SJ_Digriz wrote:!!! TONEWOOD BEEF !!! Let's do it !!!! hehehehehe
Sorry to put the wind out of the sails - but there is nothing to argue for me.
Peter - IK Multimedia wrote:Thanks for the kind words as well as constructive criticism but as a guitar player for about 35 years I'm going to have to disagree with the notion that wood doesn't make a difference in tone. It may not be a HUGE difference to some and in certain cases (as you point out semi-hollow vs solid body etc) but wood does affect tone to varying degrees.
If we take held note sustain into account, and how well a guitar stays in tune (depending on the humidity of a room the guitar was stored in), then yes.
But we talk "electric guitars", magnetic field interruption (induction, created from magnets responding to metal strings) converted into electric energy. Not "gut strings" (these days, nylon strings) or steel strings plus a hollow body - where so called "tone wood" (a made up marketing term IMO - but great marketing at that for collectors, no doubt!) - or actually the density/stiffness of wood - would make a significant difference in the tone of the guitar. Why? Because of the resonanting body. Things that can vibrate to amplify the sound (banjo's and resonator guitars would count to that as well).
So to me, there is no real argument in that direction.
The majority of the tone on an electric guitar (or bass for that matter) comes from the following:
- electronics used (Pickups, passive/active electronics), and how well it was set up (pick up height/relative position to the fretboard)
- the string type (flat/round/coated, thing/medium/thick)
- how well the guitar holds the tune / remains clean in tone (intonation, properly set up tuners, string height)
- and most important: how you play (your fingers do the magic - no matter how good or bad the guitar!)
The wood in this
particular case (read: solid body
) has a lesser significance (IMO and all that). Again, we talk electric guitars here, not acoustic!
'String-body coupling on electric guitars and its relation with the timbre of the instrument.'
Physicæ 9, 2010, pp. 24 - 29 Rodrigo Mateus Pereira, Albary Laibida Junior, Thiago Corrêa de Freitas. Tecnologia em Luteria, Universidade Federal do Paraná, Brazil.
(INTHEBLUES Tone Podcast)
And with measurements:
To give even more food for thought:
How come the now infamous "carboard guitar
" sounds just as great as a 10k expensive guitar? (and it's just cardboard and epoxy - so basically a "plastic guitar"). Or what about the "Gittler Guitar
", or even this bass
just made out of pipes. What about Tin Can Guitars? Or the now infamous "Shovel Guitar
" / Djent Stick
? The Steinberger Bass is also made out of Carbon Fiber and is about 30% less mass than a regular guitar - it even doesn't have and headstock.
How come, that people can build outstanding sounding solid-body guitars out of alleged bad sounding scrap fire wood or plywood (multiplex)? (see various projects all over the web and Youtube)
How come, 50-60 year old guitars, no matter the condition of the guitar (dried up fredboard, cracks in the paint/body) dot not
sound significantly different than an off-the-shelf guitar? Especially if both are setup properly, use the same brand/type of fresh strings. (though we do have to take aging of electronics into consideration)
As with music, this is a highly subjective topic. But to me, as audio engineer, I go by science and technology first, then gut feeling.
In fact, I have a End-90ies/very early 2000s STAGG Fender Stratocaster (type) in my possession. That was my first guitar. It was finally properly serviced and setup about 2 years ago, and only one pickup being switched out (middle, it was broken and nobody realized this) - the rest is stock. That thing cost me about 200EUR (the EUR was new around that time - adjusted to inflation that's about 260EUR - so a "good entry level" guitar), and I invested an additional 80 bucks for service (in fact, another 50 at a sh*t wanna-be-tech in the early days). Value basically 350-ish EUR (adjusted to inflation), but personal value way more than that of of course.
I gave this guitar to various professionals/session musicians to play - just for sh*ts and giggles. I wanted to know what they think. We ran that thing side by side to their Fender "vintage"/reissue Strats, same amp, same pedals. Guitars that were from the 70ies and 80ies. One of these guitars was a touring guitar, dinged up, etc - but great condition for it's age - setup was 2 years prior to mine, both our strings were fresh. And here is the kicker... those guitarists all preferred my "el cheapo, crap" STAGG guitar with a gloss painted neck compared to their rosewood/matte painted neck backside.
So what does that tell me? (rhetorical)
Peter - IK Multimedia wrote:
Also, we based that Imperial Bass off of a Fodera and they also are in the camp of different woods (commonly referred to as tone woods by most builders/companies/luthiers I've met, including the great Tom Doyle who built my favorite custom guitar about 28 years ago) affecting tone. So naturally we'd use similar verbiage to speak about the bass, this is their page about the different tone woods and combinations etc: http://www.fodera.com/tonewoods/
And this just confirms the "marketing aspect" of certain luthiers and guitar builders. See my "Gibson Tone Rub" comment. People love to be sugar coated - so this is definitely great marketing (no argument about that). This is just how this industry works. Whoever has the most insane description, wins.
Unless you start to look under the hood and see what's really going on.
(and some of you might know my opinion about the "marketing voodoo" topic at this point)
Since I know how insanely heated this "tone wood" debate can get - I'll leave it here. Please make up your own mind about this topic. But this one sentence, was pure cringe for me in the v1.5 presentation video.
Now if you'll please excuse me... I'd like to get back at diving a bit deeper into the MODO Bass engine... or catch up on some sleep. Whatever comes first.
Please wake me up, once v1.6 hits with the FR ideas... (tapping, velocity keyswitches, etc)