Guitar finish impacts sound in the audible range

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by ScareDe2, Sep 24, 2021.

Guitar finish impacts sound in the audible range

  1. Yes

    53 vote(s)
    24.4%
  2. No

    164 vote(s)
    75.6%
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  1. Timbresmith1

    Timbresmith1 Tele-Afflicted

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    Santana has talked about it without provocation. Synesthesia is a real thing.
     
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  2. tanplastic

    tanplastic Tele-Afflicted

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    Right.
     
  3. tanplastic

    tanplastic Tele-Afflicted

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    I can see your house from here.
    I'm a visual artist by trade, and feel strong flavour and sound reactions to colours.
    It's definitely part of how I experience art.
     
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  4. Arfage

    Arfage Tele-Meister

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    Oh please.
     
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  5. magicfingers99

    magicfingers99 Friend of Leo's

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    can you expound on that a bit, is "oh Please" a request for more information, or is that a compliment on how happy (pleased) your were, or what exactly does that mean?

    written communication makes it difficult to parse nuances.
     
  6. magicfingers99

    magicfingers99 Friend of Leo's

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    Synesthesia is a reall thing, but unless your entire audience also has it, it won't make an iota of difference to them what color guitar you are playing.
     
  7. magicfingers99

    magicfingers99 Friend of Leo's

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    I bought most of my guitars used. I have only ever bought one guitar because of the color and thats the red metal flake squier, and i bought it because A. I didn't own a squire (evah) and b it was 100$ with a store credit I had. It was only in stock in red metal flake or lake placid blue and RED METAL FLAKE is RED METAL FLAKE.

    when you buy them used, you buy them for how they play and sound, and if it has a case I give the deal bonus points, but color or finish, I've never really even considered it. its not the colour or type of finish. more how much damage has the finish sustained which is a good indicator of how the guitar has been taken care of over the years.


    I guess all the players that wear sunglasses are trying to block out the color of their guitars..
     
  8. magicfingers99

    magicfingers99 Friend of Leo's

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    i concur and it also influences the tendency to feedback when amplified or mic'd. A full hollow sounds way different than a semi-hollow especially if the mag pickup has a propensity towards microphonics. Likewise the depth of the body, a shallow hollowbody sound different than a deep dish.

    but it has nothing to do with finish or such an infinitesimal amount that it can be disregarded as irrevelant.
     
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  9. magicfingers99

    magicfingers99 Friend of Leo's

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    its only really seen when a cascade effect is in progress.

    say the tree was cut down on a friday
    and then ran thru the lumber mill on a friday
    and then kiln dried on a friday
    then the lumber was cut into a guitar on a friday
    then the guitar was assembled on a friday

    you can see where this is going. the mojo can become distorted by passing through so many fridays
    by the time you buy it on a friday, the fates are locked, and what will be will be..
     
  10. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Well those are two separate phenomena:

    Of course the feedback loop between speaker and guitar is unquestionable when playing loud, and is for me the essence of electric guitar.
    But the strings being driven by the speaker are still not sending a sound based signal to the pickup, and more than the sound of a hybrid car is a part of the internal combustion engine/ generator/ motor relationaship. Again, to prove this weonly need to remove the steel strings from the equation and try electric guitar just picking up "the acoustic sound produced by the electric guitar".

    As for the second and separate principle where the strings vibrate the body, then the body vibrates the strings, I'd say the trade between the two is not symbiotic or mutual. If you push a desk across a room and the legs of the desk vibrate on the floor, which in turn sends vibrations to your body, that does not equate to the desk returning any energy to your legs that push the desk.
    IMO the strings effectively only lose the energy they give to the body of the electric guitar.

    This debated physics principle gets a lot of typing, and it's true that if you hold a chord and bang on the guitar, the strings vibrate.
    But when talking resonant coupling and usable guitar feedback, a body really has maybe one fundamental resonant frequency and one harmonic resonant frequency worth noting. The phenomena of feedback for endless sustain OTOH works at many frequencies if not all the notes on the guitar. So clearly it is the speaker driving the magnetized string in an electromagnetic phenomena, meaning the amp is getting a signal from a moving magnet over a coil, not from hearing the sound of the vibrating body. And of course a hollowbody electric gets feedback more easily from the speakers, but the pickup is still not hearing sound, only getting current in the coil from the vibrating stings, not hearing acoustics through the air.


    Try putting some unwound nylon strings on an electric and YOU hear the sound produced, but note that the pickup does not hear the sound produced. So the amp gets no signal to amplify.

    UNLESS, the pickup is quite microphonic, in which case it will send a small signal to the amp, BUT, the guitar will not work at feedback volume due to uncontrolled squeal.

    All that said I fully agree that the wood parts of the guitar greatly influence the amplified sound.
    I just find it to be a subtractive relationship where the wood robs a little string energy which can make the attack less distinct, make the bass less sharp, and make the treble softer.
    All by robbing energy applied by pick to string.
    Not the pickup hearing the acoustic sound produced by the body that we hear with our ears.
    Hold a plugged in pickup near the wood and away from the strings or metal parts, it cannot hear the acoustic sound of the guitar!
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2021
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  11. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    You just had to go all Solomon Grundy on us didn't you!
     
