Dead or Alive

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by hotairguitar, Oct 24, 2021.

  1. hotairguitar

    hotairguitar Tele-Meister

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    Moderators, is this the right section to post the question?

    Hi everyone, especially solid body Luthiers and guitar builders.

    Volume being taken out of the equation and the guitar is not plugged into an amp, based on your experience and knowledge, what makes one neck plays and responses much ''livelier'' than other? both budget T style (but not starter pack plywoods), same budget wood, fretboard, frets, bridge saddles, nuts, scale lengths, thickness, string brand, gauge and relatively same action heights. Budget everything that prolly came from one factory but under different brands.

    How could the strings on one neck felt dead and stiffer than those on the other? (and i dont mean volume i.e the audio loudness of the guitars) just the way the same brand strings feel and vibrate.

    Thank you very much.
     
  2. Bendyha

    Bendyha Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Truss-rod is not mentioned in your variables, so let's have a take on that.

    A loose truss-rod can vibrate in sympathy to the string vibrations, absorbing certain frequencies, making them feel dead.
    A loose truss-rod can vibrate in sympathy to the string vibrations, taking up the same frequency and emphasizing it.
    A loose truss-rod can act as a damper on the resonant frequency of the neck woods, helping to give a more even response over all frequencies.
    A loose truss-rod can free the neck, emphasizing its elasticity - this can lead to wolf-note resonant frequency problems, causing over alive and dead patch unevenness.
    A loose truss-rod can free the neck, emphasizing its elasticity - this can lead to a dead feel over the whole neck range......or a lively one.
    A loose truss-rod can rattle.

    A tight truss-rod can make the neck very stiff, giving a lively feel to the strings.
    A tight truss-rod can make the neck very stiff, making the strings feel stiff.
    A tight truss-rod can make the neck very stiff, giving it a sharply defined resonant frequency, depending where on the spectrum this lies, one could expect varying outcomes.

    Metal truss-rods are heat reactive - longer (looser) when warm, and shorter (tighter) when cold. This can change not only string elevation and tuning, but response as well. That's why it is good to get it to stage temperature before playing.

    I guess there are variables I have neglected. But the point I want to make is that it is hard to say "like this is best" Some necks and guitars are better set "so" and others "so".
    Some will work fine however it is, others can never seem to be set right.

    You say "same budget wood" but two bits of seemingly same wood might react quite differently from each other.
    A soft maple, hard rosewood neck will be different from a hard maple, soft rosewood neck.

    .............sorry, I doubt my rant has been any help whatsoever.
    All that being said, I would generally a favour a neck that is stiffer, with a good neck straightness when the truss-rod is not loose, but has just a bit of tension to hold it stable. I don't think you can tell how a neck will respond just by looking at the wood....but generally, a quarter-sawn neck will be more stable than a slab-cut neck.

    (my main guitar has a non-adjustable 1/2"x1/2" carbon-fibre truss-rod in a sapele neck with a thick ebony fingerboard with stainless-steel frets) - very stiff - works for me.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2021
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  3. rojo412

    rojo412 Tele-Meister

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    Despite what some may say, every piece of wood is different. While maple may be relatively consistent, some pieces are denser, some are airier. The grain can be uniform or a little squirrelly. Little differences can definitely be noticed when the piece of wood is asked to vibrate and it will react in its own way on some level that may or may not be as noticeable to the user. This may be very subtle to notice, but it's there. And sometimes, you get a really noticeable result when compared to "the norm" and that can make for either a really good or really bad example of an instrument. I've certainly picked up my share of different instruments from the same style/maker that had one or two really amazing examples, compared to others which were more "expected."

