Poll: Is a heavier guitar is better with better tone and quality ?
Poll Options
View poll results: Is a heavier guitar is better with better tone and quality ?
Yes
20 17%
No
52 43%
Maybe
48 40%
Voters: 120.
#1
I have heard or maybe read it somewhere that a heavier guitar is of better quality and has much better tone .
Is is true as more weight means more density of wood or hardware , so maybe more sustain as players upgrade the tremolo blocks with bigger and heavier brass ones ?
Can a small difference of 0.5 lbs - 1lbs can make a significant change in tone ?
#2
depending on wood type, quality etc, yes.
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#3
My Yamaha Pacifica is made of alder, and it's quite light and the acoustic sustain is alright. My Fender is also made of alder, but it's heavier and it's acousitc sustain is better.

That's all I've noticed really.
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#4
Weight does not dictate quality of tone (I've played super-heavy LP models that sounded and played poorly, while super-light Parker Flies are the shit) but it does have an impact of the tonal character.
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#5
Tone is subjective.

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#6
A heavier guitar will transmit more low end and have a more heavily damped low end, accentuating 'thunk' sounds. (harmonic oscilators, frequency is proportional to root(1/mass); mass goes up, resonant frequency goes down)

But that said a guitars resonance all told is VASTLY more complex than just its mass, and compared to your bridge, nut, the species of wood, the tree it came from, where in that tree, the oil and water content, the grain direction and consistency, the type/security of the neck join, it will be one quite small factor of very many, and STILL up to your ears alone whether its s good one or not.
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#7
its not better, its just a matter of taste, some like the sound of mahogany and some like alder or basswood...
#8
Well the poll question is fail
They say heavier guitars have better sustain, and a heavy les paul i tried once had tons of it, whether or not that depended on what it was made of i dont know, maybe it was the pickups or magic
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#9
It's important for a bass, it can also effect the way you play a bass, cos you're "pulling" against the weight, if you play with your right hand Floating. it also is good for preventing neckdive, although strap pin position is much more important.

I think there might be some placebo effects too. I think having a heavier guitar encourages you to pluck harder, which gives better tone. Also there's something satisfying about putting on a heavy guitar; that might make you play better i suppose, or maybe just imagine the tone's better.

but a guitar can also be heavy if it's made of plywood or glorified MDF (eg: REALLY cheap strat copies) which is bad for tone obviously.
Last edited by jimRH7 at Jan 8, 2010,
#10
Well, my guitar is basswood, and really light, but it has more sustain than most other guitars

Heavier guitars tend to sound warmer, but depending on wood. Hard maple is very heavy but bright when used as a body. Whether warmer is better, you have to decide.
I'm not too sure about sustain. I think it has more to do with neck woods and joint. And the electronics in my case
I'm currently working on a system to generate MIDI from the motion of a guitar. More info coming soon.
#11
i have noticed that fender weigh heavier than squiers
#12
there are so many variables that come into play.

that being said a concrete guitar should be of the best quality....
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#13
All this sustain nonsense is pointless anyway. I've never had a need for more than maybe 30% of my Les Paul's sustainability. No one holds notes out that long.

And tone is totally subjective. Someone was telling me the other day that Les Paul Standards sound "better" than the Vintage Mahogany ones because the maple cap adds top-end. What if someone doesn't want that top-end? It's not "better" tone, just brighter.

Same goes for the whole Strat vs. Les Paul debate. "Les Pauls have better tone because of the thick mahogany bodies/necks, fixed bridge, set neck, etc.etc.etc." What if someone doesn't want that full, thick tone? What if someone wants that twangy, poppy Strat sound? Stop debating about "better" tone. It's pointless.
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#14
its the kind of tone. heavier guitars do give different tones, but that does not mean better.
#15
Quote by guitarsftw
Weight does not dictate quality of tone (I've played super-heavy LP models that sounded and played poorly, while super-light Parker Flies are the shit) but it does have an impact of the tonal character.


