Discussion:
Factory vs hand made guitars
(too old to reply)
tom g
2020-04-23 13:53:40 UTC
Permalink
A very fair and balanced essay by the Columbian guitar maker, Eduardo Bossa, the best that I have seen.

http://eduardobossaguitarras.com/are-hand-made-guitars-really-worth-it/
Matt Faunce
2020-04-24 02:33:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by tom g
A very fair and balanced essay by the Columbian guitar maker, Eduardo
Bossa, the best that I have seen.
http://eduardobossaguitarras.com/are-hand-made-guitars-really-worth-it/
I need to know some examples for his definition of “factory made”. I assume
the Ramirez workshop was always too small for his definition. But what
about Takamine? I have no idea how big they are. What are some examples of
the best factory-made guitars?
--
Matt
Ken Blake
2020-04-24 16:19:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by tom g
A very fair and balanced essay by the Columbian guitar maker, Eduardo
Bossa, the best that I have seen.
http://eduardobossaguitarras.com/are-hand-made-guitars-really-worth-it/
I need to know some examples for his definition of “factory made”. I assume
the Ramirez workshop was always too small for his definition. But what
about Takamine? I have no idea how big they are. What are some examples of
the best factory-made guitars?
I play a factory-made Yamaha G-255SII. I'm not sure of its current
value, but I think it's around $1000. I don't think it's one of the
best, but it's pretty good for a relatively inexpensive guitar. I wish I
could afford to buy a better guitar, but I can't (and at my level of
playing, a really good guitar would be wasted on me).
--
Ken
Matt Faunce
2020-04-24 16:43:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by tom g
A very fair and balanced essay by the Columbian guitar maker, Eduardo
Bossa, the best that I have seen.
http://eduardobossaguitarras.com/are-hand-made-guitars-really-worth-it/
I need to know some examples for his definition of “factory made”. I assume
the Ramirez workshop was always too small for his definition. But what
about Takamine? I have no idea how big they are. What are some examples of
the best factory-made guitars?
I play a factory-made Yamaha G-255SII. I'm not sure of its current
value, but I think it's around $1000. I don't think it's one of the
best, but it's pretty good for a relatively inexpensive guitar. I wish I
could afford to buy a better guitar, but I can't (and at my level of
playing, a really good guitar would be wasted on me).
Hi Ken. I played a very nice, Brazilian rosewood, Yamaha guitar. It was
hanging up at the Sherry-Brener shop in Chicago. Unfortunately I don’t
remember the model number. And, if I recall correctly, I played another one
in Arizona once.

I wonder how the factory that made your guitar was organized. Maybe there
was a section of it that functioned like a small workshop and was used for
their high-end models.

I kind of disagree with your parenthetical remark, unless you mean that
your level of playing means you can’t produce good tone and you don’t play
very much. I think being able to produce good tone and that you’ll play
your guitar, even as much as just an hour a week, are all the reasons you
need to get a great sounding guitar.
--
Matt
Ken Blake
2020-04-24 17:18:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by tom g
A very fair and balanced essay by the Columbian guitar maker, Eduardo
Bossa, the best that I have seen.
http://eduardobossaguitarras.com/are-hand-made-guitars-really-worth-it/
I need to know some examples for his definition of “factory made”. I assume
the Ramirez workshop was always too small for his definition. But what
about Takamine? I have no idea how big they are. What are some examples of
the best factory-made guitars?
I play a factory-made Yamaha G-255SII. I'm not sure of its current
value, but I think it's around $1000. I don't think it's one of the
best, but it's pretty good for a relatively inexpensive guitar. I wish I
could afford to buy a better guitar, but I can't (and at my level of
playing, a really good guitar would be wasted on me).
Hi Ken. I played a very nice, Brazilian rosewood, Yamaha guitar. It was
hanging up at the Sherry-Brener shop in Chicago. Unfortunately I don’t
remember the model number. And, if I recall correctly, I played another one
in Arizona once.
I'm in Arizona (Tucson), but I don't think that it was my guitar you
played. <g>
Post by Matt Faunce
I wonder how the factory that made your guitar was organized. Maybe there
was a section of it that functioned like a small workshop and was used for
their high-end models.
I kind of disagree with your parenthetical remark, unless you mean that
your level of playing means you can’t produce good tone and you don’t play
very much.
I play every day, and I work hard at producing a good tone. However a
better player could undoubtedly produce a better tone, even on my
guitar, than I can.
Post by Matt Faunce
I think being able to produce good tone and that you’ll play
your guitar, even as much as just an hour a week, are all the reasons you
need to get a great sounding guitar.
No, there's another much more important reason. <g> My wife would murder
me if I spent that kind of money on a guitar.

More seriously, I'm strictly an amateur. I'm not a professional; I don't
give concerts, and you can't listen to me playing on YouTube. So since
nobody but me listens to me play, except occasionally my wife, the
difference in quality isn't important enough for me to spend that kind
of money (and won't be, unless I inherit a lot of money pretty soon).

