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Is a '59 Les Paul really any better than a modern one?
Old 15th August 2019
  #211
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I had the chance to have an original burst in my hands a few years back. It was unplayable. I mean, you really had to fight with this axe (!) to get something from it. I’ve seen this same guitar played by a pro and it sounded right, but for me it was unpleasant to play. I certainly wasn’t deserving the holy grail of guitars... I now have a CS 59 which is a very nice guitar (aesthetically nicer than a 60 years old piece of wood, sorry vintage lovers). The neck plays like a breeze - thx PLEK. I don’t believe in vintage gear, I prefer music over speculation.
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Old 16th August 2019
  #212
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i've played a few 59's. could never justify owning one. the prices they go for are absolutely insane.

a few that i played were honestly pretty crappy...but they were owned by people who weren't really players. they had them purely for the dollar and bragging power.

a few i've played were absolutely insanely good. easily some of the best guitars i've put my hands on.

i didn't think a modern guitar could ever touch a 59 les paul or junior...until i played some of echo park's guitars. gabriel gets the necks right on those things.

i'd buy 5 of them before i'd even consider investing in a real gibson 59. even if i had that kind of money to throw around.
Old 16th August 2019
  #213
Quote:
Originally Posted by becks bolero View Post
I don't think '59 Les Paul's are anything special

the people who built them, were factory workers on an assembly line. Not "luthiers". There was no Stradivarius level mythical balony involved. In fact, the Les Paul wasn't even a high end model: the big bodied Jazz guitars were where the workmanship happened. A Les Paul is a chunk of wood, with a neck glued on, in comparison. I think it was even assembled in a separate building, because it was so basic
You are wrong. While it's true that they were built on an assembly line that line was a far cry from the mechanized, dehumanized robotic manufacturing of today in which guitars are treated like commodities like smart pohones of gaming consoles, not musical instruments.

While it might be technically correct to say those craftsmen were not, for the most part, luthiers in that most of the workers did not do an entire build from scratch, each worker was a specialist in his own operation and did the work essentially by hand, using both basic hand tools and hand controlled power tools. Woods were selected and oriented by eye and by ear, not fed onto a CNC assembly line by a robot. In essence, every guitar produced by Gibson was the equivalent of one of today's "Custom Shop" instruments, if not better.

Wood is a natural organic material, it's not homogeneous like plastic or metal - the physical orientation of each piece matters. Each piece has its own unique resonance, even pieces cut from the same log. Having a human evaluate each piece as it's cut is something that no machine can duplicate. A machine can't detect a "dead" piece of wood by tapping and listening and reject it if it's not right. A human can.

Quote:
I think the reason they are so valued is

1. Eric Clapton started a landslide with his "bluesbreakers" recording, and every other guitarist wanted to know the secret recipe. Well, back then, the Les Paul was out of production, so became a desireable instrument

Mike Bloomfield
Peter Green
Joe Walsh
Jimmy Page
Bloomfield preceded Clapton, at least in the USA.

They're valued because they're great instruments, better than anything Gibson is building today with the possible exception of a few uber-expensive custom shop builds.

I got to play one of those ultra limited edition Jimmy Page Customs. Compared to any of the '50s Customs I've played it really wasn't anything special.

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and all the others who followed, created the cult status for these things. truth is, it was a somewhat rare instrument in the '60's
It was, in fact, somewhat rare in the '60s. The electric guitar market, in particular the solid body market, didn't explode until about 1966, at which point construction increased to the point where the supply of quality wood was unable to keep up with the demand.

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it almost parallels the Roland 808 as a failed product, that was reinvented by some creative musicians
No way in hell. The Gibson Les Paul was a great instrument. The TR808 was, and is, a repurposed toy, built with the same production technology employed for toys. It's like comparing a Yugo to a Ferrari.

Quote:
but then the mythology took hold, and collectors started going bananas, driving up the price & desirability: "oh, the '59 Les Paul is the holy grail of guitars!"
It was the Japanese collectors in the '70s who came over with wads of cash and systematically cleaned out every vintage solid body Gibson and '50s Fender they could find at prices no (or very few) musicians could afford and no shop owner could resist that blew the top off the market. They ruined it for everybody.

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I call bull****
You can call whatever you want, it's your right. You're still wrong.

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lots of great guitars being built today, that are as good or better than a '59 Les Paul
Show me ONE!
Old 16th August 2019
  #214
Quote:
Originally Posted by vincentvangogo View Post
I feel really bad for those guys losing hundreds of thousands on their investments.
I don't. They took great instruments out of the hands of real players. They deserve what they got.

