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The "lacquer sound"?   You are logged in as Guest
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Andy Culpepper

Posts: 2923
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

The "lacquer sound"? 

Over the years I've worked on many instruments, some finished in nitro lacquer and some in shellac. I believe at this point that I can actually tell the difference based on certain tone qualities, and I'm wondering if anyone else has noticed this. I'm not saying that one or the other is "better", though I can say I've almost universally preferred the French polished guitars. There are confounding factors though, such as the fact that generally, not always, cheaper guitars are more likely to be lacquered and more expensive guitars French polished.

The difference, to my ears, is that the lacquered guitars tend to have this certain distinctive boominess in the bass. The funny thing is that it can make the guitars appear quite loud, compared with some French polished guitars. But there is this sort of slightly unfocused or blended quality to the sound. Sort of like looking out on a humid day vs. totally clear, crisp weather or biting into a soft apple vs. a crisp one.

I could be crazy but I've noticed a pattern over a pretty large sample size. Once again, not saying lacquer is necessarily a worse finish, in fact some people may prefer that sound. Just sharing my observations

_____________________________

Andy Culpepper, luthier
http://www.andyculpepper.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 17 2020 3:05:55
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3012
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: The "lacquer sound"? (in reply to Andy Culpepper

Turns out all but one of my classicals are French polished. The odd one out is in catalyzed polyurethane. I have two flamencas in catalyzed polyurethane, one in nitro.

The younger of the poly flamencas is 38 years old, the other is 53. In my experience, over a period of years the polyurethane thins down quite a bit and becomes stiff. When played softly or medium, the trebles are not quite as edgy as on the French polished classicals, but with flamenco right hand technique they are brilliant and the basses growl.

The nitro flamenca is less than a year old. It definitely doesn't have a boomy bass, though it's quite adequate. In fact the bass may be developing a little more with age and playing. The trebles can be very brilliant whether soft or loud. It's the only guitar I have owned on which I enjoy playing both classical and flamenco. Still, I think it has a different sound than a French polished guitar. I would be hard put to describe the difference. Maybe the very highest overtones are damped a little? I would expect the nitro to outgas and harden some with time, but I have no experience with that.

For me, each of the guitars I own has a distinctively different character. In fact that's the main reason I have bought each one.

Guitars are like wine and women. The better they are, the more unique they are--my opinion as an amateur guitarist.

(Though I may be a polyguitarist, I have almost always been a one woman man--at any point in time.)

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 17 2020 4:12:13
 
RobJe

 

Posts: 711
Joined: Dec. 16 2006
From: UK

RE: The "lacquer sound"? (in reply to Andy Culpepper

Having spent quite a bit of time trying dozens of guitars on three different occasions in the old Conde Felipe V shop in the 2000's I have the same opinion as you. The difference was consistent and notable. It is hard to describe but I would say that the FP sound was bright but the lacquer removed some of the brightness and added a colour that I could recognise but not easily describe. Anyway, I am sure that I could recognise the difference (for Condes) with my eyes closed. I prefer FP but recognise that the long lasting qualities of lacquer have appeal if the guitar is going to take constant professional use. Also, if the sound is always mediated by some form of electronic process, who cares?

Rob
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 17 2020 9:17:42
 
Stu

Posts: 1843
Joined: Jan. 30 2007
From: London (the South of it), England

RE: The "lacquer sound"? (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:

I have almost always been a one woman man



Almost? surely there's a story there Richard! hahah

interesting subject chaps. been thinking about this recently so good to hear some thoughts.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 17 2020 9:52:27
 
Echi

 

Posts: 826
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: The "lacquer sound"? (in reply to Andy Culpepper

Interesting observations.
I agree there are noticeable differences even though for someone they may be not as important. For sure you notice the difference when you have a top refinished.
In my observations the kind of finish has a certain impact on the overtones: French polish set them free to fly (working for a more open and airy sound) while nitro tends to compress the sound giving the impression of more overall “pressure”.

Andy describes this as boomy basses, but at times this may entail fuller basses and drier and more focused trebles.
In general I prefer french polished guitars but I also think that some guitars like Conde are perfect with nitro and cedar Topped Ramirez are Just perfect with poly.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 17 2020 10:08:58
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2188
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: The "lacquer sound"? (in reply to Andy Culpepper

quote:

The funny thing is that it can make the guitars appear quite loud, compared with some French polished guitars. But there is this sort of slightly unfocused or blended quality to the sound.


I finished very few guitars with lacquer in the past 58 years and the number of guitars I viewed by other builders were good when they were designed to take a lacquer finish. But many guitars were basically designed to take both finishes without thinking about a particular tonal problem.

