Page 1 of 2
#1
My brother brought something to my attention about body woods and how they interact with your tone: it doesn't really make sense that pickups would sound different when placed in guitars with different body woods because body resonance plays no part in a magnet picking up the vibrations of a string. It especially does not make sense that a different body wood would brighten or darken your tone. I am obviously missing something here so could someone please explain it?
Quote by Killian5-0
I was looking at a friend of mines baby that was just born and I said "He's younger than me"

Quote by Rocker_geek
nexteyenate you win
Linux
#2
i think the rule is ... the denser the wood.. the more notes can sustain i think
#3
Quote by pepsi1187
i think the rule is ... the denser the wood.. the more notes can sustain i think

but WHY is that the case?
Quote by Killian5-0
I was looking at a friend of mines baby that was just born and I said "He's younger than me"

Quote by Rocker_geek
nexteyenate you win
Linux
#5
Quote by RatmN'Roses
whats wood got to do, got to do with it




Seriously thoughs, I think some of the wood changing tone stuff IS a little exaggerated.

People love to look like they know what they are talking about.
#6
Quote by RatmN'Roses
whats wood got to do, got to do with it



+1
I've been waiting for an answer. I've heard "this wood makes a ****ty guitar" but then I read about other musicians saying nah, not really. A poorly constructed guitar makes a ****ty guitar. I'd like to know. Everyone(on UG) hates agathis though.
GEAR:

Gretsch 5120 Anniversary Ed.
Ibanez Artcore AS73
Mann 2350CS (Les Paul Copy)
Epiphone SG Special
Fender Squier Bullet
Boss OS-2
Vox Valvetronix AD30VT 30w
Line 6 Spider III 15W (Hey, I jam in my living room...)
#7
The pick-ups and strings are both attached to the guitar, which is vibrating. Pretty simple really.

Just grab two guitars with the same pick-ups and different woods and see just how similar they really sound.
Last edited by Matheau at Jun 15, 2008,
#9
Quote by Punk_Ninja
Everyone on UG hates LOW GRADE agathis, very few have tried high grade agathis, in fact I've never seen a high grade agathis guitar.


Most of the people on here have not tried the gear they praise. Come on, we all know it's true...
#10
Quote by Jackolas
Most of the people on here have not tried the gear they praise. Come on, we all know it's true...


+1,000,000

Like I said last week: If you slap "Gibson" or "Les Paul" on a **** filled diaper, a large percentage of UG'ers would sell a kidney for it.
GEAR:

Gretsch 5120 Anniversary Ed.
Ibanez Artcore AS73
Mann 2350CS (Les Paul Copy)
Epiphone SG Special
Fender Squier Bullet
Boss OS-2
Vox Valvetronix AD30VT 30w
Line 6 Spider III 15W (Hey, I jam in my living room...)
#11
its audio physics... take a class and find out.
But seriously thats like saying i made a perpetual motion machine... Surroundings affect everything... denser woods will carry sound better because sound travels better thru dense materials, the real question is how much does it affect your sound and that would be relative... relativity another class you should probably read up on. but to me or another person who is obsessed with sound music and the likes it would definitely make a huge difference but to a guy who is just screwing around wtf does it matter to him he's just having fun.
The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised
-George Will

Also caught her playing fallout boy on my guitar, changed my strings and cleaned it the next day.
#12
Quote by Punk_Ninja
Everyone on UG hates LOW GRADE agathis, very few have tried high grade agathis, in fact I've never seen a high grade agathis guitar.



GEAR:

Gretsch 5120 Anniversary Ed.
Ibanez Artcore AS73
Mann 2350CS (Les Paul Copy)
Epiphone SG Special
Fender Squier Bullet
Boss OS-2
Vox Valvetronix AD30VT 30w
Line 6 Spider III 15W (Hey, I jam in my living room...)
#13
Quote by Dav23
+1,000,000

Like I said last week: If you slap "Gibson" or "Les Paul" on a **** filled diaper, a large percentage of UG'ers would sell a kidney for it.

why do you think gibson is dropping in quality... cuz ppl will buy it regardless of quality.
The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised
-George Will

Also caught her playing fallout boy on my guitar, changed my strings and cleaned it the next day.
#14
Quote by BAoxymoron
its audio physics... take a class and find out.
But seriously thats like saying i made a perpetual motion machine... Surroundings affect everything... denser woods will carry sound better because sound travels better thru dense materials, the real question is how much does it affect your sound and that would be relative... relativity another class you should probably read up on. but to me or another person who is obsessed with sound music and the likes it would definitely make a huge difference but to a guy who is just screwing around wtf does it matter to him he's just having fun.


