Go Back   TalkBass Forums > Bass Guitar Forums > Bass Guitar Forums > Luthier's Corner
Register Rules/FAQ/CUP Members List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Luthier's Corner Discussion on instrument building, repair, and materials.


Supporting Membership
Thank You

Latest Supporting Member
Donate to Upgrade Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #21  
Old 01-25-2013, 07:23 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2010
save your money:
I like the Psychological Test vs the Audible test.
I've had way too many "pros" tell me that "of course Maple sounds Brighter than Alder" or some other such nonsense.
I embarrassed a mod on another well-known bass forum with the perception experiment.
entire thread was deleted after "ol' dog ears" realized he was preaching nonsense.
I read a few of his obnoxious posts where he literally instructed people to purchase certain instruments because of the "tone-woods". Or chided them in their preference of a maple fretboard when considering a softer rounder tone for jazz (I sheet you not!)
a few posters challenged his assertions and that it was impossible to tell. He then remarked that his hearing was exceptional like that of a dog...
:idea:
Rather than jump right in and point out he was full of beans, I waited a week and posted how I was torn between tone-wood choices and how perhaps I had an uneducated ear...

I used the same instrument. A Korean P-Bass Imitation (who cares what kind of wood it was made of. It was Brown

The thread title was "Help Me Choose My Tone"
I stated that a few friends had loaned me their basses so I could make a decision.
I posted four wav files:
1. "Fender J-Bass: Alder: Maple Neck/FretBoard"
2. "Kubicki - laminated neck - ebony fret board
3. Ibanez SGR 5 string - rosewood fret board
4. Musicaman Stingray - don't know what woods

Only two responses said they couldn't tell
several claimed that the Kubicki had the rounder tone
Moderator then tries to deconstruct by saying: "Oh the 5 string affects the resonance of the instrument when compare to the other 4 string instruments"
He then tried to explain what each tone-wood in my example was best suited ...

After about 4 pages of "sonic quality" and "the stingray would be good for ballads, but the Kubicki obviously sounds like the best of the four!" Bullsh*t and lots of other posters agreeing with him, I apologized and revealed that it was the same bass in each.

The guy's ego was smashed - deservedly so.

I was banned and thread deleted. Haha!
  #22  
Old 01-25-2013, 09:16 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: buenos aires, argentina
Quote:
Originally Posted by SallyGrowler View Post
save your money:
I like the Psychological Test vs the Audible test.
I've had way too many "pros" tell me that "of course Maple sounds Brighter than Alder" or some other such nonsense.
I embarrassed a mod on another well-known bass forum with the perception experiment.
entire thread was deleted after "ol' dog ears" realized he was preaching nonsense.
I read a few of his obnoxious posts where he literally instructed people to purchase certain instruments because of the "tone-woods". Or chided them in their preference of a maple fretboard when considering a softer rounder tone for jazz (I sheet you not!)
a few posters challenged his assertions and that it was impossible to tell. He then remarked that his hearing was exceptional like that of a dog...
:idea:
Rather than jump right in and point out he was full of beans, I waited a week and posted how I was torn between tone-wood choices and how perhaps I had an uneducated ear...

I used the same instrument. A Korean P-Bass Imitation (who cares what kind of wood it was made of. It was Brown

The thread title was "Help Me Choose My Tone"
I stated that a few friends had loaned me their basses so I could make a decision.
I posted four wav files:
1. "Fender J-Bass: Alder: Maple Neck/FretBoard"
2. "Kubicki - laminated neck - ebony fret board
3. Ibanez SGR 5 string - rosewood fret board
4. Musicaman Stingray - don't know what woods

Only two responses said they couldn't tell
several claimed that the Kubicki had the rounder tone
Moderator then tries to deconstruct by saying: "Oh the 5 string affects the resonance of the instrument when compare to the other 4 string instruments"
He then tried to explain what each tone-wood in my example was best suited ...

After about 4 pages of "sonic quality" and "the stingray would be good for ballads, but the Kubicki obviously sounds like the best of the four!" Bullsh*t and lots of other posters agreeing with him, I apologized and revealed that it was the same bass in each.

The guy's ego was smashed - deservedly so.

