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What's your Description of TONE?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #31
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by froleich View Post
Actually some of you seem real new to this concept.
I am, but we have a tonist in our band (on occasion he's also our lead guitarist). If I manage to catch his attention one of the few times he's not tweaking his amps and pedals, I'll ask him and report back.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #32
Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolk martin View Post
TONE:

[1] pre interweb ( usually rendered in lowercase): A control on an amplifier or instrument that traditionally provides treble cut, but may also boost frequencies in some circumstances.

[2] Post interweb (usually rendered in uppercase) : A chimera that obsesses most all guitarists and many synth players and holds to two basic tenants:

a. Great musicians of the past sounded good because their exact combination of equipment (which is usually now unavailable or very hard to get) gave them a superb "tone"

b. Any artistic deficiency in the notes chosen or the execution/articulation of any current player can be corrected by obtaining the right "tone," which is, in turn dependent on obtaining an exact (but unknown) special combination of equipment.

This may include:

i. Russian capacitors as guitar tone controls

ii. Any electronic product that was only manufactured for a short period of time, and is hard to source (see also "unobtanium" and "Halstead's law " - the TONE of a device is inversely proportional to how easy it is to obtain) )

iii. Old growth wood

iv. Vintage components that have fallen out of spec, thus greatly improving on the intent of the original circuit designer

v. Anything older than the musician in question

vi. Some things very new and expensive that do things a "new" way. (see "plasma distortions" "optical spring reverbs" synths using motor driven tone generators etc).

vii Things that used to be considered inferior but have now taken on some mysterious aura because they are "vintage" (Vintage Danelectro guitars, Silvertone amps, germanium transistors etc ) see also the depreciation theory of amp construction - All major manufacturers realized their perfect amp circuit between 1959 and 1969, and have been trying to ruin it ever since.

viii. Any component that is no longer manufactured because it had toxic ingredients like Beryllium (Damn government stealing your tone)

And so on, I'm sure y'all can fill in some more.
Great post. A couple nits to pick though....

ii.- What is "Halstead's Law? Who is/was "Halstead"? Google only reveals links to actual lawyers and legal publications.
(edit - I see you already answered that.)

iii.- Guitarists have been complaining about the decrease of quality in top wood for acoustic guitars since about 1966, when the quality of Gibson's acoustics took a nose dive. At the time people blamed the Vietnam war for gobbling up all the good spruce for helicopter blades, but it's equally likely that the folk music boom caused Gibson to use up their stockpile of high quality wood in the first half of the decade due to unforeseen demand.That was long before CITES put import controls on many other woods.

v. There isn't too much in electric guitar tech that's older than some users of this forum

vii. "vintage" Danelectro guitars were popular with a number of name musicians before they were "vintage", e.g. when they were new. Players in the '50s and '60s included Duane Eddy, Link Wray, Harvey Brooks, John Entwistle, and Tommy Tedesco, to name just a few. And for the most parts those guys chose Danos precisely for their unique tone and the fact that Dano made a few innovations that other brands didn't have. You should have used Teisco Del Rey as an example. Nobody of any note would have been caught dead playing one of those back then.

Other than that, great post, very funny!

Last edited by John Eppstein; 3 weeks ago at 07:00 PM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #33
Lives for gear
 
norfolk martin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
G

iii.- Guitarists have been complaining about the decrease of quality in top wood for acoustic guitars since about 1966, when the quality of Gibson's acoustics took a nose dive. At the time people blamed the Vietnam war for gobbling up all the good spruce for helicopter blades, but it's equally likely that the folk music boom caused Gibson to use up their stockpile of high quality wood in the first half of the decade due to unforeseen demand.That was long before CITES put import controls on many other woods.

!
Damn I learn something new every day. That sounds more likely than many other explanations I've heard.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #34
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
If one knows and understands his chosen sound, I'm not sure what the point of jawboning about it is.

Also, though I get it that, for a lot of guitarists, one's sound comprises an often complicated interrelationship of stomp boxes, effects, careful amp staging, etc, there are those of whom it can said that, 'their tone is in their fingertips' -- those distinctive players whose musical identity seems to emerge from every phrase, to be part of every nuanced note, whatever guitar they are playing. Those are the guys I try to pay attention to. That said, it's their playing I'm paying attention to, since, by and large, it's my perception that those guys don't tend to go on about 'their sound.' They just, you know, play.
I agree with this - although they usually spend about 30 seconds dialing in the EQ on the amp first. I've found people will choose wildly different EQ's on amps, even with the same guitar. Rarely do I find someone that has their amp dialed in how I would like it.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #35
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post

iii.- Guitarists have been complaining about the decrease of quality in top wood for acoustic guitars since about 1966, when the quality of Gibson's acoustics took a nose dive. At the time people blamed the Vietnam war for gobbling up all the good spruce for helicopter blades, but it's equally likely that the folk music boom caused Gibson to use up their stockpile of high quality wood in the first half of the decade due to unforeseen demand.That was long before CITES put import controls on many other woods.

!
In 1971, Gibson (now owned by Norlin, who wanted to minimize warranty work) incorporated double-x system bracing on the flat-tops which made them tonally dead. It wasn't until the early 80's that a team of Gibson R&D employees reinstituted small, tapered braces in a single-x arrangement.

Info from Gibson's Fabulous Flat-Top Guitars.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #36
Gear Addict
 
chipss36's Avatar
 

Not much else to say...lol
Tone quest is over...
My chops however will be a lifelong chase..
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Last edited by chipss36; 3 weeks ago at 03:43 AM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #37
Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolk martin View Post
Damn I learn something new every day. That sounds more likely than many other explanations I've heard.
Thank you!

It does kinda help to have been around when all that was going on and observing (at least the retail side) first hand.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inrush View Post
In 1971, Gibson (now owned by Norlin, who wanted to minimize warranty work) incorporated double-x system bracing on the flat-tops which made them tonally dead. It wasn't until the early 80's that a team of Gibson R&D employees reinstituted small, tapered braces in a single-x arrangement.

Info from Gibson's Fabulous Flat-Top Guitars.
Yeah, from a book. OK.

Not all of us were born yesterday.

I use reference books too, but real experience is better.

And (being not born yesterday) when I talk about Gibsons for the most part I'm talking pre-Norlin and generally pre-1966.

Does your book even talk about the box bracing used on many of Gibson's smaller/less expensive models) and is still used on the J160E guitars made under both Gibson and Epiphone marques? (Just a detail check...)
Old 3 weeks ago
  #39
Anything that works in context is good tone.
Anything that does not work in context is bad tone.
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