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Gear Disses that Need To Die
#3064081 09/28/20 02:00 PM
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But who is number 1 ? ...
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We've all heard them and sometimes used them. A one-line response to a gear review, or gear thread on a forum, that dismisses the piece of equipment in question based on one issue, often subjective. I'll start:

"Yeah but the converters suck."

Know what I mean? What are some of your "favorites" or most infamous?


"I'm just a confused musician who got sidetracked into this damned word business..." -Hunter S. Thompson

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Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Stephen Fortner #3064106 09/28/20 03:54 PM
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"Good for the money, but . . . . . "

Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Stephen Fortner #3064113 09/28/20 04:24 PM
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Ha! Great topic!! There will be gnashing of teeth and rending of sackcloth.
I am going to go with the thread title, many of the gear disses I've heard were out in the real world rather than on the interwebz or in print. Bearing in mind I am a guitar player and infractions are many. I'd say go to Guitar Center and hang out for a bit but we can't really do that now - at least not up here in Bellingham. Inevitably, guitarists will test an amp by surfing the incredibly bad presets while playing one or two of the five or six licks they can sort of pull off, kinda. If you can get enough of them going at once it is truly a lovely sound. Reviews often complain about amps and their tones and you have to wonder if they ever dial anything in.

There is an archaic idea that will not die that the starting point for making a guitar amp sound good is to place all the knobs at noon. Back in the days when relatively low output pickups were standard and everybody used a Fender amp there was some truth to this, as long as it was a smaller amp. Even back then "nooning" a Fender Twin would make poodles stick to the ceiling in terror - loud and shrill.

Deeply connected to that absurdity is the guitarist who is way too loud and when the soundman tells them to turn their amp way down, protests "I can't get my tone unless I have my amp turned up." I've told such creatures "You don't have a tone, your amp does." That's always popular. "Get a smaller amp and turn this one down NOW." is beloved of all such guitarists. I witnessed a soundman friend of mine go up to a keyboard player one time and say "Turn your amp down or I will break your spine." That was effective, he was a large, scary looking individual - don't try this at home!!!!

The seemingly universal disdain for Peavey gear. Not everything they make is great but there is so much bang for the buck under that trademark it is amazing. Yes, most of the speakers they put in their guitar amps are not great. Yes (just like almost everybody else), most of their presets are horrible. NO, do not turn all the knobs to noon. It won't work out so well...

OK, written word. I would like to hear more technical terms - be specific. Even Tape Op reviews do this and I like that publication. It is true that we don't always have "correct terms" for some of the sounds that we hear. I am certainly guilty of some of these gaffes. Technically speaking, how would you describe some terms? I read a review some time back comparing 2 ribbon mics made by the same company and declaring that the more expensive of the two mics had a "euphonious" sound. What exactly is "euphonious"? Does it mean that all the angels heard the tones and just pooped themselves? Maybe it's hard to describe in technical terms or just doesn't sound as good if you use those terms? I've used that term myself so not really pointing any fingers.

I will watch this thread, should be fun!!!! Cheers, Kuru

Last edited by KuruPrionz; 09/28/20 04:25 PM.

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Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Stephen Fortner #3064119 09/28/20 05:18 PM
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The DX7 - always dissed because of ONE patch. One out of something like infinity squared.

nat

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Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Stephen Fortner #3064123 09/28/20 05:43 PM
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“Those speakers are only really good for rock” *

My response is usually to ask what kind of TV they use to watch comedies. poke

dB




* or any limited audio genre(s).

Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Grave Bryce #3064135 09/28/20 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Bryce
“Those speakers are only really good for rock” *

My response is usually to ask what kind of TV they use to watch comedies. poke

dB




* or any limited audio genre(s).

Nice one! Our bassist subscribes to "Guitar Porn" - Guitar Player, Vintage Guitar and Bass Player. He gives them to me after he's done reading them and I pass them along when I am done.

So many guitar and pedal reviews saying "this would be a great choice for bla bla bla."

Kind of like the time I showed up to a rock gig with a Tele and one of the band members looked at me funny and said "We don't play any country tunes..."
Well foof, somebody should have told Steve Morse that when I saw him play with the Dregs.


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Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Stephen Fortner #3064136 09/28/20 06:39 PM
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"Turn you amp down or I will break your spine".....Yep, I had a sound guy say that to me once........once.......

Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Stephen Fortner #3064139 09/28/20 06:58 PM
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"This is a lame software update, there's nothing that interests me."

Translation #1: This doesn't have my pet feature I've been complaining about in forums for TWO YEARS now! When are they going to listen to me?
Translation #2: Well, I didn't read ALL the release notes...I mean, it's got lots of words and stuff.

Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Stephen Fortner #3064140 09/28/20 07:01 PM
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"I can't believe the software requires a 64-bit operating system. I'm appalled that companies show such disdain for their customers."

[doesn't realize people with 32-bit systems are 1.2% of the user base]

Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Stephen Fortner #3064141 09/28/20 07:03 PM
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"It's clearly not suitable for my needs"

[usually with the implication that the needs are sooo special, and so demanding, that mere mortals cannot comprehend the roadblocks this puts up in front of the person busily creating a masterpiece that is destined to become the greatest achievement in the history of western civilization. Curiously, this person never posts links to his music.]

Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Stephen Fortner #3064143 09/28/20 07:33 PM
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General MIDI sounds suck.

General MIDI has no sound, just suggested patch numbers for a set of common patch names.


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Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Notes_Norton #3064151 09/28/20 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Notes_Norton
General MIDI sounds suck.

General MIDI has no sound, just suggested patch numbers for a set of common patch names.

Good catch!

Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Stephen Fortner #3064172 09/28/20 10:38 PM
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It sounds like a VST.

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Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Stephen Fortner #3064185 09/29/20 01:22 AM
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It's an amp that doesn't take pedals well.

Isn't that like saying "it doesn't sound good indoors"? Indoors where? Every indoors everywhere? Which pedal(s) does it not take well? All pedals ever made?? No good with fuzz and delay and reverb and chorus and overdrive and treble boost and phasers and flangers and buffers and uni-vibe and wah and EQ and compressors and octavers and vibrato and loopers and pitch shifters and preamps and talk boxes and harmonizers and filter envelopes and tremolo and and and and and....

nat

Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Nowarezman #3064187 09/29/20 01:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Nowarezman
It's an amp that doesn't take pedals well.

Isn't that like saying "it doesn't sound good indoors"? Indoors where? Every indoors everywhere? Which pedal(s) does it not take well? All pedals ever made?? No good with fuzz and delay and reverb and chorus and overdrive and treble boost and phasers and flangers and buffers and uni-vibe and wah and EQ and compressors and octavers and vibrato and loopers and pitch shifters and preamps and talk boxes and harmonizers and filter envelopes and tremolo and and and and and....

nat

Hah! I've seen/heard that before. It's stupid. But yeah, the little beat up little Crate amp that they wanted $20 for at the thrift store didn't take pedals well. Or guitars. Or anything. Because, it sucked...
Somebody else must have gotten it, gone. Ugh.


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Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Stephen Fortner #3064188 09/29/20 01:41 AM
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"I need to see the insides.. Oh, it uses surface mount parts.... I'd buy it if it was through-hole"

Every design engineer points out that the parts they use that are SMT are BETTER than the through-hole parts available.

Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Stephen Fortner #3064189 09/29/20 01:54 AM
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And in a related diss, "It's not hand-wired."

Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Anderton #3064192 09/29/20 02:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Nathanael_I
"I need to see the insides.. Oh, it uses surface mount parts.... I'd buy it if it was through-hole"

Every design engineer points out that the parts they use that are SMT are BETTER than the through-hole parts available.

Originally Posted by Anderton
And in a related diss, "It's not hand-wired."

^^^ Both of those and... "it's a starved plate design."
Well, yeah but how does it sound? The Blue Robbie I just got doesn't run the plates on the tube at high voltages but it does sound really nice to me.