I was banned and thread deleted. Haha!
wow!!!
__________________
Pedulla Club #14 CRENCHY myspace.com/crenchymusic crenchy.com.ar
  #23  
Old 01-25-2013, 09:36 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Good tale. Banned!? That's kind of hilarious... no offense! Shows how polarizing this subject is. I've never found any debate as polarizing as this. Ever. (coughcoughpoliticscoughgunscough)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SallyGrowler View Post
I like the Psychological Test vs the Audible test.
Kind of apples and oranges though.

This is really just a mental exercise to come up with a valid, reproducible, and objective (read: scientific) test that will get to the root of the tonewoods in electric bass debate. A sort of "show me, don't tell me" result. We've heard it all before!

  #24  
Old 01-25-2013, 10:34 AM
Registered User

Builder and Owner: DJ Ash Guitars
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Dallas, north Texas
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean N View Post
Scott, I think the idea is moving neck (threaded inserts), strings (quick-release bridge) and all onto different bodies.

Heck, If you didn't have controls (pots) and went direct from pickup to jack, you could probably even use a quick-connect EMG-style system and transplant electronics too.
The way I read it was that it use a new set of strings, but not the same set of strings. Your way would be much better. People will hear what they want to hear. The speaker cable debates rage on in the audiophile forums.
__________________
U.S. Peavey Club Member #27, SX Club Member in Good Standing, Ibanez Club member #83, Team Trace Elliot #84

Quote:
Originally Posted by DTSH View Post
I would eat Slap-n-Pops. No question about it. :D
  #25  
Old 01-25-2013, 10:54 AM
Registered User

Owner/Luthier; Classic Music Company LLC Building Custom Guitars
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: classicmusicco@aol.com
Another area you should consider is the finish i.e. paint. I would suggest that each body be painted using the same (not similar) paint. Excluding any automotive formulas.
To be exacting you may even want to control the gun used to apply the paint, not the gun itself but the orfice. Three coats using a #3 as opposed to a #1 orfice etc; gives a different thickness. Also different manufactruers may have different mixing formulas so maybe use only one manufactruer for all the chemicals.I would choose materials that need no mixing there fore eliminating mixing errors. I use only waterbase material and I do not mix anything. I use it as premixed by the supplier.
If you take into cosideration everything that can alter tonal output you could be in for a tedious experiment. Good luck!!

LMartin Classic Music Company
  #26  
Old 01-25-2013, 11:18 AM
Toolmybass's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Great White North
Supporting Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by ps10black View Post
I just did a similar thing although knowhere near as scientific using MDF Sapelle and Kalantas using a removable neck and bridge pickup assembly, there is very little tonal difference between them leading me to believe two possible scenarios, One the neck is the major contributor to the sound or the timbers have very little impact on the tone of a guitar, I am possibly going to construct an MDF neck and se what happens??

I posted the clips and let the forum decide which was which, but long story short the MDF polled in as a fave??????? with most saying that there was such a little diference tht it didnt really matter

The results of the tests are over on MLP, Like I said not exactly as scientific as what you are proposing, but still very interesting how close they all sounded

Lee
+10000 (I put lots of zeros on there because there isn't an infinity icon on my phone)

There will be minor subtle differences here...most which couldn't be heard by the human ear (maybe an analyzer) ...if it is noticeable ....nothing that a small eq adjustment wont fix...even by an intermediate musician

So you would def be wasting your time doing any of this building/swapping/testing

Proof?...I gave a producer 2 Wal basses to "noodle" with for a week or so. Each PURPOSELY had different set ups on them so that there was a distinctive sound to them.

I spent about 30min on resetting them up and some eq'ing and buddy could NOT tell the difference. If he couldn't then I wouldn't have no problem "betting the farm" that 99.9% of everyone else out there wouldn't either...this would also be a good example that your experiment in reality would be a big waste of time

Oh I forgot to mention about these basses
-21 years! between build dates
-Australian Lacewood vs American Walnut
-Slightly different neck woods involved
-Slightly different body shape (MKI vs MKIi)
- Definite different grain on Rosewood F boards
-Same electronics
-Same string manufacturer but slightly diff gauge

That's all I have to say
__________________
Big Cab #132 ....Wal Bass #26 ....Digitech Bass #8 ...Canadian Bassist #182 ...Ovation Magnum #6 ...Fender Precision Bass #1096...Darkglass #69

Last edited by Toolmybass : 01-25-2013 at 11:51 AM.
  #27  
Old 01-25-2013, 11:18 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Hilversum, Netherlands
I think, realism needs to creep back into the experiment.