  12. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    So here you say that the feeling you have when you hear the sound of a loud motorcycle, indicates an emotional intention or content in the motorcycle. This is a good illustration of our own perceptions not always indicating content or intention from the thing we perceive.
    First off, the motorcycle engine is a great love of mine. They are a beautiful engineering and art creation given to all who can love art in engineering. The lack of an extreme muffler does not indicate that the machinery is angry!
    For that matter if for some reason, by association, you're thinking bikers are angry, I can confirm that while somemay be angry, many are joyous and reveling in the free feeling of wind and scenery while interacting with a beautiful piece of engineering art work.
    If you relate to art, take a look at the artistry in many motorcycles.
    It is beautiful, even if it is not your favorite artform.
    Of course just like painting and music, we do not like all examples and some motorcycles are ugly or pretentious.

    WRT feeling like there is anger in the sound of a motorcycle with minimum muffler, Ravi Shankar loved and adored John Coltrane based on Coltrane's early work and on writing letters back and forth. When Ravi finally came to see John play live, poor Ravi was unable to hear the love, joy, compassion and serenity in the music Coltrane was playing at the time.
    That did not mean Ravi was stupid or Coltrane was a bad musician or an angry musician.
    It simple meant that we all have unique individual emotional responses. Sometimes we may all feel close to the same thing when sharing an experience, but sometimes each individuals feelings will differ, because we are not all the same!



    Really forces the question of the individual insisting that their feelings in the moment reflect the rest of the world, as if one person's feeling can project onto all people, past present and future. If so, how is the king of feelings chosen?
    And how do the sets of correct emotional responses get taught to the masses?
    Unless we must conclude that humans have correct feelings and incorrect feelings?
    That might be fair given the mental health industry giving meds to people deemed to have incorrect feelings!

    I can at least confirm that when I explained to teachers how I did math in my head, they did not confirm that my heads maths existed in their heads!
    So even when I often got 100% on a test, they lowered my grade because they could not understand the shapes in my minds eye, confirming that their minds eye was not consistent with mine!
    I gotta say that ticked me off because it was the one subject I excelled in and I was penalized for being extra sharp in it.
    Combined with the top grade going to fairly dumb kids.
    FWIW the shapes were rhythmic, not color. AFAIK/ IIRC.

    I gotta say, at any given time, in my minds eye there are a hundred different things going on associated with perceptions thoughts and feelings. Choosing to focus on this or that as most important, I don't really make those kind of choices about my feelings.
    It's very common and normal though to assign associations to our feelings in order to categorize and control the feelings.

    Freely associating feelings as they go by took a lot of work.
    The purpose was the not be directed by my feelings.
    I want to be influenced by my feelings, but I want to respond to them voluntarily.
    If for example I always ate food when I got a feeling of craving something to eat, I would grow huge!
    If I got angry whenever some angry person directed their anger at me, I would grow a felony assault record.
    If I stayed in bed when I didn't feel like facing the day, I would lose chunks of my limited waking hours of life on earth.

    Meditation in a variety of ways has gained me the ability to observe my feelings like a soundtrack or movie.
    I can grapple with them, react to them, honor them and refuse to react, or even ignore them if engaged in something critical like a heated debate.
    I reckon some folks do that naturally: don't react and act on their feelings.
    While many folks assume they MUST act on feelings.
    Feel angry> lash out.
    Feel hungry> eat snacks.
    That sort of relationship to feelings can be like slavery.
    Same with habits and beliefs.
    A looser grip on feelings, habits and beliefs, boosts freedom!

    That grip naturally returns though, a normal human instinct.
    Leads to war after war after war, often over dumb stuff like ideology.
    Killing folks because their ideology is not like our ideology?
    Wow, ridiculous yet so damn common.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2021
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  13. Euphonica

    Euphonica Tele-Meister

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    Tl;dr (sorry)

    True story told to me by my therapist, who has a great memory and is very sensitive to these kinds of things. He has played guitar for 40 years and is an amazing improv soloist. Anyhow his pal had a Rickenbacker bass that sounded like crap. Dead, muddy, under-a-blanket. For fun the owner of the bass stripped it completely down to wood. All of a sudden harmonics, chime, girth, everything that was missing was suddenly there. It sounded completely different. My therapist is now the owner of that bass and it is still bare wood.

    Something about that original finish somehow buried the tone. Neither of us can explain it, but he was there and heard it.
     
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  14. Nogoodnamesleft

    Nogoodnamesleft Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I don't want to brag or anything, but I can sound like crap on any guitar with any finish.

    So, if the finish matters on some minute scale to the sound, the only finish anyone hearing me play is interested in is that of the set.
     
