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Thread: Rules of tone question-discussion or thoughts

  1. #1

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    Rules of tone question-discussion or thoughts

    I've seen PRSH's videos on this topic and done alot more reading so maybe this question has been asked and answered . Is there a tone benefit to hard mounting pickups directly to the body wood rather to plastic mounting rings ? PRSH is all about transferring vibration or tone throughout the guitar and that makes sense of course. IS it better to isolate the pickups , may isolate isnt the correct term but the plastic pickup mounting rings must deaden or isolate the vibrations somewhat or is it better to let the pickups absorb all of the vibration\tone they can by having them hard mounted to the body? There are some PRS that have their PU's hard mounted I think like the studio and soapbar models. IN my own experience , I've owned Strat or super strat style guitars some with pickups mounted to plastic Pickguards and some hard mounted and always preferred the hard mounted like my Carvin.

    So what do you think ?
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    Goatee Practitioner Danerada's Avatar
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    Re: Rules of tone question-discussion or thoughts

    I guess it could make a difference. I think tone is more about a combination of touch/feel of the player and the tools that player works with....

    As for the hard mounted pickup vs ring mounted pickup...man I don't know. It would be a fun experiment to try...
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  3. #3
    Eriza Verde
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    Re: Rules of tone question-discussion or thoughts

    Best secret I discovered about tone is the guitar is actually a low factor / percentage in overall tone.

    The guitarist is the main tone maker. One can buy a million guitars and it won't affect tone. One can buy a million amps, and it won't affect tone. But one can play a million hours and tone will change.

    I've heard awesome players pick up junk guitars and still get great tone out of it.

    That said, material wise, it does make a difference. certain materials transfer vibrations (tone) better than others.

    But the amount that translates as tone? Heck maybe sometimes the plastic rings might be part of it. Some people love the tone of a LP, and part of it may be just the vibrations are muffled just a bit by those plastic rings that cause beloved LP's to ring a certain way . . .

    For me its 10% the guitar / amp etc and 90% the player . . . but even then I'm giving a healthy bonus to the guit . . .

    But PRSh is right in about the subtractions thing . . . and kudos for him for always exploring and seeking better guitar.
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  4. #4

    Re: Rules of tone question-discussion or thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by pontaeri
    Best secret I discovered about tone is the guitar is actually a low factor / percentage in overall tone.

    The guitarist is the main tone maker. One can buy a million guitars and it won't affect tone. One can buy a million amps, and it won't affect tone. But one can play a million hours and tone will change.

    I've heard awesome players pick up junk guitars and still get great tone out of it.

    That said, material wise, it does make a difference. certain materials transfer vibrations (tone) better than others.

    But the amount that translates as tone? Heck maybe sometimes the plastic rings might be part of it. Some people love the tone of a LP, and part of it may be just the vibrations are muffled just a bit by those plastic rings that cause beloved LP's to ring a certain way . . .

    For me its 10% the guitar / amp etc and 90% the player . . . but even then I'm giving a healthy bonus to the guit . . .

    But PRSh is right in about the subtractions thing . . . and kudos for him for always exploring and seeking better guitar.
    Not necessarily disagreeing with the basic premise, though I honestly don't know how it's possible to quantify what does what in terms of one's overall tone. No doubt the player is a huge factor; but it's also a fact that most of us sound different on a Tele than we do on a Les Paul or on a 335, and the same is true of PRS models.

    A player with a lighter touch may find the guitar more of a factor than a player with a heavier touch, and big fingers.

    Another big factor is that we tend to dial in "our sounds" on our amps regardless of the guitar we're playing. And a player who dials up heavy, overdriven tones may sound more alike from guitar to guitar than a clean player, who isn't cutting off a lot of the guitar's sound by turning the sine waves into square waves via clipping of the signal.

    So I think there's a fair amount of variability between players that will affect how much of the guitar's inherent qualities come through, and how much of the player's inherent sound comes through.

    The bottom line is that the exact percentage of the guitar's effect on tone isn't important. What is important is that however large or small that effect is, it does make a difference, and certain guitar makers make the most of that difference. Which guitar suits a player, of course, is a very personal thing.
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    Member Dan-d-1985's Avatar
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    Re: Rules of tone question-discussion or thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Danerada
    I guess it could make a difference. I think tone is more about a combination of touch/feel of the player and the tools that player works with....
    Quote Originally Posted by Danerada

    As for the hard mounted pickup vs ring mounted pickup...man I don't know. It would be a fun experiment to try...
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    Searching for the sound tdarian's Avatar
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    Re: Rules of tone question-discussion or thoughts

    Interesting question raised by the OP.
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    408 Sig Club President Twinfan's Avatar
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    Re: Rules of tone question-discussion or thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman
    Quote Originally Posted by pontaeri
    The guitarist is the main tone maker. One can buy a million guitars and it won't affect tone. One can buy a million amps, and it won't affect tone. But one can play a million hours and tone will change.
    I agree and disagree. More playing time = better tone, yes.

    Same player through a Marshall MG-15 combo and a Bogner Shiva half stack? The Bogner will have the better tone every single time.

    The player makes a difference, yes, but so does the gear.

