After All, it's just Wood & Glue, Right?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Monte Allums, Mar 2, 2021.

  1. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    The Maple, Spruce and Pearwood that all Stradivarii were made from, was worth about the same then as now, or the equivalent of the cost of a nice lunch.
     
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  2. Jay Jernigan

    Jay Jernigan Tele-Afflicted

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    Definitely are two of the key elements. Recently read that Gibson has decided that hide glue is superior for construction of Les Paul guitars. Well, okay. Probably is. Changing key components can alter tonality, sure. The 2019 EJ Strat has a sassafras body. Very plain looking, but does it sound better? Eric thought so. Who am I to argue?
     
  3. gitlvr

    gitlvr Friend of Leo's

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    There is very little "craftsmanship" or "craftsmen" involved in the construction and assembly of the average Fender or Gibson. It's assembly line work where parts are built mostly by machine, and bolted together by an assemblage of people (NOT builders) trained to do one specific thing to a particular factory specification and then pass it down the line to the next person trained in the next step.
    I've been building electrics for a while now, and I could not tell you with any certainty what actually makes one guitar "better" than it's peers.
    I suspect it is how well those parts are made and how well they fit each other. With cnc and all the other technology today that is easier than ever, and I think it is why we are seeing so many cheap guitars that look, sound and play the way they do nowadays.
    But who in the heck knows?
     
  4. bblumentritt

    bblumentritt Friend of Leo's

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    Gibson should focus on quality, especially because they currently have a reputation for poor quality and cheap components.

    As guitars are more than just more than wood and glue, what you want is tone, playability, feel, personality, and to get what you pay for, and when you pay big your hard-earned money for a guitar, you expect it to sound good, play well, and have excellent "fit and finish", and that, from many sources, is where Gibson is lacking these days.
     
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  5. Telekarster

    Telekarster Friend of Leo's

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    Indeed you are right. I actually looked into some of the research that's been done on his violins, and they have been tested over and over again with the latest scientific minds and equipment available. Alas, they still don't quite know how, but his violins definitely have a tone like no other even via the equipment, but most human ears cannot really pick out those nuances. Nevertheless, nuances are there and it's proven. I personally think it has to do with his craft as much as it did the woods he used. Perhaps there was just that extra swipe with a knife, or shave of a chisle, or that extra little pass with a planer? No one knows. I suspect the same is true with anything instrument-wise, though. There are some violin builders out there who have gotten darn close to the Strad tone, even scientifically.

    When I built my Nocaster, my primary goal was to see if I could recreate the magic that the originals have, trying to understand why people pay such insane $ for them. I followed the specs as closely as I could, every little detail, and tons of research. I don't know if I achieved that goal or not because I do not have access to an original to compare it with, but via videos I've watched I believe I came within +/- 10% of that magic, and that's good enough for me! Beside that, I like how she sounds and plays anyway so... me happy either way. And... it didn't cost me $80,000 to get there :D
     
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  6. Arfage

    Arfage Tele-Meister

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    Fine. Go buy a $99 turd.
     
  7. smokey9701

    smokey9701 TDPRI Member

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    I agree 100 percent an electric solid body guitar is just wood and glue. I will agree an acoustic box of wood and glue is a bit different. As for electric its just wood and glue. Tone properties of wood, I say hogwash. The impedance characteristics of the wire in the pickups along with the magnetics then the complexity of valves/tubes, transistors, paddle madness output transforms and speaker voice coils are all a thousand times more complex then any wood vibration in a solid body Tele. What prof do I have other than jus tone point well, none.

    My one point is watching and hearing Justin Johnson make absolute musical magic out of anything, old boxes, oil cans and his famous 3 string shove guitar. If anyone can listen to him play and tell me that shovel would sound better if the handle was rosewood or the shovel blade was aluminum V steal, I call BS on that.
     
  8. smokey9701

    smokey9701 TDPRI Member

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    "A. Stradivari's secret was how he marinated and aged his woods; that's what gave his violins their legendary status. In blind listening tests with other fine makers' violins, however, many world-class players cannot tell the difference between Strads and others."

    "his violins definitely have a tone like no other even via the equipment, but most human ears cannot really pick out those nuances. Nevertheless, nuances are there and it's proven."
    ?????????????????????????????????

    Now I am one of the lucky few who have heard both Stradivari and Guarneri violins played by the likes of Joshua Bell and others. Please tell me you are not comparing a violin to a bolt on neck solid body Tele plugged into a Fender tweed amp.

    I will add I love the sound of both.
     
