Jump to content

Entry for August 2019's Guitar Of The Month is now open!

All Activity

This stream auto-updates     

  1. Today
  2. @curtisa I said guitarist because a good player will nearly always make any guitar sound good, a bad player will make a good guitar sound terrible. I said finish because whether or not a finish is soaked into the wood or built up on the surface of the wood is bound to affect the sound as much as species of wood (IMO)
  3. No, there's no actual hole. The only option I can think of is to put glue where the wood is broken and push that piece level from underneath. I'm planning a T-shape tool which I could slide in and turn it as a supportive beam. However, I'm afraid that it could cause either the back to break or the sides to rip off.
  4. Tru dat! What puzzles me the most is that when a guitarist in a band plays solo between the tunes, like when checking his tuning with a couple of chords, the sound can be pretty awful. But with the band he blends in beautifully. Most often a single player sound is entirely different than a band player sound. Playing by yourself you try to get a rich sound to compensate the lack of other instruments while with a band the sound has to be distinct in order to be heard. I recall an old article where a 60's musician told one guitarist having used an annoying sound reminiscent of the whining of mosquitoes. When the rest of the band played, the combined sound was very pleasant to listen to.
  5. Aye, but a guitar with a finish so rubbery that it dampens the natural decay and sound would be...well...kinda icky to play, to say the least To a degree, yes: Joe Satriani plays Surfing with the Alien on a cheap Strat clone It certainly sounds like Joe's playing, even if it doesn't exactly sound like Joe's sound. Surprised you put that ahead of wood. I'd personally put that waaaaaay down the list. Which is why I'm sure we'll never see any real objective reasoning behind the importance of the various components that make up an electric guitar and their subsequent impact on tone. Everyone's been 'trained' to know that mahogany is warm and maple is bright, but I bet any builder worth their salt could make a bright sounding mahogany-bodied guitar if they wanted to. A lot of the experiments trying to demonstrate the importance of some part of an electric guitar having an impact on tone centres around plucking long sustained notes or chords, or showing the results passing through a spectrum analyser to reveal the minutiae behind the sound. But the real-world application of testing like that is nearly meaningless as no-one plays or listens to their guitars in that way. We play in bands in bars, and perform pentatonic scales at 135BPM, and plug in to an AxeFX, and listen through headphones, and have a few drinks while we jam along with some backing tracks. And we do so safe in the knowledge that the wood underneath the opaque black paint finish on our Fendsonanez SuperThunderPatrolMeister86 is Honduran mahogany...or is it birch plywood?
  6. Decided not to update every step of the way as I am running a business and a lot of my builds tend to look very similar at this stage, so here's a jump forward to where we are now... On the workbench... The current custom batch all machined, routed and drilled, and now ready for handcarving the necks and body contouring. These include that 15/16ths size Strat body seen in my last post, two DCs, one SS, that pointy KX4 in the background (stock build) and a KM2 (no body yet). I'll start posting more as they are completed
  7. Some binding. Brought the carve back some more as well. Will fill in the few gaps tomorrow. Feeling a whole lot better about the binding this time. More comfortable of what chances I should take and stay away from.
  8. Epiphone EX retails for around $1500 which is right at the top of your budget and doesn't leave much in the bank if you're wanting to retrofit some kind of tremolo to it. Floyd Rose FRX seems to be about $430. Duesenberg Trem is about $160 shipped. Stetsbar will set you back $350 upwards depending on options. All of the above also assume that they are compatible with the bridge dimensions on the Epiphone EX, so you'd want to do your homework before buying one. I'd personally be hesitant to buy a brand new instrument at that price, and then immediately modify it with a new trem. Dean Z 79? Secondhand/discontinued ESP LTD EX series? The recent Gibson vs Dean lawsuit may put the brakes on Explorer production from other manufacturers for a while, so you may be stuck for newer options until the dust settles.
  9. Thanks guys! Here are a few more pics from the past 2 days.
  10. Yesterday
  11. Ah shit dude, I feel for you. If you can't reach to push it back up from the underside, could you grab it from the top with tweezers? I guess you would need a long reach clamp to glue it back in place.
  12. More achived today, feels I'm getting closer now. Sanded the resin back and looks sweet now, made mk2 bridge as mk1 was a little to long so wasnt achieving the 648mm in the position I liked, did a trial finish on the copper, 320grit orbital sander and just 1 coat of gloss sealant, happy with how it looks and will stop the copper from dulling. Also got the fretboard glued on aswel. I think I'll be gluing the neck in once its done as I'll m not keen on screwing it in, hopefully it will all go well.
  13. A customer asked if I still build guitars as a hobby and when I said yes, they asked if I liked to see what I could do to their long overlooked acoustic. It appeared immediately that the bridge was for a big part torn off and the top was a bit cracked on the treble side of the bridge. Well, I promised to see if I could fix that and put a set of strings on her as she had none. So I took her home and sat her leaning on an chair crowded with my building gear bag. As I went to hang my coat a loud crash was heard. She didn't like the armchair. On her road down she met a piece of lumber who violated her. Unfortunately the wound is in a place my arms can't reach... Any advise would be highly appreciated.
  14. Absolutely, I should have clarified this I guess. With regards to the neck, I can only go by my limited experience, but so much of this is subjective isn't it? So many variables and of course confirmation bias comes in to the equation sometimes too. As has been noticed, I haven't really included 'tonewood' in this debate, although it is interesting for sure. I've heard of people getting death threats over this subject. Ah the church of the tone woods huh, people get so reverent over it!
  15. I meant that a thick plasticky/rubbery finish might work as a dampening material causing the sound to die sooner; I just love the word "thuddy" coined by the OP.
