Another nooooooob question

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Thread: Another nooooooob question

  1. #1

    Join Date: Mar 2014
    Location: Georgia
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    Another nooooooob question

    Please tolerate my ignorance. If you have 3 guitars, for instance, an Epiphone Les Paul (which is what I own), an ESP LTD of some sort, and a Shecter C-1 or whatever, if all three are tuned to standard E, and all three plugged in to identical amps with same settings for each, will they sound much different from each other? Just wondering how much different one brand will sound from another. Do pickups make a big difference in tone? I think my Epiphone has humbucker style pickups. If I replaced them with EMG 81/60's would the guitar sound totally different? Just curious how much different one guitar might sound from another.
    Just a speck in the spectrum

  2. #2

    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Jacksonville, FL

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    The answer is absolutely yes, they will sound different. Even the exact same make/model/pickups can sound different through the same amp.

  3. #3

    Join Date: Jul 2011
    Location: La Mirada

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    You should try it and see if there is a difference

    Pickups, picks, strings, all those things make a difference in sound.

    How drastic the sound kind of depends on the pickups I think. Some can sound pretty similar some are really different.

    I've replaced pickups in past thinking my guitar was going to sound way better or way different and it sounded pretty similar to be honest. But guitar is all about those little nuances.
    Last edited by Shepherd; 05-03-2014 at 02:38 AM.

  4. #4

    Join Date: Nov 2010
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    This is really a huge topic and there are lots of opinions on it, including 'no' (but that opinion's wrong).

    Different examples of the same model of guitar will sound different. Wood is not a homogeneous material like plastic or metal, and wood from different forests, trees, parts of any given tree and different cuts of wood (how the wood is cut with respect to the grain) all give different sounds in a guitar. People often talk about the generic sounds of different woods, but that's really just a guide. Different pieces of wood of the same species sound different.

    Woods also change sound with time as the wood resonates with the guitar (edit - I mean with the string, obviously /edit) - it gradually resonates more readily as bonds between the grain that are in places the guitar is 'trying' to resonate are gradually broken down. I've heard it said that a piece of wood takes a decade to realise its in a guitar. Some people expose their guitars to noise for this reason (they play music at them, or stick them infront of a speaker playing pink noise, neither of which I expect have more than a minuscule effect, don't bother, just play the fucking thing).

    Different shapes of guitar sound different, including neck length ('scale length'), body shapes, neck thicknesses and so on.

    Different hardware in a guitar will make it sound different. Especially different bridges.

    Different types of assembly will sound different; bolt on, set neck, set-through and through neck.

    Different pickups in any given guitar will sound different. On that note, any given pickup will also sound different in different guitars (for all the above reasons and more).

    Some noobs think that its just the pickup that matters. Some quite experienced people do as well, and they really have no excuse. The string causes the guitar to resonate, then the string resonates with the guitar in a closed feedback loop between the two. So the string carries the resonant properties of the guitar, which the pickup then picks up.

    Theres also manufacturing tolerances - the accuracy with which the parts of the guitar are made and assembled. Very small variations in that also cause changes in tone.

    Any given model of amp doesn't have a single constant sound either. Variability in specifications of the components lead to changes in sound, especially when they're all working in tandem in an amp. Also, the values of the components in an amp change with time, so older amps of the same model, even if made according to the exact same design, will sound different. Different valves in amps will also sound different in a sort of analogous fashion to different pickups in guitars.

    Different cables and picks sound different as well.

    In fact its a fucking miracle that every bastard and his dog all sound the fucking same these days. I don't know how they do it.

  5. #5

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Virginia Beach, USA
    ME: ESP Sexy Finger
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    Strings make a pretty big difference in sound as well.

  6. #6

    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Southeast Michigan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kagami View Post
    Strings make a pretty big difference in sound as well.
    Yep. Not just gauge and tuning either. Two different string brands with the exact same gauge will sound very different. There are also different "kinds" of strings. For example, flat-wounds sound very different from the more typical round-wounds. Some famous metal guitarists get their specific sound from using a certain low gauge string tuned lower than most people would say it's supposed to.

  7. #7

    Join Date: Nov 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kagami View Post
    Strings make a pretty big difference in sound as well.
    Yes they do.

  8. #8

    Join Date: Feb 2013
    Location: Arkansas, USA
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    I think it is easier to state that it is virtually impossible to find two guitars that do sound completely identical. Some may sound virtually the same, but there will always be something slightly different. Even with identical makes/models, there will be variations in tonal properties.

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