Aside from possible engineering advantages, some feel that in relation to the rising cost of rare tonewoods, man-made materials may be economically preferable and more ecologically sensitive. However, wood remains popular in production instruments, though sometimes in conjunction with new materials. Vigier guitars, for example, use a wooden neck reinforced by embedding a light, carbon fiber rod in place of the usual heavier steel bar or adjustable steel truss rod. After-market necks made entirely from carbon fiber fit existing bolt-on instruments. Few, if any, extensive formal investigations have been widely published that confirm or refute claims over the effects of different woods or materials on electric guitar sound.
Postscript: About that “capacitor type doesn’t matter” statement: Them’s fighting words in many online forums, especially in the stompbox realm. You’ll often see the inclusion of some rare “mojo” capacitor cited as a selling point for a particular product. I used to think I sometimes could hear a difference—until I built a couple of effects with quick-change sockets for comparing cap types. The audible differences were negligible, no more meaningful than the variations between two caps of the same value and same type. My advice is, if someone tries to sell you anything based on cap type, proceed with much caution. I now strongly believe that cap type is of no importance, at least in guitar and analog stompbox applications.
A way to increase the usability of the sound acquired this way is to wire a capacitor in series with the pickup that has its electric polarity reversed. This filters out that pickup's lower frequencies and thus preserves the corresponding frequencies from the other pickup. The resulting sound is fuller and stronger, yet still different from the standard in-phase combinations, resembling the sound of a "cocked wah" (a wah-wah pedal set in a fixed position). The capacitor used for this is usually in the 20–100 nF range.
Here’s my intuitive explanation to why we are hearing what we are hearing: What makes a guitar sound like a guitar, as opposed to for example a piano or a harp, is the spectrum of overtones that are generated when the strings are plucked. This also makes two guitars sound different from each other, despite having the same make/model of pickups. Any component that is involved in how the vibrations in the string is created (this is kind of what the myth debunking video refers to as “timbre”, but then goes on to equate to amplitude and frequency, as if the tonewood would alter the notes, as opposed to the tone) affects the sound. For example:
I've gone into a fair bit of detail here, which may be baffling to some, or may be old news to others, but I hope it cleared some of the common misconceptions about certain parts transforming tone that I have discovered in my time doing this! Truth is, upgrading your wiring is a really worthwhile modification to carry out. Replacing parts with quality components, of reliable build quality and accurate tolerances and ratings will simply be the best for your guitar. You may well see a tonal improvement afterwards which each customer of mine has reported back after fitting one of our harnesses, which is lovely to hear. But approach with the right facts, approach without the mystique of 'this vintage style pot will transform my tone' and you'll be pleasantly surprised I'm sure! There's no magic to a responsive, great guitar tone.
Humbuckers use two magnets, one which works as a pickup and one which cancels out 60-cycle hum (hence the name humbucker). These pickups generally have a darker voice and a higher output, which allows them to perform better under high levels of distortion. These pickups also tend to sound better playing jazz, as the genre benefits from the darker voice these pickups provide.
Sigma Guitars look strangely similar to Martin guitars. This folk style acoustic electric cutaway meets our budget of $500, and people are saying good things about these guitars online. It's my pick for the best folk guitar under $500. The model SF18CE features a grade A sitka spruce top with mahogany back and sides. It also boasts a hand finished scallop bracing system. It’s sound is described as tighter and higher than similar quality dreadnoughts. This guitar will have a warm and open tone, according to the manufacturer. Get more info here.
Play power chords easily with one-finger barre'd across two (or three) strings. Simply place your index finger over the sixth & fifth stings at the same fret. (You can also barre the 4th string, which is also a D, and will match the root of your chord one octave higher.) The resulting power chord is named after the note played on the sixth string. At the first fret, it's D#5, at the third fret, it's F5. For tunes blues-rock tunes that use a lot of 5 & 7 power chords, such as those made famous by Chuck Berry, Drop D tuning allows you to play those 7 chords as though they were normal power chords.