Of course some did overpay for dogs and a lot of those "bursts" sold in the '90s were in fact fakes. Those people also deserved what they got.

It has been estimated that there are several times as many "50s bursts" around as Gibson ever built.

Last edited by John Eppstein; 16th August 2019 at 11:20 PM..
Old 17th August 2019
  #215
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
I don't. They took great instruments out of the hands of real players. They deserve what they got.

Of course some did overpay for dogs and a lot of those "bursts" sold in the '90s were in fact fakes. Those people also deserved what they got.

It has been estimated that there are several times as many "50s bursts" around as Gibson ever built.
I'm with you, John. Check my next post (Post 209.)
Old 17th August 2019
  #216
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kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Of course some did overpay for dogs and a lot of those "bursts" sold in the '90s were in fact fakes. Those people also deserved what they got.

It has been estimated that there are several times as many "50s bursts" around as Gibson ever built.
The saying is,"1500 were built, and only 2000 survive."

If that's true of Bursts, imagine how many fake Fenders are floating around that have now been legitimized.

Anyway, anyone has owned and played many 50's Les Pauls will tell you that there are great ones and not so great ones from the player POV. They are like everything else made in a factory from variable materials. Their iconic nature emirates mostly from the fact that in the late 60's through the 70's, guitars sucked. So, the serious players seeked-out the better guitars of the 50's and early 60's. I've played newer Les Pauls that I can definitively confirm are better guitars than some 50's Les Pauls I've had in my hands. It is what it is, mythology aside.

Were they better overall than newer guitars. Yeah, probably. The woods were better than what we have today. And they have certain qualities that guitar players have come to desire, qualities that are hard or impossible to reproduce because of changing manufacturing and material availability, so that makes them... unique. "Better" is subjective.
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Old 17th August 2019
  #217
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Gustavsson guitars are probably greater instruments than any original 59. Even PRS are better made. And there's plenty of great luthiers on the planet today that surpass an original Gibson in terms of musicality and craft. That said, the iconic 59 sound is really hard to find. And few guitars have this aura. The true explanation about their crazy value is essentially because a few were made in 59, and a fewer are still available today.
Old 18th August 2019
  #218
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enorbet2's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mininoyz View Post
Gustavsson guitars are probably greater instruments than any original 59. Even PRS are better made. And there's plenty of great luthiers on the planet today that surpass an original Gibson in terms of musicality and craft. That said, the iconic 59 sound is really hard to find. And few guitars have this aura. The true explanation about their crazy value is essentially because a few were made in 59, and a fewer are still available today.
This is speculation and conjecture and not reality at all.

First off are guitars more precisely made now than before? YES! at least in most cases since consistency has improved dramatically.

However do they have large supplies of large sized old-growth exotic hardwood blanks to use for materials? NO! Even by the 70s it was common to make 3 and 4-piece tops on Les Pauls, Brazilian Rosewood became a No No and shortly after real musical grade ebony became rare af. Drying methods are now orders of magnitude faster than the old school vastly slower methods. These things matter and this is just scratching the surface.

It has already been explained how collectors NOT MUSICIANS made the prices go really crazy but that doesn't mean there aren't many original '59s that are nothing short of a perfect storm, real musical magic.

This kind of thinking that assumes that everything has gotten better and stuff from the past is just hype is what makes people consider that the damned pyramids "musta been made by aliens" cuz so many people can't even wrap their heads around a time when stone was literally everything that mattered most and had been for centuries and "divine right" rulers could afford to pay vast numbers of craftsman for many decades to build their immortality dream.

Bottom Line - Almost everything is a package deal and includes tradeoffs. Few things are so simple as to be all good or all bad and certainly New does not always equal Improved.
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Old 18th August 2019
  #219
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Why get an old messed-up guitar that someone else has already played, when you could get a nice new guitar for maybe just a little more money?

It just don't make sense. Think about it.

Also, with a new guitar, you probably get a free strap and some picks. So that's a savings. You have to think practical nowadays.



You're welcome,

audioforce
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Old 18th August 2019
  #220
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 View Post
This is speculation and conjecture and not reality at all.

First off are guitars more precisely made now than before? YES! at least in most cases since consistency has improved dramatically.

