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  #31  
Old 03-15-2016, 02:14 PM
Timothy Lawler Timothy Lawler is offline
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Originally Posted by S_Spruce View Post
Thank you for that post, Timothy. Your points are well taken. I will consider that for next time.
You're welcome.

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And still, this test is hardly invalid due to mic placement. Whether rightly or wrongly, this is how most people mic guitars and the comparison will still be fair.
Most home recordists do prefer close miking. Proximity effect from a cardioid mic can sound nice. In fact, most home recordists won't have a room that will sound good with the mikes far enough away to avoid proximity effect. So it's often a lesser of two evils thing, haha.

The problem when comparing guitars, though, is that it takes a lot of experimenting with mic placement to find the optimum nearfield position on a particular guitar. A foot and a half away, out from the spot halfway between the bridge and soundhole would be a good place to start testing. (Steel string acoustics usually sound best miked out from the neck/body joint but I rarely like that position on nylon string. But it depends on the guitar.) With the sensitivity of mic position, if you did this same test again, it's likely that each guitar would sound completely different than it does in this test.

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I feel encouraged to experiment with mic placement, though. The room I record in was sound treated by an expert and it's got all the right panels, diffuses and all. Placing the mics a bit farther would be safe in these conditions.
Excellent!
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  #32  
Old 03-15-2016, 05:16 PM
cobalt60 cobalt60 is offline
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This may have been asked already: are you playing classical guitars, but not actually using classical guitar technique?
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  #33  
Old 03-15-2016, 06:52 PM
Paraclete Paraclete is offline
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Originally Posted by Timothy Lawler View Post

3) Any classical guitar will only sound its best when played by a guitarist that has very good tone control. A fantastic guitar played with a less skilled technique won't sound much different than a budget guitar. It might even sound worse.
)
This...and my earlier comment about strings. Listening to unidentified guitars on a recording is really not a good way to compare. Try sitting in a room blindfolded or at least not looking at labels or tags and having a friend hand you unidentified guitars to play.
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  #34  
Old 03-16-2016, 12:30 AM
S_Spruce S_Spruce is offline
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Originally Posted by cobalt60 View Post
This may have been asked already: are you playing classical guitars, but not actually using classical guitar technique?
You can hear for yourself what I do. I'm not a professional guitarist, classical or otherwise. I could be wrong about this, but I think it is safe to judge the quality of the tone of these instruments just the way I'm playing them on the recordings. If I had Julian Bream in the studio, I'd sure ask him to play for the test. This test wasn't conducted with full scientific vigor, and I don't expect people to quote it as such... I did what I could at the moment and we'll see how it went when I post the keys.
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  #35  
Old 03-16-2016, 12:35 AM
S_Spruce S_Spruce is offline
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Originally Posted by Paraclete View Post
This...and my earlier comment about strings. Listening to unidentified guitars on a recording is really not a good way to compare. Try sitting in a room blindfolded or at least not looking at labels or tags and having a friend hand you unidentified guitars to play.
I agree with you, but then if they're to be used as recording instruments, most guitars will end up in recordings anyway and the way they sound in a recording is what ultimately matters.
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  #36  
Old 03-16-2016, 07:27 AM
new2guitar_eh new2guitar_eh is offline
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Non scientific, fails to meet certain criteria....okay, but still fun! Time to post what the 2 guitars are
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  #37  
Old 03-16-2016, 07:37 AM
S_Spruce S_Spruce is offline
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Originally Posted by new2guitar_eh View Post
Non scientific, fails to meet certain criteria....okay, but still fun! Time to post what the 2 guitars are
Would you care to say which guitar you preferred?
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  #38  
Old 03-16-2016, 01:51 PM
riffmeister riffmeister is offline
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Originally Posted by cobalt60 View Post
This may have been asked already: are you playing classical guitars, but not actually using classical guitar technique?
I appreciate what S_Spruce has done, it does provide a point of comparison for the two guitars.

But to your point......it would be best IMO to assess the guitars played with more force in the right hand and with normal classical guitar right hand technique. And also with the microphones moved further away from the guitar to negate the proximity effect. Don't mean to come across as being snobbish....sorry if I do....but that's how I'd prefer a comparison of two classical guitars be done.

I've made a few comparison clips myself in the way I suggested above. Here's an example comparing two instruments, on is a spruce/Brazilian guitar and the other is a cedar/Brazilian guitar.

http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=8551191

P.S. Sorry for that derail!

Last edited by riffmeister; 03-16-2016 at 01:57 PM.
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  #39  
Old 03-16-2016, 02:15 PM
Timothy Lawler Timothy Lawler is offline
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A couple things to add...

First, let me say that I'm not posting in this thread because I want to critique you, S Spruce. I'm just trying to help with accuracy. I think recording comparisons are a good thing - never definitive, but often helpful.