OK then, explain it. How does sound reverberate on different grades of wood thus producing varying aural results?
GEAR:

Gretsch 5120 Anniversary Ed.
Ibanez Artcore AS73
Mann 2350CS (Les Paul Copy)
Epiphone SG Special
Fender Squier Bullet
Boss OS-2
Vox Valvetronix AD30VT 30w
Line 6 Spider III 15W (Hey, I jam in my living room...)
#15
Honestly you have to realize that the wood does vibrate along with the strings.
Different woods vibrate differently due to density, structure, openness of grain...
Besides, the string's movement is relative to the pickup. The pickups are connected to the wood fairly solidly and will move with the wood for the most part... so you do get the characteristics of the wood in your tone. How much does it color the tone? That I can't say, because I don't know.
But I can tell you this. Even if I were playing through the exact same Marshall, my LP would not sound like Wylde's, because when it boils down to the bare minimums, you have to see that the mahogany his guitar is made of is better suited for guitar use than the mahogany in mine. See, even different grades of the same species will sound different.
It's nothing to do with being a luthier (I'm not) or some kind of rocket scientist (I'm not). It's about simple physics. The sound is caused by the string moving through the pickup's magnetic field. If the magnetic field is moving at the same frequency as the string, it will either amplify or cancel that note... if it is offkey it will reduce the amplitude of that note.
See, so easy.
Epiphone Les Paul goldtop (EMG 81/85)
Epiphone Les Paul Custom
Fender Telecaster MIM
Epiphone SG Special
Jay Turser JT200 Serpent (GFS Crunchy Rails/Crunchy Pat)
Dean V-Coustic
Ovation Celebrity
Bugera 333-212
Crate Blue Voodoo 120H
#16
Quote by BAoxymoron
why do you think gibson is dropping in quality... cuz ppl will buy it regardless of quality.



Never said it's dropping in quality. Gibson makes FABULOUS guitars. Put a pad in your gibson panties. I was merely using them as an example. I'll say Fender next time, OK?
GEAR:

Gretsch 5120 Anniversary Ed.
Ibanez Artcore AS73
Mann 2350CS (Les Paul Copy)
Epiphone SG Special
Fender Squier Bullet
Boss OS-2
Vox Valvetronix AD30VT 30w
Line 6 Spider III 15W (Hey, I jam in my living room...)
#17
no i'm saying they are dropping in quality i strongly dislike gibson its overprice and generally over sized
The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised
-George Will

Also caught her playing fallout boy on my guitar, changed my strings and cleaned it the next day.
#18
I just noticed that there are alot of "allegedly" nice sounding guitars that aren't of the a1 class of wood. Been shopping around for a placebo model til I get my Falcon and noticed that there are a few good looking/nice sounding non budget breaking guitars.
GEAR:

Gretsch 5120 Anniversary Ed.
Ibanez Artcore AS73
Mann 2350CS (Les Paul Copy)
Epiphone SG Special
Fender Squier Bullet
Boss OS-2
Vox Valvetronix AD30VT 30w
Line 6 Spider III 15W (Hey, I jam in my living room...)
#19
Quote by BAoxymoron
no i'm saying they are dropping in quality i strongly dislike gibson its overprice and generally over sized

Over sized?
You think the most prominent maker of 24 3/4" scale guitars is.. oversized?
Have you ever seen an LP next to a Strat? A Hellraiser? An Ibanez?
Strats and most SuperStrats are 25+" scale. Much bigger guitars.
Epiphone Les Paul goldtop (EMG 81/85)
Epiphone Les Paul Custom
Fender Telecaster MIM
Epiphone SG Special
Jay Turser JT200 Serpent (GFS Crunchy Rails/Crunchy Pat)
Dean V-Coustic
Ovation Celebrity
Bugera 333-212
Crate Blue Voodoo 120H
#20
none of you guys really answered my question. Even though the pickups are connected to the wood, they would not be picking up any of the vibrations from the wood because the pickups are only picking up the vibrations from the strings.
Quote by Killian5-0
I was looking at a friend of mines baby that was just born and I said "He's younger than me"

