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Sullinger
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#1
Alright, I'm starting a thread for this.
So, everyone wants to believe that the wood their guitar is made of makes a difference with the tone when it's plugged in.
I can tell you it doesn't.
The best evidence for this is fingerboard inlays. Let's say you have a Les Paul with block inlays. Does your tone change when you hit the 3rd, 5th, and 7th fret? The inlay is a completely different material than the rosewood, right?

Body wood doesn't matter either. When you hit a string, it creates a magnetic disturbance that the pickup picks up (hence pickup), and that goes to your amp's loud speaker and recreated. It pretty well known wood doesn't really have any magnetic properties. The wood isn't going to change what freq. a pickup picks up.

I will argue that wood will make a difference in sustain and other things like that, just not tone.

So, why DO people believe wood makes a tonal difference? It's just the companies. They're going to make more money if people believe that wood makes a difference. They stay with wood just because it's traditional and since there are so many different types...
yeah.


EDIT: http://www.guitarsite.com/news/music_news_from_around_the_world/electric-guitar-wood-myth-busted/ (this link's working)
Last edited by Sullinger at Nov 15, 2012,
OliOsbourne
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#2
Rather than investing in "high quality" woods, should I buy $100 cable instead for my toanz?
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Pink Muse
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#4
My brain is screaming that you're just a really bad troll, but as I know Google will lead kiddies who don't know better here, yes, wood affects your tone.

It's all about which vibrations the wood carries and how it does it. It's science, kiddies, and if you don't have a science degree, don't try and argue it.
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tl;dr How does one safely remove the smell of a corpse from a banjo?


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Sullinger
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#5
Quote by OliOsbourne
Rather than investing in "high quality" woods, should I buy $100 cable instead for my toanz?


Nope. Cable is another thing I know of quite a bit, too. Higher end cables do send more frequencies, but none a human being can hear.
So if you're a dog, go for it.
If you're a human, go for "high quality" pickups, amps, and speakers.
Last edited by Sullinger at Nov 14, 2012,
Sullinger
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#6
Quote by Pink Muse
My brain is screaming that you're just a really bad troll, but as I know Google will lead kiddies who don't know better here, yes, wood affects your tone.

It's all about which vibrations the wood carries and how it does it. It's science, kiddies, and if you don't have a science degree, don't try and argue it.


The vibrations the wood carries is for things like sustain. Not the tone.
W4RP1G
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#7
Quote by Sullinger
The vibrations the wood carries is for things like sustain. Not the tone.

Nope, the vibrations affect the tone.
Supernaut2k
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#8
Do you have any further reading about this or just your own findings?
Sullinger
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#9
Quote by W4RP1G
Nope, the vibrations affect the tone.


What makes tone A different from tone B?
Pink Muse
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#10
Quote by Sullinger
The vibrations the wood carries is for things like sustain. Not the tone.

And if certain frequencies vibrate better than others, they'll carry through. Thus affecting tone. Density and mass affect sustain, wood hardness affects absorption of soundwaves.
Quote by Wisthekiller
tl;dr How does one safely remove the smell of a corpse from a banjo?


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lemurflames
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#11
All this talk about wood and vibrations.
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W4RP1G
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#12
Quote by Sullinger
What makes tone A different from tone B?

The wood.

I would go into more detail, but you have a habit of ignoring what I say when you can't argue against it.
Sullinger
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#14
Quote by W4RP1G
The wood.

I would go into more detail, but you have a habit of ignoring what I say when you can't argue against it.