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  15. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Afflicted

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    I've avoided this thread (well, so far..), but did want to throw in a qualifier..

    in relation to an ACOUSTIC instrument ONLY, there are two factors or considerations I see--

    1. Type of finish
    2. Amount (depth) of finish.

    IMO, the type of finish probably does not matter 1 iota. However, I do believe that excess finish of any kind will unnecessarily weigh down the top which does inhibit it's ability to vibrate.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2021
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  16. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    And what is vibrating the strings in this amp feedback scenario is the vibrating body. The sound from the speaker vibrates the body which causes the string to vibrate. If you damp the body in a hollow guitar you will effectively stop the feedback from occurring. Unless I'm misinterpreting what you've said it seems to me you're saying that the sound from the speaker directly vibrates the strings. And of course it does to a small degree but primarily it's the larger vibrations of the body that vibrate the strings.


    And that's exactly my point! The primary source of sound the pickup reads is acoustic in nature. The string vibrating is an acoustic sound source. You've just shown that in your description above in my opinion. If you put electric strings on that same electric guitar but have no pickup in it you will still encounter the same thing....acoustic sound generation. So how does simply adding a microphone change that dynamic system. It doesn't. It can't. The pickup receives acoustic information and turns that into electromagnetic information. Perhaps we're working from different definitions of 'acoustic'.



    It can't possibly be only subtractive. The strings and what they are attached to form a sort of feedback loop. It's not a one way street which, to me, is what you are describing. Where do the subtracted frequencies from the strings go? How are they shunted away from feeding back into the strings? Some of those body vibrations are expressed into the strings. How can it be otherwise? And if what I'm asserting is accurate then the effect must be more than simply how it effects the note 'attack'.
    --------
    I love that this thread has gone from finish on a guitar to the physics of sound generation to synesthesia.....I'm still looking for a way to fully discuss my initial response in this thread which was 'potato'.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2021
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  17. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Well yes for the first point I AM saying the speakers drive the strings directly, not the body which then drives the strings.

    Sure with a semi hollow or hollowbody the body is driven by the strings, but that makes it picky with frequency and overall too messy for me!

    I use feedback every day in my guitar playing, and always with a solid body chosen to NOT be resonant, because I just prefer the sharper response of a harder bodied guitar that does not resonate or soften the tone and attack.

    With the body clamped between my arm and chest/ abdomen, the body is not doing that thing that so many love, the vibrating resonant body thing.
    The speakers drive the strings directly, which is not far fetched given that an open A string plucked to produce a 440 hz A note through the amp is then sent a direct 440hz vibration and has no need to wait for the solid piece of swamp ash to vibrate before the already vibrating string joins in.
    The string and speaker are working in concert.
    Regardless of what the body is doing.
    Any vibration of the solid body is small compared to the string movement, which is very obvious.

    Using the example of a hollow body electric with no amp providing power, the lost energy is pretty clear.
    Add the amp into the equation and the body get vibrated by the speaker too just as the strings do, but the body tends to be more dependent on a resonant frequency or two.
    Where the string is virtually always adjusted to the resonant frequency of the amp because it is the same frequency!

    As far as the well discussed idea that the body puts energy back into the string, IDK how to confirm or deny that to guitar players satisfaction.
    But an engine or electric motor vibrating is not sending vibrational power back to the motor.
    The vibrating legs of a desk being dragged across the floor are not sending power back to the legs of the person dragging the desk.

    I'm sure there is some feedback loop, just as a desk makes your hands tingle as it vibrates being dragged.
    But to say that the power from the string that makes the body vibrate, is returned to any significant degree and actually ADDING energy back into the string? Those who say that are guessing, and the guess is fair but i don't see it supported in physics, where the solid body guitar is not able to carry measurable momentum or store measurable energy.

    Look at any number of mechanical relationships like the drivetrain of a car.
    Energy lost is lost. Unless some specific system stores energy, like a spinning flywheel, a battery, or a heat exchanger of some sort.

    That's what I got!
    We clearly are not all in agreement as a community on the resonant body adding/ returning/ enhancing sustain though!

    (the guitar pickup is NOT a microphone. Sing into the pickup with no strings and no signal is generated in the coil. some microphonic Tele bridge pickups work as crude microphones but an electric guitar pickup that works for feedback sustain is not a microphone!)
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2021
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  18. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    That's all I've got too....agreed to disagree...... :)
     
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  19. Mad Kiwi

    Mad Kiwi Friend of Leo's

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    Nicely said!

    I wish I was as good at maths as that, teachers be dammed.

    My maths teacher, who didn't realise I was dealing with ADD was hopeless and I'll never forgive her for saying as I was leaving school, "as far as maths goes, you're doing the right thing".

    I wish I was smart enough to say, as far as teaching maths goes, your not! :)
     
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  20. december

    december TDPRI Member

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    There were several guitars I would have bought if they had been black. The guy at a shop was showing me guitars. I played a nice, red PRS SE Mira. I asked if it came in black, he said it would take over a month to order it. Nope, can't wait that long. I've already been without guitar for 2 months because of guitar center shipping me back-bowed guitars. Then he tried to hand me a white guitar to try, I wouldn't even touch it!
     
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