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Is a '59 Les Paul really any better than a modern one?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #361
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enorbet2's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffw5555 View Post
I There is no evidence to support your claims, you are currently losing this debate..
Since this statement alone is enough to judge that you are relatively unconcerned with the topic and overly concerned with Who ( The Contest) and given that I stated from the beginning scientific evidence is not at all likely since double-blind is not possible, I'm not going to bother going over every point but just to say do you understand "poisoning the well"? That's what you did when you assume that string vibration is miniscule action on the wood of a musical instrument.

Now you can enjoy posturing all by yourself since I was never trying to prove anything to anyone, just offer a consideration for which considerable subjective, though professional, evidence does exist. I'm not pushing it as hard fact because that, as I stated, is impossible. Take it or leave it. I'm good either way. Rave on, brother, or don't. I'm good with that, too.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #362
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audioforce's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
A 335 has a center post in the body; essentially just hollow body wings. A total hollow guitar vibrates more energetically, and therefore "steals" more of the strings energy. This is really easy to hear. Plug in a heavy Les Paul, and an ES175. Pluck a string on each one and listen for the amount of sustain (providing the 175 does not go into electrical feedback loop). Viola!


Not possible. There is a finite amount of energy in a vibrating string. If the body vibrates, it is using, i.e. "stealing" some of that available energy. There is no feedback loop between body and string enhancing vibration, because there is no additional energy feeding the loop. Energy goes into the wood and dissipates as heat and movement. It is then gone... lost.
The pickup cannot hear the vibrating wood, so that is lost energy from the PU POV. It can only hear the wood's effect on the vibrating string.


Generally, that POV would be ill-informed. But this depends on how much the wood vibrates with the string resonance. If a light piece of wood is not at all affected by the vibrating string, it uses none of the strings available energy, and therefore the string is free to vibrate as long as possible with the amount of energy provided by the initial pluck. Stiffness of the entire guitar system, neck and body, comes into play. You could have a very light metal guitar that is extremely strong, and it would have great sustain. Or carbon fiber. Very stiff; very light; does not respond to string vibrations.
Thanks for responding, man. I can't totally agree with your take on this, but there's a lot of interesting ideas and thought in what you write, and I should think about the topic more before I start specifying amy disagreement.

One thing that I think I can say at this time is that it seems to me that you, and possibly some others, seem to be downplaying how much the pickups on an electric guitar actually "hear" the guitar itself [and not just the strings].

Anyhow, its an old discussion, as I'm sure you are aware, and it looks like you've given it a good deal of thought. More later, I think.


Best always,

audioforcfe
Old 3 weeks ago
  #363
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 View Post
Since this statement alone is enough to judge that you are relatively unconcerned with the topic and overly concerned with Who ( The Contest) and given that I stated from the beginning scientific evidence is not at all likely since double-blind is not possible, I'm not going to bother going over every point but just to say do you understand "poisoning the well"? That's what you did when you assume that string vibration is miniscule action on the wood of a musical instrument.

Now you can enjoy posturing all by yourself since I was never trying to prove anything to anyone, just offer a consideration for which considerable subjective, though professional, evidence does exist. I'm not pushing it as hard fact because that, as I stated, is impossible. Take it or leave it. I'm good either way. Rave on, brother, or don't. I'm good with that, too.
You are wrong, it is all about the topic. Why did you bother to offer crazy ideas if you were not prepared to offer proof?

And where you are especially wrong is your assertion of "considerable subjective, though professional, evidence does exist." There is no evidence, none.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #364
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioforce View Post
Tone- killing glue. That’s why strats rule.
The average Les Paul is several pieces of mahogany all glued together. Each piece has a different grain and density.

My custom shop Les Paul Custom was made from one select piece of dense mahogany for the body and one piece for the neck. The AAAA maple top (with up to 10 folds per inch) is cut vertically, not horizontally like other Les Pauls. It's one piece of book matched maple.

Like a broken clock, Gibson is right about twice a day.
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Old 3 weeks ago
  #365
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audioforce's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
The average Les Paul is several pieces of mahogany all glued together. Each piece has a different grain and density.

My custom shop Les Paul Custom was made from one select piece of dense mahogany for the body and one piece for the neck. The AAAA maple top (with up to 10 folds per inch) is cut vertically, not horizontally like other Les Pauls. It's one piece of book matched maple.

Like a broken clock, Gibson is right about twice a day.
Sounds really nice, Jim! But how can it be "one piece of book matched maple"?



