#1
So I spotted one of these in a local pawn shop selling for $199 used (which is kinda high considering they sell for $250 new, even though many used guitar shops price them like the original discontinued EJ-200 at around $350!) about 3 weeks ago. I've owned 2 of these EJ Artists in the past, one I had to sell for financial reasons and the other I unloaded because it desperately needed a fret leveling and couldn't afford to pay almost as much as I paid for the guitar to have it done. But I LOVED the first EJ Artist I owned, and wanted another one.

Yesterday (the day after Christmas). I walked in, and sure enough it was still there. Played it first, made sure there were no serious issues. Neck was really bowed and strings were dead, but it was something I felt I could easily remedy. Talked them down to $180 and took it home.

After tightening the truss rod (which was extremely loose, almost 1/8" of relief in fact) I got the neck straightened within about .012" of relief at the 6th fret. After I put on some Elixir PB 12s, the guitar had the same boom and chime my first one had. It makes my good-sounding Epi AJ-220S (with the same strings and setup) sound kind of flat in comparison.

One note, I've read lots of things about the guitar possibly being all laminate, even with Epiphone listing the top as "select spruce" on their website. I can safely say with confidence that all three of these I have owned have had solid tops (as evidenced by the grain running through the thickness of the wood around the soundhole). The maple back and sides are more than likely laminated but we all know the top is what is important.

All in all I'm happy. Here's a pic.
#3
Quote by Tony Done
Looks good, but the saddle is in the wrong way round. I prefer that style of headstock to the more common one.


The picture was taken immediately after purchase, so this has been fixed. Whoever owned it last obviously didn't know how to set up a guitar, as the truss rod but was loose when I got it, and as you noticed, the saddle being upside down. In fact, the saddle being flipped caused deeper grooves in the high E and B string slots, thus causing some very slight buzz on those two strings, nothing to really gripe about. I may change the saddle one of these days for a bone one along with bone bridge pins.

The relief is right where I want it. I normally set up my electrics with about .009" or .010" of relief at the 7th or 8th fret. And I tend to like slightly more relief on my acoustics. I play hard and with a heavy hand so this helps counteract fret buzz.

I also like the larger sloped wing headstock over the clipped-wing. Looks classier.
Last edited by dkennedy88 at Dec 27, 2016,
#4
Well, "Happy New guitar Day":.

Moving on, older EJ-200's, even the electric varieties were laminated tops. You can search the web for people who own them reviewing them, mentioning a lower volume from the guitars than the newer, absolutely solid top models.

That notwithstanding, the top on your guitar does appear to be "book matched, as is quite apparent by the darker left side. I don't see a true mirror image balance in the grain streaking, but that may just be the fault of the photo.

Oddly, Epiphone has traditionally advertised, or named if you will, their acoustic only offerings of popular Gibson copies as, "artist" models. Along with calling all the tops of said models, "select spruce". (Indicating laminate).

However, inventory clearance could possibly have had some effect on that model. Epiphone did turn their acoustic production over to Samick in Indonesia, from a Chinese factory. (of their own ??). the newer stuff by Samick, is the most nicely built, and I believe, all solid top.

But, the new A/E EJ-200's are all cutaway models, none of the "Artist" models ever were. Those are the only guitars which have been marketed as absolutely solid topped, and the model designation reflects that. EJ-200 S (solid), C (Cutaway), E (electronics)

Personally, it never made a whole hell of a lot of sense to make the acoustic model laminated and the electric model solid top, but what the hell do I know. I particularly don't know when they ran out of laminate tops.

It seems it would make sense to change to solid tops for performance sake, but not announce the change, until you cleared all your laminate top back stock first!

Moving on, did Epiphone ever have a "clipped wing" head stock on these guitars? I thought that was a Gibson proprietary trademark, which despite being part of the same conglomerate, Epiphone would be prohibited from using. Both of the Epis I have, are the same "Dove wing" pattern.

