Electric guitar myths and legends

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by soulgeezer, Oct 11, 2016.

  1. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

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    Something I see every now and then that I find funny is,

    "This amp sounds great but really emphasizes any mistakes, it's not very forgiving"

    as if an amp is capable of detecting a mistake and amplifying it differently. I think what this really means is that the amp doesn't go into extreme overdrive easily, thus you can't hide miss-hit notes behind a wall of fuzz... ie, a deluxe reverb vs. a Line6.
     
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  2. nattaruk

    nattaruk Tele-Meister

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    Resonance is a desirable property of an electric guitar.

    Easy way to spot snake oil is any claim about a product which 'increases resonance'.
     
  3. Rich_S

    Rich_S Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Myth: Someday, everybody will understand and agree upon definitive answers to the topics discussed in this thread.

    Truth: Long ago, I tired of these silly, repetitious discussions and refuse to get involved or even read them any more.

    OTOH, I got into this thread long enough to write this, but I didn't read any of it first.
     
  4. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

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    Myth: That Rich_S will never get involved in or read threads like this any more.
     
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  5. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Tele-Afflicted

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    I was just asked yesterday why I don't have the cover on the back of my strat. I explained that it was because some of my favorite artists took theirs off and that they say it [blah blah blah]

    I really like my strat without the back plate. I think it looks better and is more comfortable against me. Does it change the sound? Can't tell you that because I never play with it on, but I doubt it!
     
  6. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Poster Extraordinaire

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    Not a myth: people starting taking the back off to make it easier to change strings. No "tonal" reason at all.

    Has the Internet started a new myth about taking the plastic cover off somehow affecting "tone"?
     
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  7. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

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    These should be tweeked to be true.

    "Cable capacitance kill 'highs'/treble" -- it does. A buffer can help recover some of that, 'kills tone' is a dumb phrase, in general, IMO. It changes tone, sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a not so good way. Depends on the equipment and player. Hendrix used (higher) cable capacitance to get warmer, rounder tones from his strats for example. Try that with a LP and it'll probably turn to mud, though.

    "You MUST avoid pedals with crappy buffers" (back before they had good ones, 'true bypass' may have been the way to avoid them)


    I disagree, some amps definitely are more forgiving than others, and I think a lot has to do with 'touch sensitivity' and compression, as well as overall voicing and EQ. I have amps that emphasis every nuance in your playing from both hands, and typically they're less 'forgiving' but more 'expressive' if that makes any sense. Mistakes do come out more on certain amps, compared to others, and it's not always gain/distortion related, as I have experienced these things on very clean amps, as well as distorted ones.
    No the amp isn't 'detecting' mistakes and deciding to make them louder, but EQ, gain stage sensitivity and probably about a dozen other factors can definitely influence whether tiny nuances in your playing are significantly audible, or not. I tend to prefer those 'less forgiving' circuits, as when manipulated correctly, I find they sound better, and offer more expressiveness through play style and touch. It's definitely a real thing, maybe those exact choice of words aren't really the best.

    "This amp sounds great, but the articulation brings out more nuances in my playing, than I'm used to, and it's not very forgiving of mistakes, and sloppiness"
     
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  8. edvard

    edvard Tele-Afflicted

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    Carbon resistors are more "analog" than metal-film resistors.
    Paper-in-oil/Sprague Orange Drop/'Tropical fish'/Bumblebee capacitors have "tone".
    Cloth-covered wire has "tone".

    I agree, these things have been done to death. FWIW, I built a Tube Screamer for a friend once, and had a pile of dual op-amp chips I went through one by one. Five of them were JRC4558, and every one sounded just a little different from each other. Dunno which one had "tone", I just used the one that sounded gnarliest. :confused:
     
  9. heltershelton

    heltershelton Tele-Afflicted

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    its an ongoing joke over at ST. EVERYTHING effect the tone, lol. better take that fender sticker off or itll mess up your tone......stuff like that. the color changes the tone....it never ends. i love it.
     
