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Theres nothing wrong with plywood bodies...

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Jadguitar, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. bingy

    bingy Friend of Leo's

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    I'm not trolling but...
    "Tone Wood" is a stupid term.
    IMO

    However, I am currently doing some gigs with a 6 string banjo in which I have mounted a single coil (strat style) pickup to the under side of the head. I'm using the same strings that I use on my Tele (GHs Boomers)...it sounds like a banjo.
    My resonator with a single coil... sounds like a resonator.
    If different bodies have different sounds then it follows that materials of varying density will have subtly different sound characteristics.
     
  2. tpaul

    tpaul Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yeah, but pablum is wicked sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity.
     
  3. Blue

    Blue Tele-Afflicted

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    I just sold a plywood squier strat that I owned for about 15 years.

    It sounded like a strat and had a really nice neck and was very playable.

    The problem was the finish, when I sat it in its stand and the light shone
    on it I could see the little plywood grain lines.

    This stopped me taking the guitar seriously so hence I sold it.
     
  4. PraiseCaster

    PraiseCaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I had a Kramer guitar that was a Plywood guitar by definition: 4 or 5 layers of wood. It was one of the best heavy metal guitars I ever owned. A real shredder, and it had the hard rock/heavy metal tone down!

    My opinion, it all matters how it all comes together in the end.......
     
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  5. lostpick

    lostpick Tele-Afflicted

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    ya know

    i saw those same lines on the back of a brand new copper caster
    at guitar center last month and that tele was not plywood...

    very noticable grain lines that show at a certain angle...

    i was very surprised...

    killed my compulsion to put it on layaway...
     
  6. muzicmaken

    muzicmaken Tele-Holic

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    After Getting my Carbon Acoustic 6LE-V....
    I sold my custom Taylor 712CE, Martin D-38 and Breedlove Roots Prototype...Going from state to state playing outdoor shows I was afraid everytime I opened one of their cases for fear of a cracked top.. Got my CA and haven't looked back...Sounds every bit as good as my buddy's D-28 and his McPhearson...
     
  7. strlmech

    strlmech NEW MEMBER!

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    I picked one at at the goodwill recently that was a laminate body, it had no identifying marks. Strat Body with a tele maple'ish headstock and it is HSS. Play's great now.
     
  8. effcee

    effcee Tele-Meister

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    I have 3 Danelectros (masonite bodies) and I love em all. Sound great and they're lots of fun to play -- Jimmy Page knew this, too. And, for what they cost, I can hardly resist picking up another one whenever they come out with a new model. At 350 - 300 bucks they're a steal. Even if you just get one to set-up for slide work, they're a damn good value. Nothing else around like em either. Anyone who enjoys a good chimey single coil tone will find something to like about them.
     
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  9. PennyCentury

    PennyCentury Poster Extraordinaire

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    You weren't far off!

    [​IMG]
     
  10. bugo

    bugo Tele-Holic

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    I have a plywood Harmony that sounds really good. The only problem I have had with it is that the upper strap button comes loose really easily.
     
  11. Gibson

    Gibson Friend of Leo's

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    I suspect you are correct.
     
  12. Gary in Boston

    Gary in Boston Friend of Leo's

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    This reminds me of the that line by the comedian Steven Wright.

    " I bought a decaffinated coffee table........ you can't tell the difference"

    Gary
     
  13. Ed Mo

    Ed Mo TDPRI Member

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    "When you plug the guitar into the amp, the wood doesn't matter."

    I've heard that nonsense for years. The strings on your guitar act as microphones in that they pick up all of the vibrations associated with the guitar, including the harmonics, etc. To believe your claptrap, you would have to think that no vibrations occur in the body at all, or even more asinine, that all wood vibrates equally. It's silly to put forth a theory that flies in the face of most musician's personal experience. Different guitars sound different -- even if they are magically plugged into an amp. Any of you guys who play with partscasters know that if you switch bodies (or even necks) you usually get a different "sound". Some bodies (basswood for instance) may not contribute a lot to the sound, but I think if you would switch to mahogany you would notice a difference.

    I feel sorry for someone who has a collection of guitars of wood from all over the world and cannot tell the difference in sound. Must be a wall-hanger collector.

    ED
     
  14. bingy

    bingy Friend of Leo's

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    I stopped reading at "The strings on your guitar act as microphones"
     
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  15. Manolete

    Manolete Friend of Leo's

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    Whoa a wood debate? Who'd 'ave thunk it?!?

    For what it is worth I believe that wood does have some impact on tone as different woods will absorb those pesky harmonic overtones at different rates. That is why guitar and bass necks get 'dead notes'. If you put your ear to your guitar and strum notes you hear them after all.

    However if your pickups are correctly potted and 0% microphonic you may wonder exactly how much 'wood' you should actually be hearing as much as the discrete inpact it has on the sustain and harmonic overtones of your guitar. Brian May making a 24 fret guitar out of Mahogony would tell you this!

    Also factor in pickup placement and you open up the debate further. How much can you compensate for wood type simply through re-EQing, moving pickups around, string type, action....


    For what it is worth I had a plywood precision bass copy body (without any contouring) that weighed a ton and made a really horrible bass when I populated it up with parts.
     
  16. Fret Wilkes

    Fret Wilkes Friend of Leo's

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    My father worked for Uniroyal, so as a kid my life was covered in Naugahyde!
     
  17. Commodore 64

    Commodore 64 Friend of Leo's

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    You may be right. But how do you quantify how those vibrations interfere or get overwhelmed by others? Can you tell me with certainty that the vibrations over that big plastic pickguard (which is slapped over big hollow cavities) does not completely overwhelm the other vibrations and harmonics? Or how about that 2mm of finish on any guitar, what does that do?There may be differences in tonewoods. But I'm not convinced they play any part in what you hear from a strat or tele-type guitar.

    When I worked at a wine store, I thought that wine snobs were bad. Now that I'm into guitars, I realize they can't hold a candle to musicians. When I was in college, in general Psych they told me that expectations skew perception. In the guitar world you get a double skew. One's perception of an item also effects the expectations. Do you really believe that cloth insulates wires better than PVC or teflon? Who in their right minds would believe thus? We do. We pay extra for it!
     
  18. JeffOlson

    JeffOlson Tele-Meister

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    Here's a laminated bamboo guitar:

    [​IMG]
     
  19. whitecat

    whitecat Tele-Meister

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    Different guitars sound different simply because guitars are the sum of their parts. The wood has so little to do with it compared to everything else.

    I do have a collection of electric guitars made of woods from all over the world and I play at least one of 'em every day.

    (Acoustic guitars are an entirely different kettle of fish, but I digress.)

    Check out this video:



    That's gotta be a guitar in its absolute simplest form. Now how much do you really think the tone of that is going to change if he moves the bottle/nail/pickup/string assembly to a nice piece of mahogany or rosewood or koa or whatever?

    Oh well. So much for not getting caught up in a wood argument. :D
     
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  20. numbskull999

    numbskull999 TDPRI Member

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    I see what you did there!
     
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