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  1. #1

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    In the never ending quest ( for me anyway) to find a great jazz tone - I have only budget archtops, I seem to hear a hint of what I would call a slightly 'honky/chirpy' quality to the tone on all of them, particularly when playing notes fretted fairly high up on the middle strings. It's a tone I don't much like.
    I found a Youtube clip which I believe demonstrates this tone to the extreme (all over the board) and it's really not to my taste. It is the tone the girl has. Please note, I am in no way being critical of the clip - I think the playing is great.
    How would you describe this tone? Do you like it? Do you think it needs EQing? I had an Attila Zoller floater that, to me, had that sound and I changed it for a low priced Ibanez which is a lot better. Thanks.

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  3. #2

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    I agree, she is an awesome player.

    It sounds to me like there is very little fundamental and a lot of overtones in the tone with a sharp attack. Like almost bridge pickup-y (but she is using the neck). It could be the pick she is using. Very pointy and stiff but thin pick can sound this way.

  4. #3

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    Sounds to me like there is some light chorus going on. It's a pretty tone. It may be just the ticket for the very talented young lady in larger ensembles.

  5. #4

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    What can i say tone-wise? It was probably recorded with a phone.
    The playing is great!

  6. #5

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    From what can be gleaned from a poor recording I thought the guitars sounded clear but lifeless and dead. There was no resonance or chime. Just an electrified chunk of glued together laminate further constrained by the limitations of a basic guitar speaker with no help from the amp section. Not interesting or pleasant. Though the rhythm guitar was very even sounding. That being said, the playing was very nice and seemed to overcome the bland tones coming from the instruments.

  7. #6

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    Phone tone.

  8. #7

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    Despite the phone issue, I think it's actually a tone sort of like what many players seek. I often use the term "boxy" or even "reedy" to describe it. I hear several players on Jazzradio.com's "Guitar jazz" channel who have a tone like that, except well recorded of course.

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    Despite the phone issue, I think it's actually a tone sort of like what many players seek. I often use the term "boxy" or even "reedy" to describe it. I hear several players on Jazzradio.com's "Guitar jazz" channel who have a tone like that, except well recorded of course.
    Thanks.
    To me regardless of how it was recorded there is a clear difference between the tone of the two guitars. I prefer the 335 type. Some may say that's because (may be) the 335 has a centre block but I've heard fully hollow archtops with a similar tone.
    I agree with your description of boxy and reedy and that some people like it. Do you think, though, the boxiness can be dialed out. Cheers.

  10. #9

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    I don't know how this guitar is actually constructed, but it's the characteristic sound of x-braced construction + brightly voiced pickup. It's essentially the opposite of the mid-range "thunk" of guitars built along the lines of Gibson laminated guitars. Let's call it knuht.

    John

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by garybaldy
    Thanks.
    To me regardless of how it was recorded there is a clear difference between the tone of the two guitars. I prefer the 335 type. Some may say that's because (may be) the 335 has a centre block but I've heard fully hollow archtops with a similar tone.
    I agree with your description of boxy and reedy and that some people like it. Do you think, though, the boxiness can be dialed out. Cheers.
    A lot of this is also due to the amp. I have right beside my desk a Fender Princeton Reverb, a Tonemaster Twin Reverb, a Polytone Minibrute II, and a DVMark Micro 50 with a 10" cabinet. The tone varies significantly among these 4 amps with the same guitar. If I were in that store, I'd want to play that guitar through a different amp. Also, it's just a humbucking pickup, two pots, and a capacitor making that tone, and there is lots there one could swap out and play with if other considerations commended this specific guitar.

  12. #11

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    Here is a better recording of a demo of that guitar.


  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    I don't know how this guitar is actually constructed, but it's the characteristic sound of x-braced construction + brightly voiced pickup. It's essentially the opposite of the mid-range "thunk" of guitars built along the lines of Gibson laminated guitars. Let's call it knuht.

    John
    While X braced guitars can be anywhere in the tonal spectrum the ones I have based on Benedetto's approach aren't dull sounding and tend to be pretty dynamic. Of course, mine are set up for a 'zing' instead of a 'plink'.