Quote by Rocker_geek
nexteyenate you win
Linux
#21
Quote by BAoxymoron
no i'm saying they are dropping in quality i strongly dislike gibson its overprice and generally over sized



Not a full on drop, they're just mass produced now. Man. this is a great time to be a guitar company. I don't think there's ever been an interest in them as there is now. Guitars are seen as tools of gods now more than ever.
GEAR:

Gretsch 5120 Anniversary Ed.
Ibanez Artcore AS73
Mann 2350CS (Les Paul Copy)
Epiphone SG Special
Fender Squier Bullet
Boss OS-2
Vox Valvetronix AD30VT 30w
Line 6 Spider III 15W (Hey, I jam in my living room...)
#22
Quote by nexteyenate
none of you guys really answered my question. Even though the pickups are connected to the wood, they would not be picking up any of the vibrations from the wood because the pickups are only picking up the vibrations from the strings.

If the wood is vibrating, then it will vibrate anything that is connected to it, i.e. the pickups. So the pickups are vibrating, and because they are not sentient beings they will pick up their own vibration as string movement.
Epiphone Les Paul goldtop (EMG 81/85)
Epiphone Les Paul Custom
Fender Telecaster MIM
Epiphone SG Special
Jay Turser JT200 Serpent (GFS Crunchy Rails/Crunchy Pat)
Dean V-Coustic
Ovation Celebrity
Bugera 333-212
Crate Blue Voodoo 120H
#23
its not so much the pickups but the strings that are affected by the wood... true the pickups could and probably are affected slightly the primary thing is that when you go from something extremely dense to something less dense, steel to wood, frequency and volume are slightly affected, kind of like light bending thru a pair of glasses, some frequencies are affected more in certain densities so they can be amplified, suppressed and/or slightly distorted more than another frequency
The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised
-George Will

Also caught her playing fallout boy on my guitar, changed my strings and cleaned it the next day.
#24
Quote by Dav23
Not a full on drop, they're just mass produced now. Man. this is a great time to be a guitar company. I don't think there's ever been an interest in them as there is now. Guitars are seen as tools of gods now more than ever.

I'm not saying its a complete drop but since they're mass produced the quality control is substantially reduced.
guitars are popular cuz a guitar is about as simple as a piano(not quite) yet a guitar doesn't weigh +800lb.(unless its gibson)
The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised
-George Will

Also caught her playing fallout boy on my guitar, changed my strings and cleaned it the next day.
#25
Quote by BAoxymoron
I'm not saying its a complete drop but since they're mass produced the quality control is substantially reduced.
guitars are popular cuz a guitar is about as simple as a piano(not quite) yet a guitar doesn't weigh +800lb.(unless its gibson)



I find some of them to be a little more solid. Although I remember playing a low end Ibanez and thinking wow, this **** is heavy. I still may one day get an Epi LP-100 but I'm going hollow from now on.
GEAR:

Gretsch 5120 Anniversary Ed.
Ibanez Artcore AS73
Mann 2350CS (Les Paul Copy)
Epiphone SG Special
Fender Squier Bullet
Boss OS-2
Vox Valvetronix AD30VT 30w
Line 6 Spider III 15W (Hey, I jam in my living room...)
#27
^I really like that site it presents the info in an orderly manner and it has the right amount of info
The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised
-George Will

Also caught her playing fallout boy on my guitar, changed my strings and cleaned it the next day.
#28
Quote by nexteyenate
but WHY is that the case?


notes dont die as easily on a dense guitar.. idfk why, im not a carpenter, im just answering your question
#29
It's not the vibration of the pickups, it's the vibration of the strings. Different woods vibrate differently in relation to the string movement, which in turn effects the string's vibrations, which in turn affects the wood's vibrations, which in turn affects the string's vibrations, and so on.


Basically, different types of wood cause the strings to vibrate differently, because of the differences in resonance in the different woods.


I think.
Do YOU know who Les Paul is?

Guitars:
-Epiphone Dot Studio
Amps:
-Fender Stage 112 SE
Effects:
-BBE Soul Vibe
-Boss OD-1 Overdrive
-Ibanez DE-7 Delay
#30
A lot of you guys are saying the pickups vibrate with the wood. Have you ever taken a pickup and simply shaken it? It doesn't do anything, makes zero noise.

