The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #16  
Old 07-19-2018, 01:56 PM
bluesky2015 bluesky2015 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 8
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
My criteria is good tone, and sometimes that comes from quiet guitars.
That's pretty much what I felt. I really like the tone of some Taylors when plugged in (on Youtube,) but I hesitate to choose it due to their relatively smaller acoustic volume. It maybe just me, but I felt they sound tiny, unplugged and fingerpicked with my skills.

I tried a used Martin 000-28, but the volume out of it was just not for me-small and muted top, but I'm sure it would sound totally different when plugged in as it had very mellow tone.

So far the best one was Martin OMJM overall-The selection of higher-end guitars in nearby GC is somewhat limited.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 07-19-2018, 02:36 PM
Nymuso Nymuso is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 902
Default

(Posted to wrong thread)
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 07-19-2018, 04:29 PM
SprintBob's Avatar
SprintBob SprintBob is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Covington, LA
Posts: 3,252
Default

OP, being that your experience per your original post is classical nylon string guitars, than I’d guess your attack on a steel string initially is going to sound thin and low volume wise until you make the adjustment/learning curve. My tone and volume 3 years ago playing steel string fingerstyle was pathetic and I first started using a thumbpick which was cool to start hearing the bass notes but my tone was unbalanced because the treble strings were overwhelmed by the bass strings. So that is what led me to Alaska Piks and the tip I’ll share is I got my best result by filing/shaping the end of the Alaska Pik to where it is only about 1/16” to 3/32” thick (it’s probably 1/8” to 5/32” out of the bag). I’ve progressed to where I use the Alaska Pik primarily on my middle finger because that nail is very thin and problematic. I’ll use an Alaska Pik on my ring finger probably 75% of the time but I now keep a slight amount of nail on the index and ring and get good tone and that is because I worked on my technique. I’d recommend Alex DeGrassi’s fingerstyle method course/book that is offered by
Acoustic Guitar magazine. It is very good at explaining the nuances of fingerstyle tone development especially with flesh and nails. But keep in mind someone like Tommy Emmanuel plays fingerstyle with no nails and he is a tone monster!

Good Luck!
__________________
Collings 0001A (Adi/Mahogany)
Froggy Bottom H-12 (Adi/EIR)
Rainsong CO-WS1005NST (all carbon fiber)
Robinson 12 Fret SS Dread (Spruce/Mahogany)
Santa Cruz Skye 00 (Adi/Coco)
Taylor K-22ce 12 fret (all Koa)
Eastman 810CE (Spruce/Maple archtop)
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 07-19-2018, 04:51 PM
bluesky2015 bluesky2015 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 8
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SprintBob View Post
OP, being that your experience per your original post is classical nylon string guitars, than Iíd guess your attack on a steel string initially is going to sound thin and low volume wise until you make the adjustment/learning curve. My tone and volume 3 years ago playing steel string fingerstyle was pathetic and I first started using a thumbpick which was cool to start hearing the bass notes but my tone was unbalanced because the treble strings were overwhelmed by the bass strings. So that is what led me to Alaska Piks and the tip Iíll share is I got my best result by filing/shaping the end of the Alaska Pik to where it is only about 1/16Ē to 3/32Ē thick (itís probably 1/8Ē to 5/32Ē out of the bag). Iíve progressed to where I use the Alaska Pik primarily on my middle finger because that nail is very thin and problematic. Iíll use an Alaska Pik on my ring finger probably 75% of the time but I now keep a slight amount of nail on the index and ring and get good tone and that is because I worked on my technique. Iíd recommend Alex DeGrassiís fingerstyle method course/book that is offered by
Acoustic Guitar magazine. It is very good at explaining the nuances of fingerstyle tone development especially with flesh and nails. But keep in mind someone like Tommy Emmanuel plays fingerstyle with no nails and he is a tone monster!

Good Luck!
Hey, SprintBob,
Thanks for great tips!

I'll definitely check those out that you suggested.

I'll be really happy if I can create the same projection with steel string guitar as I do with my classical!
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 07-19-2018, 05:48 PM
Methos1979's Avatar
Methos1979 Methos1979 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Seacoast, NH
Posts: 4,271
Default

I play fingerstyle with the flesh so it's naturally a softer, more muted tone. Even when I strum it's all flesh unless I need some attack then it's the backside of my thumb and/or index fingernail on the up/down stroke. I practice quite often plugged in playing mostly my Emerald X20 as that's my primary gigging guitar. But once in a while (like the last two days) I'll practice/play unplugged and grab my Martin Custom 000-18GE. It's so light weight and resonant. Sure, it's softer but the tone is just incredible.