To change the subject somewhat, for an amateur, I'm a fairly decent
player. I've studied with several doctoral guitar students here at the
University of Arizona; I'd be studying with one now, except that we've
taken a recess because of the coronavirus; I hope to go back to studying
with my last teacher when the pandemic ends. So I've been studying and
practicing on my own, supplementing my practice with what I can learn
from YouTube. At the moment, I'm working on the Tárrega "Capricho
Arabe," which is difficult, but I'm getting better at it.
--
Ken
Matt Faunce
2020-04-24 18:09:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by tom g
A very fair and balanced essay by the Columbian guitar maker, Eduardo
Bossa, the best that I have seen.
http://eduardobossaguitarras.com/are-hand-made-guitars-really-worth-it/
I need to know some examples for his definition of “factory made”. I assume
the Ramirez workshop was always too small for his definition. But what
about Takamine? I have no idea how big they are. What are some examples of
the best factory-made guitars?
I play a factory-made Yamaha G-255SII. I'm not sure of its current
value, but I think it's around $1000. I don't think it's one of the
best, but it's pretty good for a relatively inexpensive guitar. I wish I
could afford to buy a better guitar, but I can't (and at my level of
playing, a really good guitar would be wasted on me).
Hi Ken. I played a very nice, Brazilian rosewood, Yamaha guitar. It was
hanging up at the Sherry-Brener shop in Chicago. Unfortunately I don’t
remember the model number. And, if I recall correctly, I played another one
in Arizona once.
I'm in Arizona (Tucson), but I don't think that it was my guitar you
played. <g>
Post by Matt Faunce
I wonder how the factory that made your guitar was organized. Maybe there
was a section of it that functioned like a small workshop and was used for
their high-end models.
I kind of disagree with your parenthetical remark, unless you mean that
your level of playing means you can’t produce good tone and you don’t play
very much.
I play every day, and I work hard at producing a good tone. However a
better player could undoubtedly produce a better tone, even on my
guitar, than I can.
Post by Matt Faunce
I think being able to produce good tone and that you’ll play
your guitar, even as much as just an hour a week, are all the reasons you
need to get a great sounding guitar.
No, there's another much more important reason. <g> My wife would murder
me if I spent that kind of money on a guitar.
More seriously, I'm strictly an amateur. I'm not a professional; I don't
give concerts, and you can't listen to me playing on YouTube. So since
nobody but me listens to me play, except occasionally my wife, the
difference in quality isn't important enough for me to spend that kind
of money (and won't be, unless I inherit a lot of money pretty soon).
To change the subject somewhat, for an amateur, I'm a fairly decent
player. I've studied with several doctoral guitar students here at the
University of Arizona; I'd be studying with one now, except that we've
taken a recess because of the coronavirus; I hope to go back to studying
with my last teacher when the pandemic ends. So I've been studying and
practicing on my own, supplementing my practice with what I can learn
from YouTube. At the moment, I'm working on the Tárrega "Capricho
Arabe," which is difficult, but I'm getting better at it.
I lived in Phoenix around 1993, then later in Flagstaff. I regret never
visiting Tucson, especially to go bouldering which I heard was awesome down
there.

I looked at some pictures of the Yamaha G-255SII. I think it’s probably a
very good guitar, and if I’m right about that, I think you’d find many
more-expensive guitars that aren’t as good sounding, if you went shopping
for one.
--
Matt
Ken Blake
2020-04-24 18:35:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by tom g
A very fair and balanced essay by the Columbian guitar maker, Eduardo
Bossa, the best that I have seen.
http://eduardobossaguitarras.com/are-hand-made-guitars-really-worth-it/
I need to know some examples for his definition of “factory made”. I assume
the Ramirez workshop was always too small for his definition. But what
about Takamine? I have no idea how big they are. What are some examples of
the best factory-made guitars?
I play a factory-made Yamaha G-255SII. I'm not sure of its current
value, but I think it's around $1000. I don't think it's one of the
best, but it's pretty good for a relatively inexpensive guitar. I wish I
could afford to buy a better guitar, but I can't (and at my level of
playing, a really good guitar would be wasted on me).
Hi Ken. I played a very nice, Brazilian rosewood, Yamaha guitar. It was
hanging up at the Sherry-Brener shop in Chicago. Unfortunately I don’t
remember the model number. And, if I recall correctly, I played another one
in Arizona once.
I'm in Arizona (Tucson), but I don't think that it was my guitar you
played. <g>
Post by Matt Faunce
I wonder how the factory that made your guitar was organized. Maybe there
was a section of it that functioned like a small workshop and was used for
their high-end models.
I kind of disagree with your parenthetical remark, unless you mean that
your level of playing means you can’t produce good tone and you don’t play
very much.
I play every day, and I work hard at producing a good tone. However a
better player could undoubtedly produce a better tone, even on my
guitar, than I can.
Post by Matt Faunce
I think being able to produce good tone and that you’ll play
your guitar, even as much as just an hour a week, are all the reasons you
need to get a great sounding guitar.
No, there's another much more important reason. <g> My wife would murder
me if I spent that kind of money on a guitar.
More seriously, I'm strictly an amateur. I'm not a professional; I don't
give concerts, and you can't listen to me playing on YouTube. So since
nobody but me listens to me play, except occasionally my wife, the
difference in quality isn't important enough for me to spend that kind
of money (and won't be, unless I inherit a lot of money pretty soon).
To change the subject somewhat, for an amateur, I'm a fairly decent
player. I've studied with several doctoral guitar students here at the
University of Arizona; I'd be studying with one now, except that we've
taken a recess because of the coronavirus; I hope to go back to studying
with my last teacher when the pandemic ends. So I've been studying and
practicing on my own, supplementing my practice with what I can learn
from YouTube. At the moment, I'm working on the Tárrega "Capricho
Arabe," which is difficult, but I'm getting better at it.
I lived in Phoenix around 1993, then later in Flagstaff. I regret never
visiting Tucson, especially to go bouldering which I heard was awesome down
there.
I looked at some pictures of the Yamaha G-255SII. I think it’s probably a
very good guitar, and if I’m right about that, I think you’d find many
more-expensive guitars that aren’t as good sounding, if you went shopping
for one.
Yes, I also think it's very good for its price. I'd probably have to
spend substantially more to get a better one--probably the better part
of $5000.