Best,

audioforce
Old 3 weeks ago
  #366
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioforce View Post
Sounds really nice, Jim! But how can it be "one piece of book matched maple"?



Best,

audioforce
you cut a thicker piece in half with bookmatching, it creates a symmetrical pattern, you 'fold open' the wood hence the name bookmatching, and you will have a really nice looking guitar top,

explination here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bookmatching
Old 3 weeks ago
  #367
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audioforce's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pencilextremist View Post
you cut a thicker piece in half with bookmatching, it creates a symmetrical pattern, you soft of 'fold open' the wood hence the name bookmatching, and you will have a really nice looking guitar top,

explination here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bookmatching
Beautiful, but, alas, still more than one piece of wood, requiring the "tone killing glue". : )
Old 3 weeks ago
  #368
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kennybro's Avatar
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Originally Posted by kellyd View Post
Being someone who has recorded 59s the answer is yes. No comparison though there are many other year guitars that are amazing. You don't have to have a 59 standard to get holy grail sounds but when you play or record one ya know what's up.
Do you extend this to 58 and 60? Does it also include 57, since it's the same guitar with different paint (providing it's not a 57 with mahogany top)?

I've also recorded with Les Pauls from '52 to '59, and owned 52 to 56... and my observations demonstrate that some are great, others not so much. I've never found that 57's, on the whole average, sound different than 58 or 59. Just my observations... maybe I'm missing the magic.
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Old 3 weeks ago
  #369
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kennybro, as I posted earlier other years can sound great too. I've recorded a bunch of 50's and 60's Pauls. The artist I record goes thru boat loads of guitars. Why 59's? Couldn't tell ya. Just is in my experience.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #370
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audioforce's Avatar
 

OMG, will we ever get to the bottom of this conundrum?

Clearly everyone that owns 1950's Les Pauls, of any kind, is going to have to send them to me so that I can investigate the tonefulness of the tonewoods and such.

I will try to get them [or, in my discretion, reasonable substitutes] back to you at some point, but please be patient. This type of investigation could take many years, but I feel that I am up to it.

I will need to have you all sign waivers, of course. A mere formality, you understand.


Best,

audioforce
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Old 3 weeks ago
  #371
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Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

Everything you need to know about tonewoods!

https://www.guitarplayer.com/gear/to...bout-tonewoods
Old 3 weeks ago
  #372
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kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioforce View Post
One thing that I think I can say at this time is that it seems to me that you, and possibly some others, seem to be downplaying how much the pickups on an electric guitar actually "hear" the guitar itself [and not just the strings].

Best always,
I think it depends on the pickups. Some microphonic pickups are sensitive to acoustic vibrations. But if a pickup is properly designed to be non-microphonc, it is totally deaf to vibrating wood, as wood generates no disturbance in the electromagnetic field.

If you can sing into a PU and hear it though the amp, it's hearing the wood. If you can't sing into it, it's totally deaf to the wood.

If the wood is affecting how the string vibrates, you can certainly hear the second hand effect of the wood on the string through the pickup, but that's limited to how and if the wood is affecting the vibration of the string.
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Old 3 weeks ago
  #373
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kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioforce View Post
Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

Everything you need to know about tonewoods!

https://www.guitarplayer.com/gear/to...bout-tonewoods
Haha! I'd like to see his sources cited. The commentary after the article speaks loudly.

Wouldn't it be nice if solid body electric guitar tone wood wisdom were actually this cut and dry (pun intended).
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Old 3 weeks ago
  #374
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norbury brook's Avatar
 

If you've got the money buy yourself a nice '59 Les Paul, it wont make you play or sound any better than a good modern Les Paul however :D

here's a pic of Mark Knopfler's '58 I snapped while doing a session recently with him.

It's a lovely guitar, his Tom Murphy copy is just as good I'd say in a blindfold test :D


M
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Is a '59 Les Paul really any better than a modern one?-img_20180727_104413.jpg   Is a '59 Les Paul really any better than a modern one?-img_20180727_104428.jpg  
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Old 3 weeks ago
  #375
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
I think it depends on the pickups. Some microphonic pickups are sensitive to acoustic vibrations. But if a pickup is properly designed to be non-microphonc, it is totally deaf to vibrating wood, as wood generates no disturbance in the electromagnetic field.

If you can sing into a PU and hear it though the amp, it's hearing the wood. If you can't sing into it, it's totally deaf to the wood.

