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Heavy guitars sound better...

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by aadvark, Sep 2, 2020.

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  1. GeddonArchon

    GeddonArchon TDPRI Member

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    It doesn’t matter. Just like the color of a guitar. You and everyone else would absolutely fail a blind listening test trying to guess the weight or color of a guitar. I have heavy and light guitars and play the light ones more because they are more comfortable to play. They all sound great though.
     
  2. Spooky88

    Spooky88 TDPRI Member

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    Heavy guitars are great if you're sitting down for 2+ hours. I'll just put active pickups on mine.
     
  3. sequencepro

    sequencepro Tele-Meister

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    Not sure if my opinion matters much, because I’m just a guitar owner, not a real guitar player (If you buy a race car, that doesn’t make you a real race car DRIVER, it just makes you a race car OWNER!).
    I’ve always liked lighter guitars But, I’ve found that the best sounding electric guitars were the ones that sounded the loudest and played the best BEFORE you plug them in. But, what do I know...


    Either way, your last idea was your best!
    5. Buy more guitars! :)

    It may take owning hundreds of guitars to thoroughly test your theories, but I’M willing to “take one for the team” and
    BUY MORE GUITARS!!!!
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2020
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  4. sequencepro

    sequencepro Tele-Meister

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    That’s what your compressor is for
    Bwahahahahaha
    Everyone knows thumping a watermelon tells you NOTHING! The sweetest watermelons have the largest and darkest “field spots”! (... from YEARS of growing and selling fields and fields of watermelons!)
     
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  5. greasamizer

    greasamizer TDPRI Member

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    About three or so years back, I built two Jazzmasters; one of solid walnut, the other of an African specie, they are both pretty heavy and do play very well. I monkeyed around with the electricals such as varitone, and some of Artec's goodies; I installed a pair of humbuckers on both; with series/parallel switching. I also have three Les Pauls, and these are heavier! More sustain? Debatable; especially given the synthesizing gear available-a way to get around the issue. I use a good strap, and keep a truss handy...
     
  6. gerryh61

    gerryh61 TDPRI Member

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    I mostly agree with 5!!
     
  7. goodcheaptele

    goodcheaptele Tele-Meister

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    As you said there are many aspects contributing to what makes a guitar sound the way it does. As for weight in particular my many years of experience has proven the previous statement to be accurate. However, for WEIGHT ALONE...the light vs. heavy issue is clouded by the many other attributes of a guitar's make up. I know this. I have had and have guitars that are on the light side and I swear they sound better than one or two of my heavy models. For instance I have a 2017 Gibson SG Faded that out plays and "feels" better in hand than my 2019 Les Paul Tribute which is heavier than the SG even though it is a weight relieved model. Go figure.
     
  8. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    and as an addendum... I didn't mean to suggest that ONLY a heavier guitar can sound good, and a lighter guitar WILL have issues... this is where that word compromise comes back in your face, and it can be a good thing, or not...

    But to just arbitrarily state I wanna 6 pound guitar with the lates greatest most popular pickups, a high end boutique pickup.. some 50.00 PIO cap, etc. etc.. will automatically make ya sound like Jeff Beck... well you may be in for a surprise, because the guitar is almost certainly to make ya sound, just like you.

    r
     
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  9. Phil Bard

    Phil Bard NEW MEMBER!

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    Been reading this forum for a long time, but first post as I just joined officially.

    There are a lot of subjective opinions here as to what is better or what people like more, that's fine but doesn't do much to address the actual differences that weight creates in different guitars. I started building about 4 years ago and learned quickly that a guitar is truly the sum of its parts, some of which have more influence, some less. Wood type, composition of woods in a given guitar, weight and PUP's are at the top of my list for the effect they have on sound. Regarding wood, the type is important of course, mahogany, maple, ash, alder, etc. The quantity of wood in the guitar also, not measured by weight but by volume. In my case, where all the bodies have the same footprint and differ only slightly as to thickness, if made from the same woods, the thicker ones have fuller sound. That means more bottom end and a slightly darker tone. I discovered early because the first few builds were thinner, afterwards I increased the thickness by 1/4" and saw the resulting change in tone immediately.

    PUP's are huge, higher winds darker with less treble, as is commonly known.

    Semi-hollows have scooped mids and a somewhat brighter personality and more harmonics. No surprise as they have cavities and impart some acoustics, and are also lighter overall.

    Recently I've been paying more attention to weight, all other things being the same. A couple months ago I noticed that 2 mahogany body/maple top builds with exactly the same PUP's and hardware sounded different. One was fuller with a pronounced bottom end. I could feel the weight difference and turned out they were about 1/2 pound different. The build with fuller sound weighed in at 8.3 lb, and the other at 7.7 lb.