Fine, I'll do it: tone is just what frequencies are put out there. So, you hit a string on an electric, wood makes a tonal difference when you just here it, but once it goes through your pickups and to your amp, it doesn't.
At all.
Pickups don't hear anything, they just feel magnetic vibrations.
samuraigoomba
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#15
http://www.jemsite.com/forums/f30/why-does-wood-affect-electric-guitar-tone-119924.html
http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tele-home-depot/201469-will-body-wood-make-much-difference-sound.html
http://www.jemsite.com/forums/f30/why-does-wood-affect-electric-guitar-tone-119924.html
http://www.tdpri.com/forum/telecaster-discussion-forum/199437-ash-vs-alder.html

You're not going to be the one to swoop in and answer this unless you present physical evidence. Let's say I grant that the neck woods don't matter. Now, I've granted your neck argument, how do you prove, with evidence, that the body woods don't matter? You can't use your neck example because I've already granted it for the sake of argument. Necks =/= bodies. A statement like "this also doesn't matter" isn't proof, it's just an assertion.

http://ratcliffe.co.za/articles/bodywoods.shtml

Let's even say I grant your conspiracy theory. The fact remains that the reasons you give why tonewoods don't matter are no more convincing than the reasons others give why they do matter. Until you present evidence, you have no case for conspiracy.

This is a stupid thing to argue about. If you believe there is a guitar conspiracy to push more expensive woods on consumers, do the research, report your findings to the appropriate media outlets and become famous. Until then, shut up. This is, incidentally, the exact same point I make with creationists and 9/11 truthers. The irony is not lost on me.
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#16
Quote by Sullinger

Your link isn't working, but it says "exotic tone woods" and "sound tone purists beware." I obviously can't read it, but I would wager it's talking about the 10,000 year old swamp ash compared to regular swamp ash (which even then, will have an effect). To say Brazilian rosewood and African rosewood won't make a difference is a little presumptive, but to say rosewood and mahogany don't make any difference is just ignorant.
Quote by Wisthekiller
tl;dr How does one safely remove the smell of a corpse from a banjo?


Would you run down past the fence?

Tell us, is the black box lying?
Huge Guy
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#17
Quote by Sullinger

So, why DO people believe wood makes a tonal difference? It's just the companies. They're going to make more money if people believe that wood makes a difference. They stay with wood just because it's traditional and since there are so many different types...
yeah.


Bring on the meat guitars!
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Sullinger
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#18
Quote by Pink Muse
Your link isn't working, but it says "exotic tone woods" and "sound tone purists beware." I obviously can't read it, but I would wager it's talking about the 10,000 year old swamp ash compared to regular swamp ash (which even then, will have an effect). To say Brazilian rosewood and African rosewood won't make a difference is a little presumptive, but to say rosewood and mahogany don't make any difference is just ignorant.


Understand this: I'm not saying wood doesn't change tone; it just doesn't matter when you're plugged in. The tone you hear from your amp is just pickups and pots. No two pickups are the same and the distance the pickup is from the strings makes a difference too.

Well, I really gotta do my homework. I'll be back for all of this tomorrow!
dannyalcatraz
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#19
You might want to check that link or find another source. It's not loading- the guitarsquid may be guitarcalimari...
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

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Sullinger
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#20
Quote by samuraigoomba
http://www.jemsite.com/forums/f30/why-does-wood-affect-electric-guitar-tone-119924.html
http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tele-home-depot/201469-will-body-wood-make-much-difference-sound.html
http://www.jemsite.com/forums/f30/why-does-wood-affect-electric-guitar-tone-119924.html
http://www.tdpri.com/forum/telecaster-discussion-forum/199437-ash-vs-alder.html

You're not going to be the one to swoop in and answer this unless you present physical evidence. Let's say I grant that the neck woods don't matter. Now, I've granted your neck argument, how do you prove, with evidence, that the body woods don't matter? You can't use your neck example because I've already granted it for the sake of argument. Necks =/= bodies. A statement like "this also doesn't matter" isn't proof, it's just an assertion.

http://ratcliffe.co.za/articles/bodywoods.shtml

Let's even say I grant your conspiracy theory. The fact remains that the reasons you give why tonewoods don't matter are no more convincing than the reasons others give why they do matter. Until you present evidence, you have no case for conspiracy.

