In controlled conditions, finish being the only variable, an electric guitar will sound different

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by ScareDe2, Sep 27, 2021.

In controlled conditions, finish being the only variable, an electric guitar will sound different

  1. Yes

    24 vote(s)
    17.4%
  2. No

    114 vote(s)
    82.6%
  1. ScareDe2

    ScareDe2 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    21
    Posts:
    199
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2021
    Location:
    Canada
    I am getting good at this. We have the exact same electric guitar and for this test we will imagine it's one of the most recorded instrument in the history of music, a Fender Stratocaster. Different finish (thickness being the most important factor) will perceivably change the sound/tone/character of the guitar. For this test we will imagine that the guitar is plugged in a good amplifier and its sound is amplified on the clean channel only.
     
  2. Blackmore Fan

    Blackmore Fan Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,381
    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2013
    Location:
    USA
    Lol, I'll bite. No, it would not sound different since the only variable you're allowing for doesn't enter the signal path.

    As an aside, were we to *attempt* such a real-world trial, the test would be flawed by the refitting of the body to the neck.
     
  3. Bortyeast

    Bortyeast Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    842
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    Location:
    Televille
    The daphne blue one always sounds better.
     
  4. dogmeat

    dogmeat Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    70
    Posts:
    3,141
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2017
    Location:
    Alaska
    the red ones are faster...
     
    Seasharp, jude77, mjtrip001 and 10 others like this.
  5. ScareDe2

    ScareDe2 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    21
    Posts:
    199
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2021
    Location:
    Canada
    In this blind test you can't see the guitar or its color.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2021
    Danjabellza likes this.
  6. Engine Swap

    Engine Swap Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,975
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2014
    Location:
    Chicago
    You should really branch out and find the perfect pickup height.
     
  7. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    11,482
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2014
    Location:
    The unfashionable end of the Western Spiral Arm
    How is the finish varied? Colour, thickness, material? Incredibly vague question.

    I am sure spraying it with an inch of concrete would alter the sound… or wrapping it in sheets of magnetic material
     
    jude77, MrJazzedBlues, KATT and 2 others like this.
  8. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    63
    Posts:
    13,750
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Location:
    victoria b.c. CANADA
    Potato.
     
  9. ScareDe2

    ScareDe2 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    21
    Posts:
    199
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2021
    Location:
    Canada
    Thickness. But if you think the color or material can change the sound then by all mean vote yes. No manufactured stratocasters comes with an inch of concrete. We stay with the common widely known form of finish for this poll.
     
  10. GreatDaneRock

    GreatDaneRock Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,129
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2018
    Location:
    Central FL
    Who cares...
     
    BarnKat, SonicClyde, pippoman and 7 others like this.
  11. ScareDe2

    ScareDe2 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    21
    Posts:
    199
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2021
    Location:
    Canada
    I used to wrap my Mustang guitar with tape to protect its finish and the sound was missing some groove. Less engaging. My acoustic guitar which came with a thick finish almost sounded like an unplugged electric guitar with no acoustic or power to its sound, before I polish its finish with an abrasive compound. To me there is something going on and it's important. Now when I discuss this matter in the future, I can say: "Oh, ok... statistics shows that 75% don't hear/believe finish makes any difference for electric guitars". Or "Oh ok... stats shows that 60% do hear/believe finish makes a difference for acoustic guitars". So when I open a thread or post a comment regarding this I know what to expect.
     
    Antoon likes this.
  12. GreatDaneRock

    GreatDaneRock Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,129
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2018
    Location:
    Central FL
    All you just wrote amounts to common sense, at least me. Obviously a thick finish is going to affect the resonance of any instrument, like someone mentioned an inch of concrete as a finish will completely kill your tone. To delve into the minutiae of finishes and such is the waste of time in my opinion, common sense dictates you are to try the instrument before you buy it and you'll know right away based on its resonance and how it interacts with your unique playing if it works for you. The rest is just mental juggling for lack of a better word.
     
  13. jays0n

    jays0n Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    925
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Since we can’t see the guitar, and only hear the difference, that video where Phil McKnight saws pieces out of a guitar and compares sound samples at various stages until it’s basically a neck and pickups ruins this exercise for me. If the sound does not change with that drastic of a change (removing most of the body), I can’t imagine a change in finish having any noticeable affect.

    of course, if we can see the guitar, it is a well documented fact here on the forum that certain colors sound better :)
     
    waynereed, PaulNYC, Archtops and 12 others like this.
  14. El Marin

    El Marin Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,952
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Spaniard in Pärnu, Estonia, EU
    I can talk about my experience. As I am a person with good taste and a like for good guitar tones, I don't play and don't like strats at all.

    SAid this, my Tele, Fender Telecaster 1988, was wrapped in a really thick poli finish, black, around 1mm or more. After some years I even got to the barewood in the corner of the upper "wrist"... Well, a friend of mine started a bussines of nitro-painting and building vintage replicas in Spain. So I sent the body (bare wood) and he painted in thin black over white nitro. He sent back the guitar and I remounted everything.

    Any difference? YES. You can distinguish a change in tone in a controlled environment-

    Could I say witch was with in a blind test? Probably NOT. I listen to my band recordings and I can hear myself playing but I cannot tell if this was before or later than painting the guitar with I don't remember when it was.

    I like the feeling of the nitro and the way it gets older
     
    RadioFM74, Maguchi, waynereed and 3 others like this.
  15. ScareDe2

    ScareDe2 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    21
    Posts:
    199
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2021
    Location:
    Canada
    I suspect that two same acoustic Gibson guitars that sound different despite having same construction and wood type is mainly due to the finish and nothing else. From what I understand, finishes is what is difficult to duplicate exactly by hand from one guitar to another. They paint the guitar, apply a finish, they sand it, reapply a layer and whatnot. Guitars made by hand often have their own subtleties in their sound, their own voice. Then you look at acoustic guitar like the Taylor, they used robotic/electrostatic spray system, I believe the finish layer is applied thin and evenly on all their guitars, and all their guitars of a same model sound exactly the same. Pure luck? I don't think so.
     
    Skyhook likes this.
  16. Wound_Up

    Wound_Up Tele-Meister

    Age:
    40
    Posts:
    430
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2020
    Location:
    Shreveport, LA
    That was Darrell Braun.

    "do heavier guitars sustain longer?"

     
  17. Wound_Up

    Wound_Up Tele-Meister

    Age:
    40
    Posts:
    430
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2020
    Location:
    Shreveport, LA
    I'd bet on other things causing the difference rather than the finish. Like misplaced braces or braces not fully attached or any other number of factors that aren't finish thickness.
     
    steadyriot, thewriterbenny and KATT like this.
  18. Skyhook

    Skyhook Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    878
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2014
    Location:
    Turku, Finland
    All hail the Potatocaster!
     
    boneyguy and Fiesta Red like this.
  19. ScareDe2

    ScareDe2 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    21
    Posts:
    199
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2021
    Location:
    Canada
    That's interesting but someone mentioned we should not confuse wood density and weight. He has reduced the weight of his guitar but the density of the wood near the pickups stayed unaltered. When he concludes based on his test that you should always pick the lighter guitar and it will sound the same as the heavier one, I am not sure of that. Someone more knowledgeable could debunk his conclusion.
     
    december, Maguchi, waynereed and 2 others like this.
  20. MrCairo46

    MrCairo46 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,435
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2009
    Location:
    B
    Guitars with flames sound faster
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.