However do they have large supplies of large sized old-growth exotic hardwood blanks to use for materials? NO! Even by the 70s it was common to make 3 and 4-piece tops on Les Pauls, Brazilian Rosewood became a No No and shortly after real musical grade ebony became rare af. Drying methods are now orders of magnitude faster than the old school vastly slower methods. These things matter and this is just scratching the surface.

It has already been explained how collectors NOT MUSICIANS made the prices go really crazy but that doesn't mean there aren't many original '59s that are nothing short of a perfect storm, real musical magic.

This kind of thinking that assumes that everything has gotten better and stuff from the past is just hype is what makes people consider that the damned pyramids "musta been made by aliens" cuz so many people can't even wrap their heads around a time when stone was literally everything that mattered most and had been for centuries and "divine right" rulers could afford to pay vast numbers of craftsman for many decades to build their immortality dream.

Bottom Line - Almost everything is a package deal and includes tradeoffs. Few things are so simple as to be all good or all bad and certainly New does not always equal Improved.
I don’t get your point. Was it better in the good ol’ past ? We still have good stocks of music grade wood nowadays, just ask to a real luthier (though I’m not, I personally own a huge stock of wood drying for several decades). And you can’t compare a factory making 10.000 guitars a month and a real ‘boutique’ maker who lovingly builds 10 guitars a year. I’m sure any good modern guitar surpasses a 300k burst in terms of craftsmanship. They just won’t get that mythical or mystical aura the burst have today for complex and not only musical reasons.
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Old 18th August 2019
  #221
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
If that's true of Bursts, imagine how many fake Fenders are floating around that have now been legitimized.
Any king has bastard sons
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Old 18th August 2019
  #222
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You just get a new guitar and play it until its old. Its not complicated.


Best,

audioforce
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Old 18th August 2019
  #223
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioforce View Post
You just get a new guitar and play it until its old. Its not complicated.


Best,

audioforce
I’ll play my Ibanez till death to improve its resale value
Old 18th August 2019
  #224
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becks bolero's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
You are wrong.

You can call whatever you want, it's your right. You're still wrong.



Show me ONE!
well, I strongly disagree with you. you may believe you are "right", but in fact, all you have is your opinion. which I respect, but still disagree with

if you don't think there is ONE new guitar out there, that is as good or better than an old '59 burst, you have already drunk the Kool-Aid, and no amount of convincing could change your mind. I know lots of guitar collectors like yourself

In fact, anyone who owns a real burst woukd be crazy to admit otherwise: they would be devaluing their investment

but since you asked: I would put anything these guys build up against an original burst: given my choice of pickups

https://heritageguitars.com/

I also prefer them to the custom shop Gibsons

I await your rant
Old 18th August 2019
  #225
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What are these mythical "bursts" of which you all speak? Do they do something that other guitars are unable to do? Do they tune themselves? Play themselves? Do they have emotions? Can they write songs? Why have people been willing to pay enough money to feed an entire village for a decade to obtain a "burst"? Do they come with a record deal?

Its confusing, and it just don't make no sense!



Best,


audioforce
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Old 18th August 2019
  #226
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kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioforce View Post
What are these mythical "bursts" of which you all speak? Do they do something that other guitars are unable to do? Do they tune themselves? Play themselves? Do they have emotions? Can they write songs? Why have people been willing to pay enough money to feed an entire village for a decade to obtain a "burst"? Do they come with a record deal?

Its confusing, and it just don't make no sense!
Yeah, value of stuff has always amused and interested me. Why did that Basquiat painting sell for $100 million? Why would anyone pay $3k for a Wassily chair repop (choose your color!)? Or $3.2M for a '62 Corvette?

It's always wealthy collectors who drive up prices, but wealthy collectors have to be motivated to act. With Les Pauls, it's the iconic music that Page, Clapton and others made with them in the 60's. Somehow, people got the idea that those guitars were partially responsible for the music, so players started buying every example they could find. Enter collectors... especially Asian dealers of a certain era with unlimited funds. Not responsible for the guitars being desired initially; but totally responsible for $300k+ values.

I remember a guy who would come to the big guitar shows with suitcases full of cash. He had cases stacked up 5 feet high by the second day. I sold him a 60's single pickup plywood, bluegreen Silvertone piece of crap with a warped neck for $1800, no case. It was unplayable. He set the price. I would have accepted 100 bucks. So everyone in the game is partially to blame.

