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Old 09-18-2019, 06:19 AM
Dawgrit Dawgrit is offline
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Default Resonance versus Sustain

I’ve been looking for a smaller guitar to learn blues on (my dread hurts my wrist when I palm mute.) I went with The Loar lo-18. The official description mentioned decay. But it definitely, Im guess from playing 2 other Adirondacks its the Adirondack, has way to much sustain. Polar opposite, this thing rings forever. Amazing sound and butter playability, but way too pretty for blues guitar. I was looking online and the Art & Lutherie Roadhouse Q-discrete sounded close to what I wanted. It has several people describing it as punchy, cool for me. I found one new on reverb for $400. It was way cheaper than the others and with only 4 hours since put up and 9 views, I grabbed it, possibly hastily. After further review, I’m hearing much more praise on its resonance and SUSTAIN, OH NO! But after doing searches, I find nobody mentioning “punchy” with “sustain” anywhere. But found quite a bit of guitars described as “punchy” with “resonance”. I thought resonance and sustain were about the same. What’s the difference? And what do you think about punchy and resonate for blues? Off subject, let me know if anyone wants a humble review of the The Loar lo-18 Gibson clone. I’ve seen next to nothing on this guitar and is def worth talking about.
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Old 09-18-2019, 06:29 AM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Originally Posted by Dawgrit View Post
I thought resonance and sustain were about the same. What’s the difference?
In colloquial usage, many words are used subjectively to mean whatever you want them to mean.

In science, words have very specific definitions. Resonance and sustain are examples of that. They refer to entirely different phenomenon.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resonance

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustain


If you are using your palm to mute strings, it sounds like you are looking for a guitar with little sustain, quick decay. A "punchy" - which means whatever you want it to - sound could be one with a quick onset. Together, you are describing a guitar with "immediacy" of sound (fast onset transient) whose sound is of short duration (decays quickly). Trying to find a specific sound that you hear in your head based upon other people's subjective use of words to describe what they hear isn't likely to be very successful.
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Old 09-18-2019, 06:37 AM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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The sooner you start relying on YOUR ears ONLY, the better.

Reading descriptions of sound is a waste of time.

No combination of woods, body shape, size, etc is ever going to equal a particular sound.

You’re the player. You’re the listener.

Respect yourself.

Howard Emerson
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:21 AM
jaymarsch jaymarsch is offline
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Originally Posted by Howard Emerson View Post
The sooner you start relying on YOUR ears ONLY, the better.



Reading descriptions of sound is a waste of time.



No combination of woods, body shape, size, etc is ever going to equal a particular sound.



You’re the player. You’re the listener.



Respect yourself.



Howard Emerson

Thanks, Howard. I am going to put this on my music stand. So important to remember.

Best,
Jayne
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:42 AM
Misifus Misifus is offline
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Just as an aside, if I were seeking a guitar with a lot of sustain, I wouldn’t expect to find it in an instrument described as punchy. But that’s just me
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Old 09-18-2019, 08:16 AM
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rick-slo rick-slo is offline
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The Loar lo-18 is the right idea in terms of notes that punch you and walk away instead of putting you in a full nelson.
Their are youtube videos you can more or less judge it by.

The L00 body shape has a lot to do with the boxy, fat notes growly sound. It's a classic blues box shape. I have a Collings
C10 with that shape that does great.
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Old 09-18-2019, 08:18 AM
Dawgrit Dawgrit is offline
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That’s just it. I found zero people describing a guitar as punchy with sustain but numerous descriptions of guitars being punchy with resonance. So zero compared to numerous is a big hike and leaves me to beleive there is a general difference of opinion of what these two words mean in reference to guitar. From what I’m gathering the punchy describes a strong onset which can either decay or keep on going. Maybe in the guitar world I’ll think specifically of a resonator guitar when I hear resonance. I mean, they don’t call it a sustainer guitar. In those regards, I would say the The Loar lo-18 as a strong(er) onset but definitely does not carry on like a resonator. Much too beautiful. We’ll we about the Roadhouse.
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Old 09-18-2019, 08:21 AM
Dawgrit Dawgrit is offline
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Very well thought out. Thank you for the word “immediacy”.
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Old 09-18-2019, 08:23 AM
vindibona1 vindibona1 is offline
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Resonance and sustain are similar and different at the same time. And the one word that describes the difference is DECAY. TO SOME DEGREE, decay and sustain are at opposite ends of the spectrum, but not exactly. You have to think of decay in terms of time of sustain and RATE that the sustain decreases over time. Additionally when we hear decay we don't usually hear all of the sound decay at once. Ususally the overtones/harmonics decay first, then the fundamental tones. But I'm not sure that's always the case (I'll save that for another time). A great help to defining what's going on is to break down what you're hearing into the "ADSR envelope" [Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release].