The very first Mesa Boogie amp used a circuit board. ALL of them do. Cork sniffers hate that, even if they like the way they sound.
There is no circuitry to allow biasing of the tubes either. Instead they sell tubes that are tested to be within parameters. Not a perfect solution but the hand wired Red Plate Blues Machine I paid $1,500 for used went so far out of bias 15 minutes before start time at a New Years Eve gig that I switched back to a Peavey Studio Pro 112 Redstripe and sold the Red Plate. It only took 20-30 minutes at home, on the bench, with a meter etc. to get the Red Plate biased again but it wasn't time I had at the gig. Just played with crappy tone, so fun...


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Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Nowarezman #3064196 09/29/20 05:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Nowarezman
The DX7 - always dissed because of ONE patch. One out of something like infinity squared.

nat

Ironically, NOBODY actually used "E PIANO 1" as-is. Everything you heard on the '80s hit records was a slightly-tweaked variation of that sound (Mainly the Op 2 output level increased somewhat).

Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Notes_Norton #3064203 09/29/20 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Notes_Norton
General MIDI sounds suck.

General MIDI has no sound, just suggested patch numbers for a set of common patch names.

Literally this is true, but I think we all know what they are referring to. The Roland MT-32 pretty much defined the sounds for each of the 128 choices, and so for a company to create a GM soundset that customers thought "sounded good" playing back MIDI files, the new company had to pretty closely match the MT-32. So we ended up with a sea of products with a GM mode that were all trying to sound as close to the MT-32 without being sued...

Perhaps another reason for this perception was the fact that for GM you could only have Chorus and Reverb, so when compared to "regular" sounds that could have insert effects and more diversity in general, the GM sounds were plainer.

Oops, see, I just did it. Because what else are you going to call those 128 sounds? The sounds found in the GM sound bank?

idk

Jerry

Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Stephen Fortner #3064204 09/29/20 07:07 AM
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I'll offer this:

This virtual instrument doesn't sound anything like the classic instrument it is trying to emulate.

Sorry - too broad of a diss.

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Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Stephen Fortner #3064205 09/29/20 07:09 AM
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Another: why didn't they add feature/spec XX? It only costs a few cents/dollars. Or it's easy to do.

Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
jerrythek #3064221 09/29/20 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by jerrythek
Originally Posted by Notes_Norton
General MIDI sounds suck.

General MIDI has no sound, just suggested patch numbers for a set of common patch names.

Literally this is true, but I think we all know what they are referring to. The Roland MT-32 pretty much defined the sounds for each of the 128 choices, and so for a company to create a GM soundset that customers thought "sounded good" playing back MIDI files, the new company had to pretty closely match the MT-32. So we ended up with a sea of products with a GM mode that were all trying to sound as close to the MT-32 without being sued...

Perhaps another reason for this perception was the fact that for GM you could only have Chorus and Reverb, so when compared to "regular" sounds that could have insert effects and more diversity in general, the GM sounds were plainer.

Oops, see, I just did it. Because what else are you going to call those 128 sounds? The sounds found in the GM sound bank?

idk

Jerry
That's what I mean. (The MT32 is not GM BTW)

General MIDI simply designates the names of 128 patches. It doesn't even say what the voice is supposed to sound like. Atmosphere (100) on one synth can sound completely different on another. It's up to the synth manufacturer to determine what atmosphere sounds like.

I have GM patches that take plenty of continuous controllers, chorus, reverb, LFO, Sustain, Pan, Breath controller, Portamento, Brightness, Volume, Expression, Mod wheel, and so on. And I have others that are more limited. It depends on the synth maker, not the GM specifications.

I have a GM synth that by manipulating the MSB and LSB I can get 12 different 'clean guitar. sounds like Tele (front or back pup), Strat, 335, LP, and more, all with GM patch 28.

Both my Edirol SD90 and my Ketron SD2 have some fantastic General MIDI sounds (and some lesser ones as well).

MIDI has no sound. MIDI is the electronic fingers that play a synthesizer, and the synthesizer has sound. A good synth patch is good whether it is a GM patch number or not, and a bad patch sounds bad whether it is a GM patch number or not. Besides for that good or bad is actually in the ear of the listener. A lot of people like that DX7 extra bright Rhodes sound.

I still occasionally use a few TX81z and MT32 sounds because for the song I'm working on they sound perfect. Neither one is GM. I still use SC55 sounds that are GM. Plus I use other synths as well.

General MIDI sounds don't suck, because General MIDI has no sound - none - zero - zilch - nada. MIDI synthesizers have sounds, some good, some bad and it doesn't matter if the patch number coincides with the GM set or not.

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Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Stephen Fortner #3064223 09/29/20 02:49 PM
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Here is one I expect to be very controversial...

On a solid wood electric guitar, the tone is in the tone wood.

The sound generated by the pickups, if the pickups are acting properly has little or nothing to do with the wood.

The iron in the string disturbs the magnetic field created by the magnets which in turn generates a tiny electric current in the coil. Disturbing a magnetic field is the most common way to generate electricity and it's how your power company does it.

The wood is not magnetic and has nothing to do with this. You can't generate electricity with 'tone wood' and a properly functioning pickup is not a microphone. Take the strings off, shout into the pickup as loudly as you can and see if your voice is coming out of the amp.

The tone is affected by a lot of things, mostly the pickup design, after that string composition, string height, picking technique, fretting technique, scale length (to a lesser effect), and anything that effects the vibration of the strings in that magnetic field. A solid guitar might vibrate a bit, but probably a thousandth of a percent as much as the strings, and I leaned in electronics that anything less than 10% is for all practical purposes the same.

OK, I know this is controversial, so I'm ducking for cover.

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Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Stephen Fortner #3064230 09/29/20 04:11 PM
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"Overdrive" pedals.

Somewhere between 1974 and now the "overdrive" descriptor has been mutilated.

I'd like to hear Craig - the defacto OG pedal designer guy - chime in on this, but it's... interesting hearing people describe "what is an overdrive pedal?" these days.

"well, it's kinda, you know, more like a cranked amp tone", "it's like a, driven sound", etc. etc.

Meanwhile, they show their pedals board: the "overdrive" pedal set to unity in front of their digital delay pedal. Or, their "boost" pedal set to unity - in front of their chorus pedal.

I don't think people doing this have the intent of blasting the front of their Boss DD3 with voltage, and I think people have very little awareness of the Dawning Age of Distorted Guitar where a treble booster was literally meant to distort the front of the GUITAR AMP. There seems to be very few people that are actually OVER DRIVING their amp.


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Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Stephen Fortner #3064231 09/29/20 04:15 PM
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(Conversely to the above)

"It's not a real tube amp because it has an IC in it".

Says the guy standing in front of his pedal board with the Tubescreamer turned on. Instead say "I don't like it because I can't overdrive the first tube stage" or something, but don't say you don't want an IC inside your amp, when your sound doesn't know that your IC based pedal is in or outside your amp!

"Bah, it's digital"

Says the guy standing in front of his true bypass-but AD/DA when turned on pedal.

Last edited by Chip McDonald; 09/29/20 04:23 PM.

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Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Stephen Fortner #3064233 09/29/20 04:19 PM
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"Yeah, but it's a stolen design from (boutique Tubscreamer clone maker)"

"Yeah, but it's a ripoff of a Fender (whatever amp)"


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Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Stephen Fortner #3064235 09/29/20 04:22 PM
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"It's not really a Dumble"
"It's kind of a Dumble sound"
"it doesn't sound like a Dumble"

.... it doesn't sound like which Dumble? Have you played through a Dumble? What EXACTLY is the "Dumble sound" from a circuit point of view? Whose Dumble?


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Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Notes_Norton #3064246 09/29/20 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Notes_Norton
Here is one I expect to be very controversial...

On a solid wood electric guitar, the tone is in the tone wood.

The sound generated by the pickups, if the pickups are acting properly has little or nothing to do with the wood.

The iron in the string disturbs the magnetic field created by the magnets which in turn generates a tiny electric current in the coil. Disturbing a magnetic field is the most common way to generate electricity and it's how your power company does it.

