Archive for the ‘Instrument Tips and Tricks’ Category

Does Guitar Tonewood Matter?

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

A new tonewood video is making it’s rounds and this is a topic that everyone has an opinion on.  There are clearly two separate camps that get rabid with each other almost to the point of flat earthers vs round earthers. (Except for the clear visual evidence of the round earth)  There was that one scientific study that one time that said there is virtually no sonic difference see HERE!!!!   And then there are bunches of not as scientific studies.  That’s what I like!

People spend a ton of money chasing that “tone” i’m mainly going to focus on electric guitar as acoustic (IMO) is an instrument more critical of it’s construction and materials.  And being that’s it’s acoustic it really only has a few things to shape it’s sound.  Unlike the electric that has the “electric” components that are changing the the way the instrument sounds which can create many variables.

For me personally I don’t spend a lot of time researching tone woods for my guitars.  I look more into finish I am trying to achieve, as well as neck and fret board.  I’m personally a firm believer that if you want to significantly change the guitar sound the easiest and most drastic way to do that is with a pickup swap.  Being that pickups are voiced to accomplish different types of sounds that seems to be the component that would make the most sense.  Next of course being the amp you’re playing with.  For me, my guitars of choice are usually Ibanez RG 550 or similar style, many of my guitars have the electronics attached to the pick guard not even touching the wood directly which to some degree lessens the wood argument.  There have also been various acrylic guitar that sound basically indiscernible from their earthy counterparts.  With all these things considered is it worth your money to go out of your way with a bunch of wood combinations?  Well, no answers here.  But my opinion…..  No.

While I do agree that different woods make sonic differences I believe they’re subtle.  And those subtle differences are going to become less noticeable once time comes to dial your desired tone in with your amp or your choice in pickups.

 

But, here is an interesting demonstration of difference in woods.  While this video is gaining popularity, I do wish this was done in a bit more controlled situation.   Maybe with equipment better than an iPhone and maybe with a mic on a speaker to give some consistency.  But meh, it’s a solid enough indicator of wood impacting tone.

 

 

 

 

 

Guitar Isolation Cabinet or ISO Box Build

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

 

 

Here is my quick write up on my isolation box.  As you can see I have it loaded with my Mesa Boogie 2×12 loaded with Celestion Vintage 30’s and I love this thing.  The specs are pretty simple.  Basically it’s like this…

 

The front and back panel are 28″ tall x 36 1/2″ wide 3/4″ MDF.

The side panels are 28″ tall x 38″ wide.

The top and bottom panel are 38″x38″

If I were you I’d play around with the dimensions until you get what seems workable for you.  I wanted to have room on the top and in front for mics and such.

 

I screwed mine together with simple deck screws I had.  I use 2 hinges for the top that are 6″ hinges.  I used a simple weather strip door seal with adhesive back to go around the edge leaving a gap for cables.  And then a handle on the top.  Inside I used a staple gun to staple my 2″ foam and I used around 50 squares of 12″x12″ acoustical foam.  And of course I put casters on the bottom for easy movement.

My biggest recommendation if you decide to build one would be to make sure you build it where you want it as it’s going to be wider than a lot of doorways leaving you disassembling it when you want to change rooms.  This problem actually kept me from tolexing it which I wanted to do but hey, Namm stickers will always do.

Lastly, while this does cut a lot of volume it’s not quite and I think you’ll notice while it kills 20+db it really kills the top end so from outside the box all you’re really hearing is rumbling which isn’t as piercing .  My studio is on the other side of the wall and with the door closed, I can use my studio monitors to dial it in without much bleed through the wall.  However it is still audible upstairs, and if kids are an issue it’s still IMO too loud to not wake them.  (Maybe)  But to be sure, if you want to really cut volume the box in a box method would be your solution.  Basically build a box roughly 6″ or so bigger all the way around and then foam also between the boxes as air gap and foam will create greater noise reduction.


How To Adjust Your Acoustic Guitar Action

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

I did a quick youtube video when I needed to adjust the action on my acoustic guitar. I found a lot of people that didn’t know what that was about so I shot a quick vid to document my adventure. As most anything with an instrument it’s not that difficult you just have to have the stones to rip into it. That being said, if you’re concerned you may murder your instrument phone a friend before you euthanize your prized guitar!!!