Oh, you can bet your bottom dollar the back & sides are laminate. Although, Tony believes, and I agree with him, it really doesn't matter on guitars this size, in fact, it's probably a plus. Even those famous Guild maple jumbo 12 strings, had laminated, molded backs. And yes, laminated maple does indeed sound like maple. The first time I strummed a chord on my EJ-200, the sound of my Guild 12 string came rushing back to me!

Some additional trivia: Gibson's $4000.00 "ES-335", has a laminate top. It seems when the first issued the guitar, guys complained they fed back to much. Gibson changed the tops to laminated maple, and the rest bis history. They even took the f-holes out of the tops of B.B. King's "Lucile" for him.

EDIT: My bad on the head stock design. A great many do have the "slope wing" design", but a few others do have the "clipped wing" design. (Notably the very bottom, DR-100 & the very top Masterbilts). However, all the direct Gibson copies, have the dove wing head stocks, the EJ-200, the "Hummingbird, and the "Dove".
Last edited by Captaincranky at Dec 28, 2016,
#5
Captaincranky

The colour difference in the top could be due to grain runout, not uncommon. - I'm not sure what the correct term* is, but optically it is the same as the silking in maple, the light and dark parts can change places if you look from a different angle.

Dkennedy, does the top look different at different angles?

I'm very open-minded about laminate v. solid, even in tops, because (as I've mentioned many times before ) my favourite fingerpicking guitar, a Maton M300, is all-laminate. It does however have unusual bracing, the '80s Gibson "double X", and I've wondered how much that has to do with the fact that I like it so much.

EDIT - chatoyance.
Last edited by Tony Done at Dec 28, 2016,
#6
Quote by Tony Done
Captaincranky...[ ]....The colour difference in the top could be due to grain runout, not uncommon. - I'm not sure what the correct term is, but optically it is the same as the silking in maple, the light and dark parts can change places if you look from a different angle.....[ ]....
Tony, I'm aware of the cause, and it's very common, due to the fact you can only get a very few tops with zero grain tilt out of any given spruce tree... Deforestation and all that... I think Gibson used to claim you couldn't have more than 5 degrees of grain tilt without affecting the guitar's tone. Although I expect since they've had so much trouble with our fed regarding their wood stash, they've changed their tune. (Er, in a manner of speaking ).
#7
Captaincranky

Yeah, I admit that my eye is drawn to it very quickly when looking at guitars. Book matching would exacerbate it, because the runout would be running in opposite directions on the two sides.

Cedar doesn't show runout, and Takamine have committed some horrible woodworking crimes as a result. - I've seen one Tak with a damaged top when the grain had run out in less than 2" over the top thickness.

This business of "ideal timbers" raises my blood pressure. 20 years ago it was uniform 12 lpi sitka, now that has all gone, it's ugly torrefied 2nd growth adi.
Last edited by Tony Done at Dec 28, 2016,
#8
Quote by Tony Done


The colour difference in the top could be due to grain runout, not uncommon. - I'm not sure what the correct term* is, but optically it is the same as the silking in maple, the light and dark parts can change places if you look from a different angle.

EDIT - chatoyance.


Good to know
My God, it's full of stars!
#9
Quote by Captaincranky
Moving on, older EJ-200's, even the electric varieties were laminated tops. You can search the web for people who own them reviewing them, mentioning a lower volume from the guitars than the newer, absolutely solid top models.

That notwithstanding, the top on your guitar does appear to be "book matched, as is quite apparent by the darker left side. I don't see a true mirror image balance in the grain streaking, but that may just be the fault of the photo.

Oddly, Epiphone has traditionally advertised, or named if you will, their acoustic only offerings of popular Gibson copies as, "artist" models. Along with calling all the tops of said models, "select spruce". (Indicating laminate).

However, inventory clearance could possibly have had some effect on that model. Epiphone did turn their acoustic production over to Samick in Indonesia, from a Chinese factory. (of their own ??). the newer stuff by Samick, is the most nicely built, and I believe, all solid top.


