Really skeptical of little things making big tone changes..

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by kend, Apr 11, 2015.

  1. kend

    kend Tele-Meister

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    With total respect to many who are more experienced and can play circles around me...

    I really have to wonder if alot of over- thinking goes into these things when it comes to electrics.

    Ridges on saddles where the string doesn't make 100% contact, 3 saddles over 6 , saddle materials , nut materials, fret metals, tuning pegs, block sizes in Strats, string tree materials, paint between bridge and body... On and on... All effect tone in a significant way?

    Really?

    Amps, guitar woods, pickups , strings I can believe.

    I think I would like some hard evidence before I put any creedance to these little things...
    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Octomann

    Octomann TDPRI Member

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    I think that's the key part there -- depends quite a bit on what each person would find significant.

    Me - I just got my first tele two months ago -- I might take the pickguard off in another month to find it jammed full of silly putty, but I'd not likely know the difference since my prior two guitars were an archtop and a Les Paul copy.

    I expect that some folks, however, have a dozen of the exact same model tele, in which case a change of saddles might be huge, relatively speaking.

    Also, some things might have emotional or mental impact, which would be unique.

    I personally struggle to imagine how the amount of paint between a bridge and body could make meaningful difference in sound, but I also lack the resources to A/B that change ;)
     
  3. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    I dislike the term "over-thinking." It implies that what I am doing is not worth doing. That seems arrogant.
     
  4. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Many of these types of threads are started by guys who are sitting in their cubicles, wasting time online instead of working.
     
  5. flatpicker1966

    flatpicker1966 Tele-Meister

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    I really don't know about all this changing tone,for electric guitars,I suppose it could.In respect to acoustic guitars:tone wood&saddle material does make a difference.I own a tele with 6 saddles,but can't see the difference in tone for the ones with 3.I have played both.
    Interesting thought.
     
  6. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah, go find your own hard evidence like a lot of the guys here do. Buy try experiment. Then you will be able to separate the myths from the facts.

    Nuts do matter if do open string runs by the way. So do 3 vs 6 string saddles and even saddle material. Anything that touches the strings between the nut and bridge will affect the way the string vibrates. This will affect frequency characteristics of the vibrating string and be relayed to the pickups.
     
  7. kend

    kend Tele-Meister

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    I can assure you there was no arrogant intent.
     
  8. kend

    kend Tele-Meister

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    Now that's arrogant.

    Can a person express a thought on this forum without being verbally attacked?
    It's a thought that deserves some discussion.
     
  9. doc w

    doc w Tele-Afflicted

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    For the most part, I agree with you. I don't spend any time worrying about the details you mention.
     
  10. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I do believe that there are insignificant aspects of a Tele that others graft significance on to, but that is based on what I consider significant.

    And I have also spent time thinking about a task longer than needed, given that my ability to perform the task lay as much in the doing as the thinking.

    But to the idea that some players "over think" the physical details of their guitars; I would counter that other players "under think" the purpose of choosing specific parts for music making function as being about "tone".

    Tone is treble, mids and bass.

    An electric guitar has tone, attack, sustain, decay, and numerous other aspects of articulation and dynamic range I haven't labelled.
    For example the bass response can be darker or brighter, but it can also be clearer or muddier.
    Is clarity the same as tone?
    Or is clarity unimportant compared to tone?
    How about the clarity of the low end compared to the clarity of the high end?
    Many Teles have plenty of high end clarity but not enough low end clarity for my taste.

    Even just the pickups have more than a "tone".

    And if we simply address one aspect of tone, say just treble response, and further simplify the idea, there are a number of parts of a Tele besides the pickup that affect treble in varying degrees.
    Mix up some pluses and some minuses and then change just one part, you're not likely to detect much of a difference.
    But choose all the parts with the goal of max treble and the difference may become more apparent.

    It's pretty funny that you often hear the response: "use the tone control" when someone asks about the wood the guitar is made from, as if treble is all that affects our sound.
    That is IMO under thinking.

    Listening to the "tone" of a guitar for the purpose of evaluating the total sound sculpting potential of that guitar is like using the top speed of a car to evaluate the total performance of that car.

    But it fits into the youtube courtroom so well.
     
  11. kend

    kend Tele-Meister

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    Great post, thanks!
     
  12. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    There's an inversely proportional relationship between playing ability and gear obsession.

    If you're still "chasing tone" after say, 3 years of playing the same genre ... it might be time to start using that money to buy some lessons, or at least come to terms with your guitar heroes being able to get perfect "tone" from your gear.
     
  13. fendertx

    fendertx Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free + Supporter

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    If you are not intrigued by the different variations on a theme, it's probably not going to be rewarding for you. Some folks just plug in and play, some are thrilled by bolting and unbolting, turning screws and constantly tinkering. It is okay to be either type.
     
  14. sbpark

    sbpark Friend of Leo's

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    [​IMG]
     
  15. w3stie

    w3stie Poster Extraordinaire

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    I just bought a Mustang I amp which has a small pre-set button with 24 preset sounds and many many more available using the Fender Fuse Software. So yes, small things can make a big difference. :) As for the difference between different kinds of wood, well TDPRI is primarily a gear forum, so it's what gets talked about here, but that doesn't make it anything other than a widely held belief.
     
  16. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Which type was Clapton when he was tinkering with his Fenders?
     
  17. ericrutters

    ericrutters TDPRI Member

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    I cannot speak for others, and my playing can certianlly use improvement. But when i stripped the finish from my affinity tele I could most certianlly hear a major difference in the sound of the guitar. Now weather or not this came from the bridge being in direct contact with the body wood or if it was simply due to the lack of finish on the guitar i cannot say. What i can say for certiasn is that there was a noticasble difference in the sound of the guitar after the finish was removed and the bridge sat directly on the body. The finish on the affinity was removed with a heat gun and was like a mushy plastic blanket on the guitar im sure it absorbed some vibration.
     
  18. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I'm trying to figure out how a joke (that has more than a little basis in truth) is interpreted as a 'verbal attack'. :?:

    Edit: Thinking this over, I guess it could come across that my other post was aimed at you, but it most definitely wasn't. I was referring to the guys that wonder if these really small details make any difference.
     
  19. william tele

    william tele Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I would agree with those that say "overthinking" is an inaccurate description of the process by which we all evaluate the importance of individual components of our setup. As long as we each do the internal, hands on assessment of how those components effect the end sound it's not important that we agree on the impact of each item.

    I can find so many tones with a stock standard tele straight through a decent amp...hell...I'm bound to like one of em'...
     
  20. kelnet

    kelnet Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I don't think anyone has ever said that paint between bridge and body affects tone in a "significant way." Same goes for nut materials, fret metals, tuning pegs, or string tree materials. In overstating the amount of significance that people actually attribute to these things, you've weakened your point.

    On the other hand, I could just be overthinking your argument.
     
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