  14. #13

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    It sounds like a bridge pickup because that's what is in use. Notice the selector switch pointing down. A bridge pickup is always going to sound trebly, regardless of the amp, strings, guitar, or anything else.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by garybaldy
    Do you think, though, the boxiness can be dialed out. Cheers.
    I'd call the tone nasal; as someone said, a "phone tone". I don't like it. But I guess the key question is, as above, can it be dialled out? I'd say not; a good amp with sophisticated tone controls ( as in eg Acoustic Image, Hendriksen, Evans) can do a lot to mitigate it, but I don't think you can ever get rid of it.

    In fairness , it's difficult to tell from the vid; she might have been plugged into a SS Marshall amp with bass set at zero and midrange at max, for all we know; that would make even an L5 sound bad. At least, to me.

    As a general rule, and with exceptions no doubt, cheaper hollow guitars will tend to sound more mid-rangey in a nasal way ( whereas eg a 175 or 335 sounds midrangey in a good way IMO)

  16. #15

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    I think there's a few things conspiring here to produce a tone that I don't enjoy. Amp, pickup selection and EQ mainly, but also look where she's picking compared to the guy.

    Like Lawson, I have to think that I could get a more pleasing-to-me tone out of that guitar. It might not be thru the same amp. (is it marshall?)

  17. #16

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    Just an observation: the phone's mic is obviously picking up a lot more of the full hollow body's acoustic tone than the semi's.

  18. #17

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    EQ pedal m8. Boss GE7 is fine.

    Also notice where she is picking. You get a warmer sound over the neck pickup. I think she likes the cut, but I don’t think the guitar helps in this case. Force of habit maybe; She plays different guitars normally?

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    It sounds like a bridge pickup because that's what is in use. Notice the selector switch pointing down. A bridge pickup is always going to sound trebly, regardless of the amp, strings, guitar, or anything else.
    The switch is not pointing down but "forward" indicating neck pickup. That sound does seem to me like a neck pickup, not brassy or twangy enough for a bridge pu.
    Last edited by lawson-stone; 01-01-2021 at 06:17 PM.

  20. #19

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    I hear the tone as having a component of "thud".

    1. Go to neck pickup

    2. See if dialing down the treble helps.

    3. Turn the amp up and pick more softly. If that helps, redo the setup, you're fretting out.

    4. If those were flats, go to rounds.

    5. Add a little reverb.

    6. It reminds me just a bit of the sound of my D'angelico EXDC, which could sound a little lifeless in the middle of the neck. I think that was the construction of the guitar rather than anything adjustable. To be fair, it sounded terrific in the upper register, thick, warm and clear.

  21. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    Here is a better recording of a demo of that guitar.

    Nice tone.

  22. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    It sounds like a bridge pickup because that's what is in use. Notice the selector switch pointing down. A bridge pickup is always going to sound trebly, regardless of the amp, strings, guitar, or anything else.
    To me it's not got quite the picky harshness of a bridge pu. Could be both together which can do some detrimental cancellation of certain frequencies. Again to me some guitars are affected by it more than others.

  23. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Franz 1997
    I'd call the tone nasal; as someone said, a "phone tone". I don't like it. But I guess the key question is, as above, can it be dialled out? I'd say not; a good amp with sophisticated tone controls ( as in eg Acoustic Image, Hendriksen, Evans) can do a lot to mitigate it, but I don't think you can ever get rid of it.

    In fairness , it's difficult to tell from the vid; she might have been plugged into a SS Marshall amp with bass set at zero and midrange at max, for all we know; that would make even an L5 sound bad. At least, to me.

    As a general rule, and with exceptions no doubt, cheaper hollow guitars will tend to sound more mid-rangey in a nasal way ( whereas eg a 175 or 335 sounds midrangey in a good way IMO)
    Yes, there is a nasal quality. Interesting regarding good and bad midrange. What's the determining factor? An Eq pedal as suggested is possibly a good idea.