    I've since begun weighing the body ahead of attaching the neck, just to assemble more info and also to perhaps have a sense of what I'm going to be getting in the final build. I'm also paying more attention to the weight of the raw lumber, though its hard to gauge differences in weight unless you have 2 pieces that have exactly the same board feet.

    Phil
    Bard Guitars
     
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  10. dreamsinger

    dreamsinger TDPRI Member

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    There are SO many components that go into what makes a guitar *subjectively* "better" that attributing weight as a primary factor requires all other factors being equal. For *me* "heavy" will sound worse after the second set because it'll wear me out and I just won't play as well.
     
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  11. john_cribbin

    john_cribbin Tele-Afflicted

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    If you find 10 great heavy ones before you find 1 great light one, buy the light one.

    Sometime in the future, your back will thank you for it.

    My chiropractor has heard my tone while he works. It ain't pretty ...
     
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  12. Daveyboy76

    Daveyboy76 TDPRI Member

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    Define better then we can all start arguing.lol
    I have a 10 lbs Les Paul and it sounds incredible and yes the sustain is long and lovely without amplification. I have lighter and heavier Strats, nothing near 10 lbs, probs 5-6 lbs if I had to guess and they do Strat very well. I also have a pallet pine home made Tele that has Kinmans in it and it sounds unbelievable. Go figure. You got your guitars because they felt and sounded great right? Well I did!
     
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  13. Ascension

    Ascension Tele-Afflicted

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    Absolute best sounding Strat I have ever played was the 1994 Washbun USA hand built Chicago Custom Silverado I had. One piece quartersawn Maple neck with med jumbos on a super light and amazingly resonate true Swamp Ash body. One of the most acoustically alive solid body guitars I have ever had in my hands and that translated to the amp. Was just a unique ad special guitar that looked and played as good as it sounded. One of the absolute worse mistakes i ever made was selling it as rarely used true single coils at that time due to the buzz.
    It's all about the woods and if they are dead no matter what you do he guitar will always sound like crap!
    Best sounding guitar I have now is my Solid old growth KOA neck through the body 1993 Carvin DC 127 that weighs in a 7.5 lbs. It's just a phenomenal sounding guitar.
    This was unrehearsed and unmiced on the amp so I kinda over played a little but how about these Country tones with a solid body with humbuckers

    Same rig few effects amp gain only
     
  14. Sax-son

    Sax-son Tele-Holic

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    Part of what is missing from the conversation is how the wood cures with age. When guitars are first built, there is a certain amount of organic life still remaining in the wood despite it being cut down. There is a certain amount of moisture that still remains and it can take up to 20 years before guitar wood tone come into its own. I have both heavy and lighter guitars and have experienced the same thing. Kiln dried does not mean "cured".

    As an example, I recently came back into possession of a Baby Taylor that my daughter used all through college. It was one of the first batches that were built, so it is around 20 some years old now. When I first bought that guitar, I though the tone was just so-so, but now that little thing sounds amazing. It all came with age. So my theory is not just the weight, but the wood it's self that is the big factor in a great acoustic or electric guitar.
     
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  15. Stratus

    Stratus TDPRI Member

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  16. Spontaneous

    Spontaneous Tele-Meister

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    I play better than I did 5 years ago and I'm 10lbs heavier.
     
  17. Stratus

    Stratus TDPRI Member

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    I pretty much agree with what your saying in regard to the "Sum of the parts". I've had in my lifetime over 140 guitars of all kinds since the early 70's! Mostly Fender strats & teles, along with a few 335's, les Paul's & Gretch's thrown in for good measure. I loved guitars, still do, but have whittled it down to 4 electrics and 2 acoustics. I was lucky enough to play out "Live" in bands in one form or another for most of those years. What a ride. Playing out live means standing and weight is always an issue for me because of back issues from my laborious day job. I do however, thinks the best weight for a Strat or Tele seems to me to be around 7 1/2 lbs, give or take a few ounces........Pauls and 335's under 9.....for me at least......
     
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  18. Stratus

    Stratus TDPRI Member

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  19. Dexter_McRae

    Dexter_McRae NEW MEMBER!

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    It should be this color blue. Anything else is forbidden.
     

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  20. LoveHz

    LoveHz Tele-Holic

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    Heavier guitars sound better? You've obviously been listening your osteopath! As for amps, take your pick from a Fender Twin, Vox AC30 or any 2x12 Boogie combo.
     
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