This guitar was built in the Epiphone factory in China in 2010 (according to serial), like the other two I have owned and what I can tell you is that on all three of these acoustics, I could clearly see the same grain run from the visible portion of the top across the rim of the soundhole to the underside (inside the body), which confirms the three guitars in particular as having 2-piece solid tops. I have heard of others having laminate tops on their EJ Artists and others having solid tops like mine, just like I have seen the normal EJ-200s myself with both solid and laminate tops. I guess the "select spruce" advertising means simply that it is a spruce top and whether solid or not just depends on current stock. YMMV.

As far as the "Artist" designation, it has everything to do with the less ornate pickguard, dot inlays vs crowns, and no moustache bridge. Per Epiphone, the "Artist" models are really just cosmetically stripped down vs. the standard model.

Quote by Tony Done
Captaincranky

The colour difference in the top could be due to grain runout, not uncommon. - I'm not sure what the correct term* is, but optically it is the same as the silking in maple, the light and dark parts can change places if you look from a different angle.

Dkennedy, does the top look different at different angles?


At times. While taking a look at it tonight in my house, the treble side looked darker, but in the above picture the bass side appears darker. Either way, it really doesn't look bookmatched to me (not that it really matters). Either way, after a setup and new strings it definitely fills a room up and to me sounds better than my AJ-220S (which is a good guitar, by the way) that was made at the Samick plant.

I plan on replacing the tuners (with Grovers), saddle and bridge pins (with bone), and installing a soundboard transducer system (probably the JJB Prestige 330), so I can gig with it. I'll probably have no more than $150 in the guitar when I'm done, and you can't really complain about paying under $350 for a good gig-worthy acoustic.
Last edited by dkennedy88 at Dec 29, 2016,
#10
Quote by Captaincranky
Tony, I'm aware of the cause, and it's very common, due to the fact you can only get a very few tops with zero grain tilt out of any given spruce tree... Deforestation and all that... I think Gibson used to claim you couldn't have more than 5 degrees of grain tilt without affecting the guitar's tone. Although I expect since they've had so much trouble with our fed regarding their wood stash, they've changed their tune. (Er, in a manner of speaking ).



Congratulations to you DKennedy. It's always gratifying to buy a guitar that pleases. That is a beautiful instrument and you should feel guilty for STEALING IT AT THAT PRICE I have no Epiphone acoustics, but getting one is on my list. I've loved every damn Epiphone I've ever played, even my electric with the loose strap pegs and shitty tuners. Those necks are so fucking sexy to me, lol.

I don't know if I could handle a jumbo. My shortscale Cargo gets 99% of my play time. I love it so much. I don't even know if I could play a real guitar anymore, lol. Not that it would be much of a loss to the music world

Cranky always brags about his EJ-220, and I have no doubt they are great guitars. A question though....why are there two big guitar body types? There is the slim waisted Jumbos, like the 220, and then the plain old big Dreadnaughts. What do Jumbos bring that a big Dreadnaught doesn't? Not trying to be a dick, seriously would like to know. Does the slim waist "refine" the freq range a bit and deliver bigger lows, highs, and diminished mids (that would be my guesstimate). Presumably that could be advantageous in bands with more than 1 guitar player???

Please realize that the previous 2 lines were pure wild speculation, based on 48 ounces of Coors (so far!).
#11
Quote by TobusRex
Congratulations to you DKennedy. It's always gratifying to buy a guitar that pleases. That is a beautiful instrument and you should feel guilty for STEALING IT AT THAT PRICE I have no Epiphone acoustics, but getting one is on my list. I've loved every damn Epiphone I've ever played, even my electric with the loose strap pegs and shitty tuners. Those necks are so fucking sexy to me, lol.

I don't know if I could handle a jumbo. My shortscale Cargo gets 99% of my play time. I love it so much. I don't even know if I could play a real guitar anymore, lol. Not that it would be much of a loss to the music world

Cranky always brags about his EJ-220, and I have no doubt they are great guitars. A question though....why are there two big guitar body types? There is the slim waisted Jumbos, like the 220, and then the plain old big Dreadnaughts. What do Jumbos bring that a big Dreadnaught doesn't? Not trying to be a dick, seriously would like to know. Does the slim waist "refine" the freq range a bit and deliver bigger lows, highs, and diminished mids (that would be my guesstimate). Presumably that could be advantageous in bands with more than 1 guitar player???