Paker

Weight usually affects things like sustain. But, if it's properly set up a lighter guitar's sustain will be just fine.
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#16
Quote by sigma005
I have heard or maybe read it somewhere that a heavier guitar is of better quality and has much better tone .
Is is true as more weight means more density of wood or hardware , so maybe more sustain as players upgrade the tremolo blocks with bigger and heavier brass ones ?
Can a small difference of 0.5 lbs - 1lbs can make a significant change in tone ?


This is believe to have a stronger effect on sustain (and possibly clarity). Since the strings are actually in contact with the bridge, by having a metal that carries vibrations for much longer (heavier and better quality)the strings arent dampened as much by their contact with the bridge.

Whilst i have not changed my tone block(yet), it does seem to make sense to me that you would be able to hear an improvement because of it.
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#17
It's more the type of wood and density than weight. Some good dense woods are heavy though. Sound travels better thru solid object than through the air so the more solid (denser) the wood the easier and faster it transfer sound/vibration (Velocity of Sound**). This doesn't mean better tone but like was stated better sustain and clarity.

This is usually a helpful web page to give you an idea of what tones to expect from certain woods. All wood is different even wood from the same tree can differ.

The differences between wood can be as mysterious and complex as differences between people. Even within a species, no two pieces of wood are exactly alike. Environmental conditions, genetics, the age of the tree, annular growth patterns, grain orientation, curing conditions, and so on all have an effect on the tonal properties of a piece of wood.

http://www.jemsite.com/jem/wood.htm

You also have to take in account the pick ups IMO are very important part of your guitars tone. I have swapped pups in guitars for people and they were "what happened to my tone!" I try to explain to them ahead of time the guitar will be the different with a pup swap.

John


**Velocity of Sound is the speed at which a material transmits received energy. Simply described, plucked guitar strings transmit energy to the bridge. The bridge in return oscillates to the body and so forth.
#19
The most important factor is the guitar colour. For example a red guitar will sustain longer than a blue guitar, due to the density of the paint pigments.
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#20
Quote by philipp122
All this sustain nonsense is pointless anyway. I've never had a need for more than maybe 30% of my Les Paul's sustainability. No one holds notes out that long.
.


I tend to agree, especially with an electric... Most of the time a held note is being vibratoed anyway, which makes it easy to keep the note going as long as you want.
#21
Quote by Metalology
Paker



Bullseye! Parker guitars weigh next to nothing and sound fantastic. Sadly, the best ones cost a f@#king fortune.
#22
Ironwood body and lead hardware is the only way to go for good tone.
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#23
Quote by STABxYOU
Ironwood body and lead hardware is the only way to go for good tone.


Don't forget razor wire strings!! That's manly.
#24
My strat rip off ways more than a Gibson Les Paul, which is weird since I have no idea what kind of wood it is, and LP's are usually in the heavier end. My guitar is no where near most Gibson Les Pauls. In some cases this myth might hold true, but in general no.
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#25
Quote by D Man
A heavier guitar will transmit more low end and have a more heavily damped low end, accentuating 'thunk' sounds. (harmonic oscilators, frequency is proportional to root(1/mass); mass goes up, resonant frequency goes down)

But that said a guitars resonance all told is VASTLY more complex than just its mass, and compared to your bridge, nut, the species of wood, the tree it came from, where in that tree, the oil and water content, the grain direction and consistency, the type/security of the neck join, it will be one quite small factor of very many, and STILL up to your ears alone whether its s good one or not.




dude, you're back!

if anything, i like lighter guitars. But not too light. There does seem to be a "just right" or optimum range of weights.

That being said, as mark/d man says, there are a range of factors involved.
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#26
Out of my 2 Esp's, my heavier one sounds a lot better in my opinion, it sounds a lot more aggressive, and they both have the same pickups.
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#27
Quote by sigma005
I have heard or maybe read it somewhere that a heavier guitar is of better quality and has much better tone .
Is is true as more weight means more density of wood or hardware , so maybe more sustain as players upgrade the tremolo blocks with bigger and heavier brass ones ?
Can a small difference of 0.5 lbs - 1lbs can make a significant change in tone ?

Nope, just heavier.

