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> Buying The Right Guitar
Todd Simpson
post Aug 10 2012, 12:18 AM
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This thread will talk about Buying The Right Guitar ( For You and Your Style of Play)

As I'm often heard bangin on saying "There's no Best anything." Just what's best for you. So let's see if we can work out some details to help you make your decision. First up!

FRETBOARD WOOD CHOICES

The choice of wood has a real impact on the tonal structure of an instrument IMHO (Though it's only one of many factors that give a guitar it's "Tone"), and should not be taken granted when considering a purchase. Don't choose a fretboard wood simply because "it looks cool", but also because it "Sounds Cool!" smile.gif

Your main choices are

EBONY, MAPLE, and ROSEWOOD

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Ebony Fretboards

Ebony is known for its clear, crisp attack which is often even brighter than maple. It has a similar density to maple, but has oilier pores and more brittle grains. Due to the very tight grains in the wood, ebony does not require a finish and this gives the fingerboard a very slick, fast playing quality which many players favor.

Although many variations exist, ebony is generally the darkest fretboard wood you will find on most guitars, making it very popular on guitars designed for heavier music where everything must be black! Although rosewood can also be dyed to give a darker finish it is easy to spot the difference between the two woods due to the size of the grain which is much larger on the rosewood.

Ebony fretboards are generally favoured by guitarists who prefer a very bright, razor sharp top end or a very tight, well-defined low end.

Variations : Gaboon Ebony, Macassar Ebony

Maple Fretboards

Maple is similar to ebony in that it produces a well-defined, crisp and bright sound. It is a very dense, strong wood which is more often than not found on Fender guitars.


However unlike ebony and rosewood, maple does require a finish. This means that any maple fingerboard which has received a glossy finish can feel a little too sticky for some players – however satin finishes are also available. A further problem with maple is that due its light color it does tend to take on a dirty appearance after years of finger oils and grime working their way into the wood.

Maple fretboards are generally favored by players who wish for a well-defined top end, or for use in giving a warm sounding guitar a much brighter tone.

Variations : Flamed Maple, Quilted Maple, Birdseye Maple, Hard Maple

Rosewood Fretboards


Rosewood is the most common fretboard wood that you are likely to find on a guitar. It is a naturally oily wood which results in a richer fundamental tone than maple due to the unwanted overtones being absorbed into the oily pores. The oily nature of rosewood also means that it does not require a finish which many players prefer due to the naturally slick feel.

While ebony and maple are famed for their brighter, crisper tones, rosewood is known for its rich, warm tones with less high end attack.

Rosewood fretboards are generally favored by players who are looking for a warm sound, or by those who wish to tame the harsh highs on a bright sounding guitar.

Variations : Indian Rosewood, Brazilian Rosewood

*Try to play guitars with each type of wood before you make your final decision smile.gif

Taken from

http://leftyfretz.com/guitar-fretboard-wood-choices/


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Nihilist1
post Aug 10 2012, 12:57 AM
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I have to give Pau Ferro an honourable mention! It is a wood that I was first introduced to when I tried a Guthrie Govan signature Suhr guitar. It even had stainless steel frets. Beneath is a good example of what the grain looks like before the fret wires are added to the board:



Aside from the beautiful looks, it is equipped with a bit more bite than your standard Rosewood. It fits perfectly between Rosewood and Maple in fact. It has a slightly brighter attack than Rosewood, but is VERY balanced and rounded when compared to Maple.

It also has the added bonus of a grain with less pores than the average Rosewood neck -- which makes it feel a bit more like ebony than Rosewood. If I ever had a custom guitar made, Pau Ferro would be my Fretboard of choice.

cool.gif


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Mudbone
post Aug 10 2012, 05:09 AM
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I like maple for two reasons - for the look and the sound. I don't know how to explain it, but the lighter color of maple makes me feel more comfortable playing. Maybe its because I always play at night and maple is easier to see laugh.gif Plus I'm the type of person thats aware of how sensitive we as humans are to colors, don't know if thats a good or bad thing. Aside from that, I like the sound of maple, it has a "spank" that the other woods don't have. The notes seem to "pop" more when you play harder.

