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FDP Forum / Miscellaneous and Non-Fender Topics / Explained: Wood and lacquer do affect tone.

langford
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Toronto, Canada

Aug 21st, 2019 09:47 AM   Edit   Profile  

Well, colour me impressed. I've always been a bit skeptical around this issue, especially when it comes guitars with thick coatings of poly. But here's a decent—and brief—explanation of the science, from Graham Chapman and Lee Anderton.

Starts at the 8:00 minute mark

Makes sense to me...

(This message was last edited by langford at 11:48 AM, Aug 21st, 2019)

littleuch
Contributing Member
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Florida

Itchy finger on the outrage trigger
Aug 21st, 2019 10:02 AM   Edit   Profile  

There are doubters that believe this is all a snake oil sales pitch, but I have it on good authority that the wood and lacquer thing can all be supported through quantum entanglement. I could go into detail but its considerably above the comprehension of the average guitar mope.


:-p


langford
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Toronto, Canada

Aug 21st, 2019 10:53 AM   Edit   Profile  

I like simple answers ;) The one provided in the link above talks guitars as a vibrating system. Some vibrations will be absorbed the the construction/materials. Those that are left behind will go the pickups.

So, the process is substractive, not additive. A maple cap, for example, doesn't make a guitar brighter. It absorbs lower frequencies so that you only hear the higher ones.

Makes sense to me. In the end, though, I still think tone is mostly a product of the pickups, the amp and the ears/hands of the player.

Charente

United Kingdom

Aug 21st, 2019 11:21 AM   Edit   Profile  

Graham Chapman (RIP - ex Monty Python) may have had entertaining views on tonewoods etc. Rob Chapman OTOH seems to have pretty good ears ;-)

littleuch
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Florida

Itchy finger on the outrage trigger
Aug 21st, 2019 11:39 AM   Edit   Profile  

I personally believe there is a "magic" involved in the structure of musical instruments. I believe that magic can be quantified with small incremental measurements(like wood and finish) that can have a large impact on our subjectivity. Have you ever wrestled with a judgemental observation of a person or thing, where one tiny characteristic was the catalyst between beauty and, not? Smile at an ordinary person and you might just make them beautiful in response. I know this is a borderline tongue and cheek analogy, but I do believe there are substantial truths to "art" on a molecular level.

(This message was last edited by littleuch at 01:44 PM, Aug 21st, 2019)

langford
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Toronto, Canada

Aug 21st, 2019 12:26 PM   Edit   Profile  

@Charente.... Yes. Rob. Of course. Graham was more into clean tones. He is missed by this schmuck.

@littleuch... Yes to all of the above.

(This message was last edited by langford at 02:28 PM, Aug 21st, 2019)

Peegoo
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If irritation occurs

discontinue use.
Aug 21st, 2019 03:22 PM   Edit   Profile  

It is magic, but! The tried and true materials and methods do produce reasonably consistent results.

gdw3

LA-la-land, CA

Insert clever comment here
Aug 21st, 2019 04:53 PM   Edit   Profile  

Some people will still argue against it no matter what anyone says.

rfrakes331K
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IL USA

RonHalen Jokingly He Says
Aug 22nd, 2019 05:53 PM   Edit   Profile  

Besides, when new it smells good. Kind of like those mimeograph pages who was in grade school.

Mimeograph wiki

(This message was last edited by rfrakes331K at 08:12 PM, Aug 22nd, 2019)

stratcowboy
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USA/Taos, NM

Aug 22nd, 2019 09:57 PM   Edit   Profile  

And probably killed brain cells, is my guess. LOL...

Not that that would matter to guitar players.

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Aug 23rd, 2019 12:05 PM   Edit   Profile  

They're mostly on the right track, in my opinion. What I think they're missing is that they only talk about acoustic energy being 'absorbed' by the wood and finish, neglecting the energy being lost through acoustic radiation.

When you pluck even a single string, it is vibrating at multiple frequencies, and each of those frequencies dies out at a different rate depending on the resonant frequencies and frequency-dependent damping of the structure. That's what gives a note 'bloom,' i.e., the timbre changing over time, usually from initially bright to more mellow as the sound decays.

I have to smile when people say that resonant solid body guitars that are loud unplugged have more sustain. That may be true when they're played amplified at high volumes and start feeding back, but at more moderate practice levels, the opposite is true.

My take is that the pickups and electronics are the most important factor in tone production, but the woods and the way the overall structure is put together also contribute.

(This message was last edited by Te 52 at 04:38 PM, Aug 23rd, 2019)

rfrakes331K
Contributing Member
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IL USA

RonHalen Jokingly He Says
Aug 23rd, 2019 08:01 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks Te!

Danny Nader

usa

You Should Have Been There!
Aug 27th, 2019 09:13 AM   Edit   Profile  

Te,

Nice, not too overly long answer that hits the mark. Thank goodness you didn't mention mojo! As you stated, the electronics are far more important to the final sound of the guitar / instrument. The wood might be the smallest part of the equation. It contributes but isn't the largest factor.

Danny

FDP Forum / Miscellaneous and Non-Fender Topics / Explained: Wood and lacquer do affect tone.




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