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  #1  
Old 09-25-2021, 03:11 PM
davidd davidd is offline
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Default Is volume important to you?

I understand why some bluegrass players and others who play in ensembles might require significant volume available unplugged, but for those of us who play mainly at home or mic'd/plugged into a PA/Amp in live situations does the acoustic volume of the guitar matter to you? Personally I gravitate towards guitars that can put out the tone, sustain and harmonics with the lightest of touches and volume is somewhat irrelevant to me. Even when I play my Martin D guitars they don't get pushed hard. Perhaps it boils down to individual playing style but it seems for many here there is an all consuming need for louder.

Maybe I'm just getting old and need more peace and quiet...
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Old 09-25-2021, 03:14 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is online now
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Is volume important to you?

Sure... I like a guitar to put out good volume not because I particularly want the guitar to be all that loud but because I want the guitar to make a satisfying volume when I play lightly with my fingers. For me it's not so much about volume, per se, but about sensitivity and responsiveness.

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Old 09-25-2021, 03:20 PM
Brent Hutto Brent Hutto is offline
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Volume, beyond the bare minimum, matters not at all to me. I only play at home for myself (and my wife and the cat I guess). But I want a full, pleasing tone with some punch and depth to it. That's what I strive for in my playing and what I'm looking for when choosing a guitar.

I think I read an interview with the late Tony Rice saying his famous "Clarence White" guitar was really quiet and pretty much had to be mic'd to sound like much.
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Old 09-25-2021, 03:24 PM
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Rev Roy Rev Roy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glennwillow View Post
Is volume important to you?

Sure... I like a guitar to put out good volume not because I particularly want the guitar to be all that loud but because I want the guitar to make a satisfying volume when I play lightly with my fingers. For me it's not so much about volume, per se, but about sensitivity and responsiveness.

- Glenn
As usual, I agree with Glenn.
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Old 09-25-2021, 03:26 PM
Skarsaune Skarsaune is offline
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In some situations, absolutely. And I do play in some of those situations.
Nice to have more volume available when needed/wanted.
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Old 09-25-2021, 03:28 PM
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Yes, I like a little power.
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Old 09-25-2021, 03:31 PM
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Sometimes volume is important. We infrequently have a Bible study or small-group meeting at home, and the guitar needs to be loud enough to lead worship.
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Old 09-25-2021, 03:56 PM
lowrider lowrider is offline
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I don't think that everyone needs to play a canon all the time. But, volume is the kind of thing that you don't appreciate until you have a guitar that's too quiet.

Recently Martin put out a couple of guitars in the 16 series that were made of all ovangkol. The complaints here were that they sounded great but that they just weren't loud enough.

You can play a loud guitar quietly, but you can't play a quiet guitar loudly

And finally; when I'm playing ''Bat Out of Hell'' I want everyone in the neighborhood to know about it!!
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Old 09-25-2021, 04:02 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowrider View Post
...You can play a loud guitar quietly, but you can't play a quiet guitar loudly...
This is how I feel about a too-quiet guitar. If it takes too much work to get any volume out of it, it kind of ruins the fun for me and it hurts my fingers. I don't want to blast away very often, but I want to feel good about what's coming out of the guitar without my having to beat on it.

My arthritic fingers require a guitar that puts out a decent volume with only moderate playing. Otherwise, I can't use the guitar. It's too hard on my finger joints. So that is an old guy's perspective on volume. I am currently age 73.

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Old 09-25-2021, 04:11 PM
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Dynamic range and sensitive response is valuable to play expressively in fingerstyle pieces. Guitars that have that have a least a modest maximum volume. Banjo killer volume not needed in most situations.
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Old 09-25-2021, 04:12 PM
jrb715 jrb715 is offline
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I want a guitar that gives me a wide dynamic range, and as lowrider writes, and Glenn quotes, "You can play a loud guitar quietly, but you can't play a quiet guitar loudly." But this means that a loud guitar needs to be sensitive and responsive.

I've played some guitars that can get very, very loud, but you need to muscle them to get them there, so they don't really come alive when played quietly. So, the ideal guitar for me needs to have a fairly sensitive gas pedal and a quite a bit of horsepower.
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Old 09-25-2021, 04:19 PM
Rosewood99 Rosewood99 is offline
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It doesnít have to have great volume but it canít be a quiet guitar. I had a Martin all Ovangkol Guitar that I regrettably had to sell because it was just too quiet. Such a shame because it sounded wonderful.
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  #13  
Old 09-25-2021, 04:23 PM
catdaddy catdaddy is offline
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Volume is something that is important to me when I evaluate a guitar for flat picking or strumming. Responsiveness is something that's more important to me when I evaluate a guitar for fingerstyle.

My Hummingbird has plenty of volume when played with a pick, but for fingerstyle (for which I don't use fingerpicks) it is relatively unresponsive- the notes seem to be lost in the soundhole without projecting, especially with a light touch, so I don't use it for that style of playing. On the other hand my Bourgeois Mahogany D is very responsive when fingerpicked lightly and it has exceptional volume when strummed or flat picked, so I use it for both.

Responsiveness and volume aren't the same, but to me they seem to be two components of the same parameter for guitar performance evaluation.
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Old 09-25-2021, 06:59 PM
Mike McLenison Mike McLenison is offline
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Yes, very important to me. I just did a post on how I almost doubled the volume of my Martin HD-35 and Epiphone EJ-160, - A simple method actually.
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Old 09-25-2021, 07:17 PM
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Yes, I find it easier to play a loud guitar quietly than a quiet guitar loudly.
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