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  #16  
Old 06-26-2009, 03:57 PM
SongwriterFan SongwriterFan is offline
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Originally Posted by jmagill View Post
I could just as easily have used as examples those who say they can hear the difference between Brazilian and Indian rosewood,

I can "hear the difference" between them, too. Meaning, if you play two guitars back to back, I can tell that they are different.

But, that doesn't mean I could tell you which is which.
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  #17  
Old 06-26-2009, 04:20 PM
brian a. brian a. is offline
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jmagill,

First I apologize because that was way too much to read word for word. But I did skim through to get the gist. And I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night if my memory can be trusted in that regard.

As some food for thought:

1) Can one compare recordings of a "new" guitar to recordings of itself some time later and if a difference in tone, openness, etc appear can that then be considered as having actually happened?

2) How long a time frame must pass for this non-memory thingy to exist? You mean changing old strings to new strings really doesn't change the sound, but only makes me think the new strings sound better because I want to believe they sound better and I am really fooling myself as a way to justify my purchase of the new strings in the first place when the purchase of the new strings was only to justify my visit to the guitar shop so I could fondle new guitars to satisfy my GAS??????

3) Beer...... yes, now that is satisfying. I think. Unless my memory is mistaken.

4) I only buy guitars that sound great at the moment of purchase. Older guitars of the same brand and model always sound better to me than new versions of that same brand and model. It is not my imagination that my 1936 00-18 sounds better than any newer 00-18 or 00-18v that I have heard. Is that Time? Material? or Craftsmanship? or by the time I set one guitar down and pick up the other my memory of the 1st is no longer accurate?
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  #18  
Old 06-26-2009, 04:55 PM
Jeff M Jeff M is offline
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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.

...
If only it just applied to guitars........
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  #19  
Old 06-26-2009, 06:59 PM
Krash Krash is offline
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Originally Posted by ewalling View Post
May we inquire as to why not?
I'd tell you, if I could remember.

"Even if the whole world has forgotten,
the song remembers when."
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  #20  
Old 06-26-2009, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by jmagill View Post
Then perhaps, we can move beyond guitar lore for a while to fresher, more interesting topics.
I don't think so.
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  #21  
Old 06-26-2009, 08:41 PM
brian a. brian a. is offline
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Then perhaps, we can move beyond guitar lore for a while to fresher, more interesting topics.
Such as?????????
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  #22  
Old 06-26-2009, 08:46 PM
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Such as?????????
Changing strings all at once or one at a time.
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  #23  
Old 06-26-2009, 10:34 PM
ewalling ewalling is offline
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Originally Posted by jmagill View Post
I knew there was a very real possibility this thread would devolve into yet another tedious debate about 'opening up,' which was not my intent, so to try to direct it back toward the point I was trying to make, let me clarify.

First, as several here have said, what I hear is good enough for me, too, and I'm not questioning what anyone hears. As I said, it's only they who should be doing the questioning.

Second, I merely used the 'opening up' phenomenon as an exercise to illustrate to those who use their subjective opinions to style themselves an authority on matters of perception and taste how questionable such matters are when examined objectively. I could just as easily have used as examples those who say they can hear the difference between Brazilian and Indian rosewood, or why Adirondack spruce makes the best top, etc.

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.

Then perhaps, we can move beyond guitar lore for a while to fresher, more interesting topics.
You brought the topic up. I think it's arrogant of you then to sit in judgement of the responses you invited. If you got replies that bored you, perhaps you should have worded your original message a little more clearly.
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  #24  
Old 06-26-2009, 10:40 PM
hesson11 hesson11 is offline
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Originally Posted by M.D.Smith View Post
Even after two months, I can listen to the recording and then play her and hear a difference. Same strings, same pick, same chords, same everything, even humidity. The only variable that has changed is time.
...And the fact that you're comparing a recording to live, in-person playing. That's like comparing a photo of the Grand Canyon to...the Grand Canyon. Invalid.

-Bob
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  #25  
Old 06-26-2009, 11:16 PM
zombywoof zombywoof is offline
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I ain't so sure it is a myth. New guitars often have a lower end stiffness to them which does go away. They also develop more bloom and power over time.