Ramirez flamenco guitars are designed to take polyurethane, as well as finish consistency. Richard's guitar is quite good.

_____________________________

Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 17 2020 13:31:36
 
Echi

 

Posts: 826
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: The "lacquer sound"? (in reply to Andy Culpepper

quote:

Ramirez flamenco guitars are designed to take polyurethane, as well as finish consistency

I think cedar topped Ramirez have been purposely planned to work best with poly finish.
In fact the iconic ‘65 Ramirez model payed by Segovia was introduced both with cedar and poly finish while the previous Ramirez guitars used to be spruced topped and french polished.
As Richard said (and I once read from Bruné) poly is slowly absorbed into the cedar top leading to a rigid skin. Somehow this is beneficial and counteract a certain softness of the cedar wood itself.
For the same reason it’s really a bad idea to strip a poly finish from a cedar topped guitar.

Nowadays Ramirez (as other Madrid guitars) are varnished with synthetic.
It’s quite common in Spain to outsource the varnishing process to a third company.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 17 2020 13:54:46
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12668
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: The "lacquer sound"? (in reply to Andy Culpepper

quote:

I believe at this point that I can actually tell the difference based on certain tone qualities, and I'm wondering if anyone else has noticed this.


I would agree with you myself if not for giving myself an objective “blindfold” test. FP negra, FP Lawson cypress, nitro lacquered cypress, polyurethane Negra, maybe one more variety? Anyway, played the same short bit of flamenco on each guitar and had ToddK play them back to me at random....yikes. I could not tell one bit of freaking difference! They all sounded shockingly the same.

It’s 100% in your mind and based on bias.

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 17 2020 19:39:29
 
Echi

 

Posts: 826
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: The "lacquer sound"? (in reply to Andy Culpepper

quote:

It’s 100% in your mind and based on bias

A well reputed European consumers newspaper once set a blindfold tests about flamenco guitars: ten pro-players and ten guitars (Conde Felipe V among them): the test was very serious and the winner was a guitar made in Paracho, Conde and other big names ended just in the middle.
Leonardo guitar project used the same blind fold method to prove local woods can make a guitar indistinguishable from a guitar made with SA rosewood.
Truth is we play and make choices with open eyes and luthiers try to listen carefully "into" the guitar when they play.
Differences can be minimal for the listener and substantial for the player.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 17 2020 20:20:32
 
RobJe

 

Posts: 711
Joined: Dec. 16 2006
From: UK

RE: The "lacquer sound"? (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

play them back to me at random


Didn't someone once say that you can't tell much about a guitar by listening to a recording?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 17 2020 22:53:48
 
Andy Culpepper

Posts: 2923
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

RE: The "lacquer sound"? (in reply to Andy Culpepper

Interesting, thanks everyone for the input. Forgot to add, it seems like the thinner the lacquer is the less noticeable the effect (barely noticed it on a DeVoe negra).

Ricardo, that's interesting. I also think you notice more things when you're actually playing the guitar than listening to recordings. But a lot of things are just in our mind, and heavily influenced by visual input, especially when it comes to talking about differences between woods. As one professional customer of mine put it "beautiful guitars sound better"
Someone posted a little listening test over at Delcamp recently comparing Spruce vs. Cedar and most people did guess that one correctly though, I though it was pretty clear.

_____________________________

Andy Culpepper, luthier
http://www.andyculpepper.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 17 2020 23:52:40
 
JasonM

Posts: 1565
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: The "lacquer sound"? (in reply to Andy Culpepper

These blindfold listening test are fascinating. I’ve noticed when recording myself on different guitars how similar they sound and it’s kind of disgusted me. Not just my playing but it’s as if the sound is almost entirely attributable to nails, attack, and the anatomy of your hands...or something. And it makes me wonder is this just the recording or is it really just how I sound no matter what?

Somewhat off topic, but in there is a guy in the audiophile world that will give 10k dollars to the first person who can tell two amplifiers apart in a blind fold test. You can bring your own amp as long as it has less than 2% THD and the volume levels between the amps are set the same. So all these guys have brought in their 50k hifi boutique amps with their self proclaimed “golden ears ability” to the challenge and all have failed.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 18 2020 15:59:22
 
Echi

 

Posts: 826
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: The "lacquer sound"? (in reply to Andy Culpepper

Websites like Solera Flamenca (to mention one) regularly post videos of performances done on the guitars they sell.
A couple of players play different guitars and the differences between guitars can be easily spotted on.
Obviously to play a guitar is a totally different matter but I don’t believe all the guitars are the same.
While they may be less evident for a listener in a blind test, the differences are still there.

