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body styles affect tone?


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#1 gandl

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 10:30 PM

How does the size or shape of the body affect the tone of a guitar....

for example if a Gibson Flying V and an Gibson explorer had the same pickups and wiring and were ran through the same amp....what would be the difference in the sound....and why
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#2 billy16

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 11:19 PM

Possibly the Explorer would resonate better due to the larger body size.

#3 ninjato

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 11:32 PM

Density and mass

#4 hellyea

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 12:26 AM

for those that arent physically minded-

mass- the amount of atoms in a object.

density- how "packed" in they are- how close together each atom is.

im not sure what "optimum" mass and densities would be.........for instrument uses.
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#5 Curlee

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 12:33 AM

I think it the explorer would sustain better because of the wide body mass, it vibrates more i think, but I'm not sure. happy.gif by the way I LOVE explorers but i dont have one sad.gif



#6 mahrous

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 03:03 AM

i always thought that you need the mass not to resonate but to hold the strings end in place well allowing them to vibrate freely. otherwise, if the body vibrates with the strings, the relative vibrations of the strings would be less causing less output from the pickups.

its just a theory i have been doing with lately. anyone thought of it?
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#7 Altitudes911

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 05:27 AM

I guess the difference would be minimal.
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#8 Dave C

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 06:11 AM

QUOTE (mahrous @ Jul 2 2006, 12:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
i always thought that you need the mass not to resonate but to hold the strings end in place well allowing them to vibrate freely. otherwise, if the body vibrates with the strings, the relative vibrations of the strings would be less causing less output from the pickups.

its just a theory i have been doing with lately. anyone thought of it?

Damed good point
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#9 hellyea

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 06:46 AM

i think yes and no mahorus

you are right in that you need the maximum resonance for the strings-(by having high "break angles" at either end of the string- i.e tilted back neck and strings pulled at high angle over bridge- sustain is increased)

but then why does a floyd rose equipped guitar have less sustain than a string thru body (everything else similar on both guitars)??

it could only be that the resonations from the guitars body are passing their energy into the strings, keeping them oscillating for longer............whereas the floyd sort of isolates the bridge end of the string from the body.

thats sort of an "applied physiscs" way of looking at it.......

Edited by hellyea, 02 July 2006 - 06:48 AM.

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#10 Dave C

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 07:51 AM

I think it you're wrong Hellyea. I think there is less sustain with a floyd because it is not as solid as say a telecaster bridge or a tunomatic, thus backing up mahorus' theory.

#11 grzegorz_panek

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 07:56 AM

As said above it's not shape that matters much it's mass and density, the quality of wood. Also different holes and cavities, which basically boils down to the presence of the trem or the lack of it.
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#12 misterhat

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 09:03 AM

QUOTE (Curlee @ Jul 2 2006, 08:33 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think it the explorer would sustain better because of the wide body mass, it vibrates more i think, but I'm not sure. happy.gif by the way I LOVE explorers but i dont have one sad.gif


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#13 mahrous

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 09:48 AM

QUOTE (Dave C @ Jul 2 2006, 03:51 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think it you're wrong Hellyea. I think there is less sustain with a floyd because it is not as solid as say a telecaster bridge or a tunomatic, thus backing up mahorus' theory.


well, i think the strings will vibrate most when they are fixed on an insanely solid and heavy body that will not vibrate. but if the body that holds the strings vibrates with it, it will negate the movement of the strings because the pickups will move relative to the strings and there for the magnetic fields will not be disturbed as they move in the same way the strings move. this could be different in acoustic instruments, but i dont know much about them.

as for wood resonance, i believe that affects the tone rather than output or sustain. Walnut wood resonates certain frequencies other than Ashwood. this is not what i was saying earlier. because the resonance thing is different between two pieces of wood as they will never be identical even of the same species. there are general guidelines to what species and texture would give tone but its never accurate.

body designs: i believe they are more important than anything else when it comes to playability and comfort as well as looks wise. some bodies are so versatile to fool around with, contour them and beautify them in so many different ways ... while others arent a la the Explorer design which i have just finished a bass like it. its a pretty dull design and very limited in that regard.
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#14 ninjato

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 10:24 AM

Resonance = the comparatively large amplitude vibration that results whenever the frequency of some driving force (strings) closely matches a natural oscillation frequency of the system on which it acts (guitar body).

Knowing this you can see that acoustic guitars and electric are pretty different when it comes to the amount of resonance you want/need to the amount of sustain you want/need.

The trick in an acoustic guitar, is to build it so the mass is enough so that it doesn't drain away the energy from the strings, but not so much that there is no energy transfer from the strings to the top.

With electrics, it's a little diff. You want as much mass and density as possible so as to not drain any energy from the strings to allow for a longer sustain and allow the pickups to deal w/ the sound. This is why Les Pauls are sought after for their incredible sustain due to their density and mass.

So you'll notice when you play a solidbody and move to an archtop, you lose sustain, but you gain in resonance.

Edited by ninjato, 02 July 2006 - 10:25 AM.




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