This is a stupid thing to argue about. If you believe there is a guitar conspiracy to push more expensive woods on consumers, do the research, report your findings to the appropriate media outlets and become famous. Until then, shut up. This is, incidentally, the exact same point I make with creationists and 9/11 truthers. The irony is not lost on me.


This difference people hear is from their pickups. No two pickups are the same, and those few more wounds make a pretty big difference.

I really gotta go!
W4RP1G
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#21
Quote by Sullinger
So, why DO people believe wood makes a tonal difference?

As I told you before, I could hear a difference when I swapped pickups between different guitars. It's not in my head either since I thought I would never hear a difference as I was doing it.

Also... My anecdotal evidence > Your anecdotal evidence. It's a fact.
OliOsbourne
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#23
Would you also say that guitar picks make no difference either?
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Pink Muse
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#24
Quote by Sullinger
Understand this: I'm not saying wood doesn't change tone; it just doesn't matter when you're plugged in. The tone you hear from your amp is just pickups and pots. No two pickups are the same and the distance the pickup is from the strings makes a difference too.

Well, I really gotta do my homework. I'll be back for all of this tomorrow!

Amp, pickups, pots, all have effects. Distance from pickup probably does, but is most noticeable with clarity vs gain. The effect of wood on tone is not diminished at all just because the signal is going through the pickup- they still affect how the soundwaves vibrate and ring out once the strings are plucked, and thus which hit the pickup and how strong they are when they do.

Can you concede that wood type has a very pronounced effect on acoustic guitar tone?

If you can't you have no reason arguing this at all, and just need to learn more about guitars.

If you can, realize that what you're saying is an acoustic guitar with a pickup in the soundhole will suddenly discount the wood types. Electric guitars work on similar principles, though not as extreme, but wood type still has a very quantifiable effect on the overall tone of the guitar, even when plugged in and going through the pickups, the effects, the amp, and the speakers (cab wood and construction also has an effect, in case you want to try and discount that, too).
Quote by Wisthekiller
tl;dr How does one safely remove the smell of a corpse from a banjo?


Would you run down past the fence?

Tell us, is the black box lying?
Sullinger
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#25
Quote by W4RP1G
As I told you before, I could hear a difference when I swapped pickups between different guitars. It's not in my head either since I thought I would never hear a difference as I was doing it.

Also... My anecdotal evidence > Your anecdotal evidence. It's a fact.


Yes, but distance and jacks make a difference (and pots; but you said they were the same previously)
And it's not a fact. Give me a link to a legitament source that proves material makes a tonal difference in an electric guitar.

And you always complain about how I ignore you. Please explain my inlay evidence.
Sullinger
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#26
Quote by Pink Muse
Amp, pickups, pots, all have effects. Distance from pickup probably does, but is most noticeable with clarity vs gain. The effect of wood on tone is not diminished at all just because the signal is going through the pickup- they still affect how the soundwaves vibrate and ring out once the strings are plucked, and thus which hit the pickup and how strong they are when they do.

Can you concede that wood type has a very pronounced effect on acoustic guitar tone?

If you can't you have no reason arguing this at all, and just need to learn more about guitars.

If you can, realize that what you're saying is an acoustic guitar with a pickup in the soundhole will suddenly discount the wood types. Electric guitars work on similar principles, though not as extreme, but wood type still has a very quantifiable effect on the overall tone of the guitar, even when plugged in and going through the pickups, the effects, the amp, and the speakers (cab wood and construction also has an effect, in case you want to try and discount that, too).


When you hear a guitar played acoustically, you're actually hearing the guitar. Through an amp, you don't. And even if it did make a tonal difference, why do people use there band eq? That kinda defeats the purpose of different tonal wood, huh?
OliOsbourne
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#27
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Sullinger
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#28
Quote by OliOsbourne
Would you also say that guitar picks make no difference either?

Why would they?
KSEjunkie2468
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#29
Quote by Pink Muse
And if certain frequencies vibrate better than others, they'll carry through. Thus affecting tone. Density and mass affect sustain, wood hardness affects absorption of soundwaves.



