Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

Help end the tonewood debate once and for all!

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by CostlyTrick, Sep 8, 2015.

  1. moosie

    moosie Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Age:
    60
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    I don't mean to put words into Ron's mouth here. These are my takes on your comments and questions.

    Yes.

    Yes.

    Regarding Ron's example of resonance and sustain being yin and yang, it's personal taste, trade offs, usually somewhere in between the extremes. Everything in moderation.

    I like what I envision as that early Fender feel, lightweight body, more resonance (and harmonic content), less sustain. The whole guitar vibrates in my hands. Great feeling.

    Someone else envisions a 70s-80s guitar god onstage with that ONE NOTE ringing out forever... that's okay too.

    Not species. Maybe price, in the impact it may have on wood selection. "May have". I don't know what the various builders do. I do know that every late model AV I've seen or heard people talk about, or that I personally own... they're very light. All by chance? I'm guessing not.
     

  2. Danomo

    Danomo Tele-Holic

    894
    Mar 31, 2014
    Chicago
    After about a minute, I turned the sound down to just barely hear, and tried to freeze frame it, so I could read the emails, then... I realized it would be more productive in life to drink brown liquor shots for an hour straight than to listen to his inane ramblings and watch his shakey camera work for another second (and decided to do neither).
     

  3. Zepfan

    Zepfan Friend of Leo's

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    Actually, at the end of the 9 minute rambling video, He shows the last email(that's supposedly from Jamie) that Jamie agrees that Tonewood is real.
    Can't really say for sure that the last email He got was from Jamie and that Jamie does indeed agree about Tonewood. Could've been an email from someone else, Jamie did send it and does agree or Jamie just agreed to get rid of him.
     

  4. Zepfan

    Zepfan Friend of Leo's

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    This point has already been established with the simple knock test(guitar plugged in and strings muted while knocking on the body) showing that the pickups also send the sound coming from the body and neck material through the signal chain.
    The predictability of species most likely can't be determined by comparing 2 guitars of different species because of all the variables, but most likely many guitars of each species and go for an average result for each species contributions.
     

  5. Zepfan

    Zepfan Friend of Leo's

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    There are many great sounding guitars with bodies and/or necks made out of materials other than wood. NONE of them sound like wood.
     

  6. Zepfan

    Zepfan Friend of Leo's

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    Okay Ladies and Gentlemen, Since most of the nay-sayers here claim that tonewood is just marketing. Why would a guitar manufacturing company knowingly spend more money on materials than they need to? That doesn't make good business sense. If the body/neck material didn't matter, a company would buy the cheapest material possible that would stand up to use/punishment and glue/paste paper veneer on it to make it look good. Because companies have to make enough money to stay in business, part of that scenario is keeping expenses to a minimum. Don't spend what you don't have to spend. So why are so many companies wasting their money and resources?
     

  7. Danomo

    Danomo Tele-Holic

    894
    Mar 31, 2014
    Chicago
    Time for economics 101, along with that physics class.

    Every mfg goal is to make the most money on the least investment...
    The big guys love the tonewood myth, and price accordingly, as long as folks are buying at that additional price, they will continue to make and sell that product.
    There is no room for altruists in capitalism.

    If buying a computer was based only on the fastest processor speed, amount of memory, and biggest/fastest hard drive... Apple wouldn't be selling computers (or phones).

    Time to go to bed ZF.
     

  8. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Age:
    71
    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    To You....

    I betcha few, if any, could pick the wooden guitar out of a list of non wooden guitars in a blind test... but I also bet we could all pick the electric guitar out of a sample of electric guitars made of anything you wanna bring...

    Point.. they all sound far more like electric guitars than guitars made out of whatever they happen to be made of...

    But.. that would depend on the quality and sonic flexibility of the electronics in the chain wouldn't it? I mean, don't ya think a Plastic guitar will sound different when played through a Marshall G10, than .. say a '51 Fender Deluxe? Both are electric amps aren't they?

    Wonder which would sound better... a Plastic guitar through the Deluxe or a CS through the speck of an amp, the G10 ...

    OK. how do any of us establish that a "wood" IS actually tone wood? Hold it up and bonk it,, HehehAHAhawHAW HAW Wheeeeezzzz,,,, . . . Phew… muh ribs are hurtin’ now…

    It is NOT...there is only one established accredited organization that has created a grading system for lumber... it's recognized world wide, if anecdotal "cred" is necessary. It’s the National Hardwood Lumber Association, the NHLA.

