Did you ever hear your acoustic guitar?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by RL52, Apr 16, 2019.

  1. RL52

    RL52 Tele-Meister

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    i really lucked out on a J200 awhile ago.
    I could never afford a new or used one.
    Got it, played it and was disappointed.
    So for the 1000s that I saved I invested about $100 in a new saddle, nuts, pins and had a tech
    set the truss rod, hoping to fix this problem.

    Nope, still dead.

    On a lark I mic’ed the guitar:
    An AKG P170 through a focusrite to Garage Band,
    Into the Land of Acoustic Heaven, wow!

    So, thinking about it as the simpleton I am, here is my theory.
    If you are sitting behind a guitar(playing) you really aren’t hearing it like if
    you were standing in front of it.
     
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  2. grolan1

    grolan1 Friend of Leo's

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    You make a good point, unlike an electric in which you can stand directly in front of the amp, not so with an acoustic. I must admit though, every acoustic I loved the sound of sounded fantastic while playing, not just mic'd and recorded. A bit unsure of your position but so glad you got the outcome you were looking for!
     
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  3. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have noticed my acoustics sound much different when I play with my head in front of them. Regardless I still like to hear a nice sound coming out of them from a normal playing position.
     
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  4. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I read an article once that suggested going acoustic guitar shopping with a friend so you can see what it sounds like on both sides. Seems particularly relevant if you play for others or record.
     
  5. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    I had an Epiphone MIJ 12 string that I bought in 73.
    It sounded good to me BUT everyone who heard it said it sounded great to them.
    I had to sell it in 1989 as we needed a water heater and times were tough.

    P.S No embossed E, like an old original on the pickplate, this was like the old Epiphone/Gibson types.
     
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  6. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    My wife, the bass player, will stand across the room while I test acoustics. Very significant and successful method. What is great about it has been she is usually with me and has just as much comparison experience of hearing me play, as I had playing guitars. She was the one that helped me understand "projection" importance. Note how lots of higher end custom acoustics have a sound hole on the side of the top bout for projection of sound to the player too. You can easily mimick this by removing the typical EQ/tone panel of an acoustic/electric to get a similar result.
     
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  7. Beachbum

    Beachbum Friend of Leo's

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    I've noticed that for years and have often thought that perhaps there should be a sound hole in the back as well.
     
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  8. RL52

    RL52 Tele-Meister

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    I hear you.
    Let a 335 I got for almost nothing, broken headstock, that I had fixed perfectly
    to fix car.
     
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  9. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Yah I've played my acoustic guitar with a friend and we've passed the guitar back and forth.

    I think pretty much every acoustic guitar sounds better to the audience than it does to the player.

    The difference in volume is pretty dramatic!
     
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  10. RL52

    RL52 Tele-Meister

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    So maybe all these complaints and reviews about dead guitars are off base.
    Read more then a couple regarding Gibsons especially.
     
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  11. darren7

    darren7 Tele-Holic

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  12. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Humidity changes can sure mess with stuff.

    We had a massive change of humidity + temp in the last few days, I switched off the humidification & turned on the dehumidifier.

    My acoustic sounded super weird last night.. like it was out of tune or had some weird reverb. But it wasn't out of tune.

    It seemed to be more normal this morning.
     
  13. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    To me, there's three factors for thinking about an acoustic:
    - the first is what you hear while you're playing. If you don't really like this, you might just move on.

    - the second is what others hear, the front projection, the room sound, the third person experience. As others have mentioned, having someone else listen or having someone else play it, really helps evaluate what you might or might not do. A recording is good, too, but for my 2 cents, I kind of prefer having someone else play and getting the chance to hear it as others might.

    - the third is the feel - the visceral sensation and combination of how the starvation box resonates against your body, how the strings feel on the fretboard, how the neck and frets and everything else works with you or against you. How does it feel?

    Sounds good?... Sounds good? ... Feels good?

