#1
Hey UG,

This has been bothering me for quite some time.

So on any electric guitar the pickups pick up vibrations from the strings (metal strings vibrating create differences in the magnetic field yada yada yada...).

The pickups ONLY pick up vibration from the strings (at least that's what I've always thought) since you have to have the strings properly aligned with the pole pieces etc.

Here's the question:

Why EXACTLY does a guitar with a hollow body sound different from a solid solid body or a guitar with a bolt on neck sound different from one with a set neck? Does the body construction affect the way the strings vibrate and then the pickups pick up that?

I'm confused here...
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#3
what do the strings attach to? machine heads, bridge, nut. what do they attach to? the neck, the body.

so the string vibrations are affected by everything else. thats why you can get different style nut's and bridges and stuff.

some wood resonates differently. some wood has longer sustain etc. i think thats to do with the way the certain wood is (some wood being denser and whatnot)

but yeah thats generally it
#4
Quote by Doonan
what do the strings attach to? machine heads, bridge, nut. what do they attach to? the neck, the body.

so the string vibrations are affected by everything else. thats why you can get different style nut's and bridges and stuff.

some wood resonates differently. some wood has longer sustain etc. i think thats to do with the way the certain wood is (some wood being denser and whatnot)

but yeah thats generally it



You took the words right outta my mouth.

But yes, he is correct.
#5
Just to add to what Doonan said, The strings pick up some vibrations from the body as well as put them in to start with. The more they pick up, through good materials, the more sustain you will have. Different woods not only make for different levels of sustain but also the types of harmonics that brings. Mahogany has a peak in the mid-bass ranges. Maple has its peak higher up the tone scale. So often, combining various woods, like Mahogany body, Maple neck and Ebony fretboard, will give a wide range of tones to come back to the strings.
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#6
Quote by Lurcher
Just to add to what Doonan said, The strings pick up some vibrations from the body as well as put them in to start with. The more they pick up, through good materials, the more sustain you will have.
That's true to a point, but the vibrations in the wood originate from the strings in the first place so it's rather irrelevant, part of the reason why good dense woods have better sustain is because they actually vibrate less and so less of the energy from the string is lost to the air. As a general rule of thumb, the quieter a guitar is when it's unplugged, the better the sustain.