I just watched two YouTube videos of its being played. It sounds pretty
good on
but I thought it
sounded terrible (tinny on the treble strings)
on


But it's hard to tell what something sounds like when you watch YouTube.
You don't know what the mike that was used was.
--
Ken
Matt Faunce
2020-04-24 19:39:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by tom g
A very fair and balanced essay by the Columbian guitar maker, Eduardo
Bossa, the best that I have seen.
http://eduardobossaguitarras.com/are-hand-made-guitars-really-worth-it/
I need to know some examples for his definition of “factory made”. I assume
the Ramirez workshop was always too small for his definition. But what
about Takamine? I have no idea how big they are. What are some examples of
the best factory-made guitars?
I play a factory-made Yamaha G-255SII. I'm not sure of its current
value, but I think it's around $1000. I don't think it's one of the
best, but it's pretty good for a relatively inexpensive guitar. I wish I
could afford to buy a better guitar, but I can't (and at my level of
playing, a really good guitar would be wasted on me).
Hi Ken. I played a very nice, Brazilian rosewood, Yamaha guitar. It was
hanging up at the Sherry-Brener shop in Chicago. Unfortunately I don’t
remember the model number. And, if I recall correctly, I played another one
in Arizona once.
I'm in Arizona (Tucson), but I don't think that it was my guitar you
played. <g>
Post by Matt Faunce
I wonder how the factory that made your guitar was organized. Maybe there
was a section of it that functioned like a small workshop and was used for
their high-end models.
I kind of disagree with your parenthetical remark, unless you mean that
your level of playing means you can’t produce good tone and you don’t play
very much.
I play every day, and I work hard at producing a good tone. However a
better player could undoubtedly produce a better tone, even on my
guitar, than I can.
Post by Matt Faunce
I think being able to produce good tone and that you’ll play
your guitar, even as much as just an hour a week, are all the reasons you
need to get a great sounding guitar.
No, there's another much more important reason. <g> My wife would murder
me if I spent that kind of money on a guitar.
More seriously, I'm strictly an amateur. I'm not a professional; I don't
give concerts, and you can't listen to me playing on YouTube. So since
nobody but me listens to me play, except occasionally my wife, the
difference in quality isn't important enough for me to spend that kind
of money (and won't be, unless I inherit a lot of money pretty soon).
To change the subject somewhat, for an amateur, I'm a fairly decent
player. I've studied with several doctoral guitar students here at the
University of Arizona; I'd be studying with one now, except that we've
taken a recess because of the coronavirus; I hope to go back to studying
with my last teacher when the pandemic ends. So I've been studying and
practicing on my own, supplementing my practice with what I can learn
from YouTube. At the moment, I'm working on the Tárrega "Capricho
Arabe," which is difficult, but I'm getting better at it.
I lived in Phoenix around 1993, then later in Flagstaff. I regret never
visiting Tucson, especially to go bouldering which I heard was awesome down
there.
I looked at some pictures of the Yamaha G-255SII. I think it’s probably a
very good guitar, and if I’m right about that, I think you’d find many
more-expensive guitars that aren’t as good sounding, if you went shopping
for one.
Yes, I also think it's very good for its price. I'd probably have to
spend substantially more to get a better one--probably the better part
of $5000.
I just watched two YouTube videos of its being played. It sounds pretty
good on http://youtu.be/wJw9BMJAEBI but I thought it
sounded terrible (tinny on the treble strings)
on http://youtu.be/FN3Tw_PFgoM
But it's hard to tell what something sounds like when you watch YouTube.
You don't know what the mike that was used was.
Yeah. The thing about videos showcasing a guitar’s sound is this: if, for
example, Matt Palmer plays a certain guitar and gets a certain high quality
of sound, you know that the guitar can get at least that sound. It’ll
probably sound different but also high-quality in another great player’s
hands, but a much worse player is likely to get a bad tone from it no
matter how good the guitar is.

I’m almost certain that the tone quality that you hear as the guitar
(prescinding the effect of the room), when it’s judged as poor, is
something like 98% from the player, 1% from the microphone, and 1% from the
guitar. It’s impossible to isolate and understand what effect that last 1%
is from the actual, total, sound that you heard.

I’ve been to many guitar recitals and part-way through I always become
curious about who made the guitar. I have many CDs of guitar music and a
very high-quality stereo system and I’m never curious about the guitar
maker. I’m curious what percentage of other guitarists can say the same
thing.

Hey, you live in dry Tuscon: one day play a little bit taking note of the
sound quality, then soak your nails in moisturizer for five minutes, wipe
it off, and play some more. Notice the difference—same guitar and same
player, live. I bet it will be remarkable. And to go down this tangent
further, I’m convinced that most reviews of strings are more about the
relative humidity in the air, at the time the player tried the strings,
which his nails and guitar soaked up, than the strings themselves.