The wood is not magnetic and has nothing to do with this. You can't generate electricity with 'tone wood' and a properly functioning pickup is not a microphone. Take the strings off, shout into the pickup as loudly as you can and see if your voice is coming out of the amp.

The tone is affected by a lot of things, mostly the pickup design, after that string composition, string height, picking technique, fretting technique, scale length (to a lesser effect), and anything that effects the vibration of the strings in that magnetic field. A solid guitar might vibrate a bit, but probably a thousandth of a percent as much as the strings, and I leaned in electronics that anything less than 10% is for all practical purposes the same.

OK, I know this is controversial, so I'm ducking for cover.

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You are not correct but don't be afraid!!
No, it is not controversial at all. The facts are known by many. There are always those who exaggerate these facts and their significance, regardless of topic. Many grains of salt need to be taken.
The wood IS a factor but it is one of many and usually not the most prominent one unless the guitars are otherwise identical.

Ive been playing, repairing and even building guitars for over 50 years (I'm 65 and started playing when I was 14).
There are MANY factors that affect the tone of all guitar, some of them are subtle but they do exist. As a beginning point I will mention all of the headstock tuners that work by picking up the vibrations of the strings at the end of the headstock. They could not do that if the neck material was not capable of transmitting vibration. Transmitting vibration indicates that there is resonance.

"Resonance" is simply another way of saying "robbing the strings of energy". A Gibson SG is much more resonant than an ash-bodied Telecaster with a maple neck. You can put your hand on any part of an SG guitar, strike the low E string vigorously and you will feel that vibration. This resonance does vary by frequency and different pieces of wood will affect those frequencies differently, some certainly less than others. It can be subtle to the point of absurdity, UNLESS somebody plays really loud - then it can become noticeable. Unlike us sensible old-timers, lots of players crank up to ridiculous levels. I did, decades ago - Mesa half stack!!!

There are absolutely other factors at play, which muddies the waters considerably. The design, tolerances and materials the bridge is made of certainly make a big difference in the tone of a guitar. So does the strength of the magnets in the pickups.

Let's talk extremes to exaggerate my point. Take a banjo and a Les Paul. The banjo is extremely "resonant", it robs the strings of energy pretty efficiently. It is loud and has very little sustain. The frequency response is quite uneven. A Les Paul (depending on the bridge used) is not very resonant and the strings ring longer and more evenly since specific frequencies are not drained more than others.

The bridges I mention on a Les Paul? The original Tune-O-Matic bridges used a "spring" (bent piece of guitar string as far as I can tell) to keep the individual, adjustable saddles from falling out of the bridge when a string breaks. You have a contact point with a fugitive thread on one end and "sort of held in place" on the other. Guess what? String energy is lost to the saddle assembly "rattling around" in it's housing. Later Les Paul bridges were made by Schaller (and now by who knows?) and secure the saddles tightly. Resonance is diminished. This whole "locking bridge" thing that appears to be recent? I've got an 86 ES 335 with a rare Schecter Tri-Lock bridge - each saddle has opposing screws adjusted from each side and is FIRMLY locked in place. I modified it slightly and it has been bolted in place with intonation set for 10-46 strings since about 1989. I've never adjusted it, still perfect. That made a significant increase in sustain and eveness - certainly aspects of tone and NOT just the pickups.

The floating bridges of vintage Fender Jazzmasters and Jaguars are tone-suck monsters, so are the cam operated Kahler vibratos. The first iteration of the Floyd Rose vibrato system did not have fine tuners and it provides as close to a pure string tone as a vibrato bar can muster. Lots of bridges fall somewhere in between.

If you have a vintage Strat or one of the newer ones with the Vintage Noiseless (STRONG magnets), I can make your guitar unplayable by raising the pickups up to the point where the magnetic field is so strong that the part of the string over the pickups is "dragged" to a lower pitch. Now when you play higher on the neck you will hear "wolf tones", a wrong note fighting with the right note. It is not pretty at all and yes, that IS the pickups making a change for the worse. Lower them down or switch to low magnetic field pickups like Lace Sensors or EMGs and the problem is solved.

The neck joint, where and how the headstock joins, the fretwire and fingerboard wood, the thickness of the body and the routing (including it's location) all make subtle differences. The string choice can make quite a difference depending on choice.

Ignoring any of these factors and focusing just on the woods used is a fallacy, I agree. Still, if you change the body of a P-Bass from ash to alder (I've done this a few times and in both directions) it absolutely will change the tone of the instrument.

So, there you have it. Been there, done that. Cheers, Kuru


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Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Stephen Fortner #3064291 09/29/20 11:45 PM
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Its not a traditional keyboard diss as discussed, but I did once buy a used Korg Poly800 II from a very honest biker, a notably decent pal of a pal. He said "It works, but I don't know sh*t about it and it sounds like sh*t through my guitar amp. It also reeks of cigs and weed, so its right up your alley. $100 and its yours." hugegrin laugh

Well, it ran at 100% like a boss for about a year and then I sold it to an even newer newbie for $50, who was elated. Its the Circle of Synths.

Its also why I nearly got a Korg tattoo. rawk


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Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Anderton #3064292 09/29/20 11:48 PM
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[doesn't realize people with 32-bit systems are 1.2% of the user base][/quote]

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Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
jerrythek #3064296 09/29/20 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by jerrythek
I'll offer this:

This virtual instrument doesn't sound anything like the classic instrument it is trying to emulate.

Sorry - too broad of a diss.

No, its on-point due to excessive frequency. My 2 cents: I got to play Arturia's CS80v through a pair of JBL Eons and by damn, it had the same feel as the 2x I got to play real CS80s. Can you say 'lush & thunderous?' I don't believe that a lot of complainers HAVE played the real thing(s) much or they'd STFU. I'm just glad players of software EPs don't seem to get in a snit over the range of options. That's what B-3 players are for. duck Heh heh....


"I’m thinking of writing a cookbook.
I’ve got the title.
'Dark Side of the Spoon!'"
~ Nick Mason, drummer for Pink Floyd

https://soundcloud.com/david-emm-1
Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
David Eek #3064410 09/30/20 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by David Emm
Originally Posted by jerrythek
I'll offer this:

This virtual instrument doesn't sound anything like the classic instrument it is trying to emulate.

Sorry - too broad of a diss.

No, its on-point due to excessive frequency.

...especially when it comes to amp sims, because even the physical amps often sound different from each other - different production runs, parts substitutions, etc. Companies like Line 6 usually get a bunch of something like an AC30, and choose their favorite.

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Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Stephen Fortner #3064411 09/30/20 10:51 PM
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Thanks Kuru,

So that leads me to think, does the wood and other non magnetic factors of the build of the guitar affect the tone, the sustain, or both?

And if I had identical strats, with everything adjusted the same except one made out basswood and one made out of swamp ash, would the average listener be able to hear a difference?

Not trying to be argumentative, just trying to understand.

Notes

Last edited by Notes_Norton; 09/30/20 11:02 PM.

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Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Notes_Norton #3064413 09/30/20 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Notes_Norton
Thanks Kuru,

So that leads me to think, does the wood and other non magnetic factors of the build of the guitar affect the tone, the sustain, or both?

Sure - density of the wood, amount of wood, tailpiece, bridge, nut, even the tuning pegs.

Quote
And if I had identical strats, with everything adjusted the same except one made out basswood and one made out of swamp ash, would the average listener be able to hear a difference?

Are they really identical? You could have two made out of the same wood and they'll sound different because it's a different piece of wood.

What's an average listener? Some might be able to hear a difference. An average listener wouldn't care.

Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Mike Rivers #3064423 10/01/20 12:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
Originally Posted by Notes_Norton
Thanks Kuru,

So that leads me to think, does the wood and other non magnetic factors of the build of the guitar affect the tone, the sustain, or both?

Sure - density of the wood, amount of wood, tailpiece, bridge, nut, even the tuning pegs.

Quote
And if I had identical strats, with everything adjusted the same except one made out basswood and one made out of swamp ash, would the average listener be able to hear a difference?

Are they really identical? You could have two made out of the same wood and they'll sound different because it's a different piece of wood.

