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  #31  
Old 06-27-2009, 07:00 AM
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Bill Pillmore Bill Pillmore is offline
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Default What Jim McCarthy said

What Jim McCarthy said....also, everyone hears and sees the same things differently and everyone sure plays guitar differently. So if you aren't playing your guitar your talking about it or looking at it - that's why this word and picture forum. Don't cha love it?
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  #32  
Old 06-27-2009, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by jmagill View Post
My goal was to try to add a cautionary note to the tendency of some to promote without question their subjective experience as objective truth, and to encourage them with good reasons to, in fact, question that subjective experience.
...in other words...YMMV.

Agreed.
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  #33  
Old 06-27-2009, 08:22 AM
runamuck runamuck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmagill
My goal was to try to add a cautionary note to the tendency of some to promote without question their subjective experience as objective truth, and to encourage them with good reasons to, in fact, question that subjective experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 8up View Post
...in other words...YMMV.

Agreed.

No.

He's saying that our odometers that measure our milage are undependable.

Jim McCarthy
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  #34  
Old 06-27-2009, 10:17 AM
brian a. brian a. is offline
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Jim,

A lot to think about in your post. Here are some of my thoughts.

I know for a fact that many older guitars of a certain brand and model sound better to me than newer guitars of that same brand and model. As an example, my 1936 Martin 00-18 sounds better than any newer Martin 00-18 I have heard or played. Is that because of time, materials used, craftsmanship, a combination of those three or something else???

I know for a fact that my hearing and vision aren't as good as they used to be. So does my guitar sound better today because I play better or because I can't hear as well? I know I look better.

If we had forty (50, 60 or 70) years, we could do a controlled test of several guitars (and/or any thing else) by recording them in a controlled environment. Then each year record them again using the exact same parameters - same strings, same room, same mics, same recording format etc etc. We could measure volume and forces required to attain a certain volume. Measure sustain, etc etc. After forty years we could listen to and examine the data for the forty different recordings to see if in fact the guitars sound/tone changed. Then we would know from a factual basis not a presumed basis.

Perhaps the most important, to me, is to carefully consider my responses to posts before submitting them. Are those responses based in fact or opinion? Are they expressed in a fashion so as to encourage acceptance as such and not judgement or commandment?

Thanks,
Brian
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  #35  
Old 06-27-2009, 10:28 AM
M.D.Smith M.D.Smith is offline
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I made another recording, the same microphone, the same computer doing the recording, the same guitar two months after she was new.
Just like the first recording, the strings and gauges are the same, they're even new just like the first recording.
Comparing the two recordings, with the same speakers on the same computer with no changes in the EQ's (because both times the recording EQ was set to "Flat"), I can hear a difference.
When she was new, she was gentle, not really loud.
When compared to todays recording, she's louder and has more mids and over tones.

Now Jeff and Bob and others would like to split hairs, ok fine. Today there's a little more earwax in my ears, maybe I should clean em out and everthing will sound different. Today I'm 2 months older, perhaps my hearing has suffered a bit.
The humidity in my guitar was at 47% two months ago, now its at 48%.
Perhaps my finger tips are worn or they got tougher.
I suppose if you add all things up, perhaps the sounds I'm hearing are because of this, but I doubt it. I've been playing for a long, long time and it matters not to me that "it's my guitar and I'll hear what I want to hear." When I heard a significant change from comparing the two recordings, knowing that the electronics (recording gear), mechanics, (Strings and pic) are the same and guitar and room humidity are so close within 1%, even the room temperature is the same at 77F, I'm pretty confident that this experiment is very good.
I'm as curious as the next guy and I like to know for sure that these experiments or comparisons have any meat to them. I like the way Mythbusters do their experiments, they try and control everything while adding variables to see whats going on or changed. I'm doing my best to control everything and using time as a variable to really see if this tops open up.

Jeff and Bob, do you have any recordings you would like to share?
I do.

PM me if you would like to hear them for yourselves and then you decide.

I'll do another recording in another 4 months and then 6 months after that.
I want to know what a year of playing will do to my new addi topped guitar as I'm sure others would to.
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Last edited by M.D.Smith; 06-27-2009 at 10:38 AM.
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  #36  
Old 06-27-2009, 10:32 AM
HHP HHP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M.D.Smith View Post
I made another recording, the same microphone, the same computer doing the recording, the same guitar two months after she was new.
Just like the first recording, the strings and gauges are the same, they're even new just like the first recording.
Comparing the two recordings, with the same speakers on the same computer with no changes in the EQ's (because both times the recording EQ was set to "Flat"), I can hear a difference.
When she was new, she was gentle, not really loud.
When compared to todays recording, she's louder and has more mids and over tones.