(I guess that was a rant. I apologize, but I’ll still send it since I think
there’s some useful information in there.)
--
Matt
Ken Blake
2020-04-24 20:20:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by tom g
A very fair and balanced essay by the Columbian guitar maker, Eduardo
Bossa, the best that I have seen.
http://eduardobossaguitarras.com/are-hand-made-guitars-really-worth-it/
I need to know some examples for his definition of “factory made”. I assume
the Ramirez workshop was always too small for his definition. But what
about Takamine? I have no idea how big they are. What are some examples of
the best factory-made guitars?
I play a factory-made Yamaha G-255SII. I'm not sure of its current
value, but I think it's around $1000. I don't think it's one of the
best, but it's pretty good for a relatively inexpensive guitar. I wish I
could afford to buy a better guitar, but I can't (and at my level of
playing, a really good guitar would be wasted on me).
Hi Ken. I played a very nice, Brazilian rosewood, Yamaha guitar. It was
hanging up at the Sherry-Brener shop in Chicago. Unfortunately I don’t
remember the model number. And, if I recall correctly, I played another one
in Arizona once.
I'm in Arizona (Tucson), but I don't think that it was my guitar you
played. <g>
Post by Matt Faunce
I wonder how the factory that made your guitar was organized. Maybe there
was a section of it that functioned like a small workshop and was used for
their high-end models.
I kind of disagree with your parenthetical remark, unless you mean that
your level of playing means you can’t produce good tone and you don’t play
very much.
I play every day, and I work hard at producing a good tone. However a
better player could undoubtedly produce a better tone, even on my
guitar, than I can.
Post by Matt Faunce
I think being able to produce good tone and that you’ll play
your guitar, even as much as just an hour a week, are all the reasons you
need to get a great sounding guitar.
No, there's another much more important reason. <g> My wife would murder
me if I spent that kind of money on a guitar.
More seriously, I'm strictly an amateur. I'm not a professional; I don't
give concerts, and you can't listen to me playing on YouTube. So since
nobody but me listens to me play, except occasionally my wife, the
difference in quality isn't important enough for me to spend that kind
of money (and won't be, unless I inherit a lot of money pretty soon).
To change the subject somewhat, for an amateur, I'm a fairly decent
player. I've studied with several doctoral guitar students here at the
University of Arizona; I'd be studying with one now, except that we've
taken a recess because of the coronavirus; I hope to go back to studying
with my last teacher when the pandemic ends. So I've been studying and
practicing on my own, supplementing my practice with what I can learn
from YouTube. At the moment, I'm working on the Tárrega "Capricho
Arabe," which is difficult, but I'm getting better at it.
I lived in Phoenix around 1993, then later in Flagstaff. I regret never
visiting Tucson, especially to go bouldering which I heard was awesome down
there.
I looked at some pictures of the Yamaha G-255SII. I think it’s probably a
very good guitar, and if I’m right about that, I think you’d find many
more-expensive guitars that aren’t as good sounding, if you went shopping
for one.
Yes, I also think it's very good for its price. I'd probably have to
spend substantially more to get a better one--probably the better part
of $5000.
I just watched two YouTube videos of its being played. It sounds pretty
good on http://youtu.be/wJw9BMJAEBI but I thought it
sounded terrible (tinny on the treble strings)
on http://youtu.be/FN3Tw_PFgoM
But it's hard to tell what something sounds like when you watch YouTube.
You don't know what the mike that was used was.
Yeah. The thing about videos showcasing a guitar’s sound is this: if, for
example, Matt Palmer plays a certain guitar and gets a certain high quality
of sound, you know that the guitar can get at least that sound. It’ll
probably sound different but also high-quality in another great player’s
hands, but a much worse player is likely to get a bad tone from it no
matter how good the guitar is.
Yes, I understand.

Matt Palmer got his doctoral degree at the University of Arizona. I
never met him, since he had graduated before I started attending events
there, but I've heard him play many things on YouTube. Yes, his tone is
high quality, but his fingering of many pieces is weird--very different
from everyone elses's. That's not meant as a negative comment, just as
an observation.

I know all the current doctoral students at the UA, several doctoral
graduates (I studied with two of them), and also many of the
undergraduates. Whenever I meet one of the doctoral students, I always
shake hands with them in the hope that some of their skill will rub off
onto my hand. <g>

David Russell gives two concerts at the UA every spring, and my wife and
I always go. He also gives several master classes; I go to as many of
those as a can, not as a student, but as a spectator.
Post by Matt Faunce
I’m almost certain that the tone quality that you hear as the guitar
(prescinding the effect of the room), when it’s judged as poor, is
something like 98% from the player, 1% from the microphone, and 1% from the
guitar. It’s impossible to isolate and understand what effect that last 1%
is from the actual, total, sound that you heard.
I don't know how accurate those percentages are, but I'm sure your point
is correct.

Two other factors are what strings are on the guitar and how old the
strings are.

I never change my strings frequently enough for three reasons:

1. It's too much trouble

2. Strings are expensive

3. New strings go out of tune very quickly.
Post by Matt Faunce
I’ve been to many guitar recitals and part-way through I always become
curious about who made the guitar.
I've also been to many, and I am similarly curious. I usually find out.
Post by Matt Faunce
I have many CDs of guitar music and a
very high-quality stereo system and I’m never curious about the guitar
maker. I’m curious what percentage of other guitarists can say the same
thing.
Hey, you live in dry Tuscon: one day play a little bit taking note of the
sound quality, then soak your nails in moisturizer for five minutes, wipe
it off, and play some more. Notice the difference—same guitar and same
player, live. I bet it will be remarkable.
Better or worse after soaking? I assume you mean better. I'll have to
try it.