If you really want to test the impact of the wood on the tone, get a block of wood, cut a P or J or both route into it, stretch a string over it (no neck) and record the note. You can use different strings and different pitches and record. On playback use a spectral analyser and see if there are differences. Get 100 meters of string straight from the factory and use multiple lengths per block to get a good average.
  #28  
Old 01-25-2013, 11:24 AM
Toolmybass's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Great White North
Supporting Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by SallyGrowler View Post
save your money:
I like the Psychological Test vs the Audible test.
I've had way too many "pros" tell me that "of course Maple sounds Brighter than Alder" or some other such nonsense.
I embarrassed a mod on another well-known bass forum with the perception experiment.
entire thread was deleted after "ol' dog ears" realized he was preaching nonsense.
I read a few of his obnoxious posts where he literally instructed people to purchase certain instruments because of the "tone-woods". Or chided them in their preference of a maple fretboard when considering a softer rounder tone for jazz (I sheet you not!)
a few posters challenged his assertions and that it was impossible to tell. He then remarked that his hearing was exceptional like that of a dog...
:idea:
Rather than jump right in and point out he was full of beans, I waited a week and posted how I was torn between tone-wood choices and how perhaps I had an uneducated ear...

I used the same instrument. A Korean P-Bass Imitation (who cares what kind of wood it was made of. It was Brown

The thread title was "Help Me Choose My Tone"
I stated that a few friends had loaned me their basses so I could make a decision.
I posted four wav files:
1. "Fender J-Bass: Alder: Maple Neck/FretBoard"
2. "Kubicki - laminated neck - ebony fret board
3. Ibanez SGR 5 string - rosewood fret board
4. Musicaman Stingray - don't know what woods

Only two responses said they couldn't tell
several claimed that the Kubicki had the rounder tone
Moderator then tries to deconstruct by saying: "Oh the 5 string affects the resonance of the instrument when compare to the other 4 string instruments"
He then tried to explain what each tone-wood in my example was best suited ...

After about 4 pages of "sonic quality" and "the stingray would be good for ballads, but the Kubicki obviously sounds like the best of the four!" Bullsh*t and lots of other posters agreeing with him, I apologized and revealed that it was the same bass in each.

The guy's ego was smashed - deservedly so.g

I was banned and thread deleted. Haha!
Too bad the thread was deleted!...another great example that there's just some people out there that have absolutely have ZERO experience in a studio setting....but think they have ears of a canine ...give me a break
__________________
Big Cab #132 ....Wal Bass #26 ....Digitech Bass #8 ...Canadian Bassist #182 ...Ovation Magnum #6 ...Fender Precision Bass #1096...Darkglass #69

Last edited by Toolmybass : 01-25-2013 at 11:28 AM.
  #29  
Old 01-25-2013, 03:17 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Kraków, Polska
If you can really get the funding to get these made, what would be even more interesting would be to then do a longitudinal followup: give them away to randomly chosen musicians who are graduating high school, and follow up every year whether they're actually playing it, whether they're using it as their main instrument, and most importantly: how much money they made playing it. If, say, alder-bodied instruments actually make more money, I'll believe in tonewood even if I can't hear a difference.
__________________
youtube.com/krowochron - Krappy Klub #2, redneck bassist #7, I back a hot singerbabe #22, doubleneck #4, cool strap #16, country #64
  #30  
Old 01-25-2013, 03:34 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
This might be a little off, but I think there are a few more variables here than you really need to deal with.

If you are trying to only test the difference in sounds with different tonewoods, you really don't need to construct guitars. If anything to save a lot of time, just make something simple to test your hypothesis.

Even taking a large 8/4 board and mounting a pickup and some strings would work. It wouldn't even really need to replicate a bass scale length either since you're just trying to find audible differences between the two. I'd definitely suggest using the same exact hardware on every test subject though.

