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

Help end the tonewood debate once and for all!

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

  1. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Friend of Leo's

    Aug 23, 2014
    Wow, what a thread! After reading all this, I need to take a nap. My favorite was this excerpt from one of Ron Kirn's many great posts here. It really got me to thinking. I am so grateful that my hearing isn't so impaired that I need "subtitles of the tone" to be able to dig what I'm hearing. :)

  2. sir humphrey

    sir humphrey Friend of Leo's

    May 3, 2011

    The key thing for me with research into the McGurk effect is the finding that the better our ears are, the more likely we are to be fooled.

    It makes sense - if you have highly trained ears what are they trained for? They're trained to filter out the frequencies we don't want to hear and to hear the ones we do. That's why great musicians can pick what chord is being played straight off - they are expecting a certain chord format and experienced enough to pick out the subtleties of the voicing.

    So when a great musician expects a piece of wood to sound "warm" - guess what, it sounds warm. Because their highly trained ears filter out the frequencies they don't expect to hear.

    So the good news is, you can be a great musician and still get fooled by marketing hype. In fact, you are more likely to be fooled the better you are.
    boris bubbanov and maxvintage like this.

  3. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 2, 2010
    Somehow I would think that if a musician was truly great they would have developed a keen sense of their own sound, and be able to tell how well an instrument gave them access to their sound, if at all.
    Marketing hype is IMO aimed at the novice with money to spend, not the seasoned pro with realistic goals.

    If a musician expects a piece of wood to have a sound, they probably have a long way to go toward greatness.
    But if they choose new guitars or parts based on what has worked for them in the past, and then try out the new gear to hear if it fulfills their needs, then there is a fair chance they might actually be able to tell if a piece of gear works for their needs, or falls short.

    Since I have never liked any lightweight resonant bodies, or thin fast necks, or tiny vintage frets, or hot overwound pickups; I don't buy those products any more.
    Not because I think my choice in gear gives me my sound, but because I know what has worked for me and what has not worked for me.

    Most of these views were developed long before the tonewood hype or the boutique pickup craze or the polished jewelry for hardware trend started, but the views have been tested and narrowed over the years, including spending time trying to make things like lightweight resonant bodies and hot pickups work for me.

    I don't know why anyone would assume that great musicians think a piece of wood has a sound, and then hear that sound if it's made into a guitar.

    Maybe Mr McGurk spent too much time in the lab?

  4. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 2, 2010

  5. TwangyWhammy

    TwangyWhammy Friend of Leo's

    Jan 10, 2014
    Under the DownUnder

    I've got an inkling we as guitarists in general aren't even in agreement as to 'what' TONE exactly is.

    1 a musical or vocal sound with reference to its pitch, quality, and strength.
    2 the general character or attitude of a place, piece of writing, situation, etc.
    3 (also whole tone )a basic interval in classical Western music, equal to two semitones and separating, for example, the first and second notes of an ordinary scale (such as C and D, or E and F sharp); a major second.
    4 the particular quality of brightness, deepness, or hue of a shade of a colour

    Ok, so how do we define the boundaries of these so called variations in audible tone. I hear stuff like - "cold hushed tones or tones lacking in warmth," and so on, but what does that really mean? Other than individual descriptions of how we perceive tones, I'm not aware of any definitive index for it, i.e. what's the unit-of-measure for tone? At what point does it become piercing? Is the location of this point of sharpness the same for everyone?

    At least with house colours we have paint charts. The printing industry on the otherhand have established colour standards like PMS books for example. We also know that for some people, green and red look exactly the same.

    So how would it be possible to categorise a particular type of tone with a particular type of wood, when tone itself is so supremely ambiguous?

    Then there's wood - where even the same species have huge variances in weight, fibre density, moisture, grain orientation, pigment - let alone how long it was dried, its age, and the direction in which the log was cut into slabs.

    Yes, some of my guitars sound the same and some of them sound different. I used to have strong opinions about this subject. Now I've laid this subject to rest. Endlessly punching the air is tiresome.

  6. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS

  7. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

    Jun 22, 2010
    Osaka, Japan
    To me it sounds like a bunch of effects... Nobody would ever guess what a guitar was made of through alla that stuff.

  8. custom/59

    custom/59 Banned

    Dec 16, 2012
    Def not a piece of wood lol.

  9. GotRoot?

    GotRoot? TDPRI Member

    Jun 29, 2009
    Greenville, NC
    what would Mr Dano say? :)

  10. Platefire

    Platefire Friend of Leo's

    Nov 3, 2003
    North Louisiana around Many
    Got the believe the different woods would influence the tone one way or another. To what degree, I don't know? Not near as much as the pickups and hardware.

  11. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 7, 2016
    Smyrna georgia
    Tone wood matters inso much as Trussart made some of the worlds best...
    Out of metal.
    Do you want a heavy, or light guitar, and what wood looks best to you.
    That is all that matters.
    Beating a dead horse might make you feel better, it matters little to the horse.

    "I'm two drinks away from being a lesbian"

  12. televarious

    televarious TDPRI Member

    Nov 18, 2014
    dickey betts sez if it sounds good unplugged, it'll sound good plugged in.

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