There are tons of new tidbits of FU-Tone.com news! First off we would like to welcome Stephen “Stef” Carpenter of DEFTONES to the FU family! Recently I started working closely with Rem Massingill (Stef’s Tech) on this monster project. It started as most of these projects do – with lots of conversations and planning before turning the first screw. I work with dozens of techs in this business and I can tell you that Rem is “one of those guys”. He really knows his stuff, is a stickler for details and most importantly he knows TONE! Little did I know what I was getting into and the first two guitars on the slab were ESP 8 String models! This was out of the normal scope of my 6 and 7 string clients… I consider the guitar and guitar tone a never-ending learning process. I am constantly looking to learn from anyone that I can on my journey. Anyone who presents themselves as a know-it-all is full of shit or trying to sell you something (usually both!). After lots of twisting, tweaking and testing we got this off the ground and I am here to tell you that the tone was massive and bone crushing all while having an insane amount of note separation and clarity! Not to mention sustain for days that would make Nigel Tufnell jealous… As I stood on stage with Stef and Rem at sound check in New York while he put the 8 String ESP through its paces, I was pleasantly surprised to hear how brutal the tone was. All of the power and growl of a monster truck with the precision and control of a Ferrari. The smile on Stef’s and Rem’s faces said it all! This was just the first hoop that we jumped through together with a bunch of stuff in the hopper for these guys. If you have not been to a Deftones show on this tour, I highly suggest going out to catch them!
The Marshall JMP Super Bass is a 100 watt amp. Lemmy, bassist/lead singer of Motörhead, used numerous of these amps to drive cabinets with four 12" speakers and others with four 15" speakers. His amps were labelled named “Killer,” “No Remorse,” and “Murder One". The Peavey Mark IV is a large, solid-state amp providing 300 watts at 2 ohms; the Mark IV was known for its affordable price and its reliability.
Wah and EQ manipulators work best before distortion and overdrive devices, near the start of the signal chain. The one exception is the Fuzz Face or any vintage-style fuzz, which needs to be slotted in before the wah. Try it – put your wah before and after your distortion and listen to how different it sounds. Also, compressors tend to work best when placed before drive effects.
Yes, a Martin guitar under $500. The Martin LX1E features a sitka spruce top with mahogany back and sides. It carries the Martin name, which means high quality is expected. Being that it is closer to out $500 limit, you can expect this guitar to deliver on tone. This one is a direct competitor to the Baby Taylor. People that own both have said that they like the sound of the Martin better, describing it as bright and crisp. The tradeoff is the playability is not rated as high as the Taylor. See more pictures and reviews of the guitar here.
Of course the most talented and creative guitarist in the World. Guitarists like Slash can give stunts but cannot be such creative like Gilmour. I don't know why people cannot understand and like silly stunts rather than real talent. A layman can listen to the guitar solos of Echoes, Dogs, Coming BAck to Life, Comfortably Numb, Time... Of Pink Floyd and they will easily know his vast talent. Gilmour must be ranked higher.
Three full steps down from Drop D. Utilized by Dead by April (on some songs), Metallica in the song "Invisible Kid" from St. Anger, Asking Alexandria (G#) on their self-titled album, Damien Deadson, Love and Death, Architects and The Acacia Strain. Staind also uses this tuning (but with the 2nd string tuned up 1/2 step to emulate a 7-string guitar), as well as several other modified variations of this, such as one in which the 5th string is also dropped from D# to C#.
This particular model is a cutaway acoustic-electric hybrid with European spruce top and Indian rosewood back and sides. The electric system is from Fishman-Presys with an onboard tuner. The GK comes with Savarez Cristal Corum high tension strings, and thanks to the low-relief neck, the action itself is easy to handle, making the guitar easier to play. The GK Studio Negra has a deeper, bassier sound than the usual sharp brightness of a “blanca” guitar. Watch the video on the Amazon listing to really get a good idea of what you’ll experience playing this instrument.
The guitar is hand-made by Martin's top luthiers, using exotic cocobolo wood for the back and sides, mixed with a more conventional solid sitka spruce top. As expected from a high-end instrument, this guitar features impressive visual appointments, most notable of which is its ivoroid binding, beautiful rosette and fretboard inlays. While its price tag and looks may push you to just hide this guitar in the closet, know that this instrument is built to make music in the road or in the studio. Martin employed modern bracing and construction techniques to ensure the guitar stays reliable, beautiful and great sounding for a long time. Those that are lucky enough to own this guitar have themselves a treasure that they can pass down to the next generation of players.
To simplify the many available guitar body shapes available, we can categorize them into three shapes: double cutaway shape (eg. Stratocaster), single cutaway (eg. Les Paul), and exotic shapes (eg. Flying V). While it maybe considered superficial, having the right guitar shape will add to how enjoyable an instrument is to play and look at - which in turn inspires you to play more and better. In addition to shape, getting a good grip of basic body configurations is essential, here's a primer of the three most common:
The Air Norton started out simply to be the Airbucker version of the Norton. DiMarzio thought it would make a distinctive-sounding bridge pickup with high-gain amps, but they soon discovered that it's a radically neat neck pickup, too. The tone is deep and warm, but not muddy. It's hot, but not distorted. It's even got cool harmonics, which are really unusual for a neck humbucker. The patented Air Norton magnetic structure reduces string-pull, so sustain is improved; and pick attack and dynamics are tremendously controllable and expressive. Combine the Air Norton with The Tone Zone in the bridge position for a perfect blend of power and tone.
