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Honest question (no trolling): if tone wood is a myth, then why..

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by homesick345, Nov 5, 2016.

  1. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yep. Quartersawn vrs flat sawn.
     
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  2. Ironwolf

    Ironwolf Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    You are both right. But there are still people arguing that only the strings and pickups provide the signal the amp works with. Nothing else affects it, all guitars are the same (that makes it hard to explain why some sound so s***y).
     
  3. Ron R

    Ron R Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Here's a thought: If it matters to you, great. If it doesn't, great.

    Why do people spend so much time and energy seeking the agreement and approval of others?
    I buy and use gear and instruments I like - I don't give 2 farts what some dude on the internet says about it.
     
  4. 8barlouie

    8barlouie Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    ^^^BAM!
     
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  5. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Poster Extraordinaire

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    I don't think it's so much about others' approval as it is proving that you're right and everybody else is wrong, if they don't agree with you. (Isn't that the founding mantra of the Internet, anyway?)
     
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  6. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    A central function of gear forums is less experienced gear users get to ask more experienced gear users questions about gear.
    A secondary function is we get to say no over and over without getting punched, fired, or divorced.
     
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  7. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Say for example "we" frequently get questions like:
    I'm trying to decide between a paulownia body and a swamp ash body.
    Will there be any difference in the sound?

    One member says:
    "I find a significant difference in the sound of an ash bodied Tele and a paulownia bodied Tele. Personally I don't like the sound and response of ultra light weight resonant bodies, but some players prefer the lighter more resonant woods for their slightly warmer tone and softer attack."

    Another member says:
    "No you don't, that's impossible and nobody can prove to me that they hear a difference. If you can't repeatedly identify the species of multiple body woods in double blind youtube tests then there is no difference, or if there is a difference it doesn't matter."

    So it seems valuable to some of us (on both sides of any given debate) to try to clarify the confusing answers for the confused questioner.
     
  8. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Poster Extraordinaire

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    Taking entrenched, uncompromising, immutable, diametrically opposed positions on a given topic somehow leads to clarity?

    How does that work?
     
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  9. elyuyi

    elyuyi Tele-Meister

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    The wood might affect how the strings vibrate hence the difference in tone. But two pieces of the same kind of wood might make stings vibrate differently.
     
  10. william tele

    william tele Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    So what's wrong with just telling them the truth?

    Some people hear a difference and some don't. You'll have to go through the exercise to find out what's true for you.

    Doesn't seem that complicated to me...
     
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  11. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    Maybe it will eventually occur to you that folks who offer an opinion aren't concerned with strangers agreeing with them ... that it just amuses them to share their thoughts and wisdom with a group of like-minded people, and it takes little effort to reiterate their point of view ... really takes no more time or energy than it took for someone else to initially disagree with that opinion.
     
  12. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think this is the best construction of this argument that you've made over the course of two threads. Maybe we can all just stipulate that this is as close to the truth as we're ever likely to get and call it a day?

    Yeah, right -- The Internet calling it a day! Like that's going to happen.
     
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  13. meric

    meric Tele-Holic

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    Right again soulgeezer...

    That is the reason that I suggest a double-blind experiment.....I know that I cannot reliably discern the differences so now it is up to you to prove that you can. That is how it is done. Don't get all sensitive just prove it.
     
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  14. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Poster Extraordinaire

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    If you only had a day to live, would you be concerned with this thread?
     
  15. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Doctor of Teleocity

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    Sure.. Might still win just in time!
     
  16. sir humphrey

    sir humphrey Friend of Leo's

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    Because it's about construction, not wood type.

    Obviously the material that a guitar is made of will affect its performance.

    The myth of tone wood isn't that wood makes a difference - it's that there is a consistent and predictable difference that relates to the species of wood being used. Ie that using a particular kind of wood will give you particular tonal properties.

    There is clearly no evidence for that so it's an unsupported theory that relies on one persons claim to have "better ears" etc. No point arguing with that kind of opinion.

    But in short - wood makes a difference, but that isn't what is meant by tone wood.
     
  17. Ironwolf

    Ironwolf Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Correct. The sound difference is a result of construction design and materials. In my experience of building and swapping parts from one guitar to another, woods can and do make a difference in sound. Can I identify a wood by it's sound? No. Can I predict how a particular wood will sound? No. Do I think anyone can? Probably not. But, I won't declare it is impossible. There is, after all, at least one professional musician (the name escapes me) who claims to be able to identify the brand of battery in his pedals by the way they sound.

    If you take two guitars with the same materials, construction type (solid, hollow or semi-hollow) and hardware, use a consistent stroke of the strings (use a mechanical device of some sort) and view their output with an audio spectrum analyzer, the spectrums will appear (and sound) quite similar but not exact. As has been said, no two guitars are exactly the same. If you take two guitars made of the same materials and with the same hardware but of different construction types (a solid and a semi-hollow, for example) and run the same test both the sound and the audio spectrum will be significantly different. The frequencies that are reinforced and/or diminished by the different structures will be far more significant than the differences seen in the guitars of the same type. The differences in how the strings behave, in principle, isn't that different from how different buildings of similar sizes but different construction methods behave in an earthquake.
     
  18. Pcaluaru

    Pcaluaru Tele-Meister

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    So....... all you who don't think wood has a factor in tone... you will sell me your vintage guitars at the same cost as the newest model right?

    Both are going to sound the same right? Why would you demand and get more for your vintage guitar if it sounds the same as a modern made one?

    After all..... wood is wood and timber has no effect on the tone/sound of the guitar... and what are pickups? nothing but a bunch of wire wrapped around a magnet... right? So the guitar has a old Fender logo on it... Plenty of guitars have Fender logos on them...
     
  19. Ron R

    Ron R Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    That's not really a good argument though - the value of 'vintage' goes beyond a simple matter of tone. No one would argue that a Shelby Cobra is superior to a brand new BMW Z4 in terms of engineering, suspension, brakes, etc. But guess which one you're going to pay a LOT more for?

    And by the way, I do think the wood does matter to a degree even on electric guitars, but I still go back to - every player should find what works for them, what makes them happy, what suits their needs.
     
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  20. kelnet

    kelnet Telefied Ad Free Member

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    You must be new here.
     
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