Close
Skip to content

Forum

Notifications
Clear all

Finish on guitar body and fretboard

Page 2 / 2

(@citizennoir)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1248
 

Hey, Chris (%

Sorry mate - I was really referring to other/older posts around here that went something like:
The wood and finish and anything else that makes up an electric guitar doesn't matter the slightest in the scheme of things.... Scientifically speaking, only the pups affect the sound as they make the sound and nothing else contributes to that sound.
Unless of course we add the strings into that as they vibrate, and pups, well - pick that up (%

So, I'm left wondering why I spent all that money on such good guitars when all I had to do was buy a set of Abigail Ybarra wound, Fender vintage pups and install them into.... well, anything with 6 strings on it. It would have sounded just like a '57 Strat, right?

Anyway - Not even I could tell from listening to a guitar if it had nitro lac on it. But say you had a vintage 57 Strat. With original nitro lac finish.... A real Gem of a tone monster. Do you think it would sound the same if it was refinished in a thick coat of Urethane? That's where the difference comes in. And of course, would it feel the same?

On a lighter note - How's the MIA Strat!? (Everyone comes around, sooner or later )

Ken

"The man who has begun to live more seriously within
begins to live more simply without"
-Ernest Hemingway

"A genuine individual is an outright nuisance in a factory"
-Orson Welles


ReplyQuote
(@chris-c)
Famed Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3460
 

On a lighter note - How's the MIA Strat!? (Everyone comes around, sooner or later )

Ken

Truly superb Ken. :D

It's a joy to own. When I plug it into anything - effects, amps or whatever, it always seems like they were built with a Strat and Fender single coil pickups in mind. The sound just seems 'truer' and requiring less fiddling to get it where you want it. Before I learned any guitar I couldn't understand how one neck - looking very much like other necks - could feel much different. All that nonsense about one feeling "smooth and buttery" or whatever. But the more you play the more it makes some sense. I do love the feel of that Strat neck. I also enjoy the sound of it unplugged. Am I imagining a sort of 'delicacy' that just seems that little bit better, or do I just lift my game and pay more attention because it really is a class act, even if I'm not? Who knows? I've always enjoyed playing unplugged so I have to watch that - if I do to much it sound awful when I do plug in, because my technique is now wrong - acoustic instead of electric.

It might be interesting to buy another that was as near as possible, but with a maple neck instead of rosewood and see if I can detect any difference if I played them for long enough. But funds won't allow such an indulgence. When I close my eyes, what I feel is almost all wire - strings and frets - the wood barely seems to figure. So why DOES it seem to feel better than some of my others? The width and curvature? The action? The accuracy of the fret dressing and general setup? I really don't know.

But having experienced the difference between a Strat and a reasonable Strat copy I'm keen to save up for other iconic guitars. I tried out a Gibson SG in worn cherry finish the other day to see if it was a big step above my Epiphone SG400. It wasn't. A little bit maybe, but not enough. Pity, because it was at a very good price,and I had enough cash available at the time. However, a few months before, I tried out a Gibson 335 style up against an Epiphone Casino, Epi Sheraton 2, and another Epi. I had the cash to buy any of the Epis, but I walked away. The Gibson wasn't three time better, or whatever the difference was, but I still wanted what it had! But what I really need is more practice and better fingers, not more guitars...

Cheers,

Chris


ReplyQuote
(@imalone)
Reputable Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 267
 

Sorry mate - I was really referring to other/older posts around here that went something like:
The wood and finish and anything else that makes up an electric guitar doesn't matter the slightest in the scheme of things.... Scientifically speaking, only the pups affect the sound as they make the sound and nothing else contributes to that sound.
Don't see that post anywhere.


ReplyQuote
(@greybeard)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5899
 

Scientifically speaking, only the pups affect the sound as they make the sound and nothing else contributes to that sound.
Sorry to disagree, but other factors affect the sound that the pups produce. The first being, as you rightly mention, the strings. Put a set of 8's on the compare that to a set of 11's. Noticeably different sound.
Different brands produce different sounds, especially when new. Some are coated for additional effect.
I've not been able to try it out for myself, but I have read reports that the frets make a difference. There is, apparently, a noticeable difference between normal and stainless steel frets.
The actual position of the pups will also affect the sound (you do notice the difference between neck and bridge pup).
There is a lot of controversy over the differences in sound caused by variances in the quality (aka price) of the cable between guitar and amp.
Saddles contribute to the sound, as does the material used in the resonator block of a trem system (both of which I can attest to, out of experience).

This assumes, of course, that you're playing "clean". Turn up the gain and it doesn't matter a jot.

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in any dictionary?
Greybeard's Pages
My Articles & Reviews on GN


ReplyQuote
(@imalone)
Reputable Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 267
 

CitiZenNoir wrote:Scientifically speaking, only the pups affect the sound as they make the sound and nothing else contributes to that sound.
Sorry to disagree

You're not actually disagreeing, since the post went:
I was really referring to other/older posts around here that went something like:
The wood and finish and anything else that makes up an electric guitar doesn't matter the slightest in the scheme of things....