After steel strings were the norm, rectangle bridges were still used on the lower end Martin models and smaller body models. Bridges don't last forever unfortunately, and the rectangle models are easy to reproduce. Hence here's some specs that may help you determine if a rectangle bridge is original. A Martin rectangle bridge should be 6" long and 1" (or slightly less) wide. The top of the bridge should have close to a 16" radius lengthwise. The tallest point of the bridge should be between the A & D strings, and the lowest at the high E string. The wing thickness is about .095".
Start with all of the mics clustered together three to six inches from the grille cloth, pointed at the center of the speaker. On a multiple-speaker cabinet, don't assume that all the speakers sound the same. Rather, listen to each of them at a sensible volume, and then mic the one that sounds best. If the speakers sound alike, a miking position close to the floor will generally provide a little more low end.
While there's nothing necessarily wrong with plonking your mic right at the centre of the speaker cone if it gets what you're after, a lot of producers take the time to experiment with different positionings off axis, where the sound is typically warmer. Mike Hedges: "Depending on where you have [the mic] — outer speaker or inner speaker — you get the difference in tone from the edge of the speaker and the centre of the cone." In fact, Mike Clink also tries small changes in position even when working with basically on-axis sounds. "I'll point [the SM57] exactly dead on, though I might move it an inch or two to get the right sound."
All the effects that were created up through the early 1980s were based on analog circuitry. That is, they operated by directly modifying an actual sound signal. Starting in the ‘80s, the digital revolution invaded the realm of guitar and bass effects with digital signal processing. Digital effects convert the instrument’s output to a digital bitstream that is then modified by digital circuitry before being translated back to analog sound signals for output. The first digital effects were all modeled on existing effects, but devices that followed such as pitch-shifting effects, delays, and harmony processors only became practical with the advent of digital signal manipulation.
Adding a minor seventh to a major triad creates a dominant seventh (denoted V7). In music theory, the "dominant seventh" described here is called a major-minor seventh, emphasizing the chord's construction rather than its usual function. Dominant sevenths are often the dominant chords in three-chord progressions, in which they increase the tension with the tonic "already inherent in the dominant triad".
It was also common for people to have a winter saddle and a summer saddle, as they were called, to make up for the flux in humidity and its effect on the wood across the seasons, if they were sensitive to string height. Authentics have a glued in saddle, as did all Martins once upon a time. That usually means the saddle is destroyed in the process of removing it, so a new saddle, or two new saddles in the case of a winter/summer set of saddles would be required. But I have heard of people who were able to save the saddle when it was removed.
It depends on what you call important. Does an electric guitar's tonewood affect the tone? No. Sorry. When the thing capturing the sound is directly under the thing generating the sound and, it makes no sense for the wood, which vibrates in a secondary fashion, to have any effect on a tone that has already left the guitar. Think of it in layers, like this:
When looking to buy a guitar, you want to make sure that you’re picking a model that is right for your skill level, playing style, and needs, all that while ensuring that you don’t overspend. If you’re just starting out, there’s probably no need to spend a couple grand on a flashy model when one of the quality cheap acoustic electric guitars will do.
People didn’t like the Les Paul Trio at first. With a thrice-weekly performance slot on NBC’s Fred Waring’s radio program, The Chesterfield Hour, listeners often wrote in to complain about the “strange and unpleasant sound of the newfangled electric guitar Les Paul was playing”. In the late 1930s, there were many demands to fire him; today, the Les Paul guitar brand is an essential part of pop culture, and Paul himself is both in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
One of the most versatile electric guitars we encountered when putting together our list is ESP’s LTD EC-1000 KOA. Koa is a Hawaiian wood that this guitars top is made from, and it has very special sound qualities. It makes the tone very bright, crisp and clear, but at the same time it’s full of life and depth. We immediately though that the sound reminded us of an ukulele or some other happy little stringed instrument, and the sound can easily bring us back to summer evenings around a camp fire.
Every guitar player has their own distinctive sound, and many guitar companies have created artist and signature electric guitar models that were inspired by and/or designed in collaboration with the very best guitar players from the past and the present. Some of the most popular signature electric guitar models we offer here at Sam Ash are the Eric Clapton Strat guitars from both Fender and the Fender Custom Shop, ESP Kirk Hammett guitars, John Petrucci guitars from both Ernie Ball Music Man and Sterling by Music Man, and many more!