Acoustic resonance of Telecasters

schmee

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There is ZERO doubt in my mind that the component parts all add up to a good or a poor particular guitar. Very much so the body and neck. They can be the coming together of cheap Squier parts or hand selected custom shop woods. And they can result in something great or something terrible.

But I am also convinced that it is very much unpredictable. That is why we enjoy certain instruments so much and others not at all. it's a turkey shoot.
It's also true that SRV could play a setup Squier Affinity from Wal Mart and give a great concert without the audience knowing it. But as musicians when we play WE know it.
You often cant find it or feel it with a few minutes of playing. You have to play some songs, certain songs bring out certain things. You also have to play in the band mix before you will ever know.
 

FuzzWatt

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Does a telecaster have to resonate when played acoustically to be good? If one resonates more than another is the more resonant one better?

First of all, this is the correct answer;

If it makes you play better, yes.

Awhile ago I had a Schecter PT that was extremely resonant and loud unplugged. Plugged in, it was nothing special. On the other hand - years ago I was in the market for a Les Paul Junior and was able to play three of the same model. The most resonant one was a tad darker and sweeter than the others. The second most resonant one was brighter, which many would idolize. It resonated at a higher pitch, to my ears. I preferred the woody liveliness of the darker louder one. All depends on what you like.
 

dsutton24

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This is an unknowable that people really get cranked about.

I've got guitars that are resonant and sound good. I've got guitars that aren't resonant and sound good. Guitars that didn't sound good got electronics upgrades or different strings and now they sound good. The thing is this: There's very little that can be done to make a guitar more resonant. Neck seating, strings, and to a small degree action can help some, but aren't likely to make a marked difference.

But, musicians believe what they want to believe. Floofy tone caps, weird pickup alchemy, the list is endless. I've seen people get combative over the influence of tuners and strap buttons on sound. There's a guy who pops up now and then claiming that Electrosockets suck tone. Or improve tone. I don't remember which. Might be both on any given day. Who knows?

The biggest influence on sound is the player. Anyone who says otherwise can bumch my shrit.
 

akkermanfan

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Very much this. Les Paul was quite unhappy with how much the tone woods chosen by Gibson resonated after they aged some more. He went back to them in the end of the '60s and gave them hints on how to make a guitar have a "pure" tone. Pancake bodies, 3 piece necks, maple necks, heavier hardware.... all those "Norlin" transgressions had Lester's blessing.

In my view, if you plug straight in then you're going to appreciate some resonance in the instrument. If you use pedals, then no, you've got pedals for that, and they work best fed a pure tone without delays and phase issues from the guitar.
Hi Swirling Snow : You did write a very good theory about the wood in #12 ! But sorry, I would like to point out that the changes made to the Les Paul guitar in the late 60's were not the master's ideas, but amounted to cost savings from the beancounters! And I'm sure many Les Paul connoisseurs will agree... Best regards,
 

Digital Larry

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Resonance can be measured using units of "reson", "resin", or "rosin" if you are using the metric system.
There is positive resonance and negative resonance. Once you plug your guitar in, there is also "imaginary resonance". You've heard of Eric Clapton's "Woman tone" - that is all about resonance. You remember BB King's "Lucille", it had a varitone, again... "RES"."O"."Nant". You remember when Lucy used to bug Ricky about performing "Babalu" down at the club? I think you're starting to get my drift here.

Normally this would be the time I'd whip out some Smith charts https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smith_chart and lay some VSWR type raps down, but it's 4:37 AM and the cat is snuggling up with me and I'm not quite in the mood.
 

2HBStrat

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...The new AmPro was noticeably less resonate than the others unplugged, sounded OK plugged in. Loosened the neck with the strings up to tension and gave the body a few firm fist thumps around the pocket area. Tightened the screws and there was a marked improvement in acoustic resonance. This has definitely equated to a more bell-like plugged in tone....
Can you explain what you did in more detail?
I have a Les Paul that has so much resonance it sounds like the amp's reverb is on...
I have a cheap Squier Bullet Strat that is that way. I love to play it unplugged. It sounds good plugged in, too
 

Wrighty

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Can you explain what you did in more detail?

I have a cheap Squier Bullet Strat that is that way. I love to play it unplugged. It sounds good plugged in, too
Slacken off the neck screws a couple of turns each. Then rest the guitar on a soft surface, with the headstock towards tge ceiling, supporting it by the cutaway. Using the ‘soft’ end of a clenched fist, bang the front of the neck near the pocket. Tge aim is to make sure the neck is firmly seated into the pocket. Do it with the strings tuned. When you retighten the screws, do it with the guitar face down on your knee supported at the neck / body joint and apply gentle pressure to ensure neck / body surfaces are together. Probably sounds more complicated than it is, basically just getting the neck well seated.
 

Old Deaf Roadie

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In my experience, the fit & finish (read: how it’s put together) have much more impact on how a guitar behaves than what wood species was used in construction. In this context, the finish part of "fit & finish” has nothing to do with paint or lacquer.
 