What is difficult is to attribute a certain tonal effect to a specific feature.
And yet, in the case of lacquer, this is quite easy to spot on as a top can be stripped and the varnished or shellacked again.
Just my 2 cents.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 18 2020 21:27:08
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3012
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: The "lacquer sound"? (in reply to Echi

I hear differences among the instruments played on Solera Flamenca's web site. If I were in the market for another guitar, it might influence which ones I wanted to try. The same goes for Mundo Flamenco. Solera Flamenca sticks mainly to the same two players. Mundo Flamenco features an occasional guest pro, but all the samples are by the same player. i don't think I would buy one from either site without playing it for a while, and comparing it with others.

I have mentioned before an interesting experience at the shop of Arturo Huipe in Paracho. He showed me two guitars, one French polished, the other lacquered with nitrocellulose. For materials the guitars were as similar as any two guitars I have seen. Top, back and sides were clearly from the same trees, indeed from nearby or adjacent planks in the same trees. I can't speak to plate thickness, fan strut dimensions or the like. Huipe assured me they were as near alike as possible. I like Huipe, but I don't know him well enough to accept everything he says unconditionally. I can't think why he would intentionally make (or contract for) one guitar worse than the other. The French polished guitar was more expensive, but I thought the difference was easily appropriate to the increased labor for French polish.

The French polished guitar was quite superior. The nitro guitar was much duller and quieter. I bought the French polished one. After I got it back to Austin I found I didn't play it much. I'd say it was on the border between a very good student guitar and a possible concert instrument. I ended up giving it to the local guitar society.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 19 2020 3:48:40
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2188
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: The "lacquer sound"? (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:

I hear differences among the instruments played on Solera Flamenca's web site. If I were in the market for another guitar, it might influence which ones I wanted to try


Richard,

It has been some time since we got together with my flamenco guitar finished with lacquer.

Good or bad, could you give me an indication of how it is developing with its articulation and tone?

That particular guitar gave me a lot of trouble in its finish-out toward the end, until all of a sudden things started leveling out and fell into place.

All I'm asking is an honest evaluation of the aging, which I know you would give, especially since I'm not seeking additional business at this time, thanks.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 20 2020 19:20:00
 
ernandez R

Posts: 351
Joined: Mar. 25 2019
From: Alaska USA

RE: The "lacquer sound"? (in reply to Tom Blackshear

quote:

ORIGINAL: Tom Blackshear

quote:

I hear differences among the instruments played on Solera Flamenca's web site. If I were in the market for another guitar, it might influence which ones I wanted to try


Richard,

It has been some time since we got together with my flamenco guitar finished with lacquer.

Good or bad, could you give me an indication of how it is developing with its articulation and tone?

That particular guitar gave me a lot of trouble in its finish-out toward the end, until all of a sudden things started leveling out and fell into place.

All I'm asking is an honest evaluation of the aging, which I know you would give, especially since I'm not seeking additional business at this time, thanks.


Tom,
Was this guitar top finished in lacquer as well?

How long does the lacquer take to gas out compleatly gas out and then and harden compleatly compared to shellac? I've noticed on mine that at about nine months I can't smell the shellac through the sound hole and the guitars brightened up some about the same time. I've only shellacked four at this point so that is my baseline.


HR

_____________________________

I prefer my flamenco guitar spicy,
doesn't have to be fast,
should have some meat on the bones,
can be raw or well done,
as long as it doesn't sound like it's turning green on an elevator floor.

www.instagram.com/threeriversguitars
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 20 2020 21:07:15
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2188
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: The "lacquer sound"? (in reply to ernandez R

quote:

Was this guitar top finished in lacquer as well?


Yes, by a builder friend of mine; nice job, and I can't tell you how long to its complete drying.

_____________________________

Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 20 2020 23:17:50
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3012
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: The "lacquer sound"? (in reply to Tom Blackshear

Here's Tom's first post about this instrument, his number 329, a 1987 Manuel Reyes style spruce/Indian. It's dated almost exactly two years ago. The label is dated 2-1-19, but the check I wrote the day after I first saw it is dated 12-11-2019.

Tom asked me to bring my Arcangel Fernandez blanca down to San Antonio to compare. He expressed some uncertainty about his guitar. I took the '67 Ramirez too. After some comparison Tom said he was relieved that #329 stood up well.

When Tom played #329 and asked my opinion, the first words out of my mouth were, "It's new, isn't it." This was not a criticism. In my experience, new spruce top guitars develop considerably in the first few months of playing. The guitar was loud, with very brilliant trebles. I remember playing a Reyes blanca at Richard Brunés shop a few years ago. Richard described the trebles as "glassy." I'm not very good at the usual descriptive words for guitar tone, but I suppose that might apply to #329 when it was brand new.

