Two guitars with the same materials - sound different

Messages
504
I can't believe how often this topic comes up. Just go into a guitar store, grab 2 of the same model guitars, and play them back to back through a good amp at a decent volume. Even if you set the pickup heights the same, the difference in tone cannot be chalked up to electronic part variation. Not meaning to call you out OP, its just mind blowing that this isn't accepted by all experienced guitarists at this point.
"Not meaning to call you out OP, its just mind blowing that this isn't accepted by all experienced guitarists at this point."

The people who aren't accepting it are 1. people who can't discern changes in tone after putting necks on other bodies etc, 2. people who don't play, have most likely never been to a music store or to see a band..collect guitars and sit at home comparing their new purchases with other people who do exactly the same thing.

It's no illusion there are a LOT of people who just don't get it.
There are a lLOT of people who buy guitars, don't play them, sit online comparing/fueling their next OCD driven purchase..
There are a lot of people who cannot discern tone changes.
The rest of the people who are into guitars are these people called ' musicians'.
 
Messages
504
The shock of realizing the crap they've been hoarding, very shiny crap...may be in some way sub-standard, inferior or in any way tonally compromised is just too scary..best deny/block it completely and hope it goes away.
 
Messages
994
...Perhaps the very thin neck on the RG means a different sound than the fatter JS neck...
At this distance I'd tend to think most of the difference belongs to the neck (for an interminable list of reasons). Many threads here about tone following the neck. My single experience, bright guitar / dark guitar, swapped the necks, tone goes with the neck.


...The JS models have a traditional square strat-style neck heel / body joint, whereas most of the RGs have the current All Access neck joint. I recall reading somewhere that Joe preferred the square heel for tonal reasons...
Interesting. Paul Gilbert has same neck joint preference, and saw recently Suhr mentioned similar.
 

adamfox

Member
Messages
239
The shock of realizing the crap they've been hoarding, very shiny crap...may be in some way sub-standard, inferior or in any way tonally compromised is just too scary..best deny/block it completely and hope it goes away.
It's funny, I have the exact opposite trigger for the same issue.
I see people with cheaper gear, trying to justify how its just as good as a Collings, because they put Lollars in their Indonesian something. Not that you can't find some gems in lower price ranges, but there tends to be some animosity towards guys who have spent more on their guitars.
Either way, there are still debates here constantly on whether or not wood and construction matters for tone, and people will fight to the bitter end that you are just hearing pickups and wasting money on your ego, and hearing with your eyes.
 
Messages
504
It's funny, I have the exact opposite trigger for the same issue.
I see people with cheaper gear, trying to justify how its just as good as a Collings, because they put Lollars in their Indonesian something. Not that you can't find some gems in lower price ranges, but there tends to be some animosity towards guys who have spent more on their guitars.
Either way, there are still debates here constantly on whether or not wood and construction matters for tone, and people will fight to the bitter end that you are just hearing pickups and wasting money on your ego, and hearing with your eyes.
nah its not ego..it's OCD caused by whatever causes that, plus some nice fear when they realize they got it so wrong.
 

BEACHBUM

Member
Messages
3,162
Oddly enough I have two guitars with the same electronics made of different woods that sound exactly alike. Other than the electronics only the tuners are the same. What do you think? Should I swap out one of them to get some tonal variety?:rolleyes:



 
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Steadfastly

Member
Messages
2,797
I'm guessing it had different strings and a different string height and likely some other things. Also the same pickup model is not the same as the same pickup. Slight differences in the pickup wire, pole pieces, magnets, and age can all make minute differences that can add up.
 

Timtam

Member
Messages
2,394
"Not meaning to call you out OP, its just mind blowing that this isn't accepted by all experienced guitarists at this point."

The people who aren't accepting it are 1. people who can't discern changes in tone after putting necks on other bodies etc, 2. people who don't play, have most likely never been to a music store or to see a band..collect guitars and sit at home comparing their new purchases with other people who do exactly the same thing.

It's no illusion there are a LOT of people who just don't get it.
There are a lLOT of people who buy guitars, don't play them, sit online comparing/fueling their next OCD driven purchase..
There are a lot of people who cannot discern tone changes.
The rest of the people who are into guitars are these people called ' musicians'.
The OP clearly said he hears the differences between the guitars. You and your fellow "golden ears" crowd continuing to say that only your experienced ears can hear these differences shows only that your reading skills are not in the same league as your supposed ears. It's a strawman argument.

As far as I can recall you have never presented a single example of a difference that only you and your ilk can hear.