    And the more you "add to the mix", the less it tends to be noticed. If you're dealing with 10 one-piece maple necks and comparing them to something like 10 multi-laminate 3-piece maple necks with carbon fiber support rods, you'll tend to find that the multi-piece necks will be more consistent with each other because they've taken some of the unique characteristics of what a one-piece neck has and gotten rid of it, in favor of structural support. When properly built, multi-piece necks have grain patterns that will counteract the natural movements which occur, so the neck won't be as inclined to twist or bend as it normally would, if left to its own devices. That certainly changes how it resonates. The carbon (or steel, titanium, aluminum, etc) support in the neck will also change how it resonates, as those were added to counteract the forces of string tension, as well as wood grain movement.
     
  4. Boreas

    Boreas Poster Extraordinaire

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    Don't rule out the differences between fret styles/design/material. I like high, thin frets others prefer low, wide frets. Simply leveling worn frets on the same neck will affect its feel - sometimes for the better, sometimes not. Depends on the player.
     
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  5. CJM3309

    CJM3309 Tele-Holic

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    I can't help with the question, but I did come here to post this.....Carry on!

     
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  6. hotairguitar

    hotairguitar Tele-Meister

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    Thank you :)

    It is tough to absorb the logic of contradicting outcomes of these ''same production batch and material combinations'' because i did not pass chemistry 101:D

    no i did not (could not, rather) inspect the dual action truss rods but they were set pretty much the same relief, to my eyes anyway
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2021
  7. hotairguitar

    hotairguitar Tele-Meister

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    Thank you very much :)
     
  8. hotairguitar

    hotairguitar Tele-Meister

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    no mate,

    even open strings strumming (standard EADGBE) one felt deader than thee other

    Thank you
     
  9. Boreas

    Boreas Poster Extraordinaire

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    Sorry - I misunderstood what you meant by "livelier". I was thinking feel, not sound.

    My guess is the age of the strings. One set could have been played more than another. Or one set could have just been dead.
     
  10. kbold

    kbold Friend of Leo's

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    What string brand, and what gauge? Did you fit them? (Did you fit them properly?) Where these the strings fitted when purchased?
    Did you set the neck and intonation after fitting strings?

    These are just the questions I would ask wrt strings (i.e. just one variable).
     
  11. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    Why is it so GD difficult for some people to admit that every piece of wood is different and are always looking for some other explanation?
     
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  12. rojo412

    rojo412 Tele-Meister

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    Confirmation bias? o_O
     
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  13. hotairguitar

    hotairguitar Tele-Meister

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    You did not,

    it was feel i was on about, not volume

    one open string strum with my right thumb on both guitar i can tell one dosnt vibrate as long as the other (of course i tried chords and the feels comparatively persist) as if the deader guitar has envelop pedal curbing the vibration (and eventually volume)

    but then the bodies surely have impact on the vibration
     
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  14. hotairguitar

    hotairguitar Tele-Meister

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    Yes, I am looking for construction explanations for the difference in feel and vibration.

    not type of wood
     
  15. hotairguitar

    hotairguitar Tele-Meister

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    i dont know what brand mate, has there been a shop owner strung their 300 quids display guitars with differrent string brands? come on

    that was just a small field research before having a proper neck built for my telecopy
     
  16. Boreas

    Boreas Poster Extraordinaire

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    What you haven't mentioned is the age and condition of the strings. The strings and guitars could be identical, but if one set of strings are old and dead, they will not vibrate long. Also, if you are talking acoustic guitars, if one has been played recently and the other has not, this has an impact on apparent "deadness" as well. It takes a while for an unplayed acoustic to waken from sleep.

    Construction techniques and variables could fill a book. But someone may be able to point you in the right direction if that is what you are looking for.
     
  17. hotairguitar

    hotairguitar Tele-Meister

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    they was solid body tele copies and strings look and feel very much the same as the guitars, none were second hand

    they probably been hanging for the past 3 months plus few weeks in the sea?
     
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  18. kbold

    kbold Friend of Leo's

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    Your above comment leads me to more strongly suspect the strings.

    ????? what do you mean by 'come on'. ........sounds narky: you're the one posting the question.
    I just offered my opinion which you seem to reject.
     
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