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Everything posted by curtisa

  1. For exactly one note. And its octave if you really want to stretch the theory a bit more. As soon as you fret an F, F#, G etc, placing the pickup at the 24th fret location to specifically chase that one harmonic node ceases to have any relevance to the note you've just fretted. @Bizman62s graphic simplifies the motion of a plucked string to make it easy to visualise how a sinusoidal waveform can be broken down into its harmonic components, but that's not how a plucked string moves in real life. It's true that moving the pickup closer to the 24th allows more of the lower-order harmonics to
  2. Would that be so bad if that were the case? Realistically we'll continue to build our guitars out of whatever we feel like. Even if the stats suggest that tonally it makes no difference, that completely disregards what we or the paying customer may want aesthetically. A slab of pine will never be a substitute for the appearance and/or feel in the hands of spalted maple. And the other side of the 'wood matters' debate that this experimental test rig cannot solve is that the knowledge that you are playing a piece of mahogany, either by being able to see it, feel it or be reliably infor
  3. By and large I agree, but the results I seem to be pulling out of this experiment may suggest that the wood used makes such little difference in and of itself that it could be completey disregarded as a contributing factor. It may raise the possibility that people who claim to have swapped a rosewood neck for a maple neck on their Strat, noticed a change in the sound and attributed it to the rosewood are incorrect. That given it takes them 30+ minutes to do the swap, unless they go to the trouble of making recordings before and after and comparing the results in a very clinical manner the
  4. One string of each or three of each? One pair of each implies a single example string of each, in which case - which string? Bearing in mind that it's been suggested that the differences seem to become hard to hear depending on which string is played. Hint: the wound strings are easier to make last longer when strung/tuned/detuned/restrung...
  5. Personally I can hear really subtle differences between some of the timber pairs when they're played back to back. But they're super-borderline, to the point where if I went out of the room for 20 seconds to put the kettle on and came back, if I started playing one sample at random I'd never be able to tell what I was listening to. They're certainly not the earth-shattering differences some people claim to be able to hear when comparing identical guitars made from different timbers.
  6. That should be reasonably easy to cobble together. Something along the lines of how long it takes for the sound to reach some nominal level, which doesn't necessarily have to be the threshold of silence. Say, measure the time taken for the note to lose 75% of its initial peak, or the time taken for the note to decay to an absolute dB value. I reckon you'd lose perspective with so many choices at your disposal, and the relevance to the sound produced when plugged in seems somewhat tenuous. What about if I recorded acoustic samples of the sound of each species when knocked as
  7. Some more comparisons for your examination. Same deal as before: 3x2 strikes of a low-E, D and high-E, each example alternates between two timbers. The 'new' timber is played first followed by the tas oak (weight = 1140g, typical Janka = 6000N) for reference using the following pattern: Low E pluck <new timber>, Low E pluck tas oak, pause Low E pluck <new timber>, Low E pluck tas oak, pause Low E pluck <new timber>, Low E pluck tas oak, pause D pluck <new timber>, D pluck tas oak, pause D pluck <new timber>, D pluck tas oak, pause
  8. A lot more. I'm using 2 second windows of each, but the unadulterated decay of them is between 5-15 seconds each depending on the string played.
  9. The two samples are back-to-back with no overlap or crossfading in between. Interference between the first and second samples could be the way we interpret unnatural sounds occurring in nature. The pick attack at the start of the second file would not normally take place hard up against the tail of the preceeding note in real life. I suppose you'd normally expect some choking off of the tail of the first note for a fraction of a second as the pick comes in contact with the string for the second strike if it were two plucks of the same string played by a human on a real guitar.. The tails
  10. Just to be clear in case I've used too many words, using file 04 (take you pick between amped or non-amped versions): The comparisons should not span across adjacent samples separated by a 'pause', otherwise it becomes too difficult to reliably remember what your reference point is.. The strikes within each pair are purposely placed back-to-back to give you a fighting chance to quickly identify any differences there may be between the two timbers.