The thing is, pickups work by inducing electric when the strings pass through thier field. So why the surrounding wood would cause a difference, is beyond me.

I have been one to think wood does affect tone, but now I am kind of not so convinced. I have a poplar guitar, I threw together, and it sounds exceptionally well. Also my 3 piece alder telecaster sounds damned good too, but each have good pickups.

Now if the wood was really heavy in iron and other mineral deposits, it could have an affect on the tone, since the vibrations of the strings would cause minute vibrations in the minerals, causing the pickup to also induce current from the surrounding wood.

I wonder, darker woods are said to be darker in tone. The darker woods, by color, could actually have more iron than other lighter colored trees. Figure, the same concept as the dirt in Georgia or something, I think it's from high iron levels. Iron being ferrous, it could aid in producing a higher induced current... who knows right?
#31
Quote by ohspyro89
A lot of you guys are saying the pickups vibrate with the wood. Have you ever taken a pickup and simply shaken it? It doesn't do anything, makes zero noise.

The thing is, pickups work by inducing electric when the strings pass through thier field. So why the surrounding wood would cause a difference, is beyond me.

I have been one to think wood does affect tone, but now I am kind of not so convinced. I have a poplar guitar, I threw together, and it sounds exceptionally well. Also my 3 piece alder telecaster sounds damned good too, but each have good pickups.

Now if the wood was really heavy in iron and other mineral deposits, it could have an affect on the tone, since the vibrations of the strings would cause minute vibrations in the minerals, causing the pickup to also induce current from the surrounding wood.

I wonder, darker woods are said to be darker in tone. The darker woods, by color, could actually have more iron than other lighter colored trees. Figure, the same concept as the dirt in Georgia or something, I think it's from high iron levels. Iron being ferrous, it could aid in producing a higher induced current... who knows right?


So far I don't think anyone on UG really knows or has played enough differing instruments to know. However, your theory sounds pretty damned interesting.
GEAR:

Gretsch 5120 Anniversary Ed.
Ibanez Artcore AS73
Mann 2350CS (Les Paul Copy)
Epiphone SG Special
Fender Squier Bullet
Boss OS-2
Vox Valvetronix AD30VT 30w
Line 6 Spider III 15W (Hey, I jam in my living room...)
#32
wouldn't different woods affect how the strings vibrate? or am i way off? EDIT: and it's not just wood, it's the hardware too.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#33
Quote by ohspyro89
A lot of you guys are saying the pickups vibrate with the wood. Have you ever taken a pickup and simply shaken it? It doesn't do anything, makes zero noise.


Yes, but if you shook it fast enough over a stationary string, it would produce a current . The fact that not only the strings are vibrating means the current output changes depending on the vibrational damping characteristics of the wood.

Now if the wood was really heavy in iron and other mineral deposits, it could have an affect on the tone, since the vibrations of the strings would cause minute vibrations in the minerals, causing the pickup to also induce current from the surrounding wood.

I wonder, darker woods are said to be darker in tone. The darker woods, by color, could actually have more iron than other lighter colored trees. Figure, the same concept as the dirt in Georgia or something, I think it's from high iron levels. Iron being ferrous, it could aid in producing a higher induced current... who knows right?


I have no grounds to say you are wrong, but I will give my opinion.

The "darkness" or "brightness" of a tonewood has more to do with its rigidity rather than its density. For example a Balsa wood guitar - even being extraordinarily light - would produce a REALLY dark tone, as its softness would suck up most of the "snap" from when notes are plucked. On the other hand, Maple wood is extraordinarily hard and dense, but is one of the brightest woods around. It all has to do with stiffness.

If you want to test it, find some scrap pieces of different tone woods and snap them. The brighter woods will make a "snap" and the darker warmer woods will have more of a "pop."

EDIT:
The explanation of why softer, spongier woods tend to mute the higher frequencies is:

High frequencies carry poorly through damping resistance. If you use a softer piece of wood, it will absorb more of the high frequency rather than transfer it, as a harder wood would do.
Last edited by GC Shred Off at Jun 16, 2008,
#34
Quote by nexteyenate
none of you guys really answered my question. Even though the pickups are connected to the wood, they would not be picking up any of the vibrations from the wood because the pickups are only picking up the vibrations from the strings.


Try to tap on the active pickup on your guitar... The string not moving but why it still sounds?