Don't make decisions based on test driving a guitar in a loud music store. You have to find some place quiet and intimate. Also look for very lightly built, resonant guitars. Santa Cruz 00 12 fretters are really something special. Pretty much anything high-end. Froggy Bottom if you can afford it. Goodall. Lowden. But you're going to have to pay for that kind of lightly built awesome tone!
__________________
-------------------------------------------------------------

Methos1979: Every guitar-related review I've written on AGF!

NO1U Know - our official acoustic duo website
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 07-19-2018, 06:29 PM
bluesky2015 bluesky2015 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 8
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Methos1979 View Post
I play fingerstyle with the flesh so it's naturally a softer, more muted tone. Even when I strum it's all flesh unless I need some attack then it's the backside of my thumb and/or index fingernail on the up/down stroke. I practice quite often plugged in playing mostly my Emerald X20 as that's my primary gigging guitar. But once in a while (like the last two days) I'll practice/play unplugged and grab my Martin Custom 000-18GE. It's so light weight and resonant. Sure, it's softer but the tone is just incredible.

Don't make decisions based on test driving a guitar in a loud music store. You have to find some place quiet and intimate. Also look for very lightly built, resonant guitars. Santa Cruz 00 12 fretters are really something special. Pretty much anything high-end. Froggy Bottom if you can afford it. Goodall. Lowden. But you're going to have to pay for that kind of lightly built awesome tone!
Thanks for the information, Methos1979.

I've actually bought a Martin OM-35E and am waiting for its arrival. I will post a review from my perspective once I receive it!
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 07-19-2018, 07:34 PM
Matt M Matt M is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 51
Default

A satin finish rather than a gloss can make a difference in terms of volume and projection. That's a massive generalisation of course... but doesn't mean it isn't often true.

Recent affordable guitars I've tried that have decent clarity and projection include: the Seagull Coastline S6 Cedar Folk; the Cort L500; a Mayson OM shape (can't remember which model offhand; a solid-top Spruce and Mahogany laminate); Sigma OMs; and several guitars from Recording King.
__________________
Recording King ROS 616 (all mahogany)
Saga Gitane D-500 Maccaferri style

www.facebook.com/mattmiltonmusic
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 07-19-2018, 07:55 PM
fitness1's Avatar
fitness1 fitness1 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Central Lower Michigan
Posts: 18,252
Default

Just browsed quickly through some of the responses - a lightly built handmade instrument of a medium to small size (shallow-ish guitars, say 4 3/8 at the tail or less give a quicker response) with a softer top (could be Sitka, Engelmann, Cedar, Redwood etc). Someone also mentioned a soundport, I'm a big proponent of those too. Also, try playing about a foot or so from a wall so you get reflective waves coming back at you....makes a big difference in hearing yourself. It's about the only way I practice anymore.
__________________
"One small heart, and a great big soul that's driving"

Charis SJ Koa/BC Sitka
Mcknight/Poling GC Koa/Italian
Lakewood J-32 Baritone EIR/Euro spruce
Cordoba Solista EIR/Euro Spruce

Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 07-19-2018, 08:11 PM
Pitar Pitar is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 4,867
Default

I came up with steel string acoustic guitars and left them about 2 years ago to go strictly classical. The steel string sound is just okay to my ear. What really attracts me is the sound of an amplified classical guitar. It doesn't sound metallic and the nylon strings don't have the over-driven sound that Piezo renders with steel strings.

Oh, and if we want to define what an acoustic guitar is we need to include classical guitars, or, better defined, any guitar that generates sound strictly through the relationship between the strings and sound box without the aid of electronic amplification.

When I played steel strings it was with fingernails and thumb pick, much the same as I do now with classical, but with a greater emphasis on the fingernails and their upkeep. I used fake nails if necessary (my own creations from plastic sheet) if I had trouble with my natural nails. I don't like the sound of finger picked steel strings on flesh. It's kind of pointless in the treble range and very muddy sounding in the mids and lower. To my experience, steel string playing was a chore where fingernails were concerned. Nylon strings are very easy on fingernails and with good electronics cannot be beat for quality of sound. That's finger picking only. Strumming is something that nylon strings will never do as well as steel strings can.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 07-19-2018, 08:21 PM
MGSRobinson's Avatar
MGSRobinson MGSRobinson is offline
AGF Sponsor
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Charlotte & Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Posts: 130
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesky2015 View Post
Thanks for the information, Methos1979.



I've actually bought a Martin OM-35E and am waiting for its arrival. I will post a review from my perspective once I receive it!

I hope it works out! It sounds like a good fit to me if youíre coming from a classical background. I tend to prefer OMs or smaller for finger-style and the rosewood will lend it strong bass.