Please realize that the previous 2 lines were pure wild speculation, based on 48 ounces of Coors (so far!).


From my experience you're not far off. I speculate that the physics behind it goes like this:

Most dreadnoughts have a lower bout that is around 15 5/8" (using Martin dimensions for reference). That said, despite the slim waist, a Gibson-styled Jumbo will have a 17" lower bout coupled with a 20 7/8" long body (as opposed to roughly 20") and a 12 1/4" upper bout (compared to 11 1/2"), with similar body depth to a dreadnought. Long story short, more cubic inches inside the body = more air moving in and out of the guitar, thus resulting in more bass and overall volume. Once you couple that with a brighter wood such as maple instead of mahogany or rosewood, you get a guitar with more lows, and in my experience slightly more highs, than a dreadnought, which to me, is perfect for strumming chords and rhythm work.

Aside from liking the tone, I'm also about 6'4", 6'5" on a good day, with long arms and torso, and the super jumbo body style feels best tucked under my arm.
#12
Small contribution to the current topic, but I've always been more comfortable seated with a jumbo instead of a dreadnought. Despite my username, I am not a fan of the dreadnought shape at all. I find it cumbersome.

For the money you spent and are planning on spending, that's a great deal for a guitar that you are happy to be gigging with! I'm not a fan of Epiphone acoustics, but all the power to ya
My God, it's full of stars!
#13
Quote by Dreadnought
Small contribution to the current topic, but I've always been more comfortable seated with a jumbo instead of a dreadnought. Despite my username, I am not a fan of the dreadnought shape at all. I find it cumbersome.

For the money you spent and are planning on spending, that's a great deal for a guitar that you are happy to be gigging with! I'm not a fan of Epiphone acoustics, but all the power to ya


My other acoustic is an Epi AJ-220S, which is a sloped-shoulder dreadnought. I don't find them really cumbersome, but the way the waist of a jumbo sits on my thigh and pushes the lower bout under my right arm at just the right angle can't be matched by another guitar.

Honestly, I find that Epiphones across the board (electric or acoustic) are very hit or miss. Out of three Les Pauls and five acoustics, I've only found half of the eight total didn't have a flaw that broke the deal for me. I have 2 keepers with my two acoustics now though.
Last edited by dkennedy88 at Dec 29, 2016,
#14
Quote by TobusRex
...[ ]....Cranky always brags about his EJ-220, and I have no doubt they are great guitars. A question though....why are there two big guitar body types? There is the slim waisted Jumbos, like the 220, and then the plain old big Dreadnaughts. What do Jumbos bring that a big Dreadnaught doesn't? Not trying to be a dick, seriously would like to know. Does the slim waist "refine" the freq range a bit and deliver bigger lows, highs, and diminished mids (that would be my guesstimate). Presumably that could be advantageous in bands with more than 1 guitar player???

Please realize that the previous 2 lines were pure wild speculation, based on 48 ounces of Coors (so far!).
I'll give you a semi-technical answer to the bass aspect of a true "super jumbo", based on my experience with high fidelity equipment.

Any enclosed volume of air, has a specific resonant frequency. The larger the volume, the lower the resonance. Hence the massive difference in tone, between banging on a 5 gallon paint can, versus banging on a 55 gallon drum.

The low E-6 string n the guitar is about 81 Hz.. The larger the volume of the guitar, the more of that 81 Hz fundamental will (or should), manifest itself. Or, put in "sound tech jargon", the less "roll off" @ 81 Hz will be present. You just have to google "bajo sexto", and see the humongous size of that Mexican instrument, designed to be a "an acoustic bass you wear around your neck", to be able to correlate its size, with what I'm saying about guitar body sizes.