Quote by Dav23
+1,000,000

Like I said last week: If you slap "Gibson" or "Les Paul" on a **** filled diaper, a large percentage of UG'ers would sell a kidney for it.

This is SOOOOOO SIGGED!
G͔͓̅e͎͉̟̽ͬ͐̎̃͐ͨͅå͈͖͕̹̤̟̐̏͋ͅr̩͕̫̰̗s̹̳̼ͥ̒̍̄̅ͥ̚:


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


Last edited by hminh87 at Jun 16, 2008,
#37
If you don't believe the wood has an effect on the sound, then play a mahogany based guitar with a specific pickup and then play an alder based guitar with the same pickup. It's quite noticable.

Pickups are just magnets attached to some wire. When you move a metal object(strings) through a magnetic field it'll create something known as a flux change within the magnetic field. This creates a (weak) electric current which is send to your amp. Since the strings are affected by how the wood (and tuners and bridge) vibrates along they have a subtle effect on how it vibrates, and your tone.
Yamaha RGX 520FZ
Squier Affinitys Strat (customized!)
Johnson 620 Player Acoustic

Boss HM3 hyper metal
Boss CH1 super chorus
Zoom G1X

Peavey Valveking Royal 8
New: Peavey JSX Mini Collosal
#38
Quote by XxGibsonSGxX
Well, like it or not, physics exist.

It's just what the material happens to be (in this case, wood).

http://www.eastmanstrings.com/eastmanstrings/insight/tonewoods.htm

I have no idea how legit that site is, but it has a bit of info on tonewoods.

well I am not doubting at all that it affects an instrument's acoustic tone.
Quote by Killian5-0
I was looking at a friend of mines baby that was just born and I said "He's younger than me"

Quote by Rocker_geek
nexteyenate you win
Linux
#39
The effect of different woods on tone is like argueing semantics.

There are a lot of different ways to do the same thing.

For instance, You can have a particularly dense bit of mahogany that sounds similar to a less dense bit of maple.

But I'll try to explain.

Density in wood is directly related to several things. The tone, The hardness of said wood, and its properties in relation to vibrations.

Maple, for instance, is an extremely dense wood, which is the reason its extremely hard, and therefore, hard to workwith. When the kinetic energy given off by your strings transfers into the maple, its extremely dense structure means that the energy has to transfer into a TON of atoms, so there's less energy for each one, and in turn, like a pendulum, less and less energy is transferred back into your strings with every wavelength, but since the energy is in such small amounts, its transferred back at a very rapid pace, and thats where maple gets its "Punchy" tone from, and its lesser than mahogany sustain.

Mahogany on the other hand, next to basswood is probobaly the softest commonly used tone wood. Its molecular structure is not very dense at all, so its easier to shape, easier to dent, and sustains more. When you pluck the strings on a mahogany guitar, the energy transfers slower, as there are less molecules and atoms to absorb it, but each absorbs much more than maple. In turn, with each wavelength, a larger amount of energy than maple is transferred back into your strings, at a slower rate, and that creates the sustain thats commonly associated with mahogany.


Atleast, thats how far ap physics will allow me to explain.
Quote by boardsofcanada
^^

<_<
~Bass'-play-er.

The #1 member of the club that isn't terribly predjudiced against emo. Get over yourselves.
PM me, or just say # x
And part of Fortysix and twos Defenders of Emo club.

" Zach_F I love you for that."
#40
as the string resonates, the ends absorb the vibrations. and since the ends (tuner and bridge) are fastened to the wood, the vibrations move freely through the wood too.

so if you have a dense wood like mahogany, the vibrations can easily go through the wood, thus not effecting the string.

but with open wood, like maple, the wood is pours, so the vibrations are dampened by the air inside. that means the vibrations in the string are greater then in the wood. and like uneven tempratures, the vibrations will move into the wood until they are equal again.

its like this:

if you have a bucket full of holes, and you need to carry water into it, you can leave most of the holes (soft wood) which allows a lot of water to easily escape. or you can plug up a majority of the holes (hard wood), which makes the water stay in the bucket more.

tl; dr: the vibrations want to be equal all throughout the guitar. soft, open wood has more surface area to lose the vibrations
Guitars:
Mitchell MD-100SCE Acoustic/electric
Gibson SGJ 2014

TC MojoMojo (it'll arrive eventually) > TC Hall of Fame > Orange Micro Terror stack

my tube preamp project idea
Page 1 of 2