What's an average listener? Some might be able to hear a difference. An average listener wouldn't care.

Yeah, the vibration of the strings is definitely what is translated into the tiny electric current via the pickups - but - the string vibrations are not just caused by the pick or finger action. The wood vibrations (which vary tremendously between hollow/semi-hollow/ and solid body guitars) are fed back into the strings via the nut and the bridge. The pickups themselves are vibrating a tiny amount from being attached to the wood body.

It's all one big system, and even what seem like tiny factors of construction can translate into very audible tone differences once amplified. That's why guitarists are so fussy with their instruments!

nat

Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Notes_Norton #3064425 10/01/20 12:52 AM
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Hi Notes:

Part of me is saying, "why are you going further down this rabbit hole?". But let me proceed, because it's interesting to talk about. And I can see by your website that you know what you're talking about. But I think we're slicing this too fine, so we're arguing semantics.

On one level (again) you are correct - the only standard in GM is what type of sound is called up, for consistency. A piano track in one file should be a piano track in another, and so on. And no more. But the devil is in the details. Look here at the overview of the spec:

GM Soundset

Specifically this section:

"Each manufacturer must insure that their sounds provide an acceptable representation of song data written for General MIDI. Guidelines for developing GM compatible sound sets and song data are available."

What is "acceptable"? There's the rub. Over time the market pushed manufacturers to sound more alike than different. So often their hands were tied to sound close enough to each other... Sure some varied, but it became a bit of a yolk around their necks. GS/GM 2 and XG all were developed to provide more and more sound variety, while staying within the general confines of the specification. So it doesn't matter what the spec defined and didn't define, the marketplace implementation and user reaction did.

Now, I completely agree that by definition, being in the GM Bank doesn't mean a sound is good or bad. It either works for what you're doing or it doesn't. And often in a mix a simpler sound will serve the part better than something that too XX (whatever the characteristic is). So often I had artists tell me how great a sound was for the tune they were working on, which when solo-ed seemed rather simple, or plain. But that's not important. It did what it needed to do.

Moving on to the MT-32 - yes it was not GM, but it absolutely became the standard to which all GM soundsets were based on, and/or compared to. Because it was very popular for computer music/desktop music etc. and had so many song files written for it back in the day that needed to play back right on the newer devices that supported GM. The Roland Sound Canvas was the first to actually "be" GM-compatible, but it was not that different-sounding than the MT-32. So I could have used that model as well.That is the history. I know.... I was there.

keys

Jerry



Originally Posted by Notes_Norton
Originally Posted by jerrythek
Originally Posted by Notes_Norton
General MIDI sounds suck.

General MIDI has no sound, just suggested patch numbers for a set of common patch names.

Literally this is true, but I think we all know what they are referring to. The Roland MT-32 pretty much defined the sounds for each of the 128 choices, and so for a company to create a GM soundset that customers thought "sounded good" playing back MIDI files, the new company had to pretty closely match the MT-32. So we ended up with a sea of products with a GM mode that were all trying to sound as close to the MT-32 without being sued...

Perhaps another reason for this perception was the fact that for GM you could only have Chorus and Reverb, so when compared to "regular" sounds that could have insert effects and more diversity in general, the GM sounds were plainer.

Oops, see, I just did it. Because what else are you going to call those 128 sounds? The sounds found in the GM sound bank?

idk

Jerry
That's what I mean. (The MT32 is not GM BTW)

General MIDI simply designates the names of 128 patches. It doesn't even say what the voice is supposed to sound like. Atmosphere (100) on one synth can sound completely different on another. It's up to the synth manufacturer to determine what atmosphere sounds like.

I have GM patches that take plenty of continuous controllers, chorus, reverb, LFO, Sustain, Pan, Breath controller, Portamento, Brightness, Volume, Expression, Mod wheel, and so on. And I have others that are more limited. It depends on the synth maker, not the GM specifications.

I have a GM synth that by manipulating the MSB and LSB I can get 12 different 'clean guitar. sounds like Tele (front or back pup), Strat, 335, LP, and more, all with GM patch 28.

Both my Edirol SD90 and my Ketron SD2 have some fantastic General MIDI sounds (and some lesser ones as well).

MIDI has no sound. MIDI is the electronic fingers that play a synthesizer, and the synthesizer has sound. A good synth patch is good whether it is a GM patch number or not, and a bad patch sounds bad whether it is a GM patch number or not. Besides for that good or bad is actually in the ear of the listener. A lot of people like that DX7 extra bright Rhodes sound.

I still occasionally use a few TX81z and MT32 sounds because for the song I'm working on they sound perfect. Neither one is GM. I still use SC55 sounds that are GM. Plus I use other synths as well.

General MIDI sounds don't suck, because General MIDI has no sound - none - zero - zilch - nada. MIDI synthesizers have sounds, some good, some bad and it doesn't matter if the patch number coincides with the GM set or not.

Insights and incites by Notes

Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
David Eek #3064426 10/01/20 12:59 AM
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Hi David:

Oops, I think I wasn't clear, or you just misinterpreted me. My "sorry" line was not saying I'm sorry for my post/suggestion, I meant that the diss was too broad, so I reject it. Meaning it fit within this discussion.

Or am I misinterpreting you?

wink

Jerry

Originally Posted by David Emm
Originally Posted by jerrythek
I'll offer this:

This virtual instrument doesn't sound anything like the classic instrument it is trying to emulate.

Sorry - too broad of a diss.

No, its on-point due to excessive frequency. My 2 cents: I got to play Arturia's CS80v through a pair of JBL Eons and by damn, it had the same feel as the 2x I got to play real CS80s. Can you say 'lush & thunderous?' I don't believe that a lot of complainers HAVE played the real thing(s) much or they'd STFU. I'm just glad players of software EPs don't seem to get in a snit over the range of options. That's what B-3 players are for. duck Heh heh....

Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
jerrythek #3064428 10/01/20 01:15 AM
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jerrythek

Hi David:
Oops, I think I wasn't clear, or you just misinterpreted me. My "sorry" line was not saying I'm sorry for my post/suggestion, I meant that the diss was too broad, so I reject it. Meaning it fit within this discussion.
Or am I misinterpreting you? wink

No, I gotcha and we agree. Its just an outgrowth of trying to create a Zoom meeting via text alone! Many a diss IS too broad. In fact, its a spectator sport these days. I stand by my Poly-800 II and CS-80 tales of synth luv as great teaching moments. I revere the old gear, but Dave Stewart's "Mind Your Backs Tango" became the underlying theme that sent me over to a desktop. HA!


"I’m thinking of writing a cookbook.
I’ve got the title.
'Dark Side of the Spoon!'"
~ Nick Mason, drummer for Pink Floyd

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Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Notes_Norton #3064435 10/01/20 05:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Notes_Norton
Thanks Kuru,

So that leads me to think, does the wood and other non magnetic factors of the build of the guitar affect the tone, the sustain, or both?

And if I had identical strats, with everything adjusted the same except one made out basswood and one made out of swamp ash, would the average listener be able to hear a difference?

Not trying to be argumentative, just trying to understand.

Notes

To answer your first question briefly - both.
The second question - maybe. Too many variables, starting with the "average listener". The amp used, the volume, the room all could be factors as well.

Both can be affected. Let's start with wood. You've heard a marimba, typically the maker will try to use wood from a single tree and as close in proximity as possible. Yet every note is different, why? They are all different lengths so they resonate at different frequencies. If you could go to a shop that made guitar bodies, hang them up and knock them with your knuckles, you would hear that some of these bodies "ring", some "thump" and some "thud" depending on the type of wood used and the actual piece of wood itself. Now, if you have two very similar woods that "ring", the note you'll hear from a P-Bass body, a Strat body and a Tele body will be different. Why? They are all different lengths. A body that rings on a G note will absorb more energy from strings that are played at a G note then they will at a Bb. That affects both tone and sustain, a frequency has been attenuated.