At a certain point, only artists can no longer afford their own art... or in this case, the tools used to create it. Art slipping from being a social phenomenon, into the capitalist realm. Art no longer involves aesthetics; it becomes money.
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Old 18th August 2019
  #227
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
Yeah, value of stuff has always amused and interested me. Why did that Basquiat painting sell for $100 million? Why would anyone pay $3k for a Wassily chair repop (choose your color!)? Or $3.2M for a '62 Corvette?

It's always wealthy collectors who drive up prices, but wealthy collectors have to be motivated to act. With Les Pauls, it's the iconic music that Page, Clapton and others made with them in the 60's. Somehow, people got the idea that those guitars were partially responsible for the music, so players started buying every example they could find. Enter collectors... especially Asian dealers of a certain era with unlimited funds. Not responsible for the guitars being desired initially; but totally responsible for $300k+ values.

I remember a guy who would come to the big guitar shows with suitcases full of cash. He had cases stacked up 5 feet high by the second day. I sold him a 60's single pickup plywood, bluegreen Silvertone piece of crap with a warped neck for $1800, no case. It was unplayable. He set the price. I would have accepted 100 bucks. So everyone in the game is partially to blame.

At a certain point, only artists can no longer afford their own art... or in this case, the tools used to create it. Art slipping from being a social phenomenon, into the capitalist realm. Art no longer involves aesthetics; it becomes money.
I used to buy stuff at a music store in lower Manhattan. I think it was called Dr. Sound. They had an entire wall of old Strats hanging there that nobody could buy because some Japanese gentleman had bought them all and left them "stored", hanging there for years. Stupid.


Best,

audioforce
Old 18th August 2019
  #228
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kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by becks bolero View Post
but since you asked: I would put anything these guys build up against an original burst: given my choice of pickups

https://heritageguitars.com/

I also prefer them to the custom shop Gibsons
Those are the guys who built the original Bursts. The guy who painted the original Goldtops repaired a ding in a 50's Goldtop I had. Charged me 100 or 150 bucks, can't recall. Repair was invisible.

The good ones are as good as any golden age Gibson, minus the old materials that are no longer available. They have had some spotty problems with quality control. Maybe they cleared that stuff up now; I haven't talked to them since the mid 90's.

IMHO, the new H150 will stand head to head with any Les Paul made after 1960, and beats the crap out of most. There are those old growth woods that are no longer readily available. But I'm sure the 150 sounds as good as a lot of Bursts. Heck, I've got a 90's LP Classic Premium Plus that I'm sure sounds as good or better than some Bursts.

Regarding the old wood, it must be remembered that there are old growth woods available. They pull them out of rivers and such. Nothing else on an old Les Paul is unachievable, not even the PAF pickups, as many clones are available that rival or surpass old PAFs. And certainly, the level of artisanship in the construction of a solid body guitar is achievable today.
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Old 18th August 2019
  #229
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Pindrive's Avatar
The perfect guitar is taking the wood you have & knowing exactly what to do with it. The problem is that the Les Paul is on a blueprint as having certain dimensions. Those dimensions are cut by a CNC machine, finish sanded & painted. No thought goes into whether a little more material should be taken out of the body, or neck, to get it to ring out properly. In classic archtop building, you learn this. Graduation the plates, getting the recurve just right(For the desired effect) & building the neck with the intention of complimenting that piece. Modern production guitars, for the most part, are a waste of resources. Sure, you may get one in 50 thats amazing(thats just a really rough guess). But, no real effort goes into perfecting anything but the look of the guitar. Having been a luthier for a number of years, people know much more about how they want the guitar to look, than how to get it to sound the way they want... That's why marketing & production is this way.
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Old 18th August 2019
  #230
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kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pindrive View Post
The perfect guitar is taking the wood you have & knowing exactly what to do with it.
True that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pindrive View Post
The problem is that the Les Paul is on a blueprint as having certain dimensions. Those dimensions are cut by a CNC machine, finish sanded & painted. No thought goes into whether a little more material should be taken out of the body, or neck, to get it to ring out properly.
And short of being CNC, 50's Pauls were simply built to factory specs as they are now. Nobody was ringing out bodies and necks at the Gibson plant in 1959. I'm very suspicious of the value of doing that with solid body guitars anyway. I recall DeTemple's ads regarding his Strat and Tele clones. I've played em. Strat and Tele clones are what they are. Some of the best, indeed, but not magical.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pindrive View Post
In classic archtop building, you learn this. Graduation the plates, getting the recurve just right(For the desired effect) & building the neck with the intention of complimenting that piece.
Sure, high-end arch top building is another animal altogether. More closely related to violin building than solid body guitar building.
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Old 18th August 2019
  #231
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kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioforce View Post
I used to buy stuff at a music store in lower Manhattan. I think it was called Dr. Sound. They had an entire wall of old Strats hanging there that nobody could buy because some Japanese gentleman had bought them all and left them "stored", hanging there for years. Stupid.
One thing when a player has a bunch of vintage, and they get used and heard. Even locally, as long as they get used. Warehousing is absurd. Better off in the stock market.