Many guitar players rub their fingers along the side of their nose to
soak up some of the oil there before playing.
Post by Matt Faunce
And to go down this tangent
further, I’m convinced that most reviews of strings are more about the
relative humidity in the air, at the time the player tried the strings,
which his nails and guitar soaked up, than the strings themselves.
I'm sure you're right that it's a factor, but how much of a factor, I
don't know. I use the D'Adddario Pro-Arte EJ45s. If they sound different
in different conditions of humidity, I never noticed.
Post by Matt Faunce
(I guess that was a rant. I apologize, but I’ll still send it since I think
there’s some useful information in there.)
No apology necessary. I appreciate your comments. I'm sure you know much
more about the guitar than I do.
--
Ken
Matt Faunce
2020-04-24 21:48:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Matt Faunce
Hey, you live in dry Tuscon: one day play a little bit taking note of the
sound quality, then soak your nails in moisturizer for five minutes, wipe
it off, and play some more. Notice the difference—same guitar and same
player, live. I bet it will be remarkable.
Better or worse after soaking? I assume you mean better. I'll have to
try it.
Most players would like their tone to be less brittle, so the moisture in
their nails will move them in that direction. But for those who want a
bright and brilliant tone, like David Russell got on his Handel, Bach, and
Scarlatti CD, and who don’t have a problem with brittleness, then more
moisture in their nails will move their tone in the wrong direction.

Basically, for the former group, moisturizing the nails is a quick and easy
way to dramatically improve their sound.
--
Matt
Matt Faunce
2020-04-24 22:31:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ken Blake
Many guitar players rub their fingers along the side of their nose to
soak up some of the oil there before playing.
That’s to make the fingertips slippery. In my experience, it doesn’t
moisturize enough to make a difference in tone production.
Post by Ken Blake
I'm sure you're right that it's a factor, but how much of a factor, I
don't know. I use the D'Adddario Pro-Arte EJ45s. If they sound different
in different conditions of humidity, I never noticed.
I should say that it seems to me that another big factor is the atmospheric
pressure at its naturally-occurring extremes. I’ve only ever had one person
agree with me; most people say that there’s no way it could make a
difference. But every day, when I practice, I see three gauge, for
temperature, humidity, and atmospheric pressure. I swear the pressure
matters, and over time I’ve been able to control for humidity and
temperature. I know what the naysayers say, which is basically that my
biases are similar to the high-fi nutcases who swear that they can hear the
difference between 96k sampled digital music and 192k music. I agree with
the naysayers on the hi-fi issue, but not with air pressure. The person who
agreed with me said it might be that in low pressure the transfer of the
waves from the soundboard to air, and then air to ear is less efficient,
that there’s some slop, which on my guitar makes for a pleasantly rich
tone. In high pressure the wolf tones of my guitar howl horribly—my
annoyance of that is not from some psychological bias I get from looking at
my pressure gauge.
--
Matt
Ken Blake
2020-04-24 22:52:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by Ken Blake
Many guitar players rub their fingers along the side of their nose to
soak up some of the oil there before playing.
That’s to make the fingertips slippery. In my experience, it doesn’t
moisturize enough to make a difference in tone production.
OK, thanks.
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by Ken Blake
I'm sure you're right that it's a factor, but how much of a factor, I
don't know. I use the D'Adddario Pro-Arte EJ45s. If they sound different
in different conditions of humidity, I never noticed.
I should say that it seems to me that another big factor is the atmospheric
pressure at its naturally-occurring extremes. I’ve only ever had one person
agree with me; most people say that there’s no way it could make a
difference. But every day, when I practice, I see three gauge, for
temperature, humidity, and atmospheric pressure. I swear the pressure
matters, and over time I’ve been able to control for humidity and
temperature. I know what the naysayers say, which is basically that my
biases are similar to the high-fi nutcases who swear that they can hear the
difference between 96k sampled digital music and 192k music. I agree with
the naysayers on the hi-fi issue, but not with air pressure. The person who
agreed with me said it might be that in low pressure the transfer of the
waves from the soundboard to air, and then air to ear is less efficient,
that there’s some slop, which on my guitar makes for a pleasantly rich
tone. In high pressure the wolf tones of my guitar howl horribly—my
annoyance of that is not from some psychological bias I get from looking at
my pressure gauge.
--
Ken
tom g
2020-04-24 23:41:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by Ken Blake
Many guitar players rub their fingers along the side of their nose to
soak up some of the oil there before playing.
That’s to make the fingertips slippery. In my experience, it doesn’t
moisturize enough to make a difference in tone production.
Post by Ken Blake
I'm sure you're right that it's a factor, but how much of a factor, I
don't know. I use the D'Adddario Pro-Arte EJ45s. If they sound different
in different conditions of humidity, I never noticed.
I should say that it seems to me that another big factor is the atmospheric
pressure at its naturally-occurring extremes. I’ve only ever had one person
agree with me; most people say that there’s no way it could make a
difference. But every day, when I practice, I see three gauge, for
temperature, humidity, and atmospheric pressure. I swear the pressure
matters, and over time I’ve been able to control for humidity and
temperature. I know what the naysayers say, which is basically that my
biases are similar to the high-fi nutcases who swear that they can hear the
difference between 96k sampled digital music and 192k music. I agree with
the naysayers on the hi-fi issue, but not with air pressure. The person who
agreed with me said it might be that in low pressure the transfer of the
waves from the soundboard to air, and then air to ear is less efficient,
that there’s some slop, which on my guitar makes for a pleasantly rich
tone. In high pressure the wolf tones of my guitar howl horribly—my
annoyance of that is not from some psychological bias I get from looking at
my pressure gauge.
--
Matt
My guitar doesn't like low temperatures and low humidity. It likes humidity from 60% to 80%. It is 51 years old, so maybe the wood of the front has dried out too much and loses flexibility when the humidity is low.
Science or not, I empathise with your atmospheric pressure suspicion just in the absence of having nothing else to blame. But can it be the hearing and not the guitar that is affected by changes of atmospheric pressure?
The sound quality of some guitars is much more reliable than others, also some types of guitar (lattice brace, double top etc). I would not describe my guitar as reliable and if it did not sound so good at its best, I would have sold it a long time ago.
Matt Faunce
2020-04-25 01:28:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by tom g
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by Ken Blake
Many guitar players rub their fingers along the side of their nose to
soak up some of the oil there before playing.
That’s to make the fingertips slippery. In my experience, it doesn’t
moisturize enough to make a difference in tone production.
Post by Ken Blake
I'm sure you're right that it's a factor, but how much of a factor, I
don't know. I use the D'Adddario Pro-Arte EJ45s. If they sound different
in different conditions of humidity, I never noticed.
I should say that it seems to me that another big factor is the atmospheric
pressure at its naturally-occurring extremes. I’ve only ever had one person
agree with me; most people say that there’s no way it could make a
difference. But every day, when I practice, I see three gauge, for
temperature, humidity, and atmospheric pressure. I swear the pressure
matters, and over time I’ve been able to control for humidity and
temperature. I know what the naysayers say, which is basically that my
biases are similar to the high-fi nutcases who swear that they can hear the
difference between 96k sampled digital music and 192k music. I agree with
the naysayers on the hi-fi issue, but not with air pressure. The person who
agreed with me said it might be that in low pressure the transfer of the
waves from the soundboard to air, and then air to ear is less efficient,
that there’s some slop, which on my guitar makes for a pleasantly rich
tone. In high pressure the wolf tones of my guitar howl horribly—my
annoyance of that is not from some psychological bias I get from looking at
my pressure gauge.
--
Matt
My guitar doesn't like low temperatures and low humidity. It likes
humidity from 60% to 80%. It is 51 years old, so maybe the wood of the
front has dried out too much and loses flexibility when the humidity is low.
Science or not, I empathise with your atmospheric pressure suspicion just
in the absence of having nothing else to blame. But can it be the hearing
and not the guitar that is affected by changes of atmospheric pressure?
Good point! I thought of that after one of the guys in rec.audio.pro said I
was nuts. I thought of a test: record myself on different days when the
atmospheric pressure is greatly different, listen to the recordings in one
sitting, and see if there’s a difference. The controls are the hard part:
usually when the pressure is low the humidity is high, but I remember times
when the pressure was low but it was winter so the humidity was low too.
I’d have to wait for those days.