As far as "better control" of bass frequencies goes, several factors could be involved. First though, it could simply be the fact that a dread body is smaller, and therefore tuned slightly higher. This would emphasize the mid bass, (and dreads usually do have an annoying peak in the mid bass, which I hear as "muddiness").

I'm not a sound engineer, so I shouldn't comment about what's going on inside a jumbo body regarding whether or not the waist splits the interior volume into two different resonant circuits. I suspect it does, but I can't prove it.

As for me, "always bragging about my EJ-220s", it's a dirty thankless job, especially here at UG, but somebody's got to do it!

I tend to read reviews of a product, long after it's been bought, but unfortunately, still being paid for. Most, to damn near all of them, agree with my assessment of these guitars. The only dissenters seem to be wannabe Gibson J-200 owners, unwilling to compromise with the Epi, yet still unable to afford the Gibson. Or, somebody desperately trying to sell you a Gibson J-200 instead.

You really live a more peaceful life here at UG, if you just recommend a Yamaha FG-700, (now FG-800), and be done with it. Everybody knows the Yamaha is the best, period. Well, these Epis are quite good as well. The only reservation I have about recommending an EJ-200 to a beginner, is obviously the size of the guitar. That said, I always do include, "beware, these damned guitars are huge", or words to that effect, every time I suggest a purchase.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Dec 29, 2016,
#15
Thank you for expanding on my explanation Cranky, with a more scientific approach.

Jumbos aren't for everyone, but you can't beat the clarity of a hard-strummed jumbo.
#16
I've read that the waisted designs like the J-200 and Martin J series tend to have more overtones than the boxier designs like the dread, and therefore less cutting power in an ensemble situation. - Which is why 'grassers prefer dreads. My own limited experience listening to Martin Js and dreads in a trad bluegrass situation tends to confirm this.
#17
Quote by Tony Done
I Which is why 'grassers prefer dreads. My own limited experience listening to Martin Js and dreads in a trad bluegrass situation tends to confirm this.
You do realize, hanging a set of mediums or heavies on a guitar with the action jacked up to about 1/4" at the 12th fret, along with using a pick made from a chunk of petrified stone chipped on the head of a tomahawk, would be considered "cheating" in some circles, er, don't you?

Not to mention the civilized thing to do would be to simply, plug the darn things in...right?
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jan 5, 2017,
#18
Captaincranky

Nah, the ghosts of Bill Monroe and Lester Flatt are still watching over those good ole' boys. Most 'grassers do seem to plug in these days, but the form remains, like jazz players still using hollowbody archtops. I recently watched a vid of Tony Rice and maybe half a dozen other 'grassers playing together in concert. The only one using a mic was Tony Rice with his old D-28.

Have you ever watched a trad bluegrass group that uses a single mic? It does demonstrate interesting things about projection.

My mate at the music store reckons that waisted designs in his importer brand are selling a good deal more than dreads. However, From what I've tried of acoustics, I still tend to prefer dreads - but I think it is mostly habit, not much to do with tone. I like the Maton shape, which is between a slope D and a martin D
#19
Tony Done

If you have about 24 minutes of your life you're willing to give away and won't ever get back, watch these two ass hats demo the cheapo 150e against a new Taylor ukulele size all mahogany 12 fret 12 sting, and tell me what you think.

#20
OK, I listened to what I think were the couple of minutes of relevant bits. Why do they do all that freakin' chat?

From what I've tried, small bodied, all-mahogany 12 fret is a good combination, but I preferred the 150. There was nice nasal jangle and the low tones (important to me) came through much stronger than on the 562 (?). The 562 sounded as if it ran out of headroom when played hard, and more than a bit thin. Good if that is what you want, but not my cup of tea. Disclaimer, since this is a recording and not me playing them side by side, I haven't got a lot of confidence in my opinion.