Which I don't think anyone has actually said anyway. And (scientifically speaking...) everything that's connected to the strings is going to make a difference somehow, exactly how much and whether you can tell is the question. As you say, the bridge is going to be really important. I find it interesting what might actually make a guitar played in exactly the same way sound different, but of course how the player responds to the guitar they're playing is a factor too and that's not a million miles from the 'only BB King is going to sound like BB King' statement.

And I suppose the reason a vintage '57 strat sounds like a vintage '57 strat is because, well, that's what it is...


ReplyQuote
(@greybeard)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5899
 

Funny you should say that. Leo Fender was quite derogatory about his early works (i.e. the 50's Strats, etc). He always maintained that the G&L was a far superior instrument because of all the mistakes that he'd made along the way.

And, yes, I am disagreeing. Reading the whole, it says that only the pups matter as far as the sound is concerned - which I don't agree with.

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in any dictionary?
Greybeard's Pages
My Articles & Reviews on GN


ReplyQuote
(@citizennoir)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1248
 

Hehe - sorry for all the confusion.
What I said was: "Well, while I haven't been contributing much around here lately, I still check in from time-to-time.
I have to say that what I've been reading here the last few months is absolutely astounding!"

So, it wasn't exclusive to posts from this thread. There were threads in the past, before this that said things along the lines of: "The wood and finish and anything else that makes up an electric guitar doesn't matter the slightest in the scheme of things.... Scientifically speaking, only the pups affect the sound as they make the sound and nothing else contributes to that sound.
Unless of course we add the strings into that as they vibrate, and pups, well - pick that up"

And yes, I was being a bit more than facetious with that.... (%
And no, that wasn't 'my' position in the argument.

Hope that helps to clear things up some....?

Chris -

I love to see 'that smile'.... The one that MIA Strat owners have (%
A mix between pride, joy and.... what is it? A devilish sort of grin. Of being let in on a great secret.... A Faustian Smirk of sorts, perhaps (%

They're so smooth, aren't they? Almost too smooth for me to handle at times. That's what I like about the hollowbody -
It's so.... archaic feeling. It fights back! (%

I wish you could have both styles of fret board too. The most obvious difference is the feel (as TR and Vic would point out).
I sometimes have a hard time playing the rosewood board, with it's much rougher and grainier feel.
But the sound difference is there too - like night and day to me.
Of course, my two Strats are not similar with the exception of the fret board, so there are other sound differences there to account for as well.

Wish I could lend you my ears for a day! hehe

Take care and have fun with your new acquisition

Ken

"The man who has begun to live more seriously within
begins to live more simply without"
-Ernest Hemingway

"A genuine individual is an outright nuisance in a factory"
-Orson Welles


ReplyQuote
(@citizennoir)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1248
 

50's Strats - Yeah. Not at all like the Standard Strat we know of today.
Very much unrefined (%
With quality bouncing around from great to poor and back again.

Leo can make any claim he wants to about the mistakes he made with those early models....
Truth is that he was a notorious cheap-skate! And that was a major contribution to the poor quality on some
of the guitars to come out of there.

To make this a legal post - Some old Fenders had two paint jobs on them. One finish would wear off to reveal that
it had been painted a different color the first time, and simply re-used by Fender.... probably for a custom color offering.

Still, those 50's Strats are the iconic model of Strat-ness!
And the ones we know of sure sounded great in the hands of their masters (%

Ken

"The man who has begun to live more seriously within
begins to live more simply without"
-Ernest Hemingway

"A genuine individual is an outright nuisance in a factory"
-Orson Welles


ReplyQuote
(@imalone)
Reputable Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 267
 

What I said was: "Well, while I haven't been contributing much around here lately, I still check in from time-to-time.
I have to say that what I've been reading here the last few months is absolutely astounding!"
Ah, welcome back then.


ReplyQuote
(@citizennoir)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1248
 

Thankx, Imalone....
Not so sure I'm "back" just yet though (%

Anyway - Had to go back 'home' to Chicago this last weekend to see my dad.
Last time I was there was July of '10. Since then, he's acquired a new guitar amp.
So first night there, he pulls it out for me and we plug in the 71 Strat.... Not too bad.
Then after a bit he goes up to his room and comes down with a black hardshell case.
Flips it open, and over his shoulder I spy what looks like a Tele headstock
It was :D

He picked up a two color, brown burst 60th anniversary MIA Tele.
He gives me this grin and says that it'll give the 71 a run for the money....
I says, I'm sure it's nice and all, but let's not get carried away :P

After I got around to pluggin' it in, I found that I couldn't stop playing it!
Wow - Crisp and clear as a bell! Truly beautiful tone.

Now, while I might not know a whole lot about what makes a great guitar, great....
I feel I should add that this particular Tele has a one piece, solid ash body and both the body and the maple neck are
finished in a thin lacquer 8)
*and of course everything is fitted very well - top quality, thru-and-thru

Ken

"The man who has begun to live more seriously within
begins to live more simply without"
-Ernest Hemingway

"A genuine individual is an outright nuisance in a factory"
-Orson Welles


ReplyQuote
Page 2 / 2