Now Jeff and Bob would like to split hairs, ok fine. Today there's a little more earwax in my ears, maybe I should clean em out and everthing will sound different. Today I'm 2 months older, perhaps my hearing has suffered a bit.
The humidity in my guitar was at 47% two months ago, now its at 48%.
Perhaps my finger tips are worn or they got tougher.
I suppose if you add all things up, perhaps the sounds I'm hearing are because of this, but I doubt it. I've been playing for a long, long time and it matters not to me that "it's my guitar and I'll hear what I want to hear."
I'm as curious as the next guy and I like to know for sure that these experiments or comparisons have any meat to them. I like the way Mythbusters do their experiments, they try and control everything while adding variables to see whats going on. I'm doing my best to control everything and using time as a variable to really see if these tops open up.

Jeff and Bob, do you have any recordings you would like to share?
I do.

PM me if you would like to hear them for yourselves and then you decide.

I'll do another recording in another 4 months and then 6 months after that.
I want to know what a year of playing will do to my new addi topped guitar as I'm sure others would to.
What do you do to prevent yourself from becoming more familiar with the feel and demands of the particular guitar over a period of 2,4, or 6 months?
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  #37  
Old 06-27-2009, 10:56 AM
jeremy3220 jeremy3220 is offline
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There's a recurring thread on the Larrivee forum(maybe it happens here too), someone will post that they just got a new guitar and they like it but it lacks something tonally (sustain, low end, jangle, brightness, whatever) and they ask how will the sound change.
For example: 'My new OM-03R sounds great but it's a little weak in the low end, will the low end improve as it opens up?'.

Then a few days later they report back that it has improved. It doesn't seem to matter what the short coming is, the person always thinks it improves as they play it. Sometimes it's even things like intonation and string buzzing. And sometimes it's obvious why they experienced what they did, they'll say 'my new OM-03R sounds great but the low end sounds weak compared to my old Yamaha dread, will it improve as it ages?'. Most likely it's just a different sound that they aren't used to and as they play the new guitar more and the tone becomes more familar the bass doesn't seem so weak. Think about listening to an album for the first time where you can't make out half the words and a few weeks later after you figured the words out everything sung sounds clear.
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  #38  
Old 06-27-2009, 10:57 AM
Jeff M Jeff M is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M.D.Smith View Post
I made another recording, the same microphone, the same computer doing the recording, the same guitar two months after she was new.
Just like the first recording, the strings and gauges are the same, they're even new just like the first recording.
Comparing the two recordings, with the same speakers on the same computer with no changes in the EQ's (because both times the recording EQ was set to "Flat"), I can hear a difference.
When she was new, she was gentle, not really loud.
When compared to todays recording, she's louder and has more mids and over tones.

Now Jeff and Bob and others would like to split hairs, ok fine. Today there's a little more earwax in my ears, maybe I should clean em out and everthing will sound different. Today I'm 2 months older, perhaps my hearing has suffered a bit.
The humidity in my guitar was at 47% two months ago, now its at 48%.
Perhaps my finger tips are worn or they got tougher.
I suppose if you add all things up, perhaps the sounds I'm hearing are because of this, but I doubt it. I've been playing for a long, long time and it matters not to me that "it's my guitar and I'll hear what I want to hear." When I heard a significant change from comparing the two recordings, knowing that the electronics (recording gear), mechanics, (Strings and pic) are the same and guitar and room humidity are so close within 1%, even the room temperature is the same at 77F, I'm pretty confident that this experiment is very good.
I'm as curious as the next guy and I like to know for sure that these experiments or comparisons have any meat to them. I like the way Mythbusters do their experiments, they try and control everything while adding variables to see whats going on or changed. I'm doing my best to control everything and using time as a variable to really see if this tops open up.

Jeff and Bob, do you have any recordings you would like to share?
I do.

PM me if you would like to hear them for yourselves and then you decide.

I'll do another recording in another 4 months and then 6 months after that.
I want to know what a year of playing will do to my new addi topped guitar as I'm sure others would to.
Please point out where I have ever said that "opening up" doesn't occurr.
As I have noted, I believe that it may or may not occurr.
If it's happening with your guitar...great. Congratulations.

What I find dubious is it happening with all guitars.
What I can't understand it the preoccupation some folks seem to have with proving that it happens, and their need to try to accelerating it.
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  #39  
Old 06-27-2009, 11:01 AM
M.D.Smith M.D.Smith is offline
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Quote:
What do you do to prevent yourself from becoming more familiar with the feel and demands of the particular guitar over a period of 2,4, or 6 months?
I cycle through playing my other guitars.
I won't fool myself though as I really enjoy my new Jumbo. But my 855 and 815 and Fender beater have been around a long time and I thoroughly enjoying playing them.

