Does Your Electric That Sounds Best Unplugged Translate?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Bluego1, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. Bluego1

    Bluego1 Tele-Holic

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    to your best plugged in?
    So there’s a confluence of theories here. Wood matters/doesn’t. Pickups make/break the guitar. You get/don’t get what you pay for. But mostly if an electric guitar is good acoustically unplugged, it’ll be good plugged in.
    My best sounding unplugged electrics are:
    1. The Gibson LP Tribute
    2. The Mean Green Dean. I know that one has some real fans around here;)
    3. The Jackson King V
    Interestingly, those are my three Mahogany bodies.
    All three are also excellent plugged in, though now pickups obviously come into play and the Dean suffers because of its price point. I’ma put some better humbuckers in it eventually.
    What’s my point? I’ve no idea. Just food for thought. You know, forum stuff;).
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  2. Teleterr

    Teleterr Friend of Leo's

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    I m sure they ll be 100% agreement. HA
    There is a year or 2 old thread you might look up.

    IME any guitar w a good acoustic sound, has a good sound amplified. Some w a bad acoustic sound can be pretty good too, but not very many.
     
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  3. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

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    yes,,everyone i ever got..has a very strong acoustic quality..also the feel of it ..mostly my SG's i favor but all of do project pretty loud
     
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  4. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I don't know about "best", but the way they all sound unplugged seems to translate to how they sound plugged in. Kind of like how you in person sounds like you through a PA or on the phone.
     
  5. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    My acoustics sound great unplugged. I can practice with my Annie unplugged. I set the action pretty low on my electrics so I don’t unintentionally mute strings when playing solos off of chords. That doesn’t allow for good resonance on a solid body electric. String buzz is a problem if I pick or pluck too hard. My hearing at 69yo doesn’t help either. I don’t see it as a problem though. I have no trouble hearing anything I play through my Boogie. :lol:
     
  6. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

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    My 62 sounds great unplugged, it vibrates like crazy. I never had a guitar vibrate from neck down to the body to my chest or stomach (when Im standing up).. my partscaster is a bit on the not so good sounding unplugged, but its a crazy beast plugged in, given it has P90's..

    I had a strat that doesnt sound good unplugged, and I dont like the tone plugged in, I guess I never really bonded with strats..

    My Squier Standard is not loud unplugged.. more like, plink, plink plink when you play it unplugged, but it sounds good plugged in

    the only guitar I had thats super nice acoustically, and plugged in, is my Gretsch G5420T.. well, its full hollow so yeah..
     
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  7. PlainAllman

    PlainAllman Tele-Meister

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    Yeah I would think the one on the far right would sound the best acoustically. :D
     
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  8. Recce

    Recce Friend of Leo's

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    28C488C4-1EE4-45EE-8BD6-E5C8183D5A08.jpeg My electrics sound good unplugged. But, then I grab my Martin and there is a very clear unplugged winner.
    There is also two dogs that go with the rawhide chew.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
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  9. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Ahhhh...no.

    The Gibson ES-120T/Epiphone Grenada is as fine a couch guitar as an unplugged electric guitar gets.

    For some reason, those things have been a presence in my life for 30 years. A close buddy taught me guitar on his ‘64 and then I’ve run into 3 people in close proximity who have them as well.

    And one of those people unfortunately fronts a band playing one.

    Not good plugged in.

    9742370B-1750-43CF-BE6B-D06F6B9E3C90.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
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  10. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I play my electrics pretty frequently turned down low, they all sound fine, but I just have never worried much about how they sound with no amp at all. That ain't their job.

    My favorite acoustics sound great both plugged and unplugged.
     
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  11. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I have no idea which of my electrics sounds the best unplugged...:rolleyes::p:D

    they all sound like unamped guitars....:twisted:
     
  12. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I don't like playing my more dead sounding unplugged electrics. I like my guitars to have some sustain and nice resonance when unplugged as well as plugged in.
    The ones I come by that don't sound good unplugged I move on. I play unplugged quite a lot when at home on the lounge.
     
  13. PlainAllman

    PlainAllman Tele-Meister

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    I actually use to play my electrics unplugged pretty regularly. I wanted the feel of the electric but couldn’t be too loud because everyone else was still asleep. I’m a morning person and I wake up early even on my days off. I don’t really play unplugged much anymore though since my boss gave me one of those Vox amplug devices. That thing is great.
    https://www.zzounds.com/item--VOXAP2LD
     
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  14. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    It's all in the pickguard. A Strat with a single ply rigid (cheap) pickguard will sound more acoustic than a 3,4,5 layer soft vinyl luxury pickguard.

    Plywood is fine. Cement is fine. Pallet wood is fine. I'd like to see more Bamboo.

    My most acoustic electric is a fast growing Paulownia/Princess wood Strat-like-object with a hard shell thick poly finish and plugged in it sounds as good or bad as the pickups and controls I put in it.

    The fancy top end guitars play electrically as well as the pots and caps that get swapped in it allow them.

    Stop using rain forest lumber: mahogany, rosewood, ebony, pao fero, etc etc.

    ... I hit maximum jadedness of guitar and amp inventory a bit ago.

    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
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  15. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Poster Extraordinaire

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    I was told that playing your electric guitar unplugged can rot your nuts.
     
  16. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    "honey, does my Strat sound fat to you?"
     
  17. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I got my Danocaster because when I picked it up in the store and hit a chord, it had an unmistakable snap to it. It sounded so alive, I knew it would sound amazing through an amp. And it does.

    - D
     
  18. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yes they do translate. BUT ......and it's a big "BUT", The louder you play the less it matters. And of course other things matter too. Let's face it, guitars have a ton of variables, they all combine for the result, so you cant really say "does unplugged resonance matter" without a lot of caveats. However, a couple things I'm confident in after 55 years of playing:
    -You can stand in front of a cranked Marshall Stack with a solid body-dead-sounding guitar and get it to resonate "ad infinitum". Everything short of that is somewhere in between that example and an unplugged guitar.
    -Pickups wont change the basic character of a guitar without going real extreme. (like putting a piezo bridge pickup in a LP) I've tried everything from Strat pickups to P90's to P92's to HB's of 4 varieties, to Lace pickups in a bright Gibson guitar. None of it changed a lot. ie: you cant put Strat wiring and pickups in an LP and expect it to sound anything like a Strat.
    -If you think wood doesn't matter. Go to the store and play various acoustic guitars. Do they all sound the same? Even plugged in?

    By the way, does a Casio keyboard sound the same as a Steinway Concert Grand? That's what you are asking really! :>)

    However, put someone playing the Steinway in an arena playing with the Who at their loudest, and you wont know the difference. detail, details...
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
  19. Unionjack515

    Unionjack515 Tele-Holic

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    Mario Martin S—swamp ash body and roasted maple neck—sounds best unplugged. Followed by my Gibson R8 in a close second. I’d say the Gibson sounds better plugged in but it’s apples and oranges. For me, it translates.
     
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  20. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    All of my 14 string instruments “ring” when I play them, plugged in, or not.
    I set them all up to do that.
    I require it, because all of them are tools I use to make a living, and “we” (my guitars and me) have to sound our best.
    That good/great acoustic quality does indeed translate
    into their plugged in sound.
    I make sure the pickups and electronics all work their best to ensure that acoustic quality gets sent down the cord and into my amps.
    So far, so good!
     
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