Now, you have a Les Paul with a lightweight mahogany neck and the tuners are also the lighter "vintage" style. You replace them with a nice hefty set of Schaller tuners. The increased mass of the headstock reduces the resonance and increases sustain. The tone changes with the increased sustain, the strings are not robbed of energy by the headstock.

I could say more or less the same thing about every single part of the guitar. Even the pickups, some of the vintage Gretsch pickups were very "microphonic", a frequency from the speaker would cause a part of the winding or magnet structure to resonate and "squeal." Some players seek microphonic pickups, I've seen it said that they "sound better', whatever that means. If you "pot" that same pickup using wax or crazy glue or whatever, the sound of that pickup will change.

The variations are endless. Long ago and far away I spent a considerable time one day trying out a dozen brand new Gibson Les Pauls. I didn't really care for any of them but some of them sounded like a wet log and others had more sustain and clarity. I didn't analyze them to figure out why but they were quite different. There could be many reasons for it.

I had a 1965 Martin D-18 in good condition. It played well. It sounded pretty OK but not what such guitars are reputed to be like. I sold it to my brother because he wanted it. Decades later he sent it to me and I sold it to somebody else, he didn't like it much and never played it. I've played other Martins from that era that sounded amazing, many times. Outwardly it didn't look any different. It had a fair amount of wear and tear so somebody played it enough for it to be broken in (yes, wooden acoustic guitars typically sound better after they've been played for about a year or so).

And it doesn't stop there. Think all electronics are identical? Guess again!!!! Unless the specifications of the parts are within very tight tolerances (odds are they mostly aren't), then one keyboard could sound better than another identical one. They may sound so close it cannot be noticed or they may both sound good so nobody cares.

The output transformer of a tube guitar amp also goes through a break in period. Coils with current flowing through them wrapped around ferrous metal laminations creates what? Magnetism!!!! It may be a cumulative effect but it happens.

So yeah, consistency is an illusion. Choose what sounds good to you and go with it, that's the bottom line.


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
KuruPrionz #3064464 10/01/20 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
<...snip...>

So yeah, consistency is an illusion. Choose what sounds good to you and go with it, that's the bottom line.

In the end, that's all that really counts.

I have a Parker custom shop DF522NN (NN for Notes Norton). Duncan P-Rail pickups that give me very good P90 sounds, decent rail sounds and good series humbucker and parallel humbucker sounds. Alder body, maple neck, ebony fingerboard, hardened stainless steel frets, sperzel tuners, and a piezo under the bridge that I can mix with the mag pickups.

But I stress my first instrument is saxophone. Guitar is my 7th so I don't have nearly as many years of experience on it. After saying that I understand lifelong guitarists can hear what I can't yet.


[Linked Image from nortonmusic.com]

Notes


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Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Stephen Fortner #3064465 10/01/20 03:35 PM
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Another one that needs to die,...

Saxophones sound better with original lacquer.

Notes


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Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Stephen Fortner #3064469 10/01/20 03:52 PM
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Nice guitar Notes!
I wouldn't worry about the tedious little details with a guitar like that, just play it and enjoy.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - For every solution, there is a problem.
One of the joys of electric guitar is that there is no correct way to play it. It follows then that there is no incorrect way to play it either.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwgOUzodS6E

My brother has a Parker, I like it.


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Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
KuruPrionz #3064499 10/01/20 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
The variations are endless. Long ago and far away I spent a considerable time one day trying out a dozen brand new Gibson Les Pauls. I didn't really care for any of them but some of them sounded like a wet log and others had more sustain and clarity. I didn't analyze them to figure out why but they were quite different. There could be many reasons for it.

One reason is where the wood was grown. Wood close to a river absorbs more moisture and becomes a heavier, denser wood, Wood grown on a hill is less dense. This difference is significant enough that at least with the "old" Gibson, the wood that was grown closer to a river was considered more desirable, and used in the really high-end guitars.

And there are also variations within the guitar itself. I've often written about how changing pickup height in relation to the strings alters sustain. Also, I remember touring the PRS factor with Paul. He would go past blocks of wood and "ping" each one to check out the resonant qualities. I find PRS electric guitars to be very "alive," even when not plugged in.

Any one difference is probably not that great, but when you add them all together, they give different guitars different personalities. I often find myself reaching for specific guitars to fill particular roles in specific songs. Playing the same part on a different guitar just doesn't produce the same result.

Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
KuruPrionz #3064564 10/02/20 01:37 AM
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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
Nice guitar Notes!
I wouldn't worry about the tedious little details with a guitar like that, just play it and enjoy.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - For every solution, there is a problem.
One of the joys of electric guitar is that there is no correct way to play it. It follows then that there is no incorrect way to play it either.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwgOUzodS6E

My brother has a Parker, I like it.
Thanks. I love the guitar. It stays in tune very well, it's well balanced, and it's comfortable. I get around fairly well on it, I consider myself good at what I do on the guitar but what I do on the guitar is limited. I can double on it but wouldn't take a gig as a lead guitarist. I did play bass for a few years when saxes fell off the pop charts, so I wasn't afraid of the fretboard when I got my first guitar.

It's an advantage of having a musician wife (guitar, synth and vocals). When I needed a new guitar, she said "Why don't you have them build one for you?"

I liked her Parker a lot so I had the factory make one for me. The only customizing I did was the pickups. This model comes stock like a 'fat strat' (S-S-H). I love P90s but there are a couple of places where I gig that have these funky stage lights and I need to put them in the humbucker mode all night.

We are a duo now, but we played in 4 and 5 piece bands before that. Now we're self contained, dependent on no other musicians, and until COVID never lacked for a gig after our first year out.

It's all good.

Notes


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Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Stephen Fortner #3064747 10/03/20 06:46 PM
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Just to mix things up...here's a gear diss that I think should NOT die: No user-replaceable rechargeable battery. C'mon, I don't want to a) throw something away when the battery can't hold a charge, or b) send it back to the company, and wait for the to and from transit time.

Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Anderton #3064759 10/03/20 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Just to mix things up...here's a gear diss that I think should NOT die: No user-replaceable rechargeable battery. C'mon, I don't want to a) throw something away when the battery can't hold a charge, or b) send it back to the company, and wait for the to and from transit time.

Like the Fishman Triple Play? Or even their backplate battery for the Strat Fluence pickups.

I agree, annoying.


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Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Stephen Fortner #3064788 10/03/20 10:05 PM
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I sold a reverb for that once. Battery died, factory wanted it back, I sent it back for replacement, bought a competing product, and when it came back with a new battery I sold it.

The manufacturers need to know that a pro musician cannot have weeks of down time on a piece of gear that needs to go to the factory for routine maintenance.

Notes


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Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Notes_Norton #3064790 10/03/20 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Notes_Norton
The manufacturers need to know that a pro musician cannot have weeks of down time on a piece of gear that needs to go to the factory for routine maintenance.

I believe manufacturer’s don’t think pros bet their livelihood on a $400 piece of gear. They have backups.

Did you overnight it to them for repair?

Last edited by dboomer; 10/03/20 10:15 PM.
Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Stephen Fortner #3064815 10/04/20 01:36 AM
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No, I bought a competing brand. Fixing it took too long, it sat in the factory over a week to change a battery PLUS shipping time.

And yes, I have backups.

When my backup gear needs to be called into action, I can get all my first line gear repaired in a day or two. It costs extra money to get priority, but it's worth it.

If I'm sending it to the factory for something that is bound to fail like a battery, it'll take too long because I'm running without a backup until my gear gets fixed.

I am a "the show must go on" person, and I look for reliability and ease of repair for the gear I buy, (plus a backup).

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Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
dboomer #3064825 10/04/20 02:52 AM
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Originally Posted by dboomer
I believe manufacturer’s don’t think pros bet their livelihood on a $400 piece of gear.