  16. Right now I'm saving up for it and my price range is around 1500 AUD max. If there is any traditional style EX with a cavity already at my price point, Please let me know! Thanks!
  17. Order of affects on tone (in my opinion) in descending order: - Guitarist - Amp - Pickups - String action - Bridge - Nut and fret material - Finish - Wood
  18. Here you go; the Floyd Rose FRX: https://floydrose.com/products/frtx?variant=29837643090
  19. Editing thread names might be restricted until you reach a certain number of posts. Floyd Rose make (or at least used to make) a double locking retrofit trem for Les Paul's that is surface mounting that might work on an Explorer. Seems a lot of work to make a stock Explorer look more metal, though. Wouldn't it be easier to start off with an Explorer already fitted with a trem, like an LTD?
  20. Wait, I'm new to this. can I edit thread names and comments I post?
  21. Sorry, I sorta meant a whammy that looks cool for metal. I'll edit this topic name
  22. I'm a tone agnostic. I could be convinced either way that some things make a difference one way or the other, but I've yet to see convincing arguments either way to sway my opinion for or against. Personally I think the biggest thing that makes the most difference in tone are the pickups and what you plug the guitar in to. Other things that I feel make a significant difference are the scale length, string gauge, how much down force is applied to the bridge as the strings pass over the saddles and what kind of bridge is used (floating trem, hard tail, tune-o-matic, top load etc). Timber used might make a difference, but trying to prove it's importance in imparting a particular tonal quality gets really wishy-washy because the work executed in trying to prove it's difference invariably results in changing multiple things simultaneously in the comparison. This is further compounded in nearly all the 'experiments' I've seen/heard by the fact that the most variable part of the comparison is never eliminated when doing those kinds of comparisons - the player. Only for open strings. As soon as you fret a note the nut is unlikely to play any part in determining the tone of the instrument. You could probably 'normalise' any nut material by the use of a zero fret too. Difficult to prove. How do you determine that the neck itself is or is not responsible for the characteristics of the tone you're hearing? I guess you could make two identical bolt-on necks - one from maple and one from mahogany, and swap them on and off a common body, but in doing so you're also swapping more than just the one element between tests.. There's a Youtube video of a concrete Telecaster compared to a wooden version (don't know what species) floating around. IIRC, the concrete one sounded brighter, but still sounds like a Tele. I'd be somewhat skeptical that the finish itself could be an audible contributor to the sound of an electric guitar. My gut instinct is that it would take a relatively massive difference in finish thickness and makeup to impart an audible difference between two otherwise identical guitars.
  23. That sounds like a solid start for a fruitful discussion. I mean, you didn't mention "tonewood" at all and you include sustain to the tone. For what I've understood and learned, the "timbre" of an electric guitar doesn't transfer through the pickups as such. That doesn't mean it can be omitted since sustain is part of it and that definitely can be magnetically amplified. Also, the more the guitar vibrates, the more feedback it gives to the player affecting the way he plays. So although the timbre can't be amplified, it has an indirect effect to the resulting sound. About materials, I classify them to "soft" and "hard". By "soft" I mean something that has more or less rubbery features in dampening any vibrations. Obviously, "hard" is the opposite, not giving in. As you've observed a wooden nut had a thuddy sound compared to a bone or brass nut. Is it because of density or stiffness, I can't tell for sure. Maybe both. You're right about the neck. Because it's much thinner than the body blank, the vibrating strings have energy enough to move the neck accordingly which in turn can extend the life span of the sustain. I mean, the vibrating neck acts similarly to the player's finger nudging on a fret to elongate a note. Because of the proportions, the neck must also be "hard" - not necessarily all the way, but at least partially for all of the length. The fretboard has to be hard for wear resistancy, the truss rod adding to "hardness", the two allowing some freedom for the neck material as long as it's strong enough to stand the palm wear and the string pull. I've heard that a guitar made entirely out of marble would have infinite sustain. One thing that hasn't yet been mentioned is the finish. Obviously a 2 mm thick flexible lacquer will thuddify the sound, both in the neck and under the bridge. A thickly lacquered/painted solidbody with a hardtail bridge laying on the surface might benefit significantly by removing the finish from under the bridge and from the neck.
  24. Last week
  25. A contentious issue I suppose (which in itself is kind of silly when you think about it), but everyone has their idea of what contributes to the (amplified) 'tone'. By 'tone' I mean what in classical circles is often referred to as timbre, but rightly or wrongly I've always included sustain in to the equation too. From my limited experience, here are my small nuggets of observations. I think that nut material absolutely does, compare a wood nut to a bone nut for example. The wood nut (padauk in my case) was dull and thuddy on open strings in my humble opinion. This suggests to me that nut density contributes to a defined tone. To such an extent I'm fairly certain that this dull character will change when I change the nut to to a brass one. Another. I think the neck plays a huge part in the tone of the guitar. Much more than the body. Notes that sustain nicely acoustically on a neck seem to translate nicely to the amplified sound. What exactly the magical formula of the ideal neck is remains elusive, but I will say that the Wenge and ebony (fretboard) neck i built seems to have a beautiful ring to it that was evident both removed from the body and attached to it. I think that density has a lot to do with this. Ofcourse there's definitely more that I have forgot, but its late at night Thoughts?
  26. Check out the Duesenberg les trem, they're designed to replace the tailpiece on les pauls and require no drilling
  1. Load more activity
  • Create New...