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Is this true?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by thrash_jazz, Apr 16, 2002.

  1. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    I read in a book about building instruments that a way to tell how the wood and finish of the instrument affected the tone was to tap the body wood and listen to the sound it made. I tried this with my own basses and did notice some similarity between the "wood sound" and tone...

    I was just curious as to whether anyone here used this technique... Does it really work, or was I imagining things? ;)
  2. I believe this is what Paul Reed Smith does at least to some extent.

    I saw a CNN blurb on PRS and at one point Paul was going on about the beauty of tonewoods and pulled a block of rosewood from a pile and knocked on it hard to produce a really impressive, musical sounding pong.

    He then went on about how that indicated a good piece of wood.

    Second hand and not authoritative but I felt like chiming in. ;)
  3. michael tobias

    michael tobias MTD

    Mar 21, 2002
    It really depends on what you tap with. almost everything imparts it's own voice to the wood when you tap it. The most neutral thing ever invented is a piano hammer. I used to use them when I tap tuned acoustic guitars. that way you are only hearing the sound of the wood you are tapping.

    The similarities between wood sound when you tap and tone when plugged in can be effected by many things......hardware, strings, electronics, the rig you play thru, and even you fingers......

    There are several articles written years ago that are still on my web site concerning tone and the things that influence it. Some of the information there may be of interest to you.


    ymmv ;>) MT
  4. Heiko

    Heiko BassLab

    Apr 24, 2001
    Kassel, Germany
    I also think it works and that it gives you an idea or feeling about the "character" of the instrument/wood.
    It´s not everything, but it´s a feeling beyond measurements and electronic circuits......
    I try to do this everytime before I check an instrument.

    Yes, it even works with composites! ;>)


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