These threads are invariably about differences that we all agree we can hear. The discussion is about what those heard differences are due to. When addressing that actual issue, bring some real evidence.
 

Timtam

Member
Messages
2,394
All the electric parts, signal chain and guitar setup can be equal with margin of 0.1%. It makes no difference.
Please tell us which guitars have electronic components matched to within 0.1%. Fender doesn't publish manufacturing variation in pickup inductance, but quotes +/- 10% variation on DCR. Regular CTS pots have a specified tolerance of +/- 20%. So there's your "0.1%" out the window before we've hardly started.

As I've said many times before, your notions of the supposed importance of body resonance are countered by direct body vibration measurements and bridge admittance from real solid body guitars, both of which are very low. The neck is another matter, as the science measured from real guitars has shown for some decades. Not making a clear distinction between neck resonance and body resonance, implying they are equally important, is just obfuscation.
 
Messages
504
The OP clearly said he hears the differences between the guitars. You and your fellow "golden ears" crowd continuing to say that only your experienced ears can hear these differences shows only that your reading skills are not in the same league as your supposed ears. It's a strawman argument.

As far as I can recall you have never presented a single example of a difference that only you and your ilk can hear.

These threads are invariably about differences that we all agree we can hear. The discussion is about what those heard differences are due to. When addressing that actual issue, bring some real evidence.
Timtam, I don't need evidence that shows it's night-time.
If it is indeed night-time, and I need evidence that it is, then instead of doubting other people CAN see, I'd declare I was blind.
It's a lot let messy that way.
You've involved yourself in an argument you simply can't win, because a win for you is getting people who can discern these things to declare they don't.
I can only suggest to you that you could perhaps go to a place where people are easily fooled- to the last.
This isn't one of those places.
You're outnumbered, outgunned and very clearly handicapped, ham-strung by a belief that simply counters all those who can hear.
You seem to delight in pasting links to scientific documents.
The problem with that evidence is that it's once again using eyes to measure sound.
You can either hear it, or you cant hear it, or you can't hear it and use evidence prepared by other people who can't hear it.
See what I mean about 'messy'?
 

muzishun

Member
Messages
6,409
It's unclear, at this point.

But there are people who have dedicated their lives to solving this question which has divided the guitar community since the dawn of internet.

It's my hope we get there soon.
 

Timtam

Member
Messages
2,394
Timtam, I don't need evidence that shows it's night-time.
If it is indeed night-time, and I need evidence that it is, then instead of doubting other people CAN see, I'd declare I was blind.
It's a lot let messy that way.
You've involved yourself in an argument you simply can't win, because a win for you is getting people who can discern these things to declare they don't.
I can only suggest to you that you could perhaps go to a place where people are easily fooled- to the last.
This isn't one of those places.
You're outnumbered, outgunned and very clearly handicapped, ham-strung by a belief that simply counters all those who can hear.
You seem to delight in pasting links to scientific documents.
The problem with that evidence is that it's once again using eyes to measure sound.
You can either hear it, or you cant hear it, or you can't hear it and use evidence prepared by other people who can't hear it.
See what I mean about 'messy'?
Thanks for proving again that you're addressing the wrong argument. Try reading the OP again. You can try using your ears to read the post if you like.
 

sf audio

Member
Messages
534
Wow, a lot of replies. I agree with the general idea that each guitar is its own thing, and so many things can affect tone. The RG and JS are not miles apart, but definitely different. As compared to a Les Paul which is quite different sounding.

Knowing all this stuff helps you make decisions on what type of sound you want. I'm flirting with the idea of building a custom guitar, and all this info helps a lot, but even so, no guarantees it will sound exactly how you envision it.
 

clavilux

Member
Messages
103
In the early 90's I had two late-'84 G&L SC-3's. I already had one and wanted a second (for some reason). Both had the same MFD pickups, saddlelock bridge, maple bodies and necks. Strung them with the same strings. One was noticeably brighter than the other one. I sold the brighter one. The one I kept is my avatar picture.
 

jblake

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,257
I have two 2007 Classic Player 50s Strats that are pretty darn close on serial numbers. One has a much broader range of highs and lows than the other, which is more mid-focused. I’ve swapped the entire pick guard assembly between them, sorted and matched pots, and checked the individual pickups’ readings.

The only conclusion that I can give with any degree of certainty (and it isn’t much) is that the difference in tone does seem to follow the neck when I switch it back and forth between the two. I’ve just learned to appreciate them for what they are. I prefer the mid-focused one for dirtier stuff and I like the wider range for cleans.
 




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