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What effects voice and tone of a guitar to me.

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by TheWizard333, Jul 29, 2014.

  1. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    I don't know if it is worth mentioning or not, but sound travels through different media at different speeds. It may mean something or not mean anything, as I don't know enough about the relationship between materials and string vibrations.
     
  2. Davecam48

    Davecam48 Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    95% of tone is in the method. The other 25% is in the underpants!
     
  3. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    I just put on my teacher's hat (which I do really own). As we see in forums all the time, people judge the merits of your opinion or reasoning by many means. High on that list is spelling, punctuation, and grammar.

    Through experience, I have learned that if I have even a slight feeling that I may be spelling something wrong, I usually try to look it up right away. In forums, it is often OK to have a little sloppiness, as we are all usually busy enough that it is not worth to us making sure that every little bit of imprecision is fixed.

    I have always prided myself on being a good speller (I misspelled only one word on weekly spelling tests in grade school: February), yet I probably check my spelling in roughly 30% of my posts.

    Affect/effect, there/their/they're, are more easily forgivable in my view, as we are all in a hurry and rely on sound more than we should.

    I really mean to make one big point, and that is to check the spelling of any word that gives you pause.

    Still off topic, but it seems like there is an epidemic lately of lose/loose and paid/payed.
     
  4. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    yeh, this kid today attacked my guitar in a way I haven't yet... he's a metal kid.. yet he was reeling off these righteous blues licks/runs up the neck....double finger/string bends... P90's through a super210 up loud...

    I was in heaven listening to someone else play the guitar...

    where did you pick up those licks? I asked....

    Oh, you remember a few years ago you gave me a blues dvd to check out... I just learned them off the video..... that's all I know...
    At school I have to do classical stuff.... then reeled off some well known classical piece.. at double the speed... this kinda stuff.. Bach or someone?...

    dohhhh... get off my lawn!
     
  5. Mjark

    Mjark Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Attack, the pick if you will is much more than 1% in my estimation.
     
  6. Telemarkman

    Telemarkman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    This scientific experiment clearly indicates that J-man is right. There's no obvious connection between the unplugged and the amplified sound of an electric guitar.

    This is the only serious study that I've been able to find so far that deals with different body woods (lack of) influence on the amplified tone of a solidbody, electric guitar. Acoustically the difference may be noticeable - especially at the lower strings that have the strongest vibration - but this difference is reduced to almost nothing as soon as it's amplified through the pickups.

    Take the time to read this link - very interesting indeed! Last time I posted it, very few took the time to read it though - at least so it seemed. Knowledge is dangerous, I guess ...

    http://www.stormriders.com/guitar/telecaster/guitar_wood.pdf
     
  7. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Tele-Holic

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    I wouldn't argue that wood is the only variable of consequence. I think trem systems, scale length, string tension and other design features contribute to an instrument's acoustic and electric sound.

    Some years ago I owned a Gibson L6S, which is solid maple body with a maple neck and fingerboard. It sounded bright and sweet. Not the most versatile sound but distinctive. My current guitar also has a lot of maple. It's a 335 with a maple body, maple centre block and a thin mahogany neck. I find it fascinating that it shares some of the same sweetness.

    I wouldn't underestimate our ability to recognise and enjoy subtle qualities of sound. We easily identify family, friends and others by their voices.
     
  8. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Tele-Holic

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    I look forward to reading it.
     
  9. rokdog49

    rokdog49 Friend of Leo's

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    +1 And the pick material as well, it is a big factor.
     
  10. nattaruk

    nattaruk Tele-Meister

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    Because of the way electromagnetic induction works a guitar's pick-ups are least sensitive to the string's motion parallel to the coil (across the face of the guitar) and most sensitive to the string's motion perpendicular (into and away from the guitar body) to the coil. The electric output is, therefore, a much simplified version of the acoustic sound.
     
  11. basher

    basher Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Effects matter a lot. So does one's affect.
     
  12. teleamp

    teleamp Poster Extraordinaire

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    No matter the type or style of guitar, the natural talent of the player is the largest variable in the sound... ymmv...
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2014
  13. william tele

    william tele Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    BMI plays a huge part. If you want a fat sound you need fat fingers. To get a thin tone you need to cut out the carbs. This is what they mean by "tone is in the fingers"...
     