It seems like this tonewood debate will go on forever despite some decent logical reasoning. Everyone knows how the pickup works, and how wood around the pickup would affect that sound is beyond me. I'm always ready to be wrong though!
  #31  
Old 01-25-2013, 03:41 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
heres some pics of the test bed guitars











Everything is as close to identical as possible, I used locking tuners so that its even the same set of strings

Lee
  #32  
Old 01-25-2013, 05:26 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Canadia
A comment here (hopefully not a pariah-inducing one) is to consider proving the negative hypothesis instead of the positive. The example as written above (pretty good I might add) basically seeks to examine if wood makes a difference in the tone of an instrument. It would likely be much easier to prove that other factors have a more significant difference in tone, or have such great magnitude of influence on tone that they completely mask the effect of the difference that wood introduces.

So thinking of Pete's idea to address the psychology of it, an example experiment could look at the influence of electronics over wood. You could take three basses identically built and have the tone knob full on one, half on the second and completely off on the third. This would allow recordings to be made and played with several listeners (double blind) and ask them to determine if there is a difference in the recordings. This would for example prove that the tone setting in the electronics has a greater impact than wood.

I'm just firing this off with two seconds of consideration so there are obviously holes in what I'm putting out, but when faced with huge numbers of variables, this kind of viewing the negative hypothesis instead can be a solution to deal with the mass data potential in the experiment...
  #33  
Old 01-25-2013, 07:39 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Norman, OK
Quote:
Originally Posted by OHSPyro89 View Post
This might be a little off, but I think there are a few more variables here than you really need to deal with.

If you are trying to only test the difference in sounds with different tonewoods, you really don't need to construct guitars. If anything to save a lot of time, just make something simple to test your hypothesis.

Even taking a large 8/4 board and mounting a pickup and some strings would work. It wouldn't even really need to replicate a bass scale length either since you're just trying to find audible differences between the two. I'd definitely suggest using the same exact hardware on every test subject though.

It seems like this tonewood debate will go on forever despite some decent logical reasoning. Everyone knows how the pickup works, and how wood around the pickup would affect that sound is beyond me. I'm always ready to be wrong though!
The intent is to test the influence of sound expressed by various types of wood on an electric bass body, not a block of wood with a pickup screwed to it and some strings spread over it.

Making full instruments out of each would allow me to test the problem from several perspectives.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beej View Post
A comment here (hopefully not a pariah-inducing one) is to consider proving the negative hypothesis instead of the positive. The example as written above (pretty good I might add) basically seeks to examine if wood makes a difference in the tone of an instrument. It would likely be much easier to prove that other factors have a more significant difference in tone, or have such great magnitude of influence on tone that they completely mask the effect of the difference that wood introduces.

So thinking of Pete's idea to address the psychology of it, an example experiment could look at the influence of electronics over wood. You could take three basses identically built and have the tone knob full on one, half on the second and completely off on the third. This would allow recordings to be made and played with several listeners (double blind) and ask them to determine if there is a difference in the recordings. This would for example prove that the tone setting in the electronics has a greater impact than wood.

I'm just firing this off with two seconds of consideration so there are obviously holes in what I'm putting out, but when faced with huge numbers of variables, this kind of viewing the negative hypothesis instead can be a solution to deal with the mass data potential in the experiment...
The way you are describing it introduces more variables than the original proposition sought to test. While I can appreciate the idea of testing things that have greater effect, the question specifically was about so-called tonewood.

Last edited by HaMMerHeD : 01-25-2013 at 07:41 PM.
  #34  
Old 04-07-2014, 01:00 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
I'm sorry. I love basswood. a deep low warm bass tone with less pronounced high end. In 1986 I found an eighteen inch wide two inch thick Basswood board. I built a bass of my own design and it was perfect. The tone I spoke of earlier and a very light weight. I wish I had bought bought the full 27 foot long board.
  #35  
Old 04-07-2014, 01:44 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Portland, OR
wow that is extremely expensive but the most scientific bass idea I've ever heard. Maybe you could get funding from NASA or Walmart or something, even NOAH, , or the Forest Agency or whatever. It will be extremely interesting to see the results.
__________________
Hmmm 6p 6e 6n... So does that make carbon the element of the beast?
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Visit TalkBass on Facebook   Download our iOS app   Download our Android app

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:04 PM.




© 2012 Talk Music Group Inc. All rights reserved.
Play guitar too? Visit TalkGuitar.com
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.12
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.