    I'll also say that, in my experience, that many Gibsons, from almost any age, have a wider range of response on those three points, even within the same model. Kind of have to hunt down the right one for you.

    Congrats on figuring out what that J200 can do! Enjoy!
     
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  14. Papa Joe

    Papa Joe Friend of Leo's

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    One could play it while facing an a reflective wall..
     
  15. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

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    Above and beyond that, output that sounds great acoustic doesn't always sound the same mic'd. I had a bourgeois slope D that was just the apple of my eye unplugged. It was uncomplicated sounding and clear. If you leaned on it, it got louder without sounding funny.

    I also had a crafters of tennessee HD style guitar that was decent, as good sounding as a new martin would be, but not nearly as much clarity and less volume. More sensitive to what you'd do with it.

    I have neither guitar right now, but out of curiosity when good USB mics started to get cheaper, I recorded both guitars. To my horror, the crafters sounded infinitely more interesting mic'd, and bigger.

    Some guitars are just outright bad, but lots are just waiting to be used or recorded the way they like to be used or recorded.

    I've learned since then that something that initially disappoints me is probably something I should work with a little. I'm starting to like Joe Bonamassa, too, as i heard him say sort of the same thing "don't start changing stuff right away - work with what you've got".

    A 25 year old me would have 5 humbucker guitars with essentially the same pickups, and five single coils - same way - overwound lindy fralins.

    A 42 year-old me has a lot of guitars with original pickups and though I'm only slowly getting through how all like to be used, I'm glad to have learned the joy of some of the low-output humbuckers vs. the hot paf type.
     
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  16. kplamann

    kplamann Tele-Holic

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    I do indeed find that it is beneficial for acoustic playing (and for singing, for that matter) to be in a confined space with good acoustics reflecting the sound. At our home this is the case in the the relatively narrow staircase with wooden stairs, or in the bathroom. It is very satisfying to play there from time to time and I am tempted to try recording in there.
     
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  17. Route67

    Route67 Tele-Meister

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    Some guitars are more suited to stage with strong forward projection like a good Gibson J200, Advanced Jumbo, even the J-35. Some have an enveloping projection like the J-45. What the instrument is intended to be used for is often not considered enough among non-professional players.

    I avoid stage guitars for home use. Their volume and power can be overkill and they’re often weak on subtle enveloping projection which is a strength of, for example, the 000-18.
     
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  18. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    The Workhorse i.e. the Gibson J-45 is still one of the best sounding guitars ever.
    You do need to play and hear them, some are mediocre, but a good one is worth getting.
    IMHO my "snake oil " on that is the sloped Gibson shoulders.
     
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  19. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    If you are sitting behind a speaker, you won't hear it as well as you will sitting in front of it ...
     
  20. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

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    And don't forget the + voice(s) and + other instruments + nuances-of-the-room factors. These are really hard to gauge when you're behind your own acoustic, and easy to forget when you're focused on your playing and singing.

    A friend's very vintage, very light (dried-out) Martin busted a string the other day just before a gig in a very resonant room. He borrowed a bandmate's Gibson, and it just didn't match his voice very well. His Martin is very dry and spruce-y sounding, while the Gibby is sweet but very mid-rangey. His singing voice is kind of dry and cracked sounding, sorta like Townes Van Zandt's. It works really well with the Martin. Together, their dryness create almost a chorus effect. But with the borrowed Gibby, his voice sounded kind of stranded and detached, and also pulled own by all the mids, the way that two singers' ill-matched voices can almost cancel each other out rather than complement each other.

    Plus, the middier Gibby kinda slopped around the room like wet paint, whereas his thinner, brighter Martin races around the rafters like paint-thinner fumes, leaving lots of room underneath for his particular voice. It wasn't a matter of a familiar pairing not being made. It was a matter of things not complementing each other well. Matching instruments to each other, voices to instruments, and voices + instruments to rooms can be a tricky (and fun) thing, indeed.
     
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