Swirling Snow

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Hi Swirling Snow : You did write a very good theory about the wood in #12 ! But sorry, I would like to point out that the changes made to the Les Paul guitar in the late 60's were not the master's ideas, but amounted to cost savings from the beancounters! And I'm sure many Les Paul connoisseurs will agree... Best regards,
This rumor was kicked around on the LPF and it just doesn't hold water. There's a general tendency to misconstrue Norlin's purchase with the unfriendly take-overs of the '90s. The word in the '60s was "Diversify!", and the Norlin group pumped a ton of money into its newly acquired property. Also, inserting near veneer layers of wood into bodies is expensive, not cost-saving. They saved money by not replacing the worn patterns for the pantograph that cut the tops.

No, Les came back to Gibson and shared his secrets (including his low-impedance pickup, so you know he was serious) with them because a doctor told him he was gonna die! (Where have we heard that story before?) And yet another doctor was wrong. Lester lived. A long time.

Cheers!

PS: Real LP connoisseurs don't much care what happened in the '70s. I just happened to be there, working for a Gibson dealer.
 

Swirling Snow

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In my experience, the fit & finish (read: how it’s put together) have much more impact on how a guitar behaves than what wood species was used in construction. In this context, the finish part of "fit & finish” has nothing to do with paint or lacquer.
I had a luthier friend who used to grumble, whenever tone woods where mentioned, "Doesn't matter what wood you use if you don't glue it right."
 

StoneH

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My $$$ MII 50s CV Squier Tele rings out wonderfully unplugged, but it sounds bland plugged into an audio interface (unprocessed).

My $$$$$ 1969 Strat sounds dead unplugged, but sounds wonderful plugged into an audio interface (unprocessed).

I'm hoping new Bootstrap pickups will perk up the Tele for recording, but I spend much, much, much more time playing unplugged than recording electric guitar.
 
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TeleTex82

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I don't know that I'd qualify it as acoustic resonance necessarily, but the best guitars I've played have this piano like percussive quality when you hit a chord, or a note. It's a very 3D and full sound that not every guitar has. I've experienced this with guitars of various price points and countries of manufacture.
 

Fenderdad1950

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And then you plug into an amp and the variable shifts, depending on amp model, tubes ect. And then one runs the signal thru pedals.
 

bottlenecker

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Very much this. Les Paul was quite unhappy with how much the tone woods chosen by Gibson resonated after they aged some more. He went back to them in the end of the '60s and gave them hints on how to make a guitar have a "pure" tone. Pancake bodies, 3 piece necks, maple necks, heavier hardware.... all those "Norlin" transgressions had Lester's blessing.

Where did you get this story?

All evidence I've seen suggests Les Paul had nothing to do with developing the Les Paul model. He was paid to allow his name to be put on it. At the end of the 60s he still had a deal with gibson only because McCarty was his friend. I find your story entirely unbelievable.
 

Swirling Snow

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Where did you get this story?

All evidence I've seen suggests Les Paul had nothing to do with developing the Les Paul model. He was paid to allow his name to be put on it. At the end of the 60s he still had a deal with gibson only because McCarty was his friend. I find your story entirely unbelievable.
It's right on Les Paul's own site.

"1960s:
....
  • Retires from performing.

  • Continues to experiment with pickup designs and other electronics.

  • Right eardrum breaks. Almost dies in surgery to repair ear. Needs additional surgeries on his ear.

  • Begins work on improving hearing aids.

  • Gives Gibson all his guitar drawings and guitar secrets.

  • Gibson produces Les Paul Recording Guitar incorporating Les’ design with low impedance pickups."

Of course, information gleaned from the internet is of little value. I'd recommend reading Bacon and Day, and Walter Carter's books if you have an interest in Gibson history.

Now if you have actual evidence to the contrary, we'd be excited to see it. ;)
 

bottlenecker

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It's right on Les Paul's own site.

"1960s:
....
  • Retires from performing.

  • Continues to experiment with pickup designs and other electronics.

  • Right eardrum breaks. Almost dies in surgery to repair ear. Needs additional surgeries on his ear.

  • Begins work on improving hearing aids.

  • Gives Gibson all his guitar drawings and guitar secrets.

  • Gibson produces Les Paul Recording Guitar incorporating Les’ design with low impedance pickups."

Of course, information gleaned from the internet is of little value. I'd recommend reading Bacon and Day, and Walter Carter's books if you have an interest in Gibson history.

Now if you have actual evidence to the contrary, we'd be excited to see it. ;)

The very uncommon les paul recording is the only model lester directly influenced, which is not what you implied when you said "all those "Norlin" transgressions had Lester's blessing."

For evidence I would point to a few interviews with ted mccarty on the subject, in which he was very clear, and told detailed stories about Les Paul, and the les paul.
 




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