  24. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Peter C
    Just an observation: the phone's mic is obviously picking up a lot more of the full hollow body's acoustic tone than the semi's.
    I sometimes find that off putting when playing plugged in at home - too much acoustic sound.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by garybaldy
    Yes, there is a nasal quality. Interesting regarding good and bad midrange. What's the determining factor? An Eq pedal as suggested is possibly a good idea.
    My own thought-I would not buy a guitar that "needed" an EQ pedal just so as not to sound awful. The guitar and a solid amp ought to sound excellent before it's taken home. Any adjustments should be fine-tuning, not rehab.

  26. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Franz 1997
    I'd call the tone nasal; as someone said, a "phone tone". I don't like it.

    As a general rule, and with exceptions no doubt, cheaper hollow guitars will tend to sound more mid-rangey in a nasal way ( whereas eg a 175 or 335 sounds midrangey in a good way IMO)
    As it happens I have just got my latest acquisition set up and playable. It's a 175 cheap copy which had a slightly off centre tailpiece, huge relief and horrendous strings. The tailpiece has been adjusted (albeit slightly more adjustment may be carried out it due course - don't ask!!). The neck is now pretty much straight and it has new Chrome 12s. It is constructed with a sound post and no bracing. I think it is one of those exceptions! As well as having a great feel, good Intonation and excellent tuning stability, it has none of that nasal, boxy honk. I also have a budget 125 copy and again with sound post and no bracing which is almost as good. My other 2 archtops which do exhibit a slight boxiness are my EEJP and an EER copy by Fenix. These two are fully hollow, have parallel bracing, kerfing and no post. Not what I would have expected. Cheers.How would you describe this tone?-20210101_155037-jpg

  27. #26

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    I suspect that's just her sound. It may be what she likes. It's just a matter of taste. I wouldn't buy nor reject the guitar based solely on that clip. I think Tal would have sounded like Tal on it, and she may sound like that on an L5 through a Polytone. Who knows? It's just one clip via a phone.

  28. #27

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    To me it sounds (and looks) like she is picking closer to the bridge than I am used to. Loses some warmth with that approach. Doesn't sound like a bridge pickup, just sounds like picking closer to the bridge.

  29. #28

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    I've carefully listened the recording with both my trusted two headphones.

    Although it is not even a "home studio" level recording, way enough good to get the characteristics of the two guitars sound, what is the OP purpose.

    My very first experience: The girl rocks, tone primarily comes from her hand. The guitar is closer to the cheap side, no question, and its boxy sound matter of taste, but I can like both boxy and the opposite openend sounds too, so I really enjoyed that mainly acoustic boxy and dry sound.

    I do not hear any chorus, maybe when the two musicians play in unisono, that could mislead the listeners. I do not even hear much amplification, the sound is very dry and acoustic. That boxyness is the acoustic characteristic of the guitar not an EQ, very similar to Epi Joe Pass. The great attack is coming from picking a bit closer from the bridge.

    I've found the girl's sound very inspiring, and interesting. Not boring at all. As opposite, the boy's sound is a canned, boring, plinky with no character a really "avoid to" for me. Although tastes are different, and our preferred sound may vary a very vide scale from dry to extremely reverbed or from open to boxy or from L5 to Tele, etc this mojo (if you like it) is not coming from the guitar, instead from her hand.

    I would give up my all guitars from that hand. (well all, but except one :-) (or two). ...or... I do not give up any of my guitars, and as a new year's resolution I practice way more to get that sound :-)
    Last edited by Gabor; 01-02-2021 at 03:30 AM.

  30. #29

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    More than the tone, it's the rhytmic placement of the 2 players that strikes me. She has a great time feel, laid back as I like it. He is more rushing and I don't like this much. She is also developping great ideas in fewer notes than him. She is an extremely promising player, for sure!

    Cheers.

  31. #30

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    She plays much better time for sure. The other guy doesn’t sound like he’s playing with her at all, but she projects a pocket really clearly.

  32. #31
    Partly low quality recording equipment.

  33. #32

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    I would describe the tone as "boxy," as others have said. I don't necessarily mind other people sounding like that but I hate it when I sound like that. On the other hand, as others have pointed out, she plays quite well. She's got a good groove and time, plays with melodic ideas rather than just playing scales or licks, is clearly attending to the person she's playing with rather than just playing simultaneously with someone.

    And, the forum being what it is, I would not be surprised if somebody here knows her quite well.