  14. TheWizard333

    TheWizard333 Banned

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    I try to make sure everything I write is grammatically correct and spelled correctly. I almost write like I'm doing a research paper but I guess one slips by now and again haha. I agree with the loose lose analysis.

    DavidM1 I agree with recognizing subtle differences in the voice of people. Think about it. Every one is 99% the same and everyone's voice box is 99% the same yet we can tell differences.

    This is very interesting because all guitars are basically wood, strings, amp and yet we can hear subtle differences. Mr. Kirn refers to this as "the voice and not tone". Very cool thought.

    In reality 100% of the tone comes from the player, I agree. I'm talking about the equipment alone because the player is always going to change the way it sounds.

    PS I'm not trying to quote Mr. Kirn too much but he sent some really great stuff to read a few days back.
     
  15. Telemarkman

    Telemarkman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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  16. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Tele-Holic

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    Well, it reads like an undergraduate project and not a particularly good one. It's a shame because the question is interesting. The experimenter didn't know anything about the mic he had been provided with. He didn't give any information on how he hoped to maintain consistency in plucking the string. He appears to have sampled the sounds only once on each string. He wasn't able to provide any analysis other than a cursory visual inspection of the graphs generated by his University's software.. Importantly, he didn't provide any control that would indicate whether any differences could be attributed to the woods or whether they were simply within the error range of the experiment. His referencing wasn't sufficiently thorough - it would have been good to know what he had taken from the works listed as references.

    Given that we are talking about perceptions of sound I think a better experiment might include a blind listening test.

    Thanks for posting the report. It would be good if there were more. I wonder what tests the large manufacturers have conducted over the years (although I imagine they wouldn't want to publish).
     
  17. Mid Life Crisis

    Mid Life Crisis Poster Extraordinaire

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    Don't underestimate the importance of FX as well.
     
  18. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Tone is probably influenced more by the player than anything. Tommy Emmanuel will play ANYONE'S guitar he is handed, he always sounds like Tommy. I think you have to have a decent amp, decent pickups, decent guitar etc. to have a decent chance of producing tone if you're the average guy, and really that's what most of us are.

    I've never really been able to satisfy myself that wood doesn't have some effect on the way even an electric guitar sounds, because I've had a boat load of guitars, many of them having the same or very similar pickups yet all sounded different, some very much so, and the primary difference was the wood. I also think the size and shape of the neck, can somehow influence tone.

    The above applies to electric guitars, acoustic guitars do vary greatly with the type of wood used. My experience with the Fishman acoustic guitars has proven to me the pickup does have a lot to do with tone though. My MMV Martin sounds like a decent, but not spectacular guitar unplugged. Plug in the Fishman Matrix Infinity through a decent acoustic amp, and you have instant prewar D-28!
     
  19. Telemarkman

    Telemarkman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Thanks for reading it and evaluating it.

    Of course the test isn't really "scientific" in that it just uses one of each body type and only one attempt (probably) at plucking each string. But it is done under equal conditions, and it's the first attempt I've seen at using graphs instead of just a description of the tone. At least it's "measured tone", not just someone saying "I clearly hear ... "

    I agree it's not sufficient as a "proof" of anything, but I still think it's an indication that wood species loses it's importance when the amp is turned up.

    I too wish we'd have a more thorough experiment on the topic though ... But until then this is the best I've been able to find.
     
  20. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I would say the biggest non-human contribution to the voice of a guitar are it's pickups. Next would probably come the tone pot and volume pot and then hardware, strings, etc. The type of pick used can also have a huge influence. Far more than a small percentage.

    I never look at an amp as part of the voice of a guitar. It's only there to amplify the signal it's give so the signal from a Tele will sound far different from that of a 335. Amps have their own voice and associated controls to alter it. Just as a Tele sounds different from a 335 so does a Fender sound different than a Vox or a Marshall.

    Uniting the two combines those two voices which can also be altered almost infinitely but I would still say that each has it's own separate voice.
     
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