By "not user-replaceable," I don't mean "You can take the top off, unsolder the backup battery, and solder in a new one or at least a battery holder with a couple AA batteries or a 2032 until the proper replacement shows up from Batteries+." I mean like you can't take the thing apart, unless you have special tools or a portable electronics workbench. It's impractical to have backups of every piece of gear with batteries that can't be replaced. Besides, if you bought the backup around the same time, the battery in the backup might not hold a charge either - unless you were meticulous about recharging it periodically, remembering to let it go to half-charge before extended periods of non-use, and then recharging it on occasion whether you needed it or not. It's also important that battery quality is variable, some might go on for years and some might not be able to hold a charge after three months. It doesn't do much good to have a backup if it has the same issue as what it's backing up.

But I was thinking mostly of consumer equipment. No, I'm not going to buy a $1000 backup iPhone because the battery might go haywire when I'm not near an Apple store, or away from home on a tight schedule. I bought a backup Android for a couple hundred bucks with a replaceable battery. Swap sim cards...done. And then there's this B.S. Seriously?

I do consider something like this at least marginally replaceable. I'm sure anyone would rather find someone like me who knows how to solder and massage cases apart than get charged $150 for a factory battery replacement.

Remember where all this started (from Wikipedia): "iPod batteries are not designed to be removed or replaced by the user...compounding the problem, Apple initially would not replace worn-out batteries. The official policy was that the customer should buy a refurbished replacement iPod, at a cost almost equivalent to a brand new one."

Since then, it's been okay to use batteries to hold customers hostage to high factory replacement fees, or sometimes sketchy third-party solutions. Not a fan...this is why in my reviews, if a battery is not-user-replaceable, it gets dinged. I don't care if the case has to be 1/32nd of a inch bigger.

Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Stephen Fortner #3064829 10/04/20 03:25 AM
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Not trying to be Mr. Unpopular here. I just wanna share a perspective from a manufacturer's standpoint. MI manufacturer’s (at least internally) consider themselves in the consumer product market. At least the bean counters do.

Obviously a manufacturer could do anything they want but everything has a cost. Cost affects sales and sales affects keeping retail prices down. Most products get a price fixed to them when they are designed. Replaceable batteries have a cost which means if they add that as a feature then something else will get left out. So decisions get made.

Pretty much everything I’ve seen runs over its cost estimates in its initial stages and things have to get cut back. Could be features, could be quality, could be making things serviceable. In older times a lot of gear was designed to do whatever the original design was damn the cost. That's not the case any more. Consumer products are designed form the ground up to meet magic price points ... $299, $399, $499, etc. While you guys certainly have the right to make decisions based on whatever you want I’m guessing in the bigger picture very few sales are lost because on non replaceable batteries assuming the original battery lasts a few years or longer. Apple products that sell in the millions are probably a good example of that. Even in house factory service bills $100/hr against a product in for warranty repair. So for about anything that sells for south of $500 it is cheaper for the factory to replace than to fix. Behringer fixes nothing these days. Warranty claims are replaced and everything else is non serviceable.

Once upon a time I climbed into a dumpster with about 400 rack mount Crest power amps that were on their way to be crushed. I could have easily taken parts from some and fixed others but that ain’t the way it’s done wink

Last edited by dboomer; 10/04/20 03:35 AM.
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Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Anderton #3064830 10/04/20 03:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
[And then there's this B.S. Seriously?

I can’t swear to it, but I’ll bet the non replaceable battery outlast the original purchaser’s use of the phone 99.9% of the time.

OTOH ... I have a Juno 106 from 1985 with a solder-in panasonic 3v battery that currently measures 3.28v. I'm pretty sure most Juno 106s have gone to the grave wink

Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
dboomer #3064835 10/04/20 04:05 AM
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Originally Posted by dboomer
Obviously a manufacturer could do anything they want but everything has a cost. Cost affects sales and sales affects keeping retail prices down. Most products get a price fixed to them when they are designed. Replaceable batteries have a cost which means if they add that as a feature then something else will get left out. So decisions get made.

Or, certain standards are upheld and the price is adjusted accordingly. With one exception I can currently think of (Fishman Triple Play), I haven't bought any new musical equipment with a non-user replaceable battery - ever.
There was no other option like the Triple Play and I really wanted it. So far so good, you are right about newer battery systems having fairly long lives if properly charged.

Behringer doesn't have to fix anything, I bought one small mixer from them a long time ago and that ended that. They have plenty of customers, I am not one of them.

Now phones are different subject. Until a friend gave me his extra phone to use for free, I was fine with the Tracfone Android for $30. I am probably an exception to the standard use case, I spent maybe $100 a year for phone service.

So I am an outlier but I find a way to avoid non-replaceable batteries for the most part.
I get what you are saying, I don't have any negative feelings about you stating a reality that exists. Budget, Deliverable, Obstacles - same old story just different players and different potentials as tech evolves.

Some will make stuff I will buy, some won't.


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Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
KuruPrionz #3064838 10/04/20 04:18 AM
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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
So I am an outlier.


Yeah, I guess I’m not addressing the center of the bell curve with this group wink

Last edited by dboomer; 10/04/20 04:18 AM.
Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
dboomer #3064843 10/04/20 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by dboomer
Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
So I am an outlier.


Yeah, I guess I’m not addressing the center of the bell curve with this group wink

Hard to say. Depends on which bell curve you've chosen to address. Spenders? Buyers? or Musicians?
There are lots of musicians here, maybe actual musicians are not the primary consumers of music equipment?
Certainly at the low end this is true, the number of cheap used guitars, amps and keyboards one sees everywhere is an indication of abandonment without accomplishment.
Craigslist, pawn shops and Goodwill locally have a pretty consistent flow of fairly inexpensive gear, and this is a small city of 90,000.

To be fair, I have to say that pretty much all of it is more useful and better quality than what was available when I started, cheaper too.
My Tascam DR-40 is a fantastic tool, I would have been in heaven to have it 30 years ago. 3 removable AA batteries BTW...


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Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
dboomer #3064880 10/04/20 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by dboomer
Not trying to be Mr. Unpopular here. I just wanna share a perspective from a manufacturer's standpoint. MI manufacturer’s (at least internally) consider themselves in the consumer product market. At least the bean counters do.

Obviously a manufacturer could do anything they want but everything has a cost. Cost affects sales and sales affects keeping retail prices down. Most products get a price fixed to them when they are designed. Replaceable batteries have a cost which means if they add that as a feature then something else will get left out. So decisions get made.

Everything you say is true. But also consider what happens to those batteries. User-replaceable ones can get recycled, I wonder how many of the ones embedded in throw-away products are disposed of properly.

If Company A decides it can save a few bucks by cutting particular corners, that pretty much forces companies B and C to follow suit. I get that. The onus is not so much on companies because they give the customer what they want, but on customers who care only about the lowest price (and then complain when their plastic case breaks).

As to phone batteries outlasting phones, that may be true for most people, who can't resist marketing that's designed to make them feel inadequate if they don't have the latest and greatest.. So yeah, I'm an outlier...my iPhone 7's battery went nuts, and after getting a new battery, I'm still using the iPhone 7 and it can run iOS 14. It's an effing phone, for chrissakes. I don't care if it takes 38 milliseconds longer to load a web page than an iPhone 11.

Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Anderton #3064882 10/04/20 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Everything you say is true.

I’m writing that down! wink

Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Stephen Fortner #3064899 10/04/20 08:30 PM
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Here's another diss: Someone wants to get into recording, tries out a DAW, and says "it isn't user-friendly."

Of course it isn't! It's duplicating the function of a half-million dollar studio of a couple decades ago...good luck figuring that out if you'd never done recording before.

Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Anderton #3064904 10/04/20 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Here's another diss: Someone wants to get into recording, tries out a DAW, and says "it isn't user-friendly."

Of course it isn't! It's duplicating the function of a half-million dollar studio of a couple decades ago...good luck figuring that out if you'd never done recording before.

That one could very well be an excuse. It can be a bit disheartening to hear how one actually sounds, especially if friends have been generous with compliments.
Basic tracking isn't really that difficult. It's the finer points that start demanding brain cells. I'm not as quick to learn as I was decades ago but persistence furthers.
Studying the tempo mapping features in Waveform now, I can't flatline the tempo on music anymore and be happy with it and I can't afford the drummer I'd like to hire.