Sometimes I'll play my 855 and not even touch my new jumbo for a week and vice-a-versa.

I hope this answered your question.

Quote:
There's a recurring thread on the Larrivee forum(maybe it happens here too), someone will post that they just got a new guitar and they like it but it lacks something tonally (sustain, low end, jangle, brightness, whatever) and they ask how will the sound change.
For example: 'My new OM-03R sounds great but it's a little weak in the low end, will the low end improve as it opens up?'.

Then a few days later they report back that it has improved. It doesn't seem to matter what the short coming is, the person always thinks it improves as they play it. Sometimes it's even things like intonation and string buzzing. And sometimes it's obvious why they experienced what they did, they'll say 'my new OM-03R sounds great but the low end sounds weak compared to my old Yamaha dread, will it improve as it ages?'. Most likely it's just a different sound that they aren't used to and as they play the new guitar more and the tone becomes more familar the bass doesn't seem so weak. Think about listening to an album for the first time where you can't make out half the words and a few weeks later after you figured the words out everything sung sounds clear.
As I continue this experiment, I try my best to be very conscience about that.
It's true, some days a particular guitar will sound very fine, then a few days later (change strings, don't change strings, etc.) not sound as fine. Kind of like good and not so good days.
That's why I went to recording so I could hear as objectionally as possible the tonal differences.
To be honest, I liked the way my new BTO sounded two months ago compared to now, but that may change as I listen to it again, but that is regardless. What I'm trying to notice is loudness, overtones, tonal range, sustain and color changes (bright, warm, dark).
It's exciting to say the least, to hear an instrument grow from day one.
__________________
Guitars- some of them
2000 855
2002 815ce
2007 Warwick corvette bass (Double Buck) 4 string
2009 Custom Coco/addi jumbo "Maranatha"
2010 412 Spring LTD

Amps- some of them
Peavey 100watt acoustic amp (very clean sounding)
Roland JC-120 head with 4x12 matching cabinet
Praise and Worship dude
http://s25.photobucket.com/albums/c6...44369/Guitars/

Last edited by M.D.Smith; 06-27-2009 at 11:10 AM.
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  #40  
Old 06-27-2009, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krash View Post
I've owned my Harmony (my first guitar) for 40 years this Sept. Do I remember what it sounded like in 1969? Hell, no - I don't even remember 1969.
Amen to that brother.

One thing I try to practice in my life is this simple yet profound truth: Perception is not Reality.
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  #41  
Old 06-27-2009, 11:56 AM
hesson11 hesson11 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M.D.Smith View Post
I made another recording, the same microphone, the same computer doing the recording, the same guitar two months after she was new.
Just like the first recording, the strings and gauges are the same, they're even new just like the first recording.
Comparing the two recordings, with the same speakers on the same computer with no changes in the EQ's (because both times the recording EQ was set to "Flat"), I can hear a difference.
When she was new, she was gentle, not really loud.
When compared to todays recording, she's louder and has more mids and over tones.

Now Jeff and Bob and others would like to split hairs, ok fine. Today there's a little more earwax in my ears, maybe I should clean em out and everthing will sound different. Today I'm 2 months older, perhaps my hearing has suffered a bit.
The humidity in my guitar was at 47% two months ago, now its at 48%.
Perhaps my finger tips are worn or they got tougher.
I suppose if you add all things up, perhaps the sounds I'm hearing are because of this, but I doubt it. I've been playing for a long, long time and it matters not to me that "it's my guitar and I'll hear what I want to hear." When I heard a significant change from comparing the two recordings, knowing that the electronics (recording gear), mechanics, (Strings and pic) are the same and guitar and room humidity are so close within 1%, even the room temperature is the same at 77F, I'm pretty confident that this experiment is very good.
I'm as curious as the next guy and I like to know for sure that these experiments or comparisons have any meat to them. I like the way Mythbusters do their experiments, they try and control everything while adding variables to see whats going on or changed. I'm doing my best to control everything and using time as a variable to really see if this tops open up.

Jeff and Bob, do you have any recordings you would like to share?
I do.

PM me if you would like to hear them for yourselves and then you decide.