If the wood is affecting how the string vibrates, you can certainly hear the second hand effect of the wood on the string through the pickup, but that's limited to how and if the wood is affecting the vibration of the string.
Would you believe the vibration in the wood will move the pickup in relation to the string - thus creating beats (ie overtones)?
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Old 3 weeks ago
  #376
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audioforce's Avatar
 

Plug the guitar into an amp, with no strings on the guitar, turn the amp up, and knock / tap on the body / neck of the guitar. Do it with some different guitars. Notice how they sound different.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #377
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kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
Would you believe the vibration in the wood will move the pickup in relation to the string - thus creating beats (ie overtones)?
Yeah. They definitely pick up any vibrations of things they are attached to. "Totally deaf" was certainly on overstatement on my part. Most pickups do seem to be microphone to a certain degree. I have a set of Humbuckers that are not at all. Potted, waxed, whatever, they are almost 100% non-microphonic.

Standard Tele pickups and such... Yeah, many can have fairly significant microphonic qualities, which means that they will "hear" the wood to some degree.

I was being somewhat parochial in past posts regarding the microphonic qualities of pickups.
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Old 3 weeks ago
  #378
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioforce View Post
Plug the guitar into an amp, with no strings on the guitar, turn the amp up, and knock / tap on the body / neck of the guitar. Do it with some different guitars. Notice how they sound different.
Absolutely. As mentioned, I do have a set of humbuckers and a few other pickups that don't hear vibrations, but most pickups of all designs do exhibit varying degrees of microphonic qualities. True that this has to play into the overall sound of any guitar, depending on the design of the pickups and overall construction of the guitar.

I sometimes tend to dig in too deep to a single POV when in debate. My overall position on nearly everything is that truth is somewhere in the middle ground, but sometimes I fail to respect that outlook.
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Old 1 week ago
  #379
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Originally Posted by audioforce View Post
Bingo. Maybe. Looks like it’s the late 60’s- 70’s one that had the right wood. Ha ha.

Anyway I don’t know, but the people are saying that the old growth wood is the greatest thing because it’s denser or something. I mean is the wood good because it’s dense because it’s old? Everybody make up your mind. : )
It has been recognized for centuries that close grained wood is superior for musical instruments. Old growth wood is nearly always closer grained than new, farmed wood because farmed wood is intentionally grown faster to maximize profits.

And how does one make wood grow faster, you ask?

It's pretty simple - water it. The more water available to the tree, the faster it grows and the faster it grows,. the looser the grain.

Last edited by John Eppstein; 1 week ago at 10:09 PM..
Old 1 week ago
  #380
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingofspain View Post
Herein - I think - lies the myth.

Certainly, old growth forests had the luxury to grow and prosper at their own pace, but that doesn't in and of itself mean the trees it produced were more suitable for making guitars. No acorn looks up to the oak and says 'Ma, when I grow up, I wanna be a Les Paul' .

Conversely, 'force fed' wood is often comparatively inferior, but only on average.

Perhaps in old growth forests, 9 out of 10 trees produced timber ideal for guitar making, whilst modern - intensively farmed - woodland produces only 1 in 10 guitar worthy trees.
Yes, there's less good timber to go around, but the actual quality of the timber - from a guitar making perspective - may be the same.

Isn't it the time spent seperating the wheat from the chaff makes the real difference, not whether a board of timber is old or new growth?

KoS.
Not really. Yes, some old growth wood is not really suitable, but that isn't likely to be "one tree in ten" out of the same forest, it's a lot more likely to be one grove or even an entire section of a forest that's bad. Why? Because rain doesn't fall on just one tree, and it's unlikely that even one wet year is going to adversely affect an entire tree that took a century or two to grow. If there's old growth wood that isn't suitable it's going to be wood from a loc ation that had consistently wet weather over a number of years - or simply trees grown in a wet location.

On the other hand, new growth, commercially farmed trees receive copious irrigation all the time because it makes them grow faster, and the faster they grown, the more money the tree farmer makes. And you won't be finding one tree out of ten that didn't get any water.
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Old 1 week ago
  #381
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioforce View Post
Hmm, I think they say it DOES have to do with density, because the older, bigger trees were more dense toward the thicker bottom of the trunk [where the old growth is].
I won't totally swear to it, but I believe that's a myth. Growth rings don't shrink as they get older, and what determines the width of growth rings is the availability of water.
Old 1 week ago
  #382
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
I won't totally swear to it, but I believe that's a myth. Growth rings don't shrink as they get older, and what determines the width of growth rings is the availability of water.
Dunno that much about it. Started reading some stuff about how trees grow and its pretty interesting. There are actually some conflicting opinions / ideas. Some stuff maybe not fully understood.