I guess if it was easy everybody would be really good at it?


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Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Anderton #3064908 10/04/20 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Here's another diss: Someone wants to get into recording, tries out a DAW, and says "it isn't user-friendly."

Of course it isn't! It's duplicating the function of a half-million dollar studio of a couple decades ago...good luck figuring that out if you'd never done recording before.
New software can be very confusing at first, and often the manuals are not a big help.

Sometimes Internet tutorials can help, sometimes they can even confuse. It depends.

The way to go about it is to take it one step at a time and gradually learn how to use it. I know we all want instant gratification, and that's possible with some things, but remember how long it took you to read and write. It's pretty user friendly now.

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Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Anderton #3064925 10/05/20 12:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Here's another diss: Someone wants to get into recording, tries out a DAW, and says "it isn't user-friendly."

Of course it isn't! It's duplicating the function of a half-million dollar studio of a couple decades ago...good luck figuring that out if you'd never done recording before.

This is why ever since I've been writing about recording I've encouraged first-timers to start out with a simple analog system. But back then DAWs were new and, while analog gear isn't wasn't as inexpensive as some of it is today, you could get something functional together that's good enough so that if you don't like what you're getting out of it, you can't blame the equipment.

But today, with a "free" computer (you've already bought it for something else), DAW software that's under $100. and you have to wait for someone to tell you that you need better monitor speakers than what's built into the sides of your laptop computer, and that - oh, there's a better way to get audio into your computer than a $50 microphone plugged into that little jack on your computer. You're in the univers where you can blame the equipment for your mediocre sounds.

But then, music production at home by the hobbyist musician is different now than it was in the 70s and 80s. Who needs a band and all the headaches when recording one, when you have all those virtual instruments?

But, for me, 50 years later, DAW software is still still not user-friendly.

Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Notes_Norton #3064986 10/05/20 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Notes_Norton
New software can be very confusing at first, and often the manuals are not a big help.

I think a big roadblock to user-friendliness is the computer itself, especially with Windows - latency, buffers, file paths, all that stuff. I've mentioned this story before, but it bears repeating. Sony wanted me to write a quick article on how to transfer files you'd made in Acid to a USB music player. They said it should only take 3-4 steps, and I could bash it out in an afternoon.

Over 20 steps later (23 IIRC), they got the article and were quite upset. "We told you to keep it short!" I told them if they would tell me which steps could be left out, I'd be happy to rewrite. None of the steps were superfluous, and almost all of them dealt with what had to be done at the computer end.

I've recommended to companies that they design software with levels, like a video game. Level one would look like an ADAT: Transport, level faders, meters, record buttons. Level 2 would add cut and paste editing...and so on. The only company that adopted that kind of approach was Cakewalk with their "lenses" feature. But it wasn't about levels, it was about a customizable workspace and those aren't the same thing.

I still think levels are the answer, but what do I know? I just use the stuff smile

Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Anderton #3064989 10/05/20 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Originally Posted by Notes_Norton
New software can be very confusing at first, and often the manuals are not a big help.

I think a big roadblock to user-friendliness is the computer itself, especially with Windows - latency, buffers, file paths, all that stuff.

I am NOT trying to start yet another pointless Windows vs Mac war, in fact I've been considering buying a Windows computer for everything but recording and taking my Mac offline.
I've used both platforms since forever, working in graphic design, printing etc. you must have both since files will be submitted that cannot be opened without a W/M workflow.

That said, just as an example - I have a Presonus Quantum and Presonus Universal Control is the companion software. I'm running 2 screens, the laptop screen is to the "right" of the 27" monitor even though technically it is directly below it. I wanted Universal Control to appear in the lower righthand corner of the large monitor and behind the DAW screen, which I have stretched out but left a bit of space on the right so I can select UC. I did have to click the Preferences in UC to tell it to stay underneath other programs, simple.
I also wanted the UC pop up screen (controls for the Quantum) to pop up in the laptop screen and sized to fill that 15" screen.

After 3 or 4 times of simply dragging everything into place, re-sizing as needed, and leaving everything in place when I shut down, it now does that every time. That was literally all I had to do to tell it where I wanted things located and what size I wanted them.

I honestly don't know if Windows 10 can do that, I briefly used 7 at the end of my graphics career. I can tell you that XP would not do that without considerable jumping through of hoops.
And older Mac systems didn't do it either (fair is fair after all!). I sure like being able to keep things simple!

Yes, computers are a complex part of using a DAW, any way you slice it.


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Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
KuruPrionz #3065112 10/06/20 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
I am NOT trying to start yet another pointless Windows vs Mac war, in fact I've been considering buying a Windows computer for everything but recording and taking my Mac offline. I've used both platforms since forever...

Same here, I use both but currently "lean Windows" for creative endeavors, because of programs that are available only on that platform. I think I can summarize the bottom line as:

* Macs cost more than Windows machines with the same general capabilities.
* If you go to an audio-oriented systems integrator and buy a Windows machine, it will overall be as easy to use as a Mac for music, but will cost about as much as a Mac.

So add these to the list of disses:

"Macs are much more expensive than Windows machines"
"Windows machines are too complicated for mere mortals to use"

Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Stephen Fortner #3065131 10/06/20 07:31 PM
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Since I already have the Mac up and running smoothly and a Windows machine that will be fine for my other purposes will be less expensive than a Mac, that's why I am leaning in that direction.

There will be less at stake if it gets cyber-boogered and I need to nuke and pave, just for one thing.

I am not particularly brand phobic and when I am it's usually because I don't like how the company runs their business more than that the product does not serve my purpose.

Smackintosh, Billy G Box, whatever...


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Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Stephen Fortner #3065211 10/07/20 05:19 AM
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"Are you kidding? That thing sounds like crap."

[Initial reaction to the TR-808]

Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Stephen Fortner #3065234 10/07/20 01:41 PM
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Regarding certain synths...."It doesn't sit well in the mix."

No way to fix this either because synths are only capable of making one sound. And unfortunately you can't EQ them or apply other post processing. rolleyes facepalm

Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Stephen Fortner #3065252 10/07/20 06:13 PM
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Here's an "anti-diss" that itself deserves to be dissed:


[breathless reviewer] "The XYZ TurboMega studio monitor revealed sounds I hadn't heard before!"

That's because speakers have different frequency responses smile

Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Anderton #3065256 10/07/20 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Here's an "anti-diss" that itself deserves to be dissed:


[breathless reviewer] "The XYZ TurboMega studio monitor revealed sounds I hadn't heard before!"

That's because speakers have different frequency responses smile

Possibly also because it just happens. I can record something today and a week later I will hear something "I hadn't heard before.", probably because I was listening intently to something else.

All speaker reviews are subjective and subject to change. If somebody had an anechoic chamber and all the finest testing equipment used properly and consistently they could tell us what the colorful, meaningful charts and graphs say and it will not help anybody much when they try the same speaker in their own environment and use their own ears - which are not a consistent testing tool.

It's a tricky one, no?

Wait, I'll make it worse!!! I've been using a pair of Mackie HR824 monitors for 10+ years, old USA ones I got used. Recently I bought a Mackie MR5 for $6 - thrift store find.
When I listen to it I can hear that the transients seem "faster" from the range played by the 5" speaker as compared to an 8" speaker with an active low frequency radiator in back.
It sounds clearer at the crossover point too, less intermodulation distortion?

So it could be transient response and/or intermodulation distortion as well as frequency response or probably "all of the above?"

I don't know, it will be a good reference and the price was good.


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Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Stephen Fortner #3065263 10/07/20 07:29 PM
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How about “it sounds digital”? wink

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Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Stephen Fortner #3065308 10/08/20 02:04 AM
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"I don't want to pay for features i'll never use". Well if you don't need the arpeggiator don't use it, but the company isn't going to be able to make a cheaper version for you by eliminating something that the R&D has already been paid for.


