Guitars and Things with Strings


I bought a Schecter Omen 7 on eBay for $200. Spent another $130 on good pickups and spent a weekend setting it up. It rocks out with its cock out (but that’s about all it does).

Alternately, go to pawn shops with a wad of cash. There seems to be some sort of cosmic connection between people that play mid-to-low range 7 strings and people needing to pawn shit.


PSA: for anyone thinking of jumping on the G&L train, Musician’s Friend has their ASAT (tele style) on Stupid Deal of the Day for only $300. Cheaper than you can find used ones right now.


old nu-metalers needing cash???



I’m still waiting for the revival.


Oh god no!


waiting to do it all for the nookie again?


There seems to be lots of knowledge here, so I am going to ask something that’s been on my mind for a bit about guitar build.
So I now have 3 guitars, not counting at least that many that I’ve sold over the years.
2 are bolt on necks, one is set neck
2 have dark wood fingerboard (rose wood?)
2 have alder bodies, one is mohaganoy.

So some similarities, some obvious differences.

But they all sound very different, especially unplugged. But they also all sound great plugged but different obviously.

What’s everyone’s experience with build vs tone etc.
Not trying to open a can of worms but just want to hear people’s experience.


I think the more you amplify it, the less it matters. Wood properties mostly have to do with resonance - density, weight, etc. Resonance has very little impact on what the pickups pick up. There’s some harmonic content, but most of it is drowned out in the amplification process. Acoustic instruments are obviously much more influenced by material and resonance. The sound you hear with the guitar unplugged isn’t directly translated to the pickups.

I’d say a rough list of what influences tone would go something like:

  1. Play style - ie Van Halen sounds like Van Halen regardless of what he’s playing

  2. Set up - this will influence how you play (fretboard material might come into play here), as well as stuff like string action and pickup distance from the strings, intonation, etc

  3. Amp - an AC30 will never sound like a JCM, no matter how hard you try

  4. Rest of the signal chain - pedals, etc

  5. Pickups - kinda far down the list, but can have a decent influence on overall tone

  6. Materials - subtle, sometimes imperceptible differences

  7. 1000% oxygen free Hi-Fi audiophile cable from a boutique manufacturer

After years and years of playing lots of different guitars, I really think stuff like Alder vs Ash is more a psychosomatic thing with the player than a measurable difference once you apply the sort of amplification that modern guitarists use. Amps have a relatively narrow frequency bandwidth with massive high/low rolloff from the pickup impedance and preamp, so whatever shimmery highs and booming lows your wenge thru neck might have is going to get lost when you plug it in.

tl;dr - yes, materials can play a part in tone, but it’s a very, very small part that usually isn’t worth getting hung up on.


Tbh I am far from hung up, as I like all 3 a lot.
But my Ibanez is the quietest and plinkyest (is that even a thing) unplugged and also the brightest sounding with the same setup otherwise.
I just thought that was interesting. It’s also the only maple fingerboard, not sure that means anything.
But it’s the nicest to play in a lot of ways because of the feel of the neck, which in some ways is as important to me as tone, as you said that can easily be adjusted with pedals amps etc.
Curious what others experience is.


I’d be interested to know what the pickup and setup differences are between them. I’d guess that the Ibanez has pickups that are geared towards midrange/highs, and likely has decently low action. Also, are the string gauges the same across the board? Heavier strings can absolutely produce a ‘bigger’ tone.

Regardless, I think the cool thing about acoustic instruments (electrified or not) is how their sound and feel are the sum of a lot of different things, enough things that they’re each their own animals. It’s awesome that you can pick up guitar after guitar until ‘that one’ jumps out at you. And while I don’t think wood has much influence over amplified tone, I’m a sucker for a quilted maple top, and guitars can be works of craftsmanship and art as much as they can be workhorse instruments. I think playing something you like can absolutely make you play better, and that certainly does have an influence on tone.


Right, I lied, the Ibanez has 11s on it as opposed to 10s on the other 2, simply cuz it’s tuned a whole step down to D standard.
And it has their semi proprietary pickups made by Dimarzio. As opposed to more classic pickup types I guess, so that’s an obvious factor especially considering Ibanez typical market (although I don’t agree that they are only a metal type guitar at all, that seems to be their angle).
I have my action set quite low generally on all 3 tho.

Yeah, they definitely all have a character imo, and while it’s very possible it’s an image thing more than anything else (thx mtv) I feel there’s different things that each are more suited to.


Scale length, pickup type, pickup height even, have bigger impacts on the sound than the wood for an electric. Acoustic of course a whole other story.

I messed with people on a guitar forum years ago on this debate, saying my guitars with different wood and but the same pickups sounded very different. Posted some clips. People pretty uniformly confirmed their biases based on my clips. The clips were actually all the exact same guitar simply picked in a different spot i.e. closer to the neck or the bridge.

Not that they dont have subtle differences. There are just huge overlapping timbres you can get from most solid electric guitars.


I beg to differ sir.
you can put pearly gates pickups in a stratocaster.
.10’s and same will not sound like a les paul.
vice versa single coils in a les paul will not sound like a strat.
i have played for many years.i have owned countless guitars.
the wood does affect make a guitar out of oak,
what will it sound like? probably like is why some woods are better tone woods.
yes that is a thing.Red alder has a different sound than say ash.i have had strats with both.
by far i preferred alder.with texas specials and a maple neck.
pickups also make difference,as well as amp choice.however if you can’t hear the difference,
have your ears checked.not being an ass,just i can hear the difference.
you probably dont remember the days of cheap guitars made with plywood,
gawd awful.that being said,as said above,action height,strings,pickups,bridge,neck,even the nut all
make subtle but noticeable changes to tone.
my 2 cents.ROCK ON!


So this ugly thing showed up last week and it’s all kinds of awesome:

It’s kind of fucking with my head, though, because it makes playing any of my other guitars extremely weird. They just feel so puny in my hands and sound so tinny. The Sidejack just sounds so thick and resonant. It was definitely a good move and I’m enjoying playing it more than I ever did my 7 string. And because of longer scale length and thicker strings, the low B is so tight and not flabby like on the Ibby. The P90s sound great on it.

Pretty satisfied with all my flavors right now. The GAS monster has been satiated.


Nice Avatar cab. v30?


No, I went with a Greenback. It just sounded more appealing to me based on the shootouts I’ve heard. I like it a lot as is. But I’m also actively breaking it in by running a guitar loop fairly loud from my computer for a couple of hours every day while I’m out, so might like it even better in about a month.


I played with a guy recently that had a XXX head. Great sounding and SO loud. Poor mans triple rectifier?


I slapped a Celestion V Type speaker into the Bandit 65 i have, made it so much better and way less honky sounding.


It is sort of Peavey’s answer to the Dual Rec. I’ve got one too.