I already have some rather uncontrolled info on this from having recorded
many times before. I can hear a big difference that I don’t believe are
from any other variables. Anyway, now that I’ve landed on a set microphone
and mike position, I should just document the weather every time I record.
Post by tom g
The sound quality of some guitars is much more reliable than others, also
some types of guitar (lattice brace, double top etc). I would not
describe my guitar as reliable and if it did not sound so good at its
best, I would have sold it a long time ago.
I can say the same thing about my guitar. On bright sunny days it’s not my
friend. But the more miserable the weather is, the more I love my guitar.
In fact I’m convinced that right before a tornado strikes, when the air
pressure is super low, I would be in heaven right before I died and went
to... wherever.
--
Matt
dsi1
2020-04-26 00:58:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by tom g
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by Ken Blake
Many guitar players rub their fingers along the side of their nose to
soak up some of the oil there before playing.
That’s to make the fingertips slippery. In my experience, it doesn’t
moisturize enough to make a difference in tone production.
Post by Ken Blake
I'm sure you're right that it's a factor, but how much of a factor, I
don't know. I use the D'Adddario Pro-Arte EJ45s. If they sound different
in different conditions of humidity, I never noticed.
I should say that it seems to me that another big factor is the atmospheric
pressure at its naturally-occurring extremes. I’ve only ever had one person
agree with me; most people say that there’s no way it could make a
difference. But every day, when I practice, I see three gauge, for
temperature, humidity, and atmospheric pressure. I swear the pressure
matters, and over time I’ve been able to control for humidity and
temperature. I know what the naysayers say, which is basically that my
biases are similar to the high-fi nutcases who swear that they can hear the
difference between 96k sampled digital music and 192k music. I agree with
the naysayers on the hi-fi issue, but not with air pressure. The person who
agreed with me said it might be that in low pressure the transfer of the
waves from the soundboard to air, and then air to ear is less efficient,
that there’s some slop, which on my guitar makes for a pleasantly rich
tone. In high pressure the wolf tones of my guitar howl horribly—my
annoyance of that is not from some psychological bias I get from looking at
my pressure gauge.
--
Matt
My guitar doesn't like low temperatures and low humidity. It likes
humidity from 60% to 80%. It is 51 years old, so maybe the wood of the
front has dried out too much and loses flexibility when the humidity is low.
Science or not, I empathise with your atmospheric pressure suspicion just
in the absence of having nothing else to blame. But can it be the hearing
and not the guitar that is affected by changes of atmospheric pressure?
Good point! I thought of that after one of the guys in rec.audio.pro said I
was nuts. I thought of a test: record myself on different days when the
atmospheric pressure is greatly different, listen to the recordings in one
usually when the pressure is low the humidity is high, but I remember times
when the pressure was low but it was winter so the humidity was low too.
I’d have to wait for those days.
I already have some rather uncontrolled info on this from having recorded
many times before. I can hear a big difference that I don’t believe are
from any other variables. Anyway, now that I’ve landed on a set microphone
and mike position, I should just document the weather every time I record.
Post by tom g
The sound quality of some guitars is much more reliable than others, also
some types of guitar (lattice brace, double top etc). I would not
describe my guitar as reliable and if it did not sound so good at its
best, I would have sold it a long time ago.
I can say the same thing about my guitar. On bright sunny days it’s not my
friend. But the more miserable the weather is, the more I love my guitar.
In fact I’m convinced that right before a tornado strikes, when the air
pressure is super low, I would be in heaven right before I died and went
to... wherever.
--
Matt
Human ears are insensitive to changes in sound pressure levels - they have to be. The sensitivity of the ears, however, can vary greatly depending on the conditions of your ears, and the air pressure. Humans have ways of equalizing the air pressure of the outer and middle parts of the ear but that's hardly perfect. The reality is that most times, your ears won't be perfectly equalized pressure-wise. That makes the sensitivity of the ears pretty random.
Matt Faunce
2020-04-29 15:49:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by dsi1
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by tom g
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by Ken Blake
Many guitar players rub their fingers along the side of their nose to
soak up some of the oil there before playing.
That’s to make the fingertips slippery. In my experience, it doesn’t
moisturize enough to make a difference in tone production.
Post by Ken Blake
I'm sure you're right that it's a factor, but how much of a factor, I
don't know. I use the D'Adddario Pro-Arte EJ45s. If they sound different
in different conditions of humidity, I never noticed.
I should say that it seems to me that another big factor is the atmospheric
pressure at its naturally-occurring extremes. I’ve only ever had one person
agree with me; most people say that there’s no way it could make a
difference. But every day, when I practice, I see three gauge, for
temperature, humidity, and atmospheric pressure. I swear the pressure
matters, and over time I’ve been able to control for humidity and
temperature. I know what the naysayers say, which is basically that my
biases are similar to the high-fi nutcases who swear that they can hear the
difference between 96k sampled digital music and 192k music. I agree with
the naysayers on the hi-fi issue, but not with air pressure. The person who
agreed with me said it might be that in low pressure the transfer of the
waves from the soundboard to air, and then air to ear is less efficient,
that there’s some slop, which on my guitar makes for a pleasantly rich
tone. In high pressure the wolf tones of my guitar howl horribly—my
annoyance of that is not from some psychological bias I get from looking at
my pressure gauge.
--
Matt
My guitar doesn't like low temperatures and low humidity. It likes
humidity from 60% to 80%. It is 51 years old, so maybe the wood of the
front has dried out too much and loses flexibility when the humidity is low.
Science or not, I empathise with your atmospheric pressure suspicion just
in the absence of having nothing else to blame. But can it be the hearing
and not the guitar that is affected by changes of atmospheric pressure?
Good point! I thought of that after one of the guys in rec.audio.pro said I
was nuts. I thought of a test: record myself on different days when the
atmospheric pressure is greatly different, listen to the recordings in one
usually when the pressure is low the humidity is high, but I remember times
when the pressure was low but it was winter so the humidity was low too.
I’d have to wait for those days.
I already have some rather uncontrolled info on this from having recorded
many times before. I can hear a big difference that I don’t believe are
from any other variables. Anyway, now that I’ve landed on a set microphone
and mike position, I should just document the weather every time I record.
Post by tom g
The sound quality of some guitars is much more reliable than others, also
some types of guitar (lattice brace, double top etc). I would not
describe my guitar as reliable and if it did not sound so good at its
best, I would have sold it a long time ago.
I can say the same thing about my guitar. On bright sunny days it’s not my
friend. But the more miserable the weather is, the more I love my guitar.
In fact I’m convinced that right before a tornado strikes, when the air
pressure is super low, I would be in heaven right before I died and went
to... wherever.
--
Matt
Human ears are insensitive to changes in sound pressure levels - they
have to be. The sensitivity of the ears, however, can vary greatly
depending on the conditions of your ears, and the air pressure. Humans
have ways of equalizing the air pressure of the outer and middle parts of
the ear but that's hardly perfect. The reality is that most times, your
ears won't be perfectly equalized pressure-wise. That makes the
sensitivity of the ears pretty random.
I’m not sure what you mean. I think you mean that your ears’ variations in
sensitivity depend on how close or far from equal the pressure of the inner
to outer ear is.