    Their grading system has nothing to do with the sonic qualities of the wood…none, ZERO, el Zippo… goose egg… nada thing…

    If there WERE a classification of "tone wood" it would have to be broken down into gradient variables... like the visual grades of figured wood, A, AA, AAA, AAAA, AAAA.

    Not all "tone wood" COULD be great 5A tone wood.. there might be some wussy tone wood wouldn't there? Wouldn't ya want that identified as having different sonic qualities than Mega BaaddAss tonewood... well. . wouldn't ya? How ya gonna do that, believe some guy named Bubba, that has an ’83 Ford F-150 full of “fine mountain grown” Spruce.. and a really well crafted website?

    And since tone is subjective, who would be the committee establishing the grading system... and who moderates the committee, Leonard Bernstein? .. "Tone wood" would be used in the instruments he's most familiar with... Or .. I dunno, Clapton., Eddie Vedder? Buck Trent? ... see,, there's all kinda variables in subjectivity...

    However with the NHLA's grading system there can only be so many inclusions per foot, so many 5mm knots per square foot of alder, as an example, to still qualify as FAS, the best... it's definitive, specific, empirical.. if ya can count... "you" can establish what grade a piece of wood is in it's category, if you're familiar with the guidelines... your preference, your prejudices, aren't a factor...

    So... there is NO Tone wood, there are no Aliens walking among us, there were never any "secret" emails on "that" server... :rolleyes: but Santa Clause is real.. :twisted:

    the "classification "tone wood" is only as useful as noting it's a "Red" guitar, It's a "Blue" guitar... Correct me if I'm wrong, there are a few variants of Red, and/or Blue aren't there? Actually the color is far more useful, they’re definitive… even if the specific shade isn't identified.

    The label "Tone wood" is a label assigned to the wood by the creep selling it, to compel you to pay more for it than you would if the same piece of wood was simply called wood, possibly identified by the specific species, and the NHLA grade.

    "You" can NEVER determine what a guitar will sound like until it's strung, setup and being played... if anyone tells ya different, they're fulluh cack...

    "My guitar is made of tone wood" is as ambiguous as saying, "My car is fast? Oh yeah, by who's standard, your Granny's, or Jeff Gordon's? :eek:

    rk
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2015

  9. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Apr 29, 2013
    near Arnold's

    I think if you read and listen carefully,me video SAYS the TV guy s agreeing with him. But if you analyze the words, the TV guy is not. JLC hit the nail on the head.
     

  10. songtalk

    songtalk Friend of Leo's

    "Tonewood" is a fake term used to empty the pockets of hard working, well to do men between the ages of 18 and 75. That is all.

    There is a negligible, unpredictable variation in tone caused by swapping bodies and necks but so many other variables matter so much more.

    Confirmation bias, self fulfilling prophecy, buyers remorse......these are way more real than "tonewood"

    It's sad that people don't respect an expert or 5 who actually do this stuff for a living that are trying to save hard working Americans a few grand.
     

  11. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    57
    Mar 2, 2010
    Maine
    Ron Ron Ron!
    You're talking about manufacturing and marketing, but many of us are talking about playing and choosing and modding our guitars.
    Sure, lots of inexperienced players buy based on marketing hype, but once we get past the hype there is our guitars, no longer being marketed or manufactured, and we want them to work for us.

    To a player, the more pertinent question might be:

    Does the wood part of my guitar effect the way it sounds through an amp?
    Why would we ask?

    Many of us who swap parts among our personal guitars have said that one particular (wood) body sounds kind of dead, where another sounds much better. As in we find that a dead sounding body makes a guitar we don't want to play, and swapping just the body for another transforms that guitar into one that we do want to play because it responds and sounds great. I'm going to guess that at least some of these players were not fooled by the pretty color. Some of us are primarily interested in playing music, not the color of our guitars.

    Then there are those who find a super lightweight softwood bodied guitar lacks some of the sustain and clarity we want from an amplified electric, and swapping a heavier harder wood body brings back the clarity and sustain that we weren't getting with the 2 1/2lb lightweight body.

    Further, there are those of us who try out a bunch of same model MIMs and want to know why some sound better than others through an amp.
    To suggest to buyers that the wood variation is not related to the amplified sound differences is kind of pushing one myth to debunk another myth.

    This is not a manufacturers forum, it is primarily a players forum, I think.
    To many players who have many years of experience, the wood effects the amplified tone enough to make a guitar adequate or inadequate for our sonic needs.
    Not that we cannot play a guitar we don't like the sound or response of.

    So, if the wood can make the difference between a guitar we play because it sounds great through an amp, and a guitar we don't play because it doesn't sound good compared to our other guitars, then wood and tone go together.
    Just not the word "tonewood".