While some would label me "overly enthusiastic" about the bridge pin thing, sustain/decay is one area that bridge pins may be able to moderate. And the OP's situation is a perfect example of not being entirely happy with an instrument and may only be a bridge pin adjustment to solve the objectionable issue.

On a recent guitar purchase I found that changing from ebony bridge pins to bone, while I did hear a slight amount of increase in clarity I also heard a more sudden decay in a way that I did not find preferable. Additionally, one of the things I've found in this particular guitar is a resonance that seems to be more like an echo in the body that continues after the strings stop vibrating. In this one guitar I found that this subtle "echo" was more prominent with a TUSQ saddle than when I installed a bone saddle on this same instrument. Strings, saddles, pins, picks, technique all contribute to what the listener hears.

It's all interconnected, so quite difficult to dissect. But rather than attempt to dissect and explain why I think it's better (at least for some) to experiment to find the sound that best works for them.
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Old 09-18-2019, 08:27 AM
Dawgrit Dawgrit is offline
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I saw the few videos on the lo-18 (Not to be confused with lo-16). I would have to attribute some of the “leaves you sound” to the talent of the player. This guitar will ring for ever if you let it, very long sustain. But yes it has some punch. I wouldn’t call it a full hearted dirty blues box though, it doesn’t have natural decay.
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Old 09-18-2019, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawgrit View Post
I saw the few videos on the lo-18 (Not to be confused with lo-16). I would have to attribute some of the “leaves you sound” to the talent of the player. This guitar will ring for ever if you let it, very long sustain. But yes it has some punch. I wouldn’t call it a full hearted dirty blues box though, it doesn’t have natural decay.
The guys I watched were not muting the notes. The guitar's notes decayed fairly rapidly. It's all relative to other guitars of course. To me though
the acoustic blues sound benefits more from a fat growly note sound more than the decay rate.
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Old 09-18-2019, 08:56 AM
mcduffnw mcduffnw is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard Emerson View Post
The sooner you start relying on YOUR ears ONLY, the better.

Reading descriptions of sound is a waste of time.

No combination of woods, body shape, size, etc is ever going to equal a particular sound.

You’re the player. You’re the listener.

Respect yourself.

Howard Emerson
One of the most important posts ever written here on the AGF!

I would only add to Howard's "You're the player" It is important to remember that as the "player" you have as at least as much ability to create and control sound/tone/dynamic response on any given guitar as the guitar itself, by it's design and spec's, does.

That is why it can be so hard to re-create a favorite guitar sound you love on your own. You are not the player who created that tone, with the guitar that they used to create it, in that particular time and place that they created it.

That's why Tommy E, or Chet, or SRV, or JT sound like themselves, their tone, no matter what guitar they play on.

A huge part of the tone they create...is their unique to themselves"tone".

We all have that, we just have to learn how to make the most of it, whatever guitar we play.

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Old 09-18-2019, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by mcduffnw View Post
A huge part of the tone they create...is their unique to themselves"tone".
We all have that, we just have to learn how to make the most of it, whatever guitar we play.
duff
Be A Player...Not A Polisher
That's true only to an extent. Most of those guys are quite particular about the sound they can get with a particular guitar, pick, pickup, amp and effects.
It's "just the player" does not negate the discussion and importance of the tools used.
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Old 09-18-2019, 09:17 AM
bufflehead bufflehead is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
The guys I watched were not muting the notes. The guitar's notes decayed fairly rapidly. It's all relative to other guitars of course. To me though
the acoustic blues sound benefits more from a fat growly note sound more than the decay rate.
Indeed. I think of a blues sound as being more boxy than punchy. Less bright. Less of a ring, more of a growl. The sound of the front porch rather than the concert hall. But any guitar that has this sound will necessarily have less sustain, more rapid decay.

Punchy is for banjoes. (And, admittedly, there's a spot in the blues for a banjo.)
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Old 09-18-2019, 09:24 AM
bufflehead bufflehead is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawgrit View Post
I’ve been looking for a smaller guitar to learn blues on (my dread hurts my wrist when I palm mute.)
As an aside, palm muting shouldn't lead to wrist pain. This may be indicative of poor technique. Is it possible you're chopping too aggressively?
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