Anyway, I just remembered something I had thought of before, that if the
differences in sound that I notice that my guitar makes is due to
differences in my ears then I’d probably hear a similar difference when
listening to guitar recordings. I never noticed that, but, my recollections
don’t completely suffice for an experiment which controls for the
possibility that I notice the change when playing the guitar only because
I’m more concerned about its tonal variations than my stereo’s variations.
--
Matt
John Nguyen
2020-04-25 13:50:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matt Faunce
I should say that it seems to me that another big factor is the atmospheric
pressure at its naturally-occurring extremes. I’ve only ever had one person
agree with me; most people say that there’s no way it could make a
difference. But every day, when I practice, I see three gauge, for
temperature, humidity, and atmospheric pressure. I swear the pressure
matters, and over time I’ve been able to control for humidity and
temperature. I know what the naysayers say, which is basically that my
biases are similar to the high-fi nutcases who swear that they can hear the
difference between 96k sampled digital music and 192k music. I agree with
the naysayers on the hi-fi issue, but not with air pressure. The person who
agreed with me said it might be that in low pressure the transfer of the
waves from the soundboard to air, and then air to ear is less efficient,
that there’s some slop, which on my guitar makes for a pleasantly rich
tone. In high pressure the wolf tones of my guitar howl horribly—my
annoyance of that is not from some psychological bias I get from looking at
my pressure gauge.
--
Matt
That is interesting! Sound wave is actually a pressure wave in the air where it creates compression and rarefaction (expansion) regions as it's moving. Sound moves better in high pressure environment as more air particles it can interact with. However, your sound board vibration is inversely effected by high air pressure, meaning higher pressure will dampen the vibration more. Probably there is some optimal point of atmospheric pressure that your sound board will vibrate at its best while the pressure still allow reasonable sound transmission. This could be a good thesis for some PhD candidates :-)
Cheers!