    And yes many of us are aware of the other variables!!!
    Sure, some of us mistakenly swap a loaded body and attribute the change to the wood, when it was also the bridge, pickups and wiring.

    But plenty of us have done our homework and swapped ONLY the body numerous times, and found that in some cases it makes a guitar we don't want to play into a guitar we do want to play.

    No Santa Claus or aliens or marketing scams or lumber associations involved.

    Agreed, no-one can sell us a body with the assurance that we will like it.
    Just as no-one can sell us a pickup with the assurance we will like it.
     

  12. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    57
    Mar 2, 2010
    Maine
    Interestingly enough, the OP says he's a "passionate tonewood believer", and considers his GFS paulownia Tele body to be "tonewood".

    So in the case of this thread at least, tonewood refers to the effect of the wood on the (amplified) guitar sound.
    Yes! A hard working American saved a few grand in the making of this thread!

    Maybe he is a troll involved in the marketing of GFS tonewood?

    Or maybe the OP and many of the rest of us are talking about how the wood relates to the tone?
     

  13. Marshall_Stack

    Marshall_Stack Friend of Leo's

    Sep 19, 2011
    Portland, Maine
    Tried an experiment last night. We played Knoxville Girl in the first set and then again towards the end. I asked a few friends and band mates to listen if there was any difference in the twangy intro part - since it was a prominent stereotypical phrase. Used the "old pine" telebration first, then an old mongrel. Both have 62 AVRI pups, 52 RI maple necks, wired the same, same strings, and skipped the board and went straight into a Morpheus - mic the same.
    One has a light resonant pine body with a thin whitewash - the other a standard alder with a pretty thick burst.
    The answer? Everyone thought the pine was snappier, more twangy. So we celebrated our scientific advancement.
    This morning an email started that questioned the alcohol factor in the listeners, the fact I was getting tired and decided we had proven nothing.
    YMMV
     

  14. songtalk

    songtalk Friend of Leo's

    Well, not everyone wants to spend top dollar on their "tonewood". ;)

    I am fine with one body or neck working better than another. I am fine with people finding that they like one wood better than another.

    I am not fine when people say, "I am tired of this rosewood fret board. It's not snappy enough. I really oughta buy me a maple neck to set this guitar right."

    Or when people say "I got an ash body on the way. Should brighten things right up."

    Just total facepalm central. Not. Predictable.
     

  15. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    57
    Mar 2, 2010
    Maine
    Or say: I replaced my $50 USA 52 vintage Tele stamped steel bridge with a $150 aftermarket stamped steel bridge, brightened things right up!

    Whole lotta facepalm going on!
     

  16. songtalk

    songtalk Friend of Leo's

    Yes! We agree!

    Money doesn't equal tone.

    Now if you had said, "I replaced my 42 gauge formvar wrapped alnico V pickups and swapped em for some 43 gauge enamel wrapped alnico IIIs, it brightened things right up!"

    That would have been a valid observation!
     

  17. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    57
    Mar 2, 2010
    Maine
    True dat!
     

  18. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Age:
    71
    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    that's not the issue,, In fact I do believe i have said on more than a few dozen occasions that the wood does impact the voice... but that's not the issue... the wood can contribute A sound… not a manipulatable sound… and not one that can be predicted. A piece of wood does NOT contribute THE sound.. a Mahogany Les Paul sounds enough like one made of some other wood, to suggest while the difference in both pieces may impart a difference, it still sounds like a Les Paul..

    Again.. science reigns.. If you get down to the Quantum level, nothing is the same except at the molecular level...

    It's those that infer that the wood matters.... it does, only in the context that anything used as a substitute would also matter, that too would impact the voice, and do so in an equally unpredictable fashion.

    where the problem, at least for me is, suggesting that a piece of wood’s sonic character can be predicted.. and that information used to predict in what manner sonically, the wood matter… that cannot happen… the technology does not exist, except perhaps at Groom Lake, today.. thus the discussion is purely academic. No meaningful information can be gleaned from it..

    The only possible yield from such discussions is negative… it rests upon those completely unfamiliar with any viable information.. It’s those guys that will call, making absurd requests relative to the guitar’s performance, based on “drive buy” single line commentary on very complex issues.. That makes guys like us builder’s lives hell.

    rk
     

  19. JLC78TELE

    JLC78TELE Tele-Meister

    214
    Mar 20, 2015
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    That sounds nice too.
     

  20. TheChaosPath

    TheChaosPath TDPRI Member

    41
    Jan 21, 2011
    Earth
    What kind of monster shoots brown liquor?
     

IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.