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Old 02-11-2009, 02:03 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Milez5858
The top warped which in turn moved the neck out just a hair which of course affected the tuning. Yes... only back and sides were laminate ... but many dealers, and even players don't distinguish that fact and so many people buying guitars don't actualy know that they have a hybrid. That's why I always recommend humidification (per climate). It's cheap, and builds good maintenance skills.

Do you use a flat edge to check the bow in the back? Taylors site has a good video on doing this.... essentially as the guitar dries out, the back loses it's bow and starts to flatten or even go concave. That's when the wood buckles et.

Personally I use a whole house humidifier, but at times I have as many as 7-8 guitars kicking around....so... it's actually easier that way.


Yup, I used a flat edge to check the top. When the top loses humidity, it will tend to drop inwards around the bridge(The bridge area still holds tension, so it will remain upwards while the rest of the top drops). It's really a beater guitar to me, so I don't take care of it that much. Hardy play it either, but it still sounds wonderful though.

Around this forum, we refer to guitars in 3 main ways. Laminate(all laminate), solid top, and all solid. Of course, there are solid top+back, but that's not as often.

And 7-8 guitars? You're a rather lucky one.
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Old 02-11-2009, 03:21 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Milez5858
Your question, "What good is hearing the difference if you can't tell what makes it better or worse?" doesn't even make sense to me.

As you said, there are many people, trained an untrained, who can tell that there is a difference between some high-end and some low-end guitars. You also said in your post that, while the listeners will hear something different, they can't always identify it. For the novice acoustic buyer who walks into the acoustic room at Guitar Center, just knowing there is some difference isn't good enough. To actually pick out a good sounding guitar, the shopper needs to be able to identify which sound characteristics are the good ones (or even just the ones they like) - that is where experience and professional advice help. It isn't always easy for most.

But I'm not trying to argue about the intricacies of a guitar's sound and how well new players can perceive or not perceive them. The original comment I made was just to reassure novices that it's perfectly normal to be unsure about what makes a particular guitar's sound "good."

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Old 02-11-2009, 03:36 PM   #23
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OK .. point taken.. It's better stated the way you just said it though.
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Old 02-11-2009, 03:54 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Milez5858
OK .. point taken.. It's better stated the way you just said it though.

Excellent. When I get a few minutes I'll change the original post to be a bit clearer. Thanks for picking out the bits that sound opinionated. I'm trying my best to keep them out of the thread.
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Old 02-11-2009, 04:15 PM   #25
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I'll see if I can delete my posts and clean up your thread a bit.
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Old 02-11-2009, 04:22 PM   #26
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too late LOL
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Old 02-14-2009, 05:08 PM   #27
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I am using a yamaha F310
Top Spruce
Back / Sides Indonesian Mahogany
Neck Nato
Fretboard Javanese Rosewood
Bridge Sonokeling

would I need a humidifier, where I keep my guitar in ?
the humidity is over 50%
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Old 02-15-2009, 01:57 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hemo200
I am using a yamaha F310
Top Spruce
Back / Sides Indonesian Mahogany
Neck Nato
Fretboard Javanese Rosewood
Bridge Sonokeling

would I need a humidifier, where I keep my guitar in ?
the humidity is over 50%

If it is around 50%, you'll be just fine. I know nothing about the weather in Bahrain, but as long as it isn't really dry, the guitar will survive.
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Old 02-15-2009, 04:44 AM   #29
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Just to comment on Jasmine, they're made by Takamine. They're a discount beginner's brand, and actually very good for their price. Ok, now to contribute....

Myth: Pure Acoustic > Acoustic-Electric at same price, and visa-versa

Truth: Not having electronics does not mean a guitar is better than a guitar with electronics for the same price, and visa-versa.

not necessarily, when i was seeking a guitar in guitar center me and my friends found a taylor 110 that sounded brilliant compared to the 210e, however there were not any 110e's to compare it to, but when we went to a local music store (skip's music; almost exactly like guitar center) they had a 110e that didnt seam to sound as good as the 110... i would have bought it instead of my 210e but.... i wanted a hard shell case, and the 210 was made in the USA... and the built in electronics did make life easier

just saying....

and obviously you can get the same model of guitar without electronics for cheaper...

so yeah, if you were going to buy 200$ guitar with electronics u could probably get a nicer pure acoustic for 200$...


but when u get into the 3000 mark i don't think it matters much....

if i were going to spend 3000 i would probably get whatever sounded best and have electronics put in it.... or combine better electronics with what was in it..
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Old 02-15-2009, 09:00 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by redking14ca
not necessarily, when i was seeking a guitar in guitar center me and my friends found a taylor 110 that sounded brilliant compared to the 210e, however there were not any 110e's to compare it to, but when we went to a local music store (skip's music; almost exactly like guitar center) they had a 110e that didnt seam to sound as good as the 110... i would have bought it instead of my 210e but.... i wanted a hard shell case, and the 210 was made in the USA... and the built in electronics did make life easier

just saying....

and obviously you can get the same model of guitar without electronics for cheaper...

so yeah, if you were going to buy 200$ guitar with electronics u could probably get a nicer pure acoustic for 200$...


but when u get into the 3000 mark i don't think it matters much....

if i were going to spend 3000 i would probably get whatever sounded best and have electronics put in it.... or combine better electronics with what was in it..