John
tom g
2020-04-25 17:52:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Nguyen
Post by Matt Faunce
I should say that it seems to me that another big factor is the atmospheric
pressure at its naturally-occurring extremes. I’ve only ever had one person
agree with me; most people say that there’s no way it could make a
difference. But every day, when I practice, I see three gauge, for
temperature, humidity, and atmospheric pressure. I swear the pressure
matters, and over time I’ve been able to control for humidity and
temperature. I know what the naysayers say, which is basically that my
biases are similar to the high-fi nutcases who swear that they can hear the
difference between 96k sampled digital music and 192k music. I agree with
the naysayers on the hi-fi issue, but not with air pressure. The person who
agreed with me said it might be that in low pressure the transfer of the
waves from the soundboard to air, and then air to ear is less efficient,
that there’s some slop, which on my guitar makes for a pleasantly rich
tone. In high pressure the wolf tones of my guitar howl horribly—my
annoyance of that is not from some psychological bias I get from looking at
my pressure gauge.
--
Matt
That is interesting! Sound wave is actually a pressure wave in the air where it creates compression and rarefaction (expansion) regions as it's moving. Sound moves better in high pressure environment as more air particles it can interact with. However, your sound board vibration is inversely effected by high air pressure, meaning higher pressure will dampen the vibration more. Probably there is some optimal point of atmospheric pressure that your sound board will vibrate at its best while the pressure still allow reasonable sound transmission. This could be a good thesis for some PhD candidates :-)
Cheers!
John
One factor that Eduardo Bossa doesn't mention is the tonal differences between woods dried naturally through long storage and woods that have been dried in an oven to improve their stability. Then there is the more recent process of 'torrefaction' to consider. Mostly this is applied to Sitka spruce used for factory made steel string guitars. My guess is that naturally dried woods will always sound better but that allso can have some problems of stability.
There must be a study of the tonal effects of these different drying processes somewhere. Maybe the guitar maker can find a way to limit any negative factors. Very few guitar makers can store their woods for 50 years plus, a reason that they highly value the stocks of other makers who have died.
John Nguyen
2020-04-25 19:32:40 UTC
Permalink
One factor that Eduardo Bossa doesn't mention is the tonal differences between woods dried naturally through long storage and woods that have been >dried in an oven to improve their stability. Then there is the more recent process of 'torrefaction' to consider. Mostly this is applied to Sitka >spruce used for factory made steel string guitars. My guess is that naturally dried woods will always sound better but that allso can have some >problems of stability.
There must be a study of the tonal effects of these different drying processes somewhere. Maybe the guitar maker can find a way to limit any negative >factors. Very few guitar makers can store their woods for 50 years plus, a reason that they highly value the stocks of other makers who have died.
Interesting point on air dried and kiln dried wood. Steinway used Sitka spruce for the sound board, and the wood was kiln dried for stability and of course for faster result, about 3 months instead of 50 years. I would have thought the stability of the wood will enhance the controllability and adjustability for the luthier in terms of getting optimal sound quality. There may be a trade-off between consistency of the kiln-dried wood and the hit-or-miss sweet spot of the air-dried wood that the luthiers have to make a choice.
Cheers!

John
v***@protonmail.com
2020-04-30 03:21:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matt Faunce
one day play a little bit taking note of the
sound quality, then soak your nails in moisturizer for five minutes, wipe
it off, and play some more. Notice the difference—same guitar and same
player, live. I bet it will be remarkable.
Matt
It's not very dry most of the time where I live- Sept and Oct sometimes excepted- but I've gotten into the habit of dampening or washing my hands each time before I even touch the strings. Makes *quite* a positive difference IME, and I notice no downside (like potentially increased nail wear), esp on the first string.
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