It takes a lot to make ME speechless..but that ......uhh
Flash forward to March 23rd. 17 guys sitting around BS'ing about the same thing. So what do we do? Yup. Big Balls contest - take 2. Guitar after guitar came off the wall. Chris "The King" Reynolds was the man behind the chords. he would hit it hard and let it ring. The rest of us sat back and listened. All of the hollowbody guitars (across several builders) exhibited similar tendency to overdrive and feedback very fast. Solid body guitars took longer. A couple guitars were super tight, compressed, and took a long time to squeal. One guitar, in particular, refused to lose it's composure. It sounded like a chainsaw wide open and it never backed off. No matter how many times Chris tried, that maple-neck Singlecut just wouldn't feedback.
I put the Raven up against the most beefy single cut we could find. I was expecting it to be frail in comparison. More delicate. Wrong! It was just as ballzy as anything else we handed Chris.
I believe in the sum-of-all-parts theory. I believe that maple-cap guitars are brighter than all mahogany guitars. I believe that maple and swamp ash are snappy and have a tight low end. I believe that harder nuts create more shimmer on the high end. And I believe that nothing will help you understand the "general" sonic properties of a group of similar guitars like lining them all up, side-by-side, and playing them back to back.
Big Balls, V2 was one of the coolest "guitar guy" experiments I've ever been involved with - second only to the day we dissected a Paul's 28 guitar. And that, my friends, is how Dirty Bob lost his hearing.
Was Good Fun!!!
At first I though.... 'Man every guitar Chris is playing sounds fantastic"
By about guitar 15 I started to think "Maybe every guitar Chris plays sounds fantastic"
Abalone = Tone!!!
Hans. The Raven kicked ass! That gtr saw a lot of action that weekend. And for good reason!!! I loved playing it!
So Hans, I guess Tim's guitar rang true over all? And I'm assuming Tim's guitar was the SC Artist with the maple neck.
As for Chris' paisley SE245, it's a stunning piece of art from the wizards at PTC. Every detail was perfect and it sounded fantastic, too.
Hans..you are right about the Maple V. Mahoghany...BTW Bob Ross is from Muncie Indiana....The REAL one.
That was SUCH a cool shootout. It was great to hear how all these great guitars had their own "punch". I agree with Hans' assessment that the generalization about Lesters having "more balls" is definitely untrue. However- in my opinion- Les Pauls SOUND DIFFERENT than even the very best PRSi, or the Zemaitis, or the Knaggs. I do not mean that they sound better, but each brand- to my ears- has a distinct personality that is evident when you play them side-by-side. PRSi seem to have their own unique "voice", and it is consistent across the line. There seems to be a little less midrange (to my broke-ass ears) than LPs. The Zemaitis had a "chainsaw-like buzz" that was really tight and powerful. Lesters have a "tightness in the bottom" that I ONLY hear in Gibbys.
The bottom line- to me- is that the generalization that one brand has "more balls" than another is untrue. Different brands and different models have different personalities, and finding the one that gets as close to "the sound that you hear in your head" is a fun and worthwhile- albeit sometimes exhausting- pursuit!!
That was such a cool experiment; I'm glad I was there to be a part of it.
"You come around here with these... SOUL DESTROYERS... clad in some kinda paisley rittenou... I don't even know what rittenou means." -Greg Koch re: PRS amps
Last edited by 11top; 04-06-2013 at 08:09 AM.
I didn't participate in that experiment, since I wasn't there, but I completely agree with the assessment that various members have posted.
You do enough recording over a 25 year period, you pick up on some stuff, I guess.
I believe that a guitar works like an analog synthesizer using a basic waveform, modified by filters and an ADSR envelope. Example: Take an all mahogany guitar, and you have a rich, midrange-prominent waveform. Add a maple cap, and you've removed some midrange, which makes the guitar sound brighter. You haven't added high-end, you've scooped the midrange a little bit. But on balance, the guitar will sound brighter because of that. It works just like a filter on an analog synth.
Go to a semi-hollow or hollow, and what you've done is change the type of base waveform and the type of filter. Now instead of a 12 db/octave, maybe you've got a 24 db/octave with a different shape. And you've got a different kind of resonant filter as well, to accentuate different parts of the frequency band.
Various neck and fingerboard materials will also alter the tone in different ways, and so will scale length, hardware, etc.
Use a different base wood - alder, or ash - and you're going to start with a different waveform. Then the various other parts will further affect that.
Now throw in pickups, which to me is like using a different microphone, and you have more to think about and alter the tone, and that includes modifying the ADSR envelope.
So it's hardly surprising that a Lester sounds different from a typical PRS - the scale length is different, the construction is different, the hardware is different, etc.
I will note that my Stripped 58 sounded a LOT closer to a Lester than my SC58 with ebony board and 53/10s. But it still had its own thing going on, and frankly, I liked it better than any Lester I'd previously owned or played, but then I generally prefer the PRS sound to the Gibson sound anyway.
I also gotta say that what I listen for in a guitar isn't balls, it's harmonic content, and I'd guess that's because when I'm working on a recording, I'm mixing the bass and kick for the balls, and I want to clear a bit of the bottom end out of the guitar tracks so the bass and kick can be heard clearly. I like it when the guitar lives in its own space and doesn't get in the way of the other instruments. And of course, one also needs to make room for vocals, so a guitar that has a little bit of midrange scoop works really well.
Last edited by LSchefman; 04-04-2013 at 11:47 AM.
The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.
-- Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Welcome back Phenny!
Fanboy of the Jester (AKA) James (Previously known as 11top)