Weird that I live on a piece of property that has a big portion of protected wetland. We have all kinds of huge, old trees and stuff. I should learn more about this stuff.

I think the guy in whatever I quoted a while back was saying that the "older" wood from the bottoms of the trees is heavier [denser?] than the "newer" wood from the tops. Something like that.


Best,

audioforce
Old 1 week ago
  #383
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audioforce's Avatar
 

Here's something about how trees grow. Pretty interesting.

Most everything I found talks more about how the trunk grows larger in diameter rather than how it grows longer. ???

https://www.thoughtco.com/hardwood-t...y-grow-1343506
Old 1 week ago
  #384
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
It has been recognized for centuries that close grained wood is superior for musical instruments. Old growth wood is nearly always closer grained than new, farmed wood because farmed wood is intentionally grown faster to maximize profits.

And how does one make wood grow faster, you ask?

It's pretty simple - water it. The more water available to the tree, the faster it grows and the faster it grows,. the looser the grain.
Complete and utter bullsh!t. What evidence do you have to support this? How do you know that plantation mahogany is irrigated? (Same applies to the other two species used in a Les Paul)You do know that it grows in regions with plenty of rainfall, dont you? WTF do you know about growing trees?

And how do you know the age of the wood that goes into a current CS LP?
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Old 1 week ago
  #385
Sunlight and soil conditions are variables in forest woods. So is climate.
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Old 1 week ago
  #386
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Originally Posted by Jeffw5555 View Post
Complete and utter bullsh!t. What evidence do you have to support this? How do you know that plantation mahogany is irrigated? (Same applies to the other two species used in a Les Paul)You do know that it grows in regions with plenty of rainfall, dont you? WTF do you know about growing trees?

And how do you know the age of the wood that goes into a current CS LP?
what do you know about it?
Old 1 week ago
  #387
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
In the 70s they used the cheapest approximation of "mahogany", multi-piece, they could get away with
'70s Les Pauls aren't vintage, regardless of what the gear pimps might try to tell you.
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Old 1 week ago
  #388
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffw5555 View Post
Complete and utter bullsh!t. What evidence do you have to support this? How do you know that plantation mahogany is irrigated? (Same applies to the other two species used in a Les Paul)You do know that it grows in regions with plenty of rainfall, dont you? WTF do you know about growing trees?

And how do you know the age of the wood that goes into a current CS LP?
I know about this because I've studied these things for around six decades, since I was a little kid. As it happens trees were one of my dad's hobbies and he also worked as a lumberjack when he was in college. He used to take me around to nurseries when I was young and he also had me help him transplant trees. At out place in Maine we had about 3-1/2 acres and he used to go out in the woods behind our place and he'd dig up spruce saplings to plant in the yard. In our place in Oklahoma we only had about 1-1/2 acres with no adjoining forest (although the back half of the property was lightly wooded) so there he bought his trees from commercial nurseries. Fad also used to own a farm in Pennsylvania. He knew a LOT about trees and growing things.

All of what I said is readily available if you bothered to do the research. I don't have the time to look up references for you - if you're really interested, do it yourself.

ALL plantation woods are irrigated - it makes the trees grow faster and the faster they grow, the bigger the profit to the plantation owner. Don't you know even the most basic facts about agriculture?
Old 1 week ago
  #389
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioforce View Post
I think the guy in whatever I quoted a while back was saying that the "older" wood from the bottoms of the trees is heavier [denser?] than the "newer" wood from the tops. Something like that.


Best,

audioforce
Sounds to me like he was talking through his hat. What makes wood denser is the narrowness of the growth rings, which in turn is determined by the availability of water during the growing season. There isn't going to be more water available at the top of the tree. If anything, there should be less since the water is moved up the trunk by capillary action from the source in the ground and capillary action is opposed by gravity. But it really doesn't work that way, either, since part of the equation is evaporation of water through the leaves.
Old 1 week ago
  #390
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Oldone's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by norbury brook View Post
If you've got the money buy yourself a nice '59 Les Paul, it wont make you play or sound any better than a good modern Les Paul however :D

here's a pic of Mark Knopfler's '58 I snapped while doing a session recently with him.

It's a lovely guitar, his Tom Murphy copy is just as good I'd say in a blindfold test :D


M
So much for matched wood. That's a plain top. How can it sound good(sic)?
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