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  9. oldunc

    oldunc Tele-Holic

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    Well, there's a considerable amount of metal and bone, a lot of plastic on a Fender, all of which I find annoying to work with. On fine acoustics a lot of artistry goes into tuning the sound board and braces, so "just wood" is a bit oversimplifying it. I can see no purpose at all served by inlays, binding and such stuff on a solid body guitar. The soundboard needs to be able to hold the frets, but Maple seems to be adequate. As far as the body ((of a solid body) I suppose that the density, as well as that of the neck, will have some effect on sustain, but I question if the difference would be noticeable (once again talking about solid bodies).
     
  10. Telekarster

    Telekarster Friend of Leo's

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    Nice! You are indeed lucky to have heard both from the likes of musicians like Bell! No, the question of the OP is whether or not wood types and glue types really matter, tonally. We are saying - yes it does matter in our opinions ;)
     
  11. JazzDreams

    JazzDreams Tele-Meister

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    + 1

    Jack Pierson doesn't touch his Squiers - they are (if I'm not mistaken) bone stock.

    And the boy can play!
     
  12. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think people pay insane $ for them not because their tone is reflected by the cost, but because it's a roundabout way of buying back one's youth. Nostalgia is a powerful drug; it makes people behave in ways that appear quite irrational to others.

    Nacho Banos, the wonderfully fanatic collector and author of The Blackguard Book, markets what he calls the Nachocaster. Based upon what I know about the originals and his guitars, it is probably the most accurate reproduction of the early Fender "blackguard" Telecasters ever made.
     
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  13. Captdan61

    Captdan61 Tele-Meister

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    Now that's cool!
     
  14. fathand

    fathand TDPRI Member

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    Wood, Glue, Labour and a bit of artistry/taste.
     
  15. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

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    After the October fire I downgraded from the Gibson Les Paul Custom I'd had for 40 years to an Epiphone Les Paul.
    Might be just wood and glue but it's definitely a down grade! Dropping the Epiphone off tomorrow to see if Al at the Music Shop can get it into some kind decent playable condition.
    The neck has a definite bend where it meets the body, to the point that the upper most frets are unusable unless the action is very high.
    And I like my actions sorta high.
    Never did a damned thing to that 1981 LPC's neck in 40 years!

    To replace the '78 Tele I've got one my brother built, it's a great guitar, just lacks the "feel" but I'm getting used to it.

    Haven't replaced the '65 ES-330 yet. But I'm not wasting one red cent on an Epiphone there!
    Waiting for the right original 1965 (or so) to come along.

    "Just wood and glue"?
    People that say that never played a really good guitar for very long.
    There's a difference, but it takes more than just sitting in a store playing a couple licks to get it.
     
  16. enorbet2

    enorbet2 TDPRI Member

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    There have been guitars that could be viewed as all or nearly all "glue" such as Dan Armstrong and Steinberger. Those both play great but they do lack something in tone or they would still be widely in use today but they are not. I learned to build guitars from books, experimentation, and several serious Luthiers, most notably Jimmy D'Aquisto. Jimmy taught me the wood-tapping method he basically learned from John D'Angelico. Wood-tapping taught me that an instrument is the synergistic sum of it's parts. Anyone who thinks the "wood" (or shape, or neck joint) doesn't matter should consider that a Strat made of Ash doesn't sound like one of Alder or Maple or even if you mount Lipstick Tube pickups on one, doesn't sound very much at all like like a Danelectro or Silvertone.

    Here are 2 examples, one from scratch and the other a fairly heavily modded Sears Silvertone. They each have very distinct personalities of feel and tone and entirely because they are the sum of very different "wood and glue"... and metal.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    It's all about Vibration after all.
     
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  17. gkmacdonald

    gkmacdonald TDPRI Member

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    Just wood and glue but a skilled craftsman is the main component to making a great guitar.
     
  18. Marblatx

    Marblatx Tele-Meister

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    Wood might make a little difference on a solid body when it's plugged in but when you plug it in and turn on the amp you might barely notice a difference in sustain but nothing else.
     
  19. Gary135r

    Gary135r Tele-Meister

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    Just like my custom built bike is not the same as a Walmart special even though they have the same footprint.
     
  20. Nogoodnamesleft

    Nogoodnamesleft TDPRI Member

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    Brian May has done alright for himself with that guitar he and his dad built. The matchsticks that were used to fill the holes weren't made of lignum unobtainium either.

    I mentioned on another forum recently the tree the wood came from didn't care what name was going on the headstock.

    I'm with you. I would far rather have some form of wood rather than a composite. Although it makes me wonder how many pianists felt the same about ivory keys.
     
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