And trem blocks usually change the metal type too; most stock ones on cheap guitars are zinc (which doesn't vibrate all that well for a metal - when you tap it with a screwdriver it goes "thunk," not "ping" like steel does) and usually the replacements are steel or brass (which vibrate a lot better - steel especially).
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Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#28
Okay , so tone is subjective ....yeah , but sorry for the confusion caused by me by saying Tone ...what I meant was if a guitar has more mass ...does it means that it would have more Sustain and Clarity in sound ??

I checked up on ebay and the guitar that I purchased is about a 0.5lbs-1lbs heavy than other guitars , even on the same model ( hell ..even the same color one ! )
Mine is bout 9lbs ....and the others are bout 8lbs-8.3lbs ....and they are the same guitar !


Here are the specs if someone would like to go in depth and explain :


BODY (Top) Quilted Maple, (Back) Ash w/abalon & White Binding

NECK 9-Piece Walnut & Hard Maple

FRETBOARD Ebony, 27frets w/abalon & White Binding

RADIUS 305R

SCALE 25.5 inch (648mm)

NUT Locknut (R2/42mm)

JOINT Neck-Thru-Body

TUNER GOTOH SG360-07

BRIDGE Floyd Rose Original

PICKUPS (Neck) Seymour Duncan SCR-1n
(Bridge) Seymour Duncan TB-5
#30
I know the biggest the body mass the better the sustain. But tone is not the same thing, it will be different, not better.
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ESP Standard Eclipse I CTM VW
ESP LTD Deluxe H-1001
ESP LTD Deluxe Viper-1000 STBC
ESP Edwards E-EX-100STD
Warmoth Paulcaster "Tiger"
Tanglewood TW170 AS
Vox Tonelab ST
Blackstar HT-1R


#31
Quote by metallicafan616
Tone is subjective.


+ A million. Weight doesn't necessarily make the guitar. However, You can't have a guitar that is neck heavy. That just won't work.
Always tin your strings.

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#32
Okay , so tone is subjective ....yeah , but sorry for the confusion caused by me by saying Tone ...what I meant was if a guitar has more mass...does it means that it would have more Sustain and Clarity in sound??

I checked up on ebay and the guitar that I purchased is about a 0.5lbs-1lbs heavy than other guitars , even on the same model ( hell ..even the same color one ! )
Mine is bout 9lbs ....and the others are bout 8lbs-8.3lbs ....and they are the same guitar!


Here are the specs if someone would like to go in depth and explain:
BRIDGE Floyd Rose Original

OFRs are solid steel - baseplate, saddles, locks, block, everything. Very resonant piece of hardware.
They have the same specs, they're not the same guitar. No two pieces of wood are the same - they all have unique characteristics. That's the normal range in weight.

And no, if it's heavier, it's just heavier. that changes tonal characteristics, but not especially noticeably, if it's of the same wood species. A 10lb les paul won't sound all that different from an 11 pound one or a 9 pound one.
Quote by Gargoyle2500
+ A million. Weight doesn't necessarily make the guitar. However, You can't have a guitar that is neck heavy. That just won't work.

Ever heard of the Gibson SG? That guitar is neck heavy as ****-all.
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Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#33
Quote by paruwi
Wanna get tone ?

Go semi-hollow or hollowbody !




thread pwnt.


I don't think it gets less dense than a hollowbody, and they can definitely achieve some good tones.


I think the power of wood on tone is REALLY exaggerated here on these forums, and I will believe this until someone makes 2 identical guitars, made of out alder and the other of mahogany, and give sound samples.
#34
Quote by rooster456
I lol at all the ibanez players that voted yes.


I'm sure it was mainly them, too. That or beginners with Epiphone special packs.

Although, my first guitar was a solid body Epiphone LP SP II. It's much better than the others I've played, for sure, though.

Edit: The only thing still stock though, is the tuning pegs/saddle/neck and such.
#35
Tone is too subjective. There are ways of making a guitar lean more towards certain tones like a acoustic v an electric but alot is down to personal preference.
#36
its not really the heaviness its the wood and what it is made of and neck wood and finger board wood. pickups matter as well