I'll do another recording in another 4 months and then 6 months after that.
I want to know what a year of playing will do to my new addi topped guitar as I'm sure others would to.
My only observation was that it's invalid to compare live sound to recorded sound, which your first post implied was what you were doing.
-Bob
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  #42  
Old 06-27-2009, 12:04 PM
TwinandTwang TwinandTwang is offline
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QUOTE "Frankly, I think our perception of sound (and our memory of it) changes far more than the guitar itself does.[/QUOTE]

I tend to believe this. I find I will adjust my playing of different instruments to "get more of the sound I want out of them" Also I think the ear takes time to zone in on subtle differences. I don't find the instruments that are played less sound worse, I am just more in tune with making the ones I am using more often, work better.
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  #43  
Old 06-27-2009, 01:26 PM
JTFoote JTFoote is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff M View Post
What I find dubious is it happening with all guitars.
What I can't understand it the preoccupation some folks seem to have with proving that it happens, and their need to try to accelerating it.
I agree, with limitations. I don't think all guitars open up. I believe that the kind of build construction and finish type/thickness greatly affect this phenomena. For instance, a straight/heavily-braced, thick top covered with excessive coats of poly I would expect to never exhibit much, or any change over the years. However, a lightly-braced, voiced top with lacquer or varnish finish I would definitely expect to open up after an indeterminable period of time, possibly due to aging, drying out of the cells and/or crystallization of the resins and glues, and the amount of time spent in use (i.e. playing).

I know for a fact that well-made older guitars exhibit certain characteristics that newer guitars do not. Greater warmth, wider sound dispersal, rounder trebles, increased projection, for example. I've gained this insight over the many years I've owned and played various guitars. I look for these characteristics when I'm in the market for a used instrument, and these qualities are what I use to base my judgment call when making a selection.

It's not a scientifically-biased judgment. I have no mathematically precise charting or double-blind studies to correlate or prove what I've learned. It's based on personal experience, after handling many dozens of instruments, of all ages, from many makers, for over 40 years.

Why do people feel the need to prove this? Good question. To justify the purchase? To communicate their excitement and joy when an instrument begins to fulfill a tonal promise? You'll have to ask, this is subjective in nature.

As for the need to accelerate the process, I can offer two possibilities. One: To enjoy all the instrument has to give, as soon as possible. Patience may be a virtue, but it's easier said than done. Two: Age. Not of the guitar, but of the player. There comes a moment of frightening clarity for all of us when it's blindingly obvious that life is truly finite, regardless of the intelligence, fitness, or tax bracket of the individual. Years creep by, at what seems to be an ever accelerating pace, and suddenly one realizes that most of your life has passed, and what may remain, even if old age is something that might occur, allows for far too few active years available in order to enjoy what was once taken for granted. Each day becomes more of a gift, and little things should be savored while it is still possible.

This applies to guitars, as well. Those of us who do firmly believe that a great instrument will open up and mature over time, and who truly appreciate the sound of a one that has reached that point, realize that we may not always be around to play and enjoy said instrument. This is something, that while may be grasped intellectually to a point, cannot be fully understood until felt. I feel it every morning, see it in the mirror, and I'm reminded of it every time I open the medicine cabinet and see the increasingly expensive, larger array of drugs that are extending my existence on this planet.

When I was twenty, thinking that I would enjoy playing a guitar in 20 or 30 years ... well, to be honest, it didn't actually cross my mind. I couldn't imagine myself even as a middle-aged person, much less an old one. I felt unending, and therefore, so was my life. Now ... I see being 70 as a fairly distinct possibility, barring illness or accident. And that time is approaching, much, much sooner than I would prefer. These days, I have a greater appreciation for the sound of a mature instrument, but I am also aware that if I buy one new, I might not live long enough to see what it will become. This places a greater sense of urgency upon everything I do, including my hobbies ... along with any projected and/or hoped for accomplishments, dreams and goals.

All of this, I'm sure, is nothing but fodder for argument, if you are rigidly determined to prove otherwise. But for me, if only for me, my personal experience in these matters overrides an intellectually, well-reasoned argument towards this being an area of folklore, excused by hearing and memory loss, and the simplistic hopes of well-meaning individuals.

Some things in life just have to be experienced, and can't be easily quantified, just like having faith.

IMHO.

... JT
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  #44  
Old 06-27-2009, 01:34 PM
SongwriterFan SongwriterFan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTFoote View Post
I have no . . double-blind studies to correlate or prove what I've learned.
And I suspect nobody ever will.

And I think there's a reason for that. To wit, there's simply far too many other things happening for "opening up" to be a huge thing. I'll except the initial few minutes/hours/days/ (perhaps weeks) after a guitar is built.
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  #45  
Old 06-27-2009, 05:59 PM
Jeff M Jeff M is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTFoote View Post
....

I know for a fact that well-made older guitars exhibit certain characteristics that newer guitars do not. Greater warmth, wider sound dispersal, rounder trebles, increased projection, for example. .....

... JT
I'll say SOME older guitars.
There are as many "vintage" duds out there as there are nice ones.
Just as there are many great new guitars, and many duds.

How many of those great ones changed to become that, and how many started out that way?
And how many duds "aged" into becoming such?
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