I said that pure acoustic being better than A/E, and A/E being better than pure acoustic, are both myths
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Old 03-01-2009, 04:29 PM   #31
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An update, inspired from a few recent posts about singing and playing.

Myth: Only naturally gifted people can sing and play at the same time.

Truth: With patience, nearly everyone can sing and play simultaneously.

Explanation: For nearly everyone, starting off trying to sing and play sucks. It's an obnoxious cycle of strumming with the words or singing with the strum pattern and it just sounds like a mess. That's normal. It's exceedingly rare to find someone who just gets it right off the bat. Here are some tips to get you going if you're motivated to add the singing dimension to your music:

- Start slow. Try putting the guitar aside and just tapping your foot while singing an easy tune. It's a trivial exercise for some and hard as hell for others. Either is OK. Keep going until you can keep a steady beat and sing the song accurately.

- Learn a song well before you try to sing with it. This is a big one. If you still have trouble keeping a steady strumming pattern going while transitioning between chords, adding vocals will be really difficult, nigh impossible. If you've only been playing for a few weeks, give yourself a little more time. It will only make the learning process smoother.

- Start with a (really) simple song. There may be a thread for these somewhere, but I haven't looked. The idea is to pick a song with very basic chords (for example G, C, and D in the song "Stir it Up" by Bob Marley).

- Once you get a song, it sometimes helps to dumb down the progression a bit. For instance, strum quarter notes using only down-strokes. Try to hold a steady beat while you sing along and keep the chord changes smooth. This wont be easy. Give it time. The fruits of your labor will come eventually.

- If you've got that down, your essentially there. Next is to mix up the strumming a bit (say to the common DDUUDU pattern). From here, it's just time and practice.


Many players fear that just because they get the technique down, it doesn't mean they sound good because they have a "bad" voice. Unfortunately, "good" and "bad" preferences are just part of the game. I would bet that a couple people thought Louis Armstrong had a pretty crappy voice, but look at where he got. The trick is confidence and character. If you insist that you sound terrible, you most likely will.

Here are a couple bits of advice from my experience (please note that I am no professional singer, nor have I had any professional training):

-Sing loud, sing proud, and sing all the time. Sing in the car, sing in the shower, sing everywhere that you can. The more you practice, the better you'll get.

-Sing in front of people (eventually). Your nerves will get to you, but performing in front of a close friend or two will always get you some useful input. And hey, even if they think you sound bad, you'll still get respect for having the cojones to do it.

-Explore your vocal range. See how high and how low you can go, stretch your boundaries (safely, so as not to injure yourself), and find artists that have a similar range to you to practice with. There are great singers with both high and low voices.

-There are many more tips out there and I'm sure most readers are fairly proficient with Google and whatnot. Look around if you'd like some more advice.


Just for fun, here are some successful guitarists that have interesting (meaning bad, to some people) voices:

Paolo Nutini
Billy Corgan
Brody Dalle
Billy Idol
Bob Dylan
Jack White
Julian Casablancas

And so on...



And an informal side note on snagging ladies:

For the male readers who are concerned with singing to impress ladies, the most important thing to know is that girls usually aren't thick-headed, meaning that they probably have an idea that you're trying to woo them (think of the Jazz-flute scene from Anchorman). That can work to your advantage. Even if you think your voice is bad, sing like you really mean it. Confidence is huge. Slipped notes and playing stumbles don't matter if the woman knows you really are giving it your all.

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Old 03-30-2009, 03:58 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obeythepenguin
One thing I am curious about... I know you used to have to downtune 12's because of the extra tension on the neck, otherwise they'd warp pretty quickly... I've heard newer ones can take standard tuning and they'll be fine, but can anyone confirm this? (Mine is currently downtuned a half-step, partially to be on the safe side, but mostly because I like the deeper sound. It's also easier to play with the capo lowering the action...)

Anyway, that's all I can think of for now.

Nearly all 12-stringers, including older ones, are overbuilt to sustain the added tension that comes with the six extra strings. Tuning down slightly will lessen the strain a bit, but it isn't a requirement by any means. Whether or not you decide to will generally affect the guitar many years down the road (and honestly, having the neck reset after 20 years instead of 30 with dropped tuning isn't a really worth the hassle of remaining half a step down all the time). If you like the lower sound, that is your prerogative, of course.

But what is essential (even more so than on 6-strings) is that the guitar be well built. Any shoddy craftsmanship will show up very quickly with the extra tension. That's one reason why I encourage those interested in 12-strings to really search carefully and make a sound judgment. Watching a poorly made neck joint degrade in only a few years is a sad experience. Searching for a well-made, used guitar is often a good path to take.

EDIT: Also, if the action is much lower with a capo, it means something is up with the setup. The action should be nearly identical with or without a capo.

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Old 03-30-2009, 06:20 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by obeythepenguin
Well, "much lower" is probably an exaggeration; playing it just now, it's not a vast difference, but enough to be noticable, especially with longer parts and barre chords.

