For the Doubters

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
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Lawler
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Re: For the Doubters

Post by Lawler » Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:12 pm

2lost2find wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 2:07 pm
... it's been proven that in blind tests the same piezo pickup mounted to a very expensive guitar and then to something made of completely non-resonant material is completely indistinguishable in tone...
That hasn't been my experience so I'm curious what testing you're referring to. I've used piezos for years on many guitars, with many different buffering and amplification systems and in my use the same piezo on different instruments, and different places on an instrument, gets a very different response.
It's also been scientifically proven that wood makes zero difference to the tone of a solidbody electric guitar; it's 100% electronics, strings, and the hardware the strings are directly attached to.
That also hasn't been my experience. I've owned a few electric guitars including two now. So here also I'm curious about the scientific source.

2lost2find
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Re: For the Doubters

Post by 2lost2find » Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:19 pm

Lawler wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:12 pm
2lost2find wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 2:07 pm
... it's been proven that in blind tests the same piezo pickup mounted to a very expensive guitar and then to something made of completely non-resonant material is completely indistinguishable in tone...
That hasn't been my experience so I'm curious what testing you're referring to. I've used piezos for years on many guitars, with many different buffering and amplification systems and in my use the same piezo on different instruments, and different places on an instrument, gets a very different response.
It's also been scientifically proven that wood makes zero difference to the tone of a solidbody electric guitar; it's 100% electronics, strings, and the hardware the strings are directly attached to.
That also hasn't been my experience. I've owned a few electric guitars including two now. So here also I'm curious about the scientific source.
The following is just a brief on a two month study performed by a physicist. There's more, but I don't have time to look for it right this second. The reason electric guitars sound different given identical scale length and hardware is there is a depressingly large tolerance in pickup manufacture. I've have two brand new pickups in front of me of the same model that had over 1k variance in the resistance spec.

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CarbonElitist
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Re: For the Doubters

Post by CarbonElitist » Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:26 pm

2lost2find wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:19 pm

The following is just a brief on a two month study performed by a physicist. There's more, but I don't have time to look for it right this second. The reason electric guitars sound different given identical scale length and hardware is there is a depressingly large tolerance in pickup manufacture. I've have two brand new pickups in front of me of the same model that had over 1k variance in the resistance spec.
This is something I've wondered about. If your pickups are piezoelectric or magnetic, I don't see how the wood or body shape would effect the sound. The only argument I could see is if somehow the body of the guitar were affecting the resonance of the strings.
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Lawler
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Re: For the Doubters

Post by Lawler » Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:42 pm

CarbonElitist wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:26 pm
This is something I've wondered about. If your pickups are piezoelectric or magnetic, I don't see how the wood or body shape would effect the sound. The only argument I could see is if somehow the body of the guitar were affecting the resonance of the strings.
As you know, piezos capture the vibration right from the surface of the wood. Even the material used to adhere it to the surface (I'm talking about stick-on transducers rather than under-saddle models) will affect the tone. Perhaps try this: buy a Dean Markley Artist transducer (about $30). Stick it on the foot of your bridge with the grey putty it comes with and have a listen through an amp. Then try it on the soundboard itself. Very different tone. Then replace the putty with blue tack used for hanging pictures - much softer and will impart a softer tone. All this is best done plugging into a buffer that can correctly handle the very high impedance of the piezo, but it'll also be apparent with a simple direct to amp connection. Then try on different guitars and see for yourself if the guitar matters.

And with magnetic pickups, yes the string's unamplified tone is greatly affected by the body and neck woods (maple, mahogany) as well as the body design (Les Paul type with a hollow cavity vs solid). To my ear these variables have a big affect on the tone that the magnetic pickup captures.

Of course, I'm interested in seeing more about the science of it as music performance is so subjective.

astro64
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Re: For the Doubters

Post by astro64 » Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:43 pm

If the back of that guitar is "paper" then a tupperware container is "oil".

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David Norton
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Re: For the Doubters

Post by David Norton » Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:53 pm

2lost2find wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 5:36 pm

What did she change?
Just the notes, rhythms, and accents. Nothing important. :roll:

Sit down and re-listen with score in hand, it's pretty evident. She plays quite well technically, and she certainly "personalizes it". Maybe that's a good idea in some quarters. Thelonious Monk versus Fats Waller. But having played this same piece myself for 40+ years, her revisions simply sound wrong to me.
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2lost2find
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Re: For the Doubters

Post by 2lost2find » Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:54 pm

Lawler wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:42 pm
CarbonElitist wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:26 pm
This is something I've wondered about. If your pickups are piezoelectric or magnetic, I don't see how the wood or body shape would effect the sound. The only argument I could see is if somehow the body of the guitar were affecting the resonance of the strings.
As you know, piezos capture the vibration right from the surface of the wood. Even the material used to adhere it to the surface (I'm talking about stick-on transducers rather than under-saddle models) will affect the tone. Perhaps try this: buy a Dean Markley Artist transducer (about $30). Stick it on the foot of your bridge with the grey putty it comes with and have a listen through an amp. Then try it on the soundboard itself. Very different tone. Then replace the putty with blue tack used for hanging pictures - much softer and will impart a softer tone. All this is best done plugging into a buffer that can correctly handle the very high impedance of the piezo, but it'll also be apparent with a simple direct to amp connection. Then try on different guitars and see for yourself if the guitar matters.