EDIT I reckon that the 150 would have more cutting power in an acoustic mix due to its bass response - like the old acoustic archtops.
Last edited by Tony Done at Dec 30, 2016,
#21
Quote by Tony Done
OK, I listened to what I think were the couple of minutes of relevant bits. Why do they do all that freakin' chat?
Because they're ass hats. I tried to make that clear at the outset..

I think they do more to un-sell gear than they do to get it out the door, but what do I know..

Then there's the "uncomfortably eye contact" always being made by the guy on the right. Unnoticed by me of course, but mentioned by a few of the commenters on a different video of theirs.

Quote by Tony Done
From what I've tried, small bodied, all-mahogany 12 fret is a good combination, but I preferred the 150. There was nice nasal jangle and the low tones (important to me) came through much stronger than on the 562 (?). The 562 sounded as if it ran out of headroom when played hard, and more than a bit thin. Good if that is what you want, but not my cup of tea. Disclaimer, since this is a recording and not me playing them side by side, I haven't got a lot of confidence in my opinion.
That was exactly my point, The lowly 150e sort of ate it for breakfast. And knowing that site, they probably had the board EQ set to favor the 562. I thought it wreaked of desperation when they dragged out the concert mahogany 6 string for comparison.

Quote by Tony Done
EDIT I reckon that the 150 would have more cutting power in an acoustic mix due to its bass response - like the old acoustic archtops.
Tell me about it. Those guitars are ungodly loud. I couldn't sing over mine today, while in the process of not remembering I shut off the amp and unplugged it.

Not that I'm a strong singer, but imagine my embarrassment, screaming at what seemed like the top of my lungs, and looking down to find it unplugged. oops:
Last edited by Captaincranky at Dec 30, 2016,
#23
Quote by Tony Done
I think that projection might have something to do with harmonic content as well as sheer volume. Less harmonics - more projection.


Why would this be true?
My God, it's full of stars!
#24
Dreadnought

I don't know, it's just an idea. - Having the sound focused into single frequency, instead of spread over a lot of harmonics might make it more distinctive in a mix of other closely related sounds. It really impressed me hearing the difference between a couple of Martin "J" size guitars and a couple of Martin dreads in an unamplified bluegrass setting. I don't see it as better or worse, just horses for courses.
#25
That's an interesting thought, but I don't think it boils down to that simple of an occurrence. I'm pretty sure that even a single note plucked will simultaneously produce the fundamental frequency and harmonics/overtones.

I'm out of my league on this one though, I'm no sound (nor any other type) of engineer.

I just know how to play
My God, it's full of stars!
#26
Dreadnought

Can I try this one, or does it have to be Tony?

Never mind, fools rush in: There are a few factors at play, but keep in mind most of my answers will be influenced by my (perhaps limited), experience with audio technology.

First, human hearing frequency response is far from flat. (You know, that 20 to 20,000 Hz + or - 1db nonsense you see when buying a piece of audio gear). Fletcher & Munson proved this, and also established that the frequency response curve of our hearing changes with volume. These two are the actors responsible for that "loudness button", on the front of your hi-fi amp or receiver.

In any case, our hearing sensitivity peaks at about 1000 Hz, give or take. So, accordingly, it take less energy dispersed into that frequency range to stimulate our ears into perceiving a sound as "loud". If you do some quick math based on 81 Hz for E2 (E-6 string), double twice for E4 320 Hz (e-1 string), then go up two more octaves into the mandolin and violin pitch ranges, you get 640 Hz E5 and 1280 Hz E6. As you know violins and mandolins both carry extremely well, and we perceive them as being quite "loud", especially for their size.

Now, strumming 6 strings with pick "X", swung by arm "Y", produces "Z" quantity of energy, across an undefined " frequency filter / tuned chamber / acoustic reflector- air coupler". Sound waves use energy to articulate, and our undefined filter, (in this case the guitar), gives them off according to is size (volume), and acoustic reflectivity. The frequency distribution in the final output is going to determine how we perceive the overall volume.

