenace

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Heavy can equal awesome....depends. Seems to give more depth to the sound in certain circumstances. THe quality and type of wood...how it's used.
 

gkelm

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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.
Yep. The lighter historics sound "airy" to me. Thought I would like that, but not meaty enough. I have an R9, and while other factors might be at play, I think the 9.2 weight may be a factor. My 9+ lb custom sounds fantastic. I remember this was the conventional wisdom back in the 70s, taken further by brass blocks, nuts, etc....at least with les pauls. Maybe old guys with bad backs changed all that. ;)
 

dspelman

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Regarding the Yamahas. The SG2000 had the same bridge as the rest of the SG range, except for the SG200 and SG3000 which had copies of the ABR-1.
The brass "sustain plate" doesn't weigh 3/4 of a pound. It covers an area the same size as the bridge unit and is less than a quarter inch thick.
The through neck is a maple centre section with mahogany either side.
I have owned, since '84, both an '82 SG2000S and an '84 SG1000S.
The SG1000S has a thinner body, slightly thinner neck profile, set mahogany neck, rosewood board (as opposed to ebony on the SG2000) and the bridge posts are screwed direct in to the top, like on an ABR-1 equipped LP.
The sustain of the two is exactly the same. The SG1000 is brighter in tone, most likely because the pickups are open coiled versions of the SG2000 pickups - they're otherwise identical.

Nothing much was "proven" in the '70s. It was mostly myths and guesswork.
The brass sustain plate weighs 10.5 ounces. Same as on the Ibanez Artist AR300 I have from 1982. Both are pretty deep into a rout in the body and are bolted to the body itself. You're right about the neck -- it's a three-piece neck. The SG2000 has "covers" that enclose the sides of the coils, but the bobbin is open. My SG2000 bridge is quite a bit heavier than a standard ABR. Yours?

The 70's were notable for a LOT of things (and yes, it was a LOT of experimentation) including the Search For Sustain and the Search for Treble. "Heavier and denser" were the obvious solutions for sustain, which is why you had guitars like the Plex Dan Armstrong and the Travis Bean (and, of course, the Kramer aluminum neck guitars). That much wasn't myth. I have Moonstones with active Bartolinis that have a *pair* of treble boosts built in. My Moonstone Vulcan has a solid (one-piece), heavy very thick maple burl body mated to a multi-layer maple (and other woods) neck with an ebony fretboard and (I believe) a brass nut. My L5S is solid maple (multipiece neck). Carvin was making almost everything out of rock maple in those days. Weight isn't everything, of course; a pound of feathers attached to the strings or bridge won't give you the same sustain as a pound of brass. Density counts.

Travis Bean guitars sometimes had a bit of wood between the bridge and the through-neck (aluminum) but late in the production run produced at least one that had the bridge mounted directly to the aluminum through-neck. There was no question about the improvement in sustain and there was also a noticeable increase in treble (which is usually the first thing that begins to disappear from the string energy). As someone noted at the time, you can always reduce frequencies that are there in abundance, but it's a lot harder to manufacturer those that don't make it out of the guitar.
 

grayd8

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I have two solid LP’s, 8lbs, 12 oz and 8 lbs, 15 oz. The lighter one definitely has a thicker bluesier tone, so I would say weight doesn’t really matter.

Additionally my SG is 7 lbs, 3 oz and it can get some heavy tones too.
 

gkelm

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The brass sustain plate weighs 10.5 ounces. Same as on the Ibanez Artist AR300 I have from 1982. Both are pretty deep into a rout in the body and are bolted to the body itself. You're right about the neck -- it's a three-piece neck. The SG2000 has "covers" that enclose the sides of the coils, but the bobbin is open. My SG2000 bridge is quite a bit heavier than a standard ABR. Yours?

The 70's were notable for a LOT of things (and yes, it was a LOT of experimentation) including the Search For Sustain and the Search for Treble. "Heavier and denser" were the obvious solutions for sustain, which is why you had guitars like the Plex Dan Armstrong and the Travis Bean (and, of course, the Kramer aluminum neck guitars). That much wasn't myth. I have Moonstones with active Bartolinis that have a *pair* of treble boosts built in. My Moonstone Vulcan has a solid (one-piece), heavy very thick maple burl body mated to a multi-layer maple (and other woods) neck with an ebony fretboard and (I believe) a brass nut. My L5S is solid maple (multipiece neck). Carvin was making almost everything out of rock maple in those days. Weight isn't everything, of course; a pound of feathers attached to the strings or bridge won't give you the same sustain as a pound of brass. Density counts.

Travis Bean guitars sometimes had a bit of wood between the bridge and the through-neck (aluminum) but late in the production run produced at least one that had the bridge mounted directly to the aluminum through-neck. There was no question about the improvement in sustain and there was also a noticeable increase in treble (which is usually the first thing that begins to disappear from the string energy). As someone noted at the time, you can always reduce frequencies that are there in abundance, but it's a lot harder to manufacturer those that don't make it out of the guitar.
Had an SG2000 in the early 80s...fantastic guitar! Carlos sported one during the Moonflower era. I’d like to land another one some day.
 

somebodyelseuk

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The brass sustain plate weighs 10.5 ounces. Same as on the Ibanez Artist AR300 I have from 1982. Both are pretty deep into a rout in the body and are bolted to the body itself. You're right about the neck -- it's a three-piece neck. The SG2000 has "covers" that enclose the sides of the coils, but the bobbin is open. My SG2000 bridge is quite a bit heavier than a standard ABR. Yours?.
What Yamaha, the guitar industry and history proved is that the brass plate, heavy bridge and through neck made no difference - they actually made a big deal about fitting a lightweight bridge directly to the top on the SG3000.
Since the SG went out of production in '88, they haven't used these features on any guitars, even the limited runs of SGs they've done since, other than SG2000 reissues.
The pickup 'semi' covers... wow.... all the deficiencies of a full cover with none of the benefits. The tops of the bobbins are exposed, the sides covered. You still get the 'eddy currents' and high frequency attenuation of a full cover, but it doesn't screen the pickup - the original point of the humbucker cover.
 

Brazilnut

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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.
But to me, and I am an SG player for years, the heavier SGs-7 to 8 lbs-sound meatier than the lightweights. Plus they don't neck dive.
 

dspelman

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What Yamaha, the guitar industry and history proved is that the brass plate, heavy bridge and through neck made no difference - they actually made a big deal about fitting a lightweight bridge directly to the top on the SG3000.
Since the SG went out of production in '88, they haven't used these features on any guitars, even the limited runs of SGs they've done since, other than SG2000 reissues.
The pickup 'semi' covers... wow.... all the deficiencies of a full cover with none of the benefits. The tops of the bobbins are exposed, the sides covered. You still get the 'eddy currents' and high frequency attenuation of a full cover, but it doesn't screen the pickup - the original point of the humbucker cover.
If you play an SG3000 next to an SG2000, you'll note that there are definitely differences, mostly because of the Spinex pickups on the 3000 series. I think the brass sustain block, heavy bridge and through neck are simply expensive, and the majority of guitar players didn't want to pay for them during the '80's. Yamaha marketing wasn't the best in those days, either.

The pickup semi-covers are something else that didn't make the marketing cut. But they're still out there, in both plastic and metal. They keep sweat and grime out of the pickups, and I've never heard anyone complain that there isn't enough treble from those pickups.
 




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