And with magnetic pickups, yes the string's unamplified tone is greatly affected by the body and neck woods (maple, mahogany) as well as the body design (Les Paul type with a hollow cavity vs solid). To my ear these variables have a big affect on the tone that the magnetic pickup captures.

Of course, I'm interested in seeing more about the science of it as music performance is so subjective.
The study that was done with peizos was, to be fair, done 100% with under the bridge models. Damned if I can find the study now, but the difference in tone, if any, was so slight if couldn't be detected even by musically experienced listeners regardless of materials.

Even more so with the magnetics; by the time the vibration was transferred through the mounting hardware it was effectively meaningless... and that's actual waveform testing, not just blind listening tests. The hardware itself was demonstrated to have a far larger effect than the wood. That tallies with my own experience; give me any guitar with good strat pickups and I can make it sound like Jimi Hendrix or Mark Knoffler or whoever else you have in mind.

2lost2find
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Re: For the Doubters

Post by 2lost2find » Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:56 pm

David Norton wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:53 pm
2lost2find wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 5:36 pm

What did she change?
Just the notes, rhythms, and accents. Nothing important. :roll:

Sit down and re-listen with score in hand, it's pretty evident. She plays quite well technically, and she certainly "personalizes it". Maybe that's a good idea in some quarters. Thelonious Monk versus Fats Waller. But having played this same piece myself for 40+ years, her revisions simply sound wrong to me.
Ok, fair enough. I don't know the piece that well. Never been that into Villa-Lobos. She played well, anyway.
Last edited by 2lost2find on Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

simonm
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Re: For the Doubters

Post by simonm » Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:57 pm

astro64 wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:43 pm
If the back of that guitar is "paper" then a tupperware container is "oil".
Maybe an apt comparison. Almost all plastic was oil at some point. The guitar is made with 40 layers of newspaper glued together with a polyurethane glue. Apparently, if you are familiar with Belgian culture the motifs on the outside of the guitar will be familiar.

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Lawler
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Re: For the Doubters

Post by Lawler » Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:57 pm

2lost2find wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:54 pm
... Damned if I can find the study now,
Hey, no big deal. I'll wait.

astro64
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Re: For the Doubters

Post by astro64 » Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:12 pm

simonm wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:57 pm
astro64 wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:43 pm
If the back of that guitar is "paper" then a tupperware container is "oil".
Maybe an apt comparison. Almost all plastic was oil at some point. The guitar is made with 40 layers of newspaper glued together with a polyurethane glue. Apparently, if you are familiar with Belgian culture the motifs on the outside of the guitar will be familiar.
Right. It would be interesting to use nothing more than a thick carton sheet and see if the statement is still correct. The stiffness of the back of that guitar is more determined by the amount of glue than the paper in it.

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CarbonElitist
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Re: For the Doubters

Post by CarbonElitist » Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:18 pm

astro64 wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:12 pm
simonm wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:57 pm
astro64 wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:43 pm
If the back of that guitar is "paper" then a tupperware container is "oil".
Maybe an apt comparison. Almost all plastic was oil at some point. The guitar is made with 40 layers of newspaper glued together with a polyurethane glue. Apparently, if you are familiar with Belgian culture the motifs on the outside of the guitar will be familiar.
Right. It would be interesting to use nothing more than a thick carton sheet and see if the statement is still correct. The stiffness of the back of that guitar is more determined by the amount of glue than the paper in it.
Here's a similar guitar made of cardboard.

It does not sound as nice as newspaper, haha. I'm surprised he didn't get into any CITES trouble importing that brazillian cardboard.
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dmcmurray
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Re: For the Doubters

Post by dmcmurray » Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:00 am

I believe Torres did this with paper mache to make this point a very long time age.
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Richwilly
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Re: For the Doubters

Post by Richwilly » Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:23 pm

dmcmurray wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:00 am
I believe Torres did this with paper mache to make this point a very long time age.
Yes, that was my belief too. Must be in Romanillos's book on Torres. I will dig it out when time allows and see if I can post some details.

Was wondering what the relevance of all the discussion of pick ups on electric guitars was on a forum dedicated to classical guitar.
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astro64
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Re: For the Doubters

Post by astro64 » Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:42 pm

dmcmurray wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:00 am
I believe Torres did this with paper mache to make this point a very long time age.
Torres build an instrument like that, indeed, but I don't think we have any actual writing of his that provides the reason for doing this.

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