Loudness levels:
In much of this test the comparisons are inconsistent in level - louder on guitar B from :22 to 1:20. (Louder is perceived as better in most AB listening tests.) I grabbed the audio from the vid and dropped the file into my DAW, split the segments and level matched each AB segment. Some of them had been matched by peaks, and some not at all. When you level match, you won't get accurate results by only matching peak levels. It's average levels that determine perceived loudness.

Pitch range:
The test uses a little more than half of the guitar's range. On a fine guitar, the range above the first string open E is one of the defining things between guitars. You might want to include that in future tests.

As far as which guitar is the more expensive one, it's impossible to tell with the closeness of the miking and with only the first position pitch range played. But given those limitations, after level matching the files, guitar A sounds better.
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  #40  
Old 03-16-2016, 04:03 PM
S_Spruce S_Spruce is offline
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Thanks, Timothy. I see your point... I didn't normalize to level match the guitar volumes... I did it to make the overall signal louder, since I don't turn up the preamp too high when I record. I probably shouldn't have bothered with that at all.

But I've had the guitars in my hands... So I know they sound amazingly close to what you hear in the recording. People can judge their sounds pretty safely, I think. With the given limitations in mind. And for the record, guitar B is a louder sounding instrument. Quite significantly. And guitar A does have much bigger bass- exactly the way it is heard in the recording.

I also wouldn't worry about proximity effect too much. I didn't point the first mic into the sound hole; I gave it the appropriate angle and they were far enough not to sound boomy. You believe they should be even farther. I trust your expertise. I'll try that next time to see how I like it.

P.S. Did you mean to say before level matching you clearly preferred B?

Last edited by S_Spruce; 03-16-2016 at 04:10 PM.
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  #41  
Old 03-16-2016, 04:31 PM
dosland dosland is offline
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In the following cheeky post I humorously lampoon many of the posters above, whose comments simply read (to the ignoramus that I am) something along the lines of, "I'm too much of an expert in guitar things to be bothered posting or commenting on this thread, but I needed to make sure that next time you post a thread that does something similar, you do it in the way that I would have done it." Some of the posts may also be interpreted, "My expert opinion will somehow be diminished on this, an essentially anonymous forum, if I guess incorrectly, so it's best to question the validity of the exam and its questions, the marks to be offered, and the degree conferred based on those."


Back in serious mode, but still on the light-hearted end of the spectrum, I'm someone who never clicks on video links or any other kind of link ever. But this post was sufficiently intriguing that I actually visited youtube and listened to the recordings. Then I posted a comment. None of this cost me anything, and I don't plan to make a habit of it, but it was a fun little exercise nonetheless, at least for me. People with elaborate recording setups and extensive recording experience and ridiculously-good technique should absolutely post their own versions of something similar. Then we all win.
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  #42  
Old 03-17-2016, 09:17 AM
dekutree64 dekutree64 is offline
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I prefer B. But if these are factory guitars, then it's pretty much a crapshoot which one is "higher end". There are great sounding $100 guitars and awful sounding $1000 guitars.
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  #43  
Old 03-17-2016, 09:52 AM
Timothy Lawler Timothy Lawler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S_Spruce View Post
I also wouldn't worry about proximity effect too much. I didn't point the first mic into the sound hole; I gave it the appropriate angle and they were far enough not to sound boomy.

P.S. Did you mean to say before level matching you clearly preferred B?
Proximity effect is just about the distance from the guitar, not being necessarily near the soundhole. (yeah I know, dosland, another elitist post, ). But good work staying away from the soundhole. It's boomy there but for different reasons. If you like the close miked sound, omni mikes have no proximity effect. I actually preferred A from the start. But I adjusted my volume knob as it went along before level matching them in the box.

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Originally Posted by dekutree64 View Post
... if these are factory guitars, then it's pretty much a crapshoot which one is "higher end". There are great sounding $100 guitars and awful sounding $1000 guitars.
I've had the same experience, dekutree. Especially with how well they record. I'd put the $ ranges a little differently though.
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  #44  
Old 03-17-2016, 12:44 PM
S_Spruce S_Spruce is offline
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Originally Posted by Timothy Lawler View Post
Proximity effect is just about the distance from the guitar, not being necessarily near the soundhole. (yeah I know, dosland, another elitist post, )
Not elitist, just beside-the-point nitpicking... I think we can put the worry about proximity effect to rest. Cm3 is a sub-cardioid mic with a wide pick-up pattern. It is often praised as a mic which can get very close to the source with minimal proximity effect. At about 8 inches, it is just fine...
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  #45  
Old 03-17-2016, 01:48 PM
Timothy Lawler Timothy Lawler is offline
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You're just mad because I preferred guitar A, haha.

Tim the partypooper.
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