Cool. You're probably in good shape then.
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Old 05-14-2009, 04:27 PM   #34
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Another update, inspired by lots of recent posts about strings and neck tension, and damaging things, etc.

Myth: You can't leave all of your strings off for very long.

Truth: You can take as many strings off for as long as you want without fear.

Explanation: This is a pretty common one, so I expect a few readers will disagree. Here's the bottom line: acoustic guitar necks aren't fragile.


First, a little information on how most (wooden) necks are manufactured:

In most cases, necks are created to resist all forms of bending, twisting, warping, and temperature dependent expansion/compression. To do this, they use a technique called "quarter-sawing" to get blanks with the grain of the wood running perfectly parallel to the direction of the neck. Anyone who's ever tried chopping wood (via hand or other method) can attest that it is MUCH harder to split it perpendicular to the grain direction. This is a good thing, because that is the direction in which the moment (which is just torque) caused by the string tension acts. This wood composes the bulk of the neck, followed by the truss rod and fingerboard. If you want more information on the layout of a neck, look around. The information is out there.

Some might ask...
"OK, it's strong, but wont it still warp if I take the strings off and the truss rod starts to bend it back??"
No, it wont, mainly because when they were on, the strings were pulling nearly parallel to the direction of the neck. With the strings on, the neck is subjected (roughly) to a 9 lbft torque on the neck (the same as a 9 lb weight taped to the end of a 1 foot rod). Assuming your truss rod relief is close to the moment of the strings (which it should be, if properly adjusted), taking off your strings will apply only a very minimal torque. Sure, the neck will bend back a little (so if you only put on only one string, it buzzes like crazy), but once you put all your strings back on, it will be good as new. In fact, because the neck flexes back, straightening the truss rod, it is essentially stable once the strings are off (because the truss rod is applying even less torque). I can attest, because I (and others) have done it many many times without issue.

However, there is one big problem with taking your strings off for a long period of time (weeks, months, years..). The danger is that, because your guitar has no strings, it is likely to be sitting in a closet, covered in stuff, growing mold, and being lonely. If it stays in these conditions for long, you can certainly break, bend, or otherwise mangle your neck. My brother once left his guitar in a closet with a heavy dufflebag on it, and after two years or so, the neck wasn't exactly as "as the crow flies." Lesson learned. Keep in mind this same scenario can wreak havoc on a fully-stringed guitar. The way around it is to remember to take good care of your instrument, even if it doesn't have strings on.


A bonus semi-related side note: Like many people, I have heard, "it is imperative to go by really small increments (like 1/8th of a turn) and then wait for the neck to 'settle' (i.e. wait 24 hours between adjusting and playing)." I thought that was ridiculous, so I set out to test the effect of neck "settling" with a digital caliper (secretly borrowed from the UConn Dept. of Mechanical Engineering) and my trusty Ibanez Daytripper travel guitar (it was the only one that needed adjustment). Here is what I found:

The neck was pretty goofy, so at the initial adjustment I tightened the truss rod about 7/8ths of a complete turn in three equal increments. No crack, no pop, just a nice straight neck. Right after, I measured the string heights at the 3rd, 7th, 9th, and 12th frets for the low E. Then I made sure it was tuned to E-standard and put it away. 48 hours later, I came back, made sure it was in tune and remeasured the heights. Lo and behold! The neck didn't settle a bit (OK, maybe a few ten-thousandths of an inch, but that is utterly negligible for the purposes of guitar). While this little test surely can't speak for every adjustment ever made on every truss rod, I'd say it's a fairly safe assumption that you can adjust however much you need, tune up, and play away without fear. Just make sure you know what you're doing.

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Old 10-03-2009, 09:36 PM   #35
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I'm going to bump this thread because I've seen a few recent posts about the discussed topics. If you're about some fishy information, read up!
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Old 10-03-2009, 10:34 PM   #36
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Awesome thread!

Myth: Laminates<Solid

Truth: Usually, but not always.

Explanation: See above post about tonewoods not being the only factor. Also, player preference is really the only thing that can truly define a "good" or "bad" guitar, with the obvious exception of poorly made or severely damaged instruments. To my ears, a cheap HPL sounds better than $2000 Taylors, because the jangly treble is too much for me.

To each his own. Laminates aren't always bad, nor is solid wood a guarantee that you'll love a particular instrument.

That said, low end laminates do tend to be lacking compared to solid tops, but not always. It's just a decent rule of thumb for shoppers new to guitar. Seems less likely to screw up buying a solid top.
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Old 10-04-2009, 05:05 AM   #37
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Very nice thread! Unfortunately, I don't know anything I can contribute - you've all beaten me to it...

I suggest a sticky?
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Old 10-04-2009, 03:06 PM   #38
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I suggest a sticky?

It's already in the "Master Information" sticky. Not that anyone actually looks in there.
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Old 10-04-2009, 04:08 PM   #39
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they don't? I do
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Old 10-04-2009, 04:21 PM   #40
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they don't? I do

Not all the readers are particularly observant. I often skip over the stickies myself.
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