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What parts affect a guitar's tone most? (Put these in order)

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by cowie86, May 27, 2010.

  1. Hollmanp90

    Hollmanp90 Tele-Afflicted

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    $49 Gretsch......cheapy mic's setup in the living room with kids playing Hot Wheels.

    Sound clip > http://soundclick.com/share?songid=7244954

    [​IMG]

    These Gretshes are good lil' boxes......I did a quick setup and address some fret issues. Strung it up w/some D'adds EJ16 and put a open tuning on her.........Though the soundclip is basic and simple and no FX what so ever.......your basic swampy,blues tone is in this simple lil' box and how its presented.

    Woods and hardware factor alot in acoustic guitars as its been mention.......but honestly and with a open mind.......take a look at my picture of that Gretsch.
    Not much to it.......cheap hardware and whatever Monkey wood they used.

    Have fun.....you really don't have to be a super shredder or even know alot about scales and technique........the key is what you do well and what keeps one coming back and pickin'........we get caught up with $200 bridges and $100 knobs........super low action and Nitro paint.........use what ya got.......know what "you" like.......be yourself.
     
  2. iansmitchell

    iansmitchell Tele-Afflicted

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    1.Being in tune
    2.Player
    3.amp/settings
    4.effects(if any)
    5.pickups
    6.neck wood
    9.truss rod design
    7. bridge
    8.body wood
     
  3. barkley

    barkley Tele-Afflicted

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    Thats not exactly a guitar now is it?
     
  4. crowden

    crowden Tele-Holic

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    Technically, it's a diddley bow.
     
  5. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

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    If you'll pick the most beautiful eyes, nose, mouth, hair, ears, face outline etc... and put them all together to form the most beautiful face on the planet you're up for a big disappointment (-;

    Same thing with guitars... it's not about the best wood and components, it's about matching them together to sing in harmony.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. w3stie

    w3stie Poster Extraordinaire

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    Wo! Preeb, for a 44 yr old, you are a genius! Re the topic, if you are playing country on the perfect tone tele for an AC/DC crowd, it won't matter whether it's a maple neck or rosewood etc. There is no one right sound. There is no one right sound. What is there none of???
     
  7. chrisgblues

    chrisgblues Tele-Afflicted

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    The player DOES affect the tone...

    I can change the tone of a note just by slightly lifting the string with the pick (kind of like snapping the string but not as hard) rather than just strumming up or down. I discovered this myself many years ago, and validated it when I heard Eric Johnson say he did the same thing for certain tones. This is just ONE example of how a very experienced player can totally change the tone by the way he plays. I also employ different types of vibrato that actually change the tone as I shake it out (one type brings out high harmonics as it trails off and the other doesn't) and I often will play a B string fretted at the 5th fret instead of an open high E string (exact same note - way different tone).

    I'm not saying the player is the ONLY factor that affects tone, or even the biggest factor, but anyone that says a player cannot change the tone by the way he plays probably doesn't possess that ability and therefore is ignorant of that fact. I'm not trying to be rude, just trying to shed some light.
     
  8. Montana_Dawg

    Montana_Dawg Tele-Holic

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    Sorry, but I disagree. You can take a setup (I have done this) and the only thing changed on it would be different guitar players, and the tones would be totally different.

    The guitarist is the most important part of any tone. I have heard many players sound pretty much the same no matter what rig they play through. Sure, the gear sounds a bit different because of the electronics, but the overall feel and tone is the same.
     
  9. MikeBluetele

    MikeBluetele Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

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    I'd say that it depends on whether you're the person playing the guitar. When I listen to someone else play, I'm not nearly as discriminating about tone as I am about my own guitar sounds. There have been a lot of times when I've listened to an old recording, and I have trouble telling what gear I was using.

    Almost no one in the audience will care what kind of gear you're using. From that vantage point, the player is almost the only thing that matters. ALMOST. The tone trivia has a role, but it's nowhere near as important as we tend to think.

    Count me as one of the "the player is most important item in signal chain" crowd, though. If that sound ain't in the fingers, it ain't coming out the amp.

    No one has mentioned the effect a room has? Same player with same gear in a different room can make a night and day difference. Can't it?
     
  10. tangelolemon

    tangelolemon Tele-Meister

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    Room, humidity, how many people are in the room, voltage coming out of the wall, etc. etc. etc. It all makes "a difference."

    Of course I agree that the player is the most important. The idea that the player doesn't matter to the tone is ludicrous to me. Hell, even by angling my pick slightly differently, I can make the tone change radically. Where my pick falls between the bridge and fingerboard matters as much. How much I 'choke' the wood of the neck with my hand, etc etc etc.