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Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
jerrythek #3065310 10/08/20 02:14 AM
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Originally Posted by jerrythek
Another: why didn't they add feature/spec XX? It only costs a few cents/dollars. Or it's easy to do.
Yeah, 5-pin MIDI jacks only cost what, 50 cents? (not realizing the additional electronics required). Or wanting to be able to send a different signal to the headphones than what's going to the main outputs (no, it's not just software, but would require a whole separate audio output chain).

And one more - "They shouldn't have put the Pitch Bend and Mod wheels so far back, they should be closer to the keys." Those wheels aren't just sitting on the surface: there's a whole rest of the wheel which needs to fit with the keys extending behind the fallboard.


"It's called an expression pedal for a reason: It's not a volume pedal." -- Dr. Lonnie Smith
Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
JimboKeys #3065316 10/08/20 03:10 AM
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Originally Posted by JimboKeys
Yeah, 5-pin MIDI jacks only cost what, 50 cents? (not realizing the additional electronics required).

I think it's $2 total to add old-school MIDI to synths.

Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Anderton #3065317 10/08/20 03:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Originally Posted by JimboKeys
Yeah, 5-pin MIDI jacks only cost what, 50 cents? (not realizing the additional electronics required).

I think it's $2 total to add old-school MIDI to synths.

Including R and D for laying out the PC board, parts and labor?

Here's one I saw somewhere "While this does sound really good, it doesn't quite capture that vintage tone."
Or something like that anyway. Never mind that the vintage piece is umpty bajillion and the new piece is "very affordable."

New caps will do that to ya, just for one. New tubes for another. If it's a guitar, how old are the magnets? Alnico loses magnetism, pickups sound mellower and sweeter.
My late 50's Danelectro lipstick pickups do not sound like Seymour Duncan's meticulous replicas, probably because magnets.

Or it could just be because it is all solid state with digital modeling? Hmm...


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Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Anderton #3065340 10/08/20 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
I think it's $2 total to add old-school MIDI to synths.

That might be the manufacturing cost, but in the old days, generally the retail cost for adding a feature increased by nearly 20 times the apparent cost. I don't know if that formula still applies, but end price isn't just the price of the parts and a few more holes punched in the chassis.

Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
KuruPrionz #3065379 10/08/20 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
Originally Posted by Anderton
Originally Posted by JimboKeys
Yeah, 5-pin MIDI jacks only cost what, 50 cents? (not realizing the additional electronics required).

I think it's $2 total to add old-school MIDI to synths.

Including R and D for laying out the PC board, parts and labor?

I'm not sure, that's the figure manufacturers quoted to me. But it sounds about right for the parts cost.

Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
JimboKeys #3065400 10/08/20 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by JimboKeys
"I don't want to pay for features i'll never use". Well if you don't need the arpeggiator don't use it, but the company isn't going to be able to make a cheaper version for you by eliminating something that the R&D has already been paid for.
Good one.

I answer they should buy it for what they want. If what they want is worth the price, consider buying it, if not, don't. And I add questions:

Do you watch every channel on your TV?

Do you listen to every station on your radio?

Do you visit every site on the Internet?

Do you make every recipe in a cookbook?

Do you look up every word in a dictionary?

Do you ask for a discount if you don't?

Insights and incites by Notes


Bob "Notes" Norton
Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box
The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<
Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Stephen Fortner #3065408 10/08/20 08:44 PM
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Has this one been mentioned?

"It doesn't sound as good or play as well as the more expensive one."

Well, ok, that's about as enlightening as saying "it's not as big as the bigger one."

nat

Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Stephen Fortner #3065769 10/12/20 02:41 AM
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  • It's not as warm as Vinyl (or tubes)
  • The clonewheel engine included for free in your $2000 workstation provides only 98% of the experience I get with a $5000 Goff rebuilt B3 and a $2800 customized Leslie 122, and so it's no good.
  • IEMs are too complicated.


-Tom Williams
<First name><At>AirNetworking<dot>com
PC361, PX-5S, AX-Edge
M-Audio Keystation 88, Axiom 61
Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Stephen Fortner #3066013 10/14/20 03:27 AM
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Music gear is the domain of generalization, anecdotal evidence pretending to be science, and confirmation bias.

"True bypass is always better"
"Vinyl is better than digital"
"Digital distortions suck"
"192k is overkill"
"192k is vital"
"Analog synths are warmer"
"DJs are not musicians"
"Behringer's synths don't sound anything like the synths they are cloning"
"Behringer's synths sound exactly like the synths they are cloning"
"Zero frets/fretboard wood/massive bridges/body wood make a practical, discernable difference to the sound of an electric guitar or bass in a modern rock or pop song"


"For instance" is not proof.
Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
zeronyne #3066015 10/14/20 03:37 AM
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Originally Posted by zeronyne
Music gear is the domain of generalization, anecdotal evidence pretending to be science, and confirmation bias.

And also things that are sometimes right and sometimes wrong, like...

Quote
"True bypass is always better""

...or cables, which can make a big difference when driven by high impedance outputs but not make a difference otherwise.

Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
zeronyne #3066018 10/14/20 05:07 AM
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Originally Posted by zeronyne
"Zero frets/fretboard wood/massive bridges/body wood make a practical, discernable difference to the sound of an electric guitar or bass in a modern rock or pop song"

I'll take this one, it's easy. Massive bridges can make a BIG difference in the way an electric guitar or bass will sound. That other stuff can be "iffy", I've tried out quite a few Les Pauls that were heavy but sounded like a wet log. Wood varies, if it rings it absorbs energy from the strings.

Whether anybody/everybody/nobody can discern the difference - that would require testing.
I can say with certainty that the many times I've installed a heavier, more massive bridge the instrument had a more even response and much longer sustain. It is possible in my experience to immediately notice extra clarity, eveness and sustain.

That might not be noticed in terms of the tone - depending the signal path at the recording and all production after that, but it could inspire the musician to play differently.
I have some guitars/basses with stout hardware, even the mass and mounting of the tuners will change the tone of some guitars. The length of the string path behind the bridge changes the tone, so does not having any - wraparound bridge like Les Paul Jr.

The effect of the mass is to dampen the resonance that robs strings of energy. Think of the difference between a banjo and a Les Paul. That's an exaggeration, this is a much smaller increment of change but I vote yes.


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
KuruPrionz #3066020 10/14/20 05:27 AM
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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
Massive bridges can make a BIG difference in the way an electric guitar or bass will sound.

I haven't investigated this to the extent you have, but I have a bass with a Babicz bridge and my sense is it supports what you say - more even response and much longer sustain. When I sampled it, I was determined not to loop the string and that often meant samples that lasted for over a minute before the level went under -60.

In your experience, does the massive bridge make more of a difference with bass than guitar?

Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Anderton #3066022 10/14/20 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
Massive bridges can make a BIG difference in the way an electric guitar or bass will sound.

I haven't investigated this to the extent you have, but I have a bass with a Babicz bridge and my sense is it supports what you say - more even response and much longer sustain. When I sampled it, I was determined not to loop the string and that often meant samples that lasted for over a minute before the level went under -60.

In your experience, does the massive bridge make more of a difference with bass than guitar?

There are so many variables. It partially comes down to rigidity. That which moves will vibrate, strings will transmit energy to anything that in proximity. Sometimes it's just a particular note.
An extreme would be a hollow body bass, most of them have notes that roar and notes that just sort of die. The result of a couple of specific resonant structure, the air volume in a hollow bass is tuned to a specific frequency. It may be random but it is there. Make the same hollow bass out of brass and I bet it sounds completely different.

I've noticed significant differences on guitars more often, I don't seem to work on as many basses. When I got the Schecter TriLok bridge and bolted it down solid on my 335 it transformed that guitar into a sustain monster. It still had resonances but they were more fun - easier to control.

I dunno, tossup?


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Anti-DarkyLord #3066042 10/14/20 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Anti-DarkyLord
It sounds like a VST.
That statement is the Godwin's law of all synth forums.


Re: Gear Disses that Need To Die
Marzzz #3066060 10/14/20 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Marzzz
Originally Posted by Anti-DarkyLord
It sounds like a VST.
That statement is the Godwin's law of all synth forums.



fixed video link


guinness keys
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