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Old 03-24-2013, 03:06 PM
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justonwo justonwo is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 6,060

Originally Posted by RiloKiley View Post
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.
Again, crux of what problem? Why are we making the (incorrect) assumption that my only communication with John has been (or will be), "Hey build me something cool that sounds good with not too much vintage and a pretty good amount of modern and make sure it has a fair amount of rad without being eclipsed by warmth."

When I commission guitars, I write a 2 or 3 page design document that usually goes through several revisions. Topics include:

1) my tonal points of reference. Guitars I may have in common with the builder that they know well. Ideally, something they built.
2) attack and decay
3) sustain
4) overtone context
5) balance, relative strength of mids,bass, trebles
6) note separation
7) type of music to be played and playing style (with picks, mostly fingerstyle)
8) Volume and projection
9) player's experience vs audience
10) neck profile, depth, width etc
11) ergonomic details, scale length, saddle spacing, etc, etc
12) aesthetic details
13) etc etc etc

I have absolutely no desire to leave things undefined and risk a disappointment, so I go to great lengths to communicate what I'm looking for and to make sure the builder knows what I'm talking about.
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