    Not only that, the player himself is so important to tuning which is something that's often mistaken when talking about "tone." The guitar is an instrument that actually requires a fair amount of real-time compensation, finesse and adjustment in finger pressure, etc. to play well in-tune. I'm not talking about setup and intonation, either. Im talking about the real-time slight adjustments you make-- bending a string slightly sharper here in this unison, pushing the string toward the fret to 'slack' it to cause it to go flat just a little bit when you're playing a major third in harmony with another instrument, even to the rudimentary level of making sure to not apply so much pressure as to bend individual notes in chords sharp.

    If a skilled player has good 'tuning instinct,' then he will often do these things automatically, and the presentation will have the effect of better "tone" because there's less beating and destructive interference weakening/thinning out the tone. Someone who's pretty early on in their musical journey can make even a great instrument sound thin and wimpy if they have not had enough time to develop the instinct of tuning, while an experienced master can make even a poor instrument "sing" just by instinct and musicianship alone.

    I think of the relationship between tone and tuning a similar to the relationship between hunger and thirst. Many times when we 'feel' hungry we are really dehydrated-- we're thirsty, but our body isn't the best at always telling the difference. This is a component in overeating, very often (most people don't get enough water).

    Similarly, if tuning is lackluster, we may "feel" like something is wrong with the tone, and if tuning is really really spot-on (as it is with many great players), we may hear it as great tone.

    Some instruments-- strats come immediately to mind-- require more attention than others to really play in tune. I think a strat is one of the hardest of the 'standard' designs to really make sing and sound great because of all the inherent "moving parts" and the tuning pitfalls they create. In other words, the floating bridge design.

    It's funny-- so many people insist that Strats sound best with the claw screwed way down and the bridge tight to the body. You know what? My strat sounds WORSE that way. Maybe it's just my guitar-- or maybe it's the fact that when the bridge isn't moving, it removes a whole set of potential tuning pitfalls. Screw it down tight, and you can do double stop bends without tuning moving all over the place. A strat set up to "float" is definitely harder to play in tune, which might be why many people think it sounds worse.
     
  11. Rythms1234

    Rythms1234 NEW MEMBER!

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    To create a great guitar tone (which is subjective to personal opinions and ears) you need to start with the 3 basic elements;

    1. Head
    2. Heart
    3. Soul

    After this you can get a good sound from almost any piece of wood providing you have suitable internal workings which form a compatible marriage.

    I have built and repaired many guitars and sometimes the only factor which prevented the instrument reaching it's potential has been cheap wiring or poor ceramic capacitors.

    People put too much emphasis on boutique pickups without realising that the pickups will only change the power levels, the real tone will be generated if the quality of the wiring, pots and caps is equal to the quality of the pickups.

    I do not advocate the use of pedals and processors and during my own performances plug straight into my amp with the best quality lead.
     
  12. musicalmartin

    musicalmartin Poster Extraordinaire

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    The neck is the only bit that really counts .If you dont like or cant get on with it you just wont play as well as you could If you cannot play the guitar properly nothing else really matters.All electric guitars and cheap amps work .Its just refinement the further up you go but it doesnt make anything more playable .Most guitars will play blues ,Jazz etc but maybe not like that studio track you have adored for years which may be impossible to replicate as an engineer spent 3 years getting it right. If someone tells you that gear sucks ,its his problem not yours .You may love it as suits you well .:twisted:

    PS We left strap color out .Every ones knows there is more mojo in a red strap
     
  13. fluid69

    fluid69 Tele-Holic

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    I agree 100%. A great player can make almost any rig sound good. It's super easy to test, let two guitar players play on the exact same rig. Most times it's as different as night and day. So I put player at #1. Pickups come in at #2.
     
  14. kiwitele

    kiwitele TDPRI Member

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    am i the only one with a knob that says "tone" I just turn that! :)
     
  15. '56Teleman

    '56Teleman Tele-Afflicted

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    * Player

    * Neck

    * Pickups

    * Body

    * Strings

    * Pick

    * Amp

    * Speaker

    * Tubes

    * Lucky Shirt
     
  16. '56Teleman

    '56Teleman Tele-Afflicted

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    I lent a DRRI to a friend years ago and watched him play through it. The tone was very natural and he sounded great that night.

    Before bringing the amp home I made note of his settings and covered the amp. The next day I uncovered it, plugged-in and alas...I sounded like complete cr*p.

    Yes, you're right, the player has quite a bit to do with it.
     
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