  8. #8
    Carvin Striations cwhenke's Avatar
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    Re: Rules of tone question-discussion or thoughts

    I know of at least one luthier who believes direct-mounted pups DO sound better. However, that approach will mean you limit the ability to adjust pup height...or that a minor change is more of a hassle than it is worth.
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    Administrator james's Avatar
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    Re: Rules of tone question-discussion or thoughts

    [youtube:27nnxcxf]EzKT8WrZhhc[/youtube:27nnxcxf]

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    Searching for the sound tdarian's Avatar
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    Re: Rules of tone question-discussion or thoughts

    Thanks James (and Paul). This was a great video. I do think it would be helpful for those of us who who find a need to refret a PRS to know what the raw stock wire was, other than "specially made by the company who makes it".

    Agree that the fret work coming out of PRS is top notch, would just like confirmation (maker and part #) on what the raw stock wire is in the event that it would not be feasible to send a guitar to the PTC.
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    Senior Member clcwarlock's Avatar
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    Re: Rules of tone question-discussion or thoughts

    My understanding is that when pickups are mounted directly to the body you will get a benefit from unpotted pickups that are slightly microphonic. I dont think it would make as much a difference with a potted pickup though. I am glad this question was asked because I am curious what the answer is also.

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    Re: Rules of tone question-discussion or thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by james
    [youtube:3nzg4huz]EzKT8WrZhhc[/youtube:3nzg4huz]
    It would be great if Paul did a video covering the basics of each 'rule of tone'. No proprietary secrets, just a solid overview for each principle. It would serve as a benchmark for the industry, a trove of information for us gear heads and most importantly as a historical piece of media. Imagine if we had Lloyd Loar on video discussing what made his signed mandolins so special...
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    Administrator james's Avatar
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    Re: Rules of tone question-discussion or thoughts

    [youtube:30j8zcd0]o3Q_piNq3pI[/youtube:30j8zcd0]

    Full post here: http://www.prsguitars.com/index.php/blo ... eck_shapes

  14. #14
    chief Shawn@PRS's Avatar
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    Re: Rules of tone question-discussion or thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by tdarian
    Thanks James (and Paul). This was a great video. I do think it would be helpful for those of us who who find a need to refret a PRS to know what the raw stock wire was, other than "specially made by the company who makes it".

    Agree that the fret work coming out of PRS is top notch, would just like confirmation (maker and part #) on what the raw stock wire is in the event that it would not be feasible to send a guitar to the PTC.

    Hi Tom,

    As many of you know, Paul plays it very close to the vest when it comes to trade secrets. He doesn't believe in spending years developing ideas just to divulge the information and allow our competitors to copy what weve learned. Ive mentioned to him in the past that we could open our play book to the competition and reveal all of secrets and none of our competitors would spend the additional time and money required to build to PRS specs. Many of the parts and procedures we use in production simply are not cost effective and most mainstream manufacturers would not be willing to take on the extra burden even if it would improve the product.

    Anyway, the point of my post is to talk about fretwire. Our fretwire is a proprietary product made specifically for PRS guitars. We do not divulge exact measurements, part numbers or suppliers. The standard PRS fret wire is similar in size and shape to Dunlop 6150 and the larger DGT-style wire is similar to Dunlop 6100. Dunlop does not produce our wire, I only mention their product numbers as a point of reference. If anyone is looking for a refret on their PRS guitar, I highly recommend sending it to the PTC. Weve re-fretted guitars for Carlos Santana, Paul Smith, Mark Tremonti and several folks on this forum. We are not the cheapest guys in town, but I firmly believe we offer the best refret in the industry.

    Thanks!

  15. #15
    Searching for the sound tdarian's Avatar
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    Re: Rules of tone question-discussion or thoughts

    Thanks for the response Shawn.
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    Almost was a FG22 owner.. WEDGE's Avatar
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    Re: Rules of tone question-discussion or thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn@PRS

    Weve re-fretted guitars for Carlos Santana, Paul Smith, Mark Tremonti and several folks on this forum. We are not the cheapest guys in town, but I firmly believe we offer the best refret in the industry.

    Thanks!
    I just minutes ago got back my guitar from a refret done by the PTC, 1994 Custom 22 that I had them put DGT fets on, and let me say it is awesome. Absolutley clean and perfect fret job, no sign they are not original, set up perfectly with a new bridge, and they even buffed out the whole guitar and sent it back in as new condition. None of the little micro scratches on the back anymore, it is a mirror now......SO PLEASED! :P :P :P :P

    Pics will come later in a separate NFD (new frets day) post.

    PTC rules, Thanks Shawn and which ever of your crew that did the fret work!!!!! 8-)
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  17. #17
    chief Shawn@PRS's Avatar
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    Re: Rules of tone question-discussion or thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by WEDGE
    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn@PRS

    Weve re-fretted guitars for Carlos Santana, Paul Smith, Mark Tremonti and several folks on this forum. We are not the cheapest guys in town, but I firmly believe we offer the best refret in the industry.

    Thanks!
    I just minutes ago got back my guitar from a refret done by the PTC, 1994 Custom 22 that I had them put DGT fets on, and let me say it is awesome. Absolutley clean and perfect fret job, no sign they are not original, set up perfectly with a new bridge, and they even buffed out the whole guitar and sent it back in as new condition. None of the little micro scratches on the back anymore, it is a mirror now......SO PLEASED! :P :P :P :P

    Pics will come later in a separate NFD (new frets day) post.

    PTC rules, Thanks Shawn and which ever of your crew that did the fret work!!!!! 8-)

    Thank you Paul, I'm glad you are happy with the work!

    Scotty B does all our refrets.

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