That's pretty much why sound "mixing", is very concerned with assigning each instrument a segment of the total bandwidth where it is most likely to be heard the best. But as I say, if the instrument itself is siphoning off energy from the region where are ears are most sensitive, and distributing it to less sensitive frequencies, you can have a whole lot of energy dispersed and still not have the apparent volume of an instrument that focuses its energy where it's "going to do the most good". By which I mean, where it's going to appear loudest to us. (Remember, we only had a finite quantity of total energy, to be distributed, across the entire spectrum).

Then there's "acoustic masking" at work. If you want one sound to disappear, play another louder one. It doesn't have to be the same frequency. In fact, you can still cover up mid range sounds with lower frequencies, which will more or less sound softer to our ears, but may be carried by higher energy waves..

Does that help?
Last edited by Captaincranky at Dec 31, 2016,
#28
Tony Done

It also needs to be said, the guitar, (assuming we talking about playing it in the open position, really doesn't have fundamentals in the spectrum where are ears are most sensitive. So, volume is going to be perceived as much on the harmonic content as the fundamental frequency. But, if the guitar is expending energy developing harmonics under the fundamental, that would be wasted energy, at least to the effect of producing maximum perceived volume.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Dec 31, 2016,
#29
Quote by Captaincranky
Dreadnought

Can I try this one, or does it have to be Tony?

Never mind, fools rush in: There are a few factors at play, but keep in mind most of my answers will be influenced by my (perhaps limited), experience with audio technology.

First, human hearing frequency response is far from flat. (You know, that 20 to 20,000 Hz + or - 1db nonsense you see when buying a piece of audio gear). Fletcher & Munson proved this, and also established that the frequency response curve of our hearing changes with volume. These two are the actors responsible for that "loudness button", on the front of your hi-fi amp or receiver.

In any case, our hearing sensitivity peaks at about 1000 Hz, give or take. So, accordingly, it take less energy dispersed into that frequency range to stimulate our ears into perceiving a sound as "loud". If you do some quick math based on 81 Hz for E2 (E-6 string), double twice for E4 320 Hz (e-1 string), then go up two more octaves into the mandolin and violin pitch ranges, you get 640 Hz E5 and 1280 Hz E6. As you know violins and mandolins both carry extremely well, and we perceive them as being quite "loud", especially for their size.

Now, strumming 6 strings with pick "X", swung by arm "Y", produces "Z" quantity of energy, across an undefined " frequency filter / tuned chamber / acoustic reflector- air coupler". Sound waves use energy to articulate, and our undefined filter, (in this case the guitar), gives them off according to is size (volume), and acoustic reflectivity. The frequency distribution in the final output is going to determine how we perceive the overall volume.

That's pretty much why sound "mixing", is very concerned with assigning each instrument a segment of the total bandwidth where it is most likely to be heard the best. But as I say, if the instrument itself is siphoning off energy from the region where are ears are most sensitive, and distributing it to less sensitive frequencies, you can have a whole lot of energy dispersed and still not have the apparent volume of an instrument that focuses its energy where it's "going to do the most good". By which I mean, where it's going to appear loudest to us. (Remember, we only had a finite quantity of total energy, to be distributed, across the entire spectrum).

Then there's "acoustic masking" at work. If you want one sound to disappear, play another louder one. It doesn't have to be the same frequency. In fact, you can still cover up mid range sounds with lower frequencies, which will more or less sound softer to our ears, but may be carried by higher energy waves..

Does that help?


Yep, I'm happy with this explanation!
My God, it's full of stars!
#30
Wow you guys, thank you. You turned my post talking about my cheap acoustic (which I love) into a deep conversation regarding physics and the sciences of acoustic body shapes. I dig it (100% truth).

That said, I've had several claims I've had for years reinforced by some of this further discussion. Thank you.

#34
Well guys, small update: I finally got the neck to about .010" relief at the 6th fret. Also changed strings to .13s (Elixir Nanoweb PB). Made a huge difference, with tuning a half-step down and all. Definitely loving it.
#36
I haven't tried them yet. I've been curious about them though. I figure with an aluminum alloy it should be somewhat more rust-resistant thus last longer than the average string.