I recall actors buying paintings and warehousing them. They never even looked at them, just had an agent buy and store them away. A few years later they'd exhume the paintings, and sell them as "From the collection of so-and-so," hoping that would add legitimacy and boost value. Many forgeries were found in those warehouses.
Old 18th August 2019
  #232
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enorbet2's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mininoyz View Post
I don’t get your point. Was it better in the good ol’ past ? We still have good stocks of music grade wood nowadays, just ask to a real luthier (though I’m not, I personally own a huge stock of wood drying for several decades). And you can’t compare a factory making 10.000 guitars a month and a real ‘boutique’ maker who lovingly builds 10 guitars a year. I’m sure any good modern guitar surpasses a 300k burst in terms of craftsmanship. They just won’t get that mythical or mystical aura the burst have today for complex and not only musical reasons.
I don't get yours. Of course one offs are still possible but this thread is about mass production guitars, even if "mass" was at one time limited to a few thousand a year. Most importantly questions like "Was it better in the good ol’ past ?" not only miss the point they demonstrate the exact kind of BiPolar thinking that obscures reality and our perceptions of it. It just isn't that simple to ask "better in the past". Not only is it so that some stuff was and some stuff wasn't (tradeoffs, right?) but "as someone else has already pointed out "better" is a subjective value judgment. It really objectively translates into just "different".

My main point was just like in so many stupid, click bait YouTube videos shouting "Best EVER!..." many people, usually young people assume nothing of any real value was made before they were born compared to after and many others, usually old people, assume nothing good was made after they hit 30 or so. It's just stinkin' thinkin'. The world of people doesn't work like that. Things aren't good or better just because they are old or new. They are good (or not) based on how they function and especially for YOU. where "you" is every individual since "better" is subjective..
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Old 19th August 2019
  #233
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So , uhmm, that happened.
Old 19th August 2019
  #234
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kingofspain's Avatar
Still rumbling on 5 years later - nice

Kinda forgotton I'd started this one, I wonder if my opinion has changed over the years...

One things for certain, I still haven't been within spitting distance of the genuine article!

Hats off to all the contributers, will have a good re-read one day soon and see where we are
Old 19th August 2019
  #235
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Pindrive's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
True that!


And short of being CNC, 50's Pauls were simply built to factory specs as they are now. Nobody was ringing out bodies and necks at the Gibson plant in 1959. I'm very suspicious of the value of doing that with solid body guitars anyway. I recall DeTemple's ads regarding his Strat and Tele clones. I've played em. Strat and Tele clones are what they are. Some of the best, indeed, but not magical.



Sure, high-end arch top building is another animal altogether. More closely related to violin building than solid body guitar building.
To some exent. I've built quite a few solid body guitars, as well. Many of the same principles apply. You can't just throw a maple slab on top of something & think its going to sound good. Maple is a dense wood & can create a bright tone. Not the ideal guitar top, if attention isn't paid. it's all balance, with careful consideration.
Old 19th August 2019
  #236
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kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pindrive View Post
To some exent. I've built quite a few solid body guitars, as well. Many of the same principles apply. You can't just throw a maple slab on top of something & think its going to sound good. Maple is a dense wood & can create a bright tone. Not the ideal guitar top, if attention isn't paid. it's all balance, with careful consideration.
I think the massive difference is that in solid body guitars, it's not the wood vibrations creating the main tone. In true archtop guitars, it is.

Also, some of the brightest guitars ever made are Fenders with swamp ash bodies, no maple top at all. Les Pauls with maple tops are generally darker sounding guitars. Pickups rule the day. There are just too many exceptions to these "rules," and trying to use formulas to create guitars that sound this way or that way just doesn't work with any level of reliability. People generally say that all mahogany body Les Paul Customs are darker sounding guitars, but I just have not found this to be a reliable paradigm.

I'll agree that different woods can affect the overall vibe and feel of a SB guitar, but I have failed to find formulas that create consistently repeatable outcomes.