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  10. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I hope I dont come off douchy correcting everyone.. but Different cap compositions, actually DO have an influence on tone (in amplifier circuits), even when comparing equal component values. No they dont have their own 'tone' but the different compositions do influence tone, and I have noticed some generalizations, such as Polypropylene are often perceived brighter than Polyester, when used as coupling caps, in amps. It's not because the caps have their own 'tone' but they do have slightly differing electrical properties, with the same measured capacitance. BTW, 'Orange Drops' are made in different compositions. 715P series are Polypropelene, while 6PS series are Polyester.

    About the carbon resistors, when used as plate resistors in amps, with large voltage drop across the resistor you can achieve resistor 'distortion' with this composition resistor. The distortion is largely 2nd order harmonics, which can make the sound slightly fuller and 'richer' sounding, compared to Metal film resistors. warmer tone may be described as more 'analog' sounding to some. But, yeah, the statement as you typed it is ridiculous. There is some truth to different compositions having slightly different tonal effects in certain circuits. I've personally experienced it first hand. But I would never say something like "X type is more 'analog'"
    Also, I dont believe there's any (perceivable) difference in passive guitar tone controls. In amps, I've observed CLEAR differences, and I know many extremely well respected amp builders who'd agree with me and I could even post oscilloscope pictures that show differences, but I'd rather not muddle up the thread.


    I think this is kind of like the game telephone. Half truths get mixed up and repeated wrong by uneducated music enthusiasts, and thus we have silly statements like "Carbon resistors are more analog" and "High capacitance cables 'Kill' tone"
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
  11. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

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    Respect your take on it, but still don't agree that the word "forgiving" is an attribute that applies to an amp. Maybe it's that people equate boosted treble as unforgiving, because it makes finger/pick/string noise more apparent, but that's just bright treble, not "unforgiving". Obviously, mistakes are more easily heard when you are playing dry (no reverb or other effects), clean, and with boosted treble; maybe this is what's intended with the humanizing term "unforgiving", but I still don't like it... :D
     
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  12. Lake Placid Blue

    Lake Placid Blue Poster Extraordinaire

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    Just one more Tele, that's all I need......
     
  13. heltershelton

    heltershelton Tele-Afflicted

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    f=x+1.jpg
     
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  14. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I think it's because when we look at those big beefy octal tubes vs those little teeny tiny transistors we just can't wrap our heads around them as being capable of the same power but yeah. Watts is watts no matter what. ;)
     
  15. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Oh great, that means that better than half the time I'm gonna sound dead. :cry: ;)
     
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  16. 8barlouie

    8barlouie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I read somewhere that because of the way tubes get overdriven, they "trick" your ears into thinking their louder when really they're not. My point is, if my ears are being tricked into thinking it's louder, then it's louder. If dead rats could trick my mouth into thinking they taste like pumpkin pie, I'd eat one right now ala mode.
     
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  17. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I also think in the real world it may be hard to generalize because a tube amp may also compress at a certain point and actually cut volume whereas other will run clean all day. Then there's also the sensitivity of the their respective speakers to consider and as you point out can distortion be perceived to be louder than clean and I would say yes, it can.

    All I know is that on one band I was in recently my BC60 was up against the other guitarists 60w Marshall 2x12 combo and he was no louder than I was but I have more clean headroom. I certainly wasn't getting blown away but then some amps are also vastly over rated as far as their output goes which is why I think it may be very amp specific.

    Rat ala mode? Hmmm, I may have to pass on that for now. :D
     
  18. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Everyone needs a 50-100 watt tube amp.
     
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  19. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Brent mason and Brad Paisley come to mind. I think if you buy 'em some really good equipment, they're STILL gonna sound really good.
     
  20. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Whoooooaaaaaaahhhh. Are you saying taking the plate off doesn't affect tone?
     
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