Inspired by the research of Frederic Brochet into wine tasting, and clever extensions to the work done by Robert Hodgson and Richard Wiseman -
see http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle ... e-analysis
- I want to see if we can, in the words of John Ruskin, "substitute facts for appearances and demonstrations for impressions."
I am curious about a number of things with respect to conventional wisdom we take for granted about classical guitars. For instance, it is well-accepted that solid tops sound better than laminated tops. However, I'm unaware of any double-blinded studies (or even single-blinded) that have specifically tested this. And of course, posing a question in this forum isn't exactly a model of a well-designed protocol. But it might provide a hint of what a really well-designed study might find, something in which we would have greater confidence.
Unfortunately I do not have a solid-top, full-sized classical guitar to compare alongside my Yamaha CG101A. So I would encourage anyone who has one of both types of tops to do such a test. Stick to audio-only, of course, to eliminate the possibility of identifying the model of guitar by sight. And if someone can blindfold you, and you cannot tell by feel which is which, all the better.
So that one will have to wait for another person, or until I get a full-size solid top. However, there's another one I've been thinking about (some would say thinking too much about it, but I enjoy the thought process). If you capo a guitar at the first fret after tuning it down a half step, thus restoring the capo-ed guitar to standard tuning, can you tell a difference in the sound? I did think I could, but I realized I might be fooling myself.
So here are 3 sound samples, presented in an order determined by a random process. The music is from Julio Sagreras' First Lessons (Book 1), lesson 70. It was my final exam when I first took a CG class at a community college a few years ago. I did try to play all equally well (with just enough practice to remember how it went). I'm afraid I'm out of practice, so it's quite imperfect, but I'm not posting this to be judged on my playing of this piece. Instead, I propose a quiz
Can you identify which one was played on the full 650mm scale, which one was capo-ed at a 613.5mm scale, and which one, with capo at the second fret, had a 579.1mm scale?
All should be in standard tuning. I played somewhat softly - perhaps I was subconsciously trying to avoid buzz. In any case, please reply with your guesses, and I will reveal the answers the day before D02 Lesson 8 posts.
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