Tone myths; what's your favorite? Vote now!

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by reverendrally, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. "Neck through basses make sustained tone"

    22 vote(s)
  2. "Bolt on bass make punchy tone"

    7 vote(s)
  3. "Fingerboard timber makes the best tone"

    18 vote(s)
  4. "Graphite bars in neck make the best tone"

    0 vote(s)
  5. "Mandolin frets makes the best tone"

    3 vote(s)
  6. "Oil finish lets the timber breath for more open tone"

    20 vote(s)
  7. "Nitro paint produces warmer tone"

    13 vote(s)
  8. "Tonewoods make the best tone"

    26 vote(s)
  9. "P basses make the only good tone"

    46 vote(s)
  10. "Swampash is the only light timber for tone"

    1 vote(s)
  11. "Black is the best tone for metal"

    24 vote(s)
  12. "High mass bridges make heavier tone"

    16 vote(s)
  13. "Headless basses are the way forward in tone"

    2 vote(s)
  14. "Composite basses have plastic tone"

    3 vote(s)
  15. "No tone knob for ultimate tone"

    14 vote(s)
  16. "Active electronics make more tone"

    18 vote(s)
  17. "Passive electronics make real tone"

    13 vote(s)
  18. "Piezo pickups have duck tone"

    5 vote(s)
  1. One of the things I love about this forum is our open minded approach to designing and building instruments of all sorts. I also love people's sense of humour. So, I thought it would be fun to have a laugh at ourselves and our hobbie/industry. To all the trolls, purists and white knuckle bandits, take a breath before you react.

    This post is just for fun! :thumbsup:

    With that said, I'd love to know your favorite tone myth. I say myth, because why a lot of us know there's some contribution from lots of parts, we all tend to get hung up on various design or contruction features. VOTE for your favorite myth! I've provided lots of options, but if you think I've missed one, post it so we can laugh more at ourselves.

    Again, let me stress. This is just for fun.

    Trolls, feel free to have your posts removed by the friendly mods. ;)

    Let the fun begin! :hyper:
    EatS1stBassist and Ant Illington like this.
  2. T_Bone_TL


    Jan 10, 2013
    SW VT
    I tell ya, it's in the fry-o-lator. And the good kind sticks to chicken when you fry it.
  3. It's the chicken grease, that's where the tone comes from.
    geof_, Kro, EatS1stBassist and 3 others like this.
  4. Nah, it's the buttermilk in the biscuits that get the best tone.
    T_Bone_TL likes this.
  5. Tone comes from waving the correct StewMac tool over your bass and chanting to Dan Earlwine.:D:laugh:
  6. T_Bone_TL


    Jan 10, 2013
    SW VT
    [√] Carrot basses have Organic tone*

    *unless they are non-organic carrots which have a plastic tone quite different than composite basses.
  7. farace


    Jul 9, 2016
    Connecticut USA
    My favorite tone myth is one that I made up one day back in the '90s when I was hanging out at a friend's guitar shop. Some kid came in, not one of the regulars, and somehow I got into a conversation with him talking about vintage instruments. The devil got into me, and I said, "you know, people spend thousands to get the right vintage guitar, and thousands more on a vintage amp, but they're ignoring a critical missing link."

    His eyes lit up, hungry for the secret I was about to bestow upon him. "What is it?"

    "A curly cord. Don't forget that Hendrix and all the other greats from the sixties used a curly cord." He was hanging on my every word, so I laid it on thick. "Just like a spin keeps a bullet aligned in flight, and makes a football fly straight, a curly cord puts a spin on the signal and keeps the signal aligned."

    I figured there was no way he was going to buy that story, but he swallowed it hook, line, and sinker. I've been waiting ever since for the story to circle back around to me.

    So there you have my vote--a curly cord gets that vintage tone. (And actually, there is a smidgen of truth to that, but it has nothing to do with putting a spin on the signal of course. A curly cord can act as a tone control, attenuating some frequencies.)
  8. mark5009


    Feb 17, 2018
    Sydney, Oz
    What's a tone?
  9. Scoops

    Scoops Why do we use base 10 when we only have 8 fingers Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2013
    Sugar Creek, Wisc
    Pokin fun at fingerboard tone hey?!:)

    Sorry, on a fretless, it does make a difference.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
    Artman and Bassbeater like this.
  10. Slidlow

    Slidlow The Human CNC Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oshawa, Canada
    The myriad possibilities and combinations means you will not have to "atone" for anything. In all seriousness there are a few physics based truths that seem to be manipulated to try to justify individual theories. Do your research (re: sound wave propagation and sound wave refraction) before believing things you are being told. Materials choices and physical design will impact overall resonance and attenuate certain centre frequencies in minute to more noticeable levels and color what is available for any transducer (magnetic, piezo, light, etc) to sense.
    Greenstreet and EatS1stBassist like this.
  11. Manton Customs

    Manton Customs UK Luthier

    Jan 31, 2014
    Shropshire, UK
    Luthier, Manton Customs
    I'm not sure, but I think it has something to do with Tort.
  12. So many dependencies, most of which make insignificant differences in tone.

    That said, I agree on the fretboard for a fretless and an onboard preamp may not give you more "tone", but it certainly gives you more tonal possibilities controllable from the instrument.
  13. I-Am-The-Slime


    Jan 8, 2010
    SW VA
    Tone-o-magic bridges and ultralight toners :D
  14. loveandbass

    loveandbass Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2004
    can we add "basically nothing makes any tonal difference" to the poll?
  15. I think my favorite is, "Nitrocellulose lacquer lets the wood breathe."

    Umm.. if your wood is breathing you got bigger issues than what kind of finish is on top of it.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  16. darwin-bass

    darwin-bass Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2013
    Salem OR
    "The tone is in your fingers" is missing from your poll
  17. Scoops

    Scoops Why do we use base 10 when we only have 8 fingers Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2013
    Sugar Creek, Wisc
    I came back to put this in, but you beat me to it
    n1as likes this.
  18. The biggest myth of all is that “the wood doesn’t matter, it’s ALL in the electronics”.
  19. Londo Molari

    Londo Molari

    Jan 1, 2014
    2 blocks east of Mars
    Decendant from the Clovis culture. "Emitting that wonderful bass effect since 1970".
    ThinCrappyTone likes this.
  20. Oddly


    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    So let me get this right.
    You're saying ALL the options are myths?
    How the heck do you guys build anything at all?
    Greenstreet, RickyWoo and n1as like this.