Quote by Sullinger
Understand this: I'm not saying wood doesn't change tone; it just doesn't matter when you're plugged in. The tone you hear from your amp is just pickups and pots. No two pickups are the same and the distance the pickup is from the strings makes a difference too.

Well, I really gotta do my homework. I'll be back for all of this tomorrow!


That makes no sense, the sound the string makes, the tone of the strings is amplified by the pickups. The tone of the strings is not ignored by the pickups, the pickups do not ONLY detect that the string is vibrating, there are different frequencies involved.

Take for example, two unplugged guitars, one mahogany and one maple, the mahogany guitar is going to sound darker when it is unplugged (this will happen for most guitars when comparing mahogany to maple.

Take your guitar, strum all six (or seven w/e) strings open, and lightly touch your finger against the back of your fretboard. You are going to feel your fret-board resonating with little vibrations. Wood is used because WOOD RESONATES. That's why a flute made out of wood sounds different than a plastic flute. The body of the guitar resonates a lower frequency. Its why they're called woodwind instruments not dogshitwind or plasticwind. This resonating of the wood changes the tone of the guitar as when the string begins to vibrate the wood resonates affecting how the strings sound when strumming, the when the strings are vibrating, the pickup, picks up the vibration of the string, and amplifies it (like you said).

Pink Muse has it right, the hardest of wood vs. Mahogany affects sound-waves (TONE). You have no argument Sullinger all you do is continuously ignore everything we say that goes against your ignorant opinion. Its really just silly XD
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#31
Quote by Sullinger
When you hear a guitar played acoustically, you're actually hearing the guitar. Through an amp, you don't. And even if it did make a tonal difference, why do people use there band eq? That kinda defeats the purpose of different tonal wood, huh?

Not really. It's all part of an equation that we can throw into crude percentages, but can never really pinpoint. Play a fat Strat and a Les Paul with the same bridge pickup through the same setup, and tell me they even sound similar; you can't even tweak the tone knobs to make them sound that alike.

It's like saying a Ferrari and a go cart are basically the same thing when the engine is on because, hey, they've both got a frame and four wheels. Kinda defeats the purpose of different engines, huh?
Quote by Wisthekiller
tl;dr How does one safely remove the smell of a corpse from a banjo?


Would you run down past the fence?

Tell us, is the black box lying?
bobthebum16
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#32
The type of wood changes the type of vibration in the string that the pickup picks up. That's what makes it so neat.
Sullinger
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#33
Quote by KSEjunkie2468
That makes no sense, the sound the string makes, the tone of the strings is amplified by the pickups. The tone of the strings is not ignored by the pickups, the pickups do not ONLY detect that the string is vibrating, there are different frequencies involved.

Take for example, two unplugged guitars, one mahogany and one maple, the mahogany guitar is going to sound darker when it is unplugged (this will happen for most guitars when comparing mahogany to maple.

Take your guitar, strum all six (or seven w/e) strings open, and lightly touch your finger against the back of your fretboard. You are going to feel your fret-board resonating with little vibrations. Wood is used because WOOD RESONATES. That's why a flute made out of wood sounds different than a plastic flute. The body of the guitar resonates a lower frequency. Its why they're called woodwind instruments not dogshitwind or plasticwind. This resonating of the wood changes the tone of the guitar as when the string begins to vibrate the wood resonates affecting how the strings sound when strumming, the when the strings are vibrating, the pickup, picks up the vibration of the string, and amplifies it (like you said).

Pink Muse has it right, the hardest of wood vs. Mahogany affects sound-waves (TONE). You have no argument Sullinger all you do is continuously ignore everything we say that goes against your ignorant opinion. Its really just silly XD


I really didn't want to go here: but you guys are some of the biggest idiots I've ever experienced. If I'm ignoring all of you guys, why hasn't anyone said anything about my inlay evidence?
KSEjunkie2468
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#34
Quote by Sullinger
Why would they?