As far as tactile feel, I prefer worn-in rosewood. Its easy on the skin and a bit softer than the other woods. If rosewood had the same color and tone as maple it would be perfect biggrin.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Aug 11 2012, 01:50 AM
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Certainly looks spiff!

QUOTE (Nihilist1 @ Aug 9 2012, 07:57 PM) *
I have to give Pau Ferro an honourable mention! It is a wood that I was first introduced to when I tried a Guthrie Govan signature Suhr guitar. It even had stainless steel frets. Beneath is a good example of what the grain looks like before the fret wires are added to the board:



Aside from the beautiful looks, it is equipped with a bit more bite than your standard Rosewood. It fits perfectly between Rosewood and Maple in fact. It has a slightly brighter attack than Rosewood, but is VERY balanced and rounded when compared to Maple.

It also has the added bonus of a grain with less pores than the average Rosewood neck -- which makes it feel a bit more like ebony than Rosewood. If I ever had a custom guitar made, Pau Ferro would be my Fretboard of choice.

cool.gif



Everyone has their FAV of course smile.gif And usually for good reasons! I'm a fan of ROSEWOOD but thats probably because my 2 fav guitars (Ibanez RG560, RG7321)




QUOTE (Mudbone @ Aug 10 2012, 12:09 AM) *
I like maple for two reasons - for the look and the sound. I don't know how to explain it, but the lighter color of maple makes me feel more comfortable playing. Maybe its because I always play at night and maple is easier to see laugh.gif Plus I'm the type of person thats aware of how sensitive we as humans are to colors, don't know if thats a good or bad thing. Aside from that, I like the sound of maple, it has a "spank" that the other woods don't have. The notes seem to "pop" more when you play harder.

As far as tactile feel, I prefer worn-in rosewood. Its easy on the skin and a bit softer than the other woods. If rosewood had the same color and tone as maple it would be perfect biggrin.gif



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wish to shred
post Aug 24 2012, 09:19 AM
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QUOTE (Mudbone @ Aug 10 2012, 04:09 AM) *
I like maple for two reasons - for the look and the sound. I don't know how to explain it, but the lighter color of maple makes me feel more comfortable playing. Maybe its because I always play at night and maple is easier to see laugh.gif Plus I'm the type of person thats aware of how sensitive we as humans are to colors, don't know if thats a good or bad thing. Aside from that, I like the sound of maple, it has a "spank" that the other woods don't have. The notes seem to "pop" more when you play harder.

As far as tactile feel, I prefer worn-in rosewood. Its easy on the skin and a bit softer than the other woods. If rosewood had the same color and tone as maple it would be perfect biggrin.gif


my favorite would definitely be rosewood i find it more forgiving when doing high pitched bends, they don't sound quite as shrill.
i would love to see the same thing as this writeup for guitar bodies as well. Excellent read!
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Fran
post Aug 24 2012, 12:53 PM
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Both are nice, but I prefer maple on strats.


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tjneal55
post Aug 25 2012, 11:58 AM
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What are your thoughts on string and pick gauge?
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Todd Simpson
post Sep 1 2012, 08:29 AM
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QUOTE (tjneal55 @ Aug 25 2012, 06:58 AM) *
What are your thoughts on string and pick gauge?


It's like everything else. Entirely up to the musician and prone to a subject with 100 different people saying 100 different things. But that's pretty much what happens in most forums where people are passionate about a given topic.

For me personally? I like Super Slinky 9 sets. But some folks HATE them. But that's generally the case with most things I've found. Some folks love thick picks, (like me) some folks can barely play with thick picks. Some folks love heavy strings, some folks (like me) can barely play with heavy strings.