For volume and tone, I swear by Bluechip thumpicks and Biotin supplements for strong, natural nails. My nails break sometimes, but my main ax is a national tricone with a very heavy set of strings, so thatís not surprising. Itís remarkable how well they hold up.

Basically, I feel that between the pick and the nails (claws?) I can get the most out of any steel string. I get a hard attack and clear, loud single string response if I grip it like a flat pick, and plenty of nuance and delicacy with the rest of my fingers. When I do guitar demos at the shop, I almost always play this way. It gives me all the options I need to locate a guitarís sweet spot.

It takes some practice, though, and certain pieces/steel strings guitars DO sound better with just fingers. . .but if itís more volume and projection youíre after, go for at least a thumb-pick. The blue chips are the best, just donít lose one. Theyíre $.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 07-19-2018, 08:41 PM
rmgjsps rmgjsps is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 452
Default

Well, since I never play anything plugged, I guess that I'm just fine with the un-plugged sound I get bare flesh fingerpicking. Just learning a little flatpicking, and I'm OK with that un-plugged sound too!
__________________
La Patrie Concert
Lakewood M-1 (2003)
Recording King R0S-06 000
Blueridge BR-142
Recording King R0-T16
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 07-19-2018, 09:41 PM
pmichael pmichael is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 65
Default

There are a number of reasons why classical guitars have volume that many acoustics lack. One is that they are 12-fret to body. Steel-string 12-fret acoustics may hold some surprises. See Eric Skye playing Watermelon Man on an admittedly high end Santa Cruz which is not plugged in, just recorded on a decent microphone. This guitar is a 00 which is slightly smaller than a 000, which (000) is pretty much the same size as a normal classical guitar.

Listen with a good headset Ö https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSrbUmZgPms

I have a nice luthier-built Yamaha classical, a significantly better Kohno 10 classical, and a Martin 000-18. I am mostly playing the 000 these days and loving it, but it can't stand up to either classical for overall volume and especially bass response. With the LR Baggs Anthem pickup and plugged in to a good PA Ö I can almost play bass on my 000.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 07-19-2018, 10:20 PM
mercy mercy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Inland Empire, So California
Posts: 4,266
Default

Volume doesnt matter to me, I just play for myself, no audience. There are sounds going on unplugged that you dont get plugged. Plugged is a sterile sound I dont like.
I used to play classical and it just didnt do it for me. I had a expensive guitar so it wasnt that. When I discovered fingerstyle that did it, it quit playing all the stuff I used to play.
As an at home player I dont have problems with nails so I use nails and found a thumbpick that matches my nails. Its called a Fred Kelly Speedpick. I could use my thumbnail like when I played classical but I prefer the FK pick. There are no artificail/fingerpicks that I like the sound of.
If you play for yourself learn to use your nails. If you play out youll have to come up with some other solution so if thats your goal start now cause it takes awhile to get used to fake nails.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 07-19-2018, 10:32 PM
Mycroft Mycroft is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Seattle
Posts: 4,787
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesky2015 View Post

I've visited nearby GCs and tried many steel string guitars.

But whenever I play them, I feel the volume is pretty small and doesn't produce subtleness and responses that I get from my classical guitar when playing fingerstyle, especially on high notes.

I really love acoustic sound from steel strings, from albums and youtube videos.

But it looks I can only get that sound when plugged in-either from guitar amp or through recording devices.

Just wondering if I'm missing something-please understand I'm new to acoustic world.
Interesting, given that I personally feel that I come across very few recordings or Youtube videos in which the real subtleties and character of a good steel string guitar tone are accurately captured. That might be your problem right there: you like the recorded tones but are failing to grasp that it is not the live guitars that are failing to live up to the recorded tone, but rather that the recorded tone does not live up to the live guitar. Because the recorded tone is "right" to you therefore the live one must be "wrong" since it is different.

You may need to play some different guitars in different contexts. Perhaps someone could suggest a place near you.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 07-19-2018, 10:55 PM
JohnW63 JohnW63 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 3,545
Default

I see you've already ordered a nice guitar, so this advice will be after the ship has sailed, but... I find my Cedar topped steel string gets louder with less effort than a spruce topped guitar. Since many classical guitars are cedar over rosewood, that might be a combination you COULD have looked for. I have a cedar over mahogany Walden G2070 that is nice to play.
__________________
2010 Guild F47R
2009 G & L Tribute "Legacy"
1975 Ovation Legend
1986 Ovation 1758 12 String
2007 Walden G2070
2008 Guild D55 Prototype
1998 Guild Starfire IV
2013 Guild Newark St. X-175B
2016 Guild Newark St. X-175 Sunburst
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Tags
fingerstyle, volume

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:27 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=