  11. If we're talking about file '04 - Pine vs Tas Oak', then yes - correct. The samples always alternate between the two. There is no randomising going on. So what is being played in the recording is: Low E pluck pine, Low E pluck tas oak, pause Low E pluck pine, Low E pluck tas oak, pause Low E pluck pine, Low E pluck tas oak, pause D pluck pine, D pluck tas oak, pause D pluck pine, D pluck tas oak, pause D pluck pine, D pluck tas oak, pause High E pluck pine, High E pluck tas oak, pause High E pluck pine, High E pluck tas oak, pause High E pl
  12. Yep. That was my thinking in chosing pine as the comparison material. If an alder Strat, a basswood Strat and an ash Strat are meant to sound uniquely different then surely two disparate woods such as pine and tas oak should sound different, even if few people are familiar with them as materials. I have other species at my disposal which I want to try out, but again they won't be familiar to anyone outside Australia. That may be a good thing, as perhaps most people won't have any preconceptions as to how they should sound? Seriously though, if anyone wants to donate a plank of one of
  13. I could, but I also think that the first comparison I did (pickup directly mounted vs free-floating) suggests that the pickup can only 'hear' the strings' motion, and not how the wood 'sounds' acoustically. The unplugged response of the guitar might be interesting but it's probably not particularly relevant to the sound that emerges from the amp in and of itself. Sustain tests are another interesting possibility, but it's one you'd have to be careful approaching. Essentially you'd need to be able to reliably differentiate between the length of single notes disappearing into the noise floo
  14. FWIW, it's not a given that the two sample should or shouldn't sound the same. I've only compared one example each of two different species in the previous test, and two woods that many people wouldn't use in their builds at that. It could be that tas oak 'sounds' the same as pine anyway. There could be something in my test rig that is unifying the results somehow. While I would like to extend this test to include the more commonly used woods like mahogany, maple, alder etc, I'm a bit hamstrung with these species as they're so bloody expensive and hard for me to obtain down here. How
  15. I whole-heartedly concur, congrats on your win! Now go and build another.
  16. OK, time for a controversial one. Radiata pine vs Tasmanian Oak - what can you hear? Stats for the test pieces used: Two planks cut and dressed to same dimensions of 840mm x 65mm x 25mm, one in radiata pine and one from the tas oak used for all the previous tests. Pine plank weighs 650 grams, the tas oak weighs 1140 grams Typical Janka hardnesses for radiata pine and tas oak are 3200N and 6000N respectively Pickup recess milled to the same dimensions at the same location in both planks Scale length 25" on both test pieces, with the bridge, nut and string lock
  17. ...or perhaps a more realistic analogy, stick a capo on the 12th fret and tune all your strings down an octave. The result will be pretty ugly sounding compared to all six strings open and tuned back to normal, even though the pitch is the same both ways.
  18. The falling 'trebly-ness' in sympathy with the shortening scale length pretty much follows what I was expecting. The string tension is reducing while the pitch and string gauge remains constant. If you followed it to an extreme situation, say making the scale length as short as a ukulele but kept the same string on it tuned to the same pitch, the note generated would sound pretty dull and it would feel like a rubber band. Try down-tuning a 46 low-E on a Strat to the same pitch as a bass low-E and you'll get the same effect.
  19. Hmmm? You say something? No, the peak I'm hearing isn't anywhere near up that high. It's subtle, so it probably won't stand out if you're just listening on the laptop speakers or mobile phone. I suppose it may only come across as 'slightly more treble'/'slightly less treble'.
  20. Interesting. I can hear a change in tone between the differing scale lengths. There's a high frequency peak that I can hear getting lower as the scale length reduces on the low-E string plucks. Kinda like those Tuvian throat singers who can excite harmonic overtones on top of their base drone vocal to sound like 'iiii', 'eeee' and 'oooo'. To my ears the high-E also gets less bright as the scale length gets shorter. That could be a contributing factor to the Strats-are-brighter, Les-Pauls-are-warmer philosophy, the two guitars having scale lengths that differ by around 3/4 of an inch. I really
  21. A slightly simpler, and perhaps more obvious one this time around. What difference does scale length make? Same test rig as before, except that the string lock and nut at the 'head' end of the oak plank are being shifted towards the bridge by an inch at a time, providing scale lengths of 26", 25" and 24": Just two strings played this time, a low-E (0.042 gauge) and a high-E (0.010). One pluck of each at 26", 25" and then 24" scale lengths. Also attached is the same recording through the moderately gainy amp sim. Interestingly I think the differences between the
  22. Here's the same three files run through a medium gain Marshall-inspired amp simulation. 02a Pickup Mounting, Direct vs Floating + Amp.wav 02b Pickup Mounting, Direct vs Floating, Randomised Order + Amp.wav 02c Pickup Mounting, Direct vs Floating, ABX + Amp.wav
  23. It's tricky, isn't it? I might try posting variants with added amp simulation and extra gain to see if it changes things. Good suggestion.
  24. Something to compare for yourself - can you tell the difference in sound between a pickup that is direct-mounted on to the body, and one that is completely decoupled from the instrument? The theory is supposedly that if you have the same pickup directly attached to the body it will sound different compared to a pickup not in direct contact with the body via a scratchplate or pickup mounting ring; that the pickup may be able to respond to the material vibrating. I needed some way of taking the pickup out of the test rig and re-positioning it such that it was no longer touching the body, bu
  25. Attached is the first recording worth sharing. All this WAV file is intended to demonstrate is if the 'robo-picker' can operate in such a way that each pluck of a string sounds consistent. A set of 10-46 strings was used, starting with the low E 46 first. This was tuned to pitch using a Peterson StroboPlus tuner set to normal equal temperament mode, and then a recording of 10 robo-plucks made. The string was then detuned and removed, the next string (A/36) installed and tuned, and a further recording of 10 plucks performed. The process repeated until all 6 strings had been recorded. Each
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