From what I can gather (and I may admittedly be wrong) on new guitars fresh from the factory the finish lacquer is still somewhat soft and thicker than it will be after a couple of months of curing. The finish will actually only be 1/2 of its thickness after a year. Also glue is stilll hardening.

So not sure if opening up is the proper description but yeah, I think it is possible that a guitar's sound will noticeably change over the first year.
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  #26  
Old 06-26-2009, 11:25 PM
Dr. Spivey Dr. Spivey is offline
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I just let somebody else open 'em up for me. So much less complicated. If the sound changes, I know the old guitar is broken.
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  #27  
Old 06-26-2009, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by hesson11 View Post
...And the fact that you're comparing a recording to live, in-person playing. That's like comparing a photo of the Grand Canyon to...the Grand Canyon. Invalid.

-Bob
What he said, not to mention that strings wear, and so do your fingers' textures!
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  #28  
Old 06-26-2009, 11:42 PM
Jeff M Jeff M is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zombywoof View Post
...

From what I can gather (and I may admittedly be wrong) on new guitars fresh from the factory the finish lacquer is still somewhat soft and thicker than it will be after a couple of months of curing. The finish will actually only be 1/2 of its thickness after a year. Also glue is stilll hardening....
First I have heard of this.
My understanding is the glue hardens soon after it is applied. Any "increase" in glue hardness is miniscule compared to the initial curing.
I doubt the finish loses half of its thickness.
If it did, you'd see the finishes on guitar tops shrinking left and right once you got the guitar home....grain ridges beginning to show up....finish checking.

Most brand new acoustic guitars will undergo changes in tone the first few weeks after they are strung up. "Waking up" I call it.
Small shops/custom builders often string up their new guitars and keep them around for a week or two to see how they sound..then make adjustments to them before letting them sit again and finally sending them out.

My understanding of this is it has to do with the fine structure of the wood adjusting to the newly applied stress of the strings. At least that's what several custom builders tell me.
Some guitars change more than others.
The way I see it, over time, some may change more. Some may not.
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Last edited by Jeff M; 06-26-2009 at 11:50 PM.
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  #29  
Old 06-26-2009, 11:48 PM
Jeff M Jeff M is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M.D.Smith View Post
...
Even after two months, I can listen to the recording and then play her and hear a difference. Same strings, same pick, same chords, same everything, even humidity. The only variable that has changed is time.
.
Or humidity...atmospheric pressure..temperature...finger nail length...mood of the player.

I wish I could recall who posted this, but somebody here a few months ago noted that they had a friend who had made recordings of his guitar every few months for a period of time to show how it "opened up".
The only problem was, when the recordings were played out of order, he couldn't tell when they were made.

Too many variables to worry about.
I've noticed that some days a guitar can sound absolutely wonderful. Other days...so so. I don't believe that guitars open and close like doors. They just respond to the environment and the player.
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  #30  
Old 06-26-2009, 11:48 PM
runamuck runamuck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmagill View Post

... I merely used the 'opening up' phenomenon as an exercise to illustrate to those who use their subjective opinions to style themselves an authority on matters of perception and taste how questionable such matters are when examined objectively.
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.

Then perhaps, we can move beyond guitar lore for a while to fresher, more interesting topics.
Well, I agree with everything you're implying here.

And I don't think you are at all saying that there aren't differences between say, E.I. Rosewood and some other type or that a guitar that's 10 years old sounds identical to its new counterpart.

On the other hand, I'll repeat a question that I've asked in another thread: How many here have had the experience of comparing these things while eliminating all of the other variables that might contribute to differences? I doubt that the number is anywhere near to the number of those who make spurious claims.

I do alot of recording and mixing. It continually amazes me that the same sounds coming out of my monitors in the same room can sound harsh one day and warm the next. Is it the humidity and the way temperature affects the paper in the cones? Are electrical components affected by environmetal factors? Or is it that my hearing sensitivity varies from day to day?
I don't know but what I do know is that skepticism is essential when it comes to all this stuff.

Jim McCarthy
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