With acoustic guitars, I can easily control the overall character (volume, brightness, darkness, projection, etc...) of any given guitar by choosing body size & shape, woods, bracing patterns carve, top thickness, even glues, among other things. Each element offers fairly predictable results within the whole system.
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Old 20th August 2019
  #237
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I don't know that you can always take one isolated factor, and expect that to make all the difference in a given guitar. But it seems to me that you can probably combine factors that are generally known to have a similar effect, and reliably influence the overall sound of a solid body guitar that way, no?


Best,

audioforce
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Old 20th August 2019
  #238
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kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioforce View Post
I don't know that you can always take one isolated factor, and expect that to make all the difference in a given guitar. But it seems to me that you can probably combine factors that are generally known to have a similar effect, and reliably influence the overall sound of a solid body guitar that way, no?


Best,

audioforce
Maybe, yeah. Providing you have access to large amounts of the same materials, so that you can do reliable tests. Problem with an individual builder is that you order some woods and make a few guitars, and then order more woods some months later, and it's different wood offering different affects.

Large manufacturers like Gibson and Fender go to great lengths to standardize production as much as they can, and they have the advantage of obtaining huge runs of the same kinds of woods from the same sources. But guitars are really very different. Go to GC and play ten Les Pauls. They will sound, feel and resonate differently from one another. Same with Strats or Teles. you have to play a lot of them, and pick the one you like best. Fender does not want this situation. they would prefer that all Teles of a certain style are basically identical.

If they can't do it with they highly controlled purchasing, standardized manufacture processes and R&D departments populated with some of the best people around, it's no surprise that I find it difficult to do, buying small runs of wood, and making guitars one at a time from what woods I have been able to acquire.

It seems that for the small builder, the task is to avoid mistakes that result in weird resonances, not craft the very best advantages. Eliminating weird resonances and "dead" SB guitars is difficult enough. I've made a few of those, in spite of being careful. Sometimes it just happens, and you don't know why. Then sometimes, you create a guitar that rings and rocks, and again... you're not sure why.
Old 20th August 2019
  #239
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
Maybe, yeah. Providing you have access to large amounts of the same materials, so that you can do reliable tests. Problem with an individual builder is that you order some woods and make a few guitars, and then order more woods some months later, and it's different wood offering different affects.

Large manufacturers like Gibson and Fender go to great lengths to standardize production as much as they can, and they have the advantage of obtaining huge runs of the same kinds of woods from the same sources. But guitars are really very different. Go to GC and play ten Les Pauls. They will sound, feel and resonate differently from one another. Same with Strats or Teles. you have to play a lot of them, and pick the one you like best. Fender does not want this situation. they would prefer that all Teles of a certain style are basically identical.

If they can't do it with they highly controlled purchasing, standardized manufacture processes and R&D departments populated with some of the best people around, it's no surprise that I find it difficult to do, buying small runs of wood, and making guitars one at a time from what woods I have been able to acquire.

It seems that for the small builder, the task is to avoid mistakes that result in weird resonances, not craft the very best advantages. Eliminating weird resonances and "dead" guitars is difficult enough.
I was thinking on a guitar by guitar basis, but yeah, I just think if you use basically the same kind of stuff to build some guitars, they are going to have roughly the same kind of sound, roughly the same kind of characteristics.


Best,

audioforce
Old 20th August 2019
  #240
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Pindrive's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
I think the massive difference is that in solid body guitars, it's not the wood vibrations creating the main tone. In true archtop guitars, it is.

Also, some of the brightest guitars ever made are Fenders with swamp ash bodies, no maple top at all. Les Pauls with maple tops are generally darker sounding guitars. Pickups rule the day. There are just too many exceptions to these "rules," and trying to use formulas to create guitars that sound this way or that way just doesn't work with any level of reliability. People generally say that all mahogany body Les Paul Customs are darker sounding guitars, but I just have not found this to be a reliable paradigm.

I'll agree that different woods can affect the overall vibe and feel of a SB guitar, but I have failed to find formulas that create consistently repeatable outcomes.

With acoustic guitars, I can easily control the overall character (volume, brightness, darkness, projection, etc...) of any given guitar by choosing body size & shape, woods, bracing patterns carve, top thickness, even glues, among other things. Each element offers fairly predictable results within the whole system.
I don't know, I've had some pretty good results with solid body guitars. Yes, the results are muted but, that's something that can be accounted for. For sure, pickups always are a huge part of any electric guitar equation. But, you have to have a great guitar before you drop pickups in it, or you just have an inferior instrument. I guess that isn't so bed in some situations, though
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