Fact or Fiction?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by guitarmoron, Apr 26, 2019.

  1. LOSTVENTURE

    LOSTVENTURE Tele-Afflicted

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    Before you consider picking out an electric guitar, always plug it in.
    Unplugged, it may feel good to you but that's really all you can tell.
    If it feels good, that's one thing, but if you are ever going to plug it in, then you need to know that it's giving you a sound that you can use.
     
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  2. VWAmTele

    VWAmTele Friend of Leo's

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    Hugh fiction. Some of my best sounding guitars sound like crap unplugged.
     
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  3. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    +1 nope.

    There may be some correlation, but too many confounding factors to use it as a rule of thumb.

    It's probably true that if you play it unplugged and like it, you'll be more disposed to like it when you plug it in after, though (see also: Cognitive Bias).
     
  4. Beachbum

    Beachbum Friend of Leo's

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    Funny thing is that they all sound like banjos unplugged and then they sound like guitars when you plug them in. Go figure.
     
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  5. LOSTVENTURE

    LOSTVENTURE Tele-Afflicted

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    But I have to tell you, if it sounds like a banjo unplugged, it's going back on the wall.
     
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  6. edvard

    edvard Tele-Afflicted

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    I've told the story before, but years ago a friend of mine got a Polaris Explorer. Unplugged, it sounded and felt completely dead, like brand-new strings were damp cotton. No 'snap' at all.
    Plugged in, it sounded like a normal humbucker-powered guitar. Still FELT like playing a guitar made out of a stiff dishrag, but sounded just fine.
    I didn't play it long before handing it back to my friend. He seemed not to mind much.
     
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  7. Fenderdad1950

    Fenderdad1950 Tele-Meister

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    Semi-hollow bodies are louder by their very nature:D
     
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  8. DugT

    DugT Tele-Holic

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    So far, out of 28 posts in this thread, 16 vote that it is Fiction, 3 think that at least there might be some correlation. The remaining 9 comments were unrelated, indicernable or not worthy of being in this highly scientific top secret poll.

    My vote is Fiction because the pickups and amp make a huge difference compared to everything else. Strings make a big difference too and I suspect they could make identical guitars sound quite different if unplugged.
     
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  9. edvard

    edvard Tele-Afflicted

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    I guess I should clarify with "Fiction, but with caveats". Basically;
    1- A guitar that sounds/feels good unplugged won't guarantee good sound when plugged in, though I suspect it MAY be more probable given a good set of pickups and fresh strings.
    2- A guitar that is "dead" when unplugged doesn't guarantee bad sound when plugged in, but most certainly will affect how you feel while playing, which MAY be just as important as good sound to you.

    My advice; ALWAYS try it out both unplugged AND plugged in. Then, make sure your wallet can support your choice from there. No use finding a great guitar that you can't afford, except for the few minutes you get "just trying it out".
     
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  10. TeleTown

    TeleTown Friend of Leo's

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    I have a chambered tele that sounds like crap unplugged. Plugged> great!! Cavalier pups.
     
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  11. aubrey67

    aubrey67 TDPRI Member

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    Same here. I also think that way.
     
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  12. Ess Eff

    Ess Eff Tele-Meister

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    Wow, too many double negatives!

    How bout 'if it sounds good unplugged will it sound good plugged?'
    .
     
  13. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I have also found that if an amp doesn't sound good plugged in, it won't sound good unplugged.
     
  14. guitarmoron

    guitarmoron Tele-Meister

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    I know this is very true
     
  15. Thin white duke

    Thin white duke Tele-Holic

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    I think that when we talk about guitarists and the world that surround us, from the simple cable to the amp, a lot of fiction is going on. :):):)
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019
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  16. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have one solid body guitar that sounds woolly on the bass string but amazing and bright amplified. So I say it’s another reason to try before you buy. It’s not a rule i
     
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  17. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    If you heard (read) it on the internet you will have a far better chance of advancing whatever you're researching if you completely ignore it...

    the electric guitar is a signal generator... it produces an electrical impulse... and if you think of it in that context, AND make practice your number one priority. come next year, you and whatever guitar you're playing will sound a helluva lot better than these guys that are in the event horizon's vortex of a sonic black hole, chasing tone. Remember, even light cannot escape from a black hole, so those guys cannot see the error of their ways...

    And when I say whatever guitar.. I DO mean whatever guitar, assuming it's correctly setup and generates the correct note at the correct time.. Esoterica is just not necessary to stun the audience.. and guys that IS really what we all want to do is it not?

    rk
     
  18. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    This is going to sound weird but I play an E chord then put the headstock against my ear. It should ring for some time like an acoustic. My " snake oil " test- then I plug it in a good amp at low volume and thaen go from there. JMHO
    Also, every guitar is individual, so go with what feels, sounds and plays well. I chose the best of 21 Epiphone Texans in 1973, eliminated 19, chose the better ( to me) and even the luthier selling them said I'd made the right choice.
     
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  19. mad dog

    mad dog Friend of Leo's

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    Definitely true with hollowbodies and semis. Not always with solid bodies. I had one heavily chambered ash tele with a spruce top ... with that guitar, unplugged and plugged absolutely correlated. Same goes for my partscaster with a light spanish cedar body. That resonance and depth you can hear unplugged is there at volume. But other solid bodies, not reliably true. Some real dead sounding planks change character completely when plugged in.
     
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  20. kbold

    kbold Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    The sound of any guitar is accumulative (many things determine the end result).
    With electrics you have major determinants, such as; the pickups, the pickup height and position, the strings, and externally the user and the amplifier.
    Then theres a long list of minor determinants; the onboard electronics (caps, pots etc), the break angle, the scale length, the fret condition and finish, whether the neck is bolt-on or set, and the wood.

    So I would say yes, the sound unplugged does have an influence on the end result.

    These differences give each guitar its uniqueness, its fingerprint.
     
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