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Old 03-24-2013, 01:31 PM
RiloKiley RiloKiley is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,035

Originally Posted by Howard Klepper View Post
If someone said to me that he or she wants a "modern" sound, I would not think without a bunch of further discussion that I knew at all what was wanted. I've heard the word used to describe guitars that I consider to be on opposite ends of the tonal spectrum (e.g., Somogyis and Taylors). "A modern interpretation of the vintage sound" would just muddy the waters with an oxymoron.

In the discussion of Juston's Kraut, I saw a few people call that guitar "bright," when to me it was the opposite (from what I could hear). I would have called it dark.

I try to steer the tonal discussion to terms that have some objective meaning, such as frequencies, treble, midrange and bass, fundamental and overtones (although these get misused, too), attack or rise time, and sustain. I also find it very helpful to ask people which maker or manufacturer's guitars they like and dislike, and why. That can tell me a lot about how they use the language.

I am confident that John will build a great guitar; he is an outstanding builder. Whether he will build a guitar with a "modern" sound or a "modern interpretation of a vintage sound" as Juston intends those descriptions, I have no idea.
That's the crux of the problem, isn't it? There is no objective, measurable determination of what "modern" or "vintage" sound like, as far as adjectives used to discuss tone those two terms have to be some of the worst.

Furthermore, using words in general to describe sounds ranges from vague to pointless in my opinion. I'm not saying it can't or shouldn't be done, but I will say that if you are commissioning a guitar and you want to communicate what tone you want out of it, it makes infinitely more sense to use soundclips. Refer to a recording, youtube clip, whatever. If it is audio it will do a much better job than words in getting your ideal tone across than saying "bright" "bassy" "balanced" "modern" etc.
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