So as far as playing my particular way, I like 1.5mm picks sharpened to a fine point. (Some folks rub them on carpet but personally that never gave me enough precision so I actually carve mine with knife or buy them sharp from the factory like vpick switchblades) and 9 gauges super slink strings.

If you have yet to settle on pick/string combo, try that one. You may find it really helps you. Then again, you may find you love thin picks and 12 gauge strings smile.gif


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Slavenko Erazer
post Sep 1 2012, 10:08 AM
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Greatest post on GMC Todd, i'm tracking it!!!
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SpaseMoonkey
post Sep 1 2012, 12:04 PM
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QUOTE (tjneal55 @ Aug 25 2012, 06:58 AM) *
What are your thoughts on string and pick gauge?

Do you like chocolate or vanilla ice cream? laugh.gif

It's an age old question that no one can answer because everyone has a different feel towards.

Like how Todd uses super slinkys, I actually use hybrid slinkys due to the extra tension in my lows. But then I also use 10s anymore for standard playing, haven't noticed to much of a change. But could be the guitar scale causing the difference in feelings. I can say I really enjoy the ernie ball cobalt strings for a brand. I've used D'Addarios all my life till these came out, which I'd love to see them make a 13g set so I can tune to C standard.

Picks, this is like a needle in a haystack for me. I've used gator grips, to tortext, jazz III, sharp XL, switchblade (Buffed/Non-Buffed), stilettos, triangles. Anywhere from I could snap them in half by bending them, all the way to as thick as coins. I'm in the middle road with these. I use somewhere around a 1.5mm pick and use a combination of Dunlop Sharp XLs and V-Pick Switchblades (Buffed). D


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Todd Simpson
post Sep 2 2012, 05:28 AM
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QUOTE (SpaseMoonkey @ Sep 1 2012, 07:04 AM) *
Do you like chocolate or vanilla ice cream? laugh.gif

It's an age old question that no one can answer because everyone has a different feel towards.

Like how Todd uses super slinkys, I actually use hybrid slinkys due to the extra tension in my lows. But then I also use 10s anymore for standard playing, haven't noticed to much of a change. But could be the guitar scale causing the difference in feelings. I can say I really enjoy the ernie ball cobalt strings for a brand. I've used D'Addarios all my life till these came out, which I'd love to see them make a 13g set so I can tune to C standard.

Picks, this is like a needle in a haystack for me. I've used gator grips, to tortext, jazz III, sharp XL, switchblade (Buffed/Non-Buffed), stilettos, triangles. Anywhere from I could snap them in half by bending them, all the way to as thick as coins. I'm in the middle road with these. I use somewhere around a 1.5mm pick and use a combination of Dunlop Sharp XLs and V-Pick Switchblades (Buffed). D



Well said!!!! smile.gif It's that sort of question but it's an honest one. Everyone is different, and everyone has reasons for what they like. I wish I could just make that part of my signature file smile.gif

They Hybrid slinky packs are a great idea. Especially for playing dropo tunings on a standard guitar. For my 7 string, I still use standard 9 super slinky sets but packaged for 7 string.

We are also on the same page with picks. I've found 1.5 to be the "sweet spot" for me. And I was really glad to see Dunlop Sharps hitting the market smile.gif I've been banging on for years about picks needing a bit of a point and am thrilled to see the major vendors finally embracing the idea.

Good pick on the switchblade buffed! smile.gif Vinni made those available on his web site after I had some made and really loved them. Before that it was unbuffed only. He is a GREAT guy and really works with customers. I can't thank him enough!

Speaking of, I have found that I like the SWITCHBLADE BLACK in "Unbuffed" and "Extra Sharp". The extra sharp bit is not on the menu, but he will do it if asked. This is one of mine that I took after he sent me the first set of "Extra Sharp". The black material feels better unbuffed. I"m not sure quite why though? If you try them let me know if you can articulate what you think any better than that.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=353...5194&type=1

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