Guitar picks absolutely make a tonal difference. A brass metal pick, striking metal, vs. a nylon pick strumming sounds different Ms. Keller.

Also, more expensive guitar cables don't just carry high frequencies that only dogs can hear, they carry frequencies that the 5$ piece of crap cable that comes with a starter amp simply cannot: FACT

I cannot believe invalid your arguments are, its astounding.
thetimo
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#35
The strings are attached to the wood, so the wood affects their vibrations by absorbing some frequencies.
The wood makes strings vibrate differently, the pickups pick up their vibrations.
Pink Muse
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#36
Quote by Sullinger
I really didn't want to go here: but you guys are some of the biggest idiots I've ever experienced. If I'm ignoring all of you guys, why hasn't anyone said anything about my inlay evidence?

A.) we conceded that neck wood is a much more subtle change in timbre than body; B.) if you're fretting far enough back to get on the inlay and no wood, it's improper technique, and you should worry about that before tone.
Quote by Wisthekiller
tl;dr How does one safely remove the smell of a corpse from a banjo?


Would you run down past the fence?

Tell us, is the black box lying?
danvwman
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#37
Wood acts like a parametric EQ, different density wood amplifies different frequincies thus tone.

And a chunk of basswood could be the same density as a chunk of mahogany ect, depends on the tree.

Different wood will vibrate different in high volume situations also.

But really everything about a guitar effects its sound/tone

Higher mass bridges sound fuller,stronger. So why wouldn't wood do the same??? Dumbass
What the hell!!!
samuraigoomba
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#38
Hmmm, an incomplete study and no link to the abstract or peer-reviewed journal that looked at their findings. A suspicious man might suggest their methodology was flawed and/or biased and their results purely subjective. The guy doing the research isn't even a professor, just an honors student. Seriously? And the website calls him a "university researcher?" Matthew even states up front that he went into the research with the idea that tonewoods don't affect tone. So it's hardly unbiased research.

What a shock, the ratings and comments are disabled on the video, too! Again, exactly like how the creationists and 9/11 truthers do things. >_>

He may very well be correct, but the research needs to be done properly by experts qualified in fields related to tone, not some random guy with an express desire to prove his own preconceived notions.

http://www.latrobe.edu.au/news/articles/2012/article/does-$10,000-guitar-sound-better-than-$300

This seems to be the only study I can find that anyone has ever done on tonewoods, so there needs to be more work done in this field.
Sullinger
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#39
Quote by Pink Muse
Not really. It's all part of an equation that we can throw into crude percentages, but can never really pinpoint. Play a fat Strat and a Les Paul with the same bridge pickup through the same setup, and tell me they even sound similar; you can't even tweak the tone knobs to make them sound that alike.

It's like saying a Ferrari and a go cart are basically the same thing when the engine is on because, hey, they've both got a frame and four wheels. Kinda defeats the purpose of different engines, huh?


THEY DON'T SOUND THE SAME BECAUSE OF ELECTRONIC DIFFERENCES, MOSTLY WITH THE PICKUPS. (My counter analogy) It's like taking the same opaque red paint and painting an oak board and a pine board and then saying "Well, the red is a lot warmer on the pine then the oak"
KSEjunkie2468
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#40
Quote by Sullinger
I really didn't want to go here: but you guys are some of the biggest idiots I've ever experienced. If I'm ignoring all of you guys, why hasn't anyone said anything about my inlay evidence?


How are we idiots, you're saying thinks that are factually incorrect and we are disagreeing. I and W4RP1G addressed your inlay argument in the previous post. The guitar fret is not made completely of the inlay material. The inlay is made in the fretboard's wood, with wood underneath it, this causes barely a change in tone, because the wood of the fret stays the same. We've already discussed this, but as i said, YOU IGNORED US, and THAT IS WHY YOU DON'T REMEMBER US SAYING ANYTHING ABOUT INLAY EVIDENCE,