Tom said he had been concerned about the basses, but he felt they were adequate. They didn't growl quite like the other two guitars, but they certainly supported the trebles.

I play different guitars over time, but Tom's has been played more than any other since I've had it. Shortly after I got it home, I noticed I could play classical as well as flamenco on it, the only guitar I have ever owned like that. Tom had it set up for flamenco, maybe 2 1/2mm at the 12th fret for the 6th string. The fifth string buzzed a little when fretted at the ninth fret, an important note in a classical piece i play. I took the guitar to the great repairman Mark Erlewine here in town and asked him to make a saddle one millimeter higher, raising the action to 3mm at the 12th fret for the 6th string, still OK for flamenco.

It's always hard for me to tell how much a guitar has changed, and how much the change is due to my learning how to play it. That said, I think the basses have come in more solidly, and have plenty of flamenco growl. When I tuned the 6th string down to D to work on Ramon Montoya's Rondeña, it even seemed to gain a little in volume.

If anything, the trebles have increased in brilliance. And the pulsacion of the high tension D'Addario EJ-46s feels softer than the same strings on Tom's cedar/Indian Rodriguez model classical with the same scale length that I own. Also softer than the Savarez "red cards" on the '67 Ramirez blanca. Maybe about the same as the Arcangel with the lower tension Savarez "white cards." But moving toward the bridge with the right hand, or putting a capo on II or III stiffens up the feel of #329. There's plenty of percussion in rasgueados anywhere between the soundhole and the bridge. Pulsacion is perfectly fine with no capo.

The response of the guitar is very even, there are no loud or soft notes anywhere on the fingerboard. It is as even as any guitar I own or remember playing. I particularly like this about the instrument, for both flamenco and classical.

Compared to the Arcangel and the Ramirez, #329's trebles are more brilliant with the same touch. #329's basses aren't quite as loud, but they are plenty loud enough. Some of the classical guitars are better for classical. They can produce a "fuller" tone. For flamenco, #329 is certainly as good as any other i own.

It's not clear how much it will continue to change. Spruce guitars often continue to improve for 2 or 3 years. At present it's a great pleasure to play for either genre.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 21 2020 2:03:04
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2188
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: The "lacquer sound"? (in reply to Richard Jernigan

Richard,

Thanks for clarifying the issue, as I had lost control of a planned build and really had to work hard to rectify toward the finish out.

_____________________________

Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 24 2020 3:24:39
 
aaron peacock

 

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Joined: Apr. 26 2020
 

[Deleted] 

Post has been moved to the Recycle Bin at Jul. 6 2020 2:24:51
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 6 2020 2:24:24
 
aaron peacock

Posts: 135
Joined: Apr. 26 2020
From: Portugal

RE: The "lacquer sound"? (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

ORIGINAL: Ricardo

quote:

I believe at this point that I can actually tell the difference based on certain tone qualities, and I'm wondering if anyone else has noticed this.


I would agree with you myself if not for giving myself an objective “blindfold” test. FP negra, FP Lawson cypress, nitro lacquered cypress, polyurethane Negra, maybe one more variety? Anyway, played the same short bit of flamenco on each guitar and had ToddK play them back to me at random....yikes. I could not tell one bit of freaking difference! They all sounded shockingly the same.

It’s 100% in your mind and based on bias.



What was the difference in playing experience?

Would one elicit a better performance from you than another?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 6 2020 2:25:50
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12668
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: The "lacquer sound"? (in reply to aaron peacock

quote:

What was the difference in playing experience?

Would one elicit a better performance from you than another?


Well of course. They were all my own guitars so I know them all intimately well. That’s why it was so shocking to hear the playback and not be able to tell which was which. And not only that, but I had just played them all moments before....and the performances where not precise copies, they were only generally the same (a bit of taranta and a bit of solea por buleria)... and as god is my witness I could not tell honestly which guitar was which.

My goal was not to fool myself, rather it was to decide which of my guitars would end up being the most prefered Flamenco sound for the full recording. I expected one of the recordings to scream “I’m the one that stands out”, and use THAT instrument exclusively. The result of the experiment was...IT DOESN’T MATTER!

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 6 2020 16:52:03
 
RobF

Posts: 947
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: The "lacquer sound"? (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

... and as god is my witness I could not tell honestly which guitar was which.


The thing is, your playing is at a level that you probably continually yet unconsciously make adjustments across instruments to end up with a consistent sound. It’s like the old saying about a good player being able to make a two by four sound good. So, in your case, you can pretty well grab whichever one feels good to you that day and be assured it’s going to come out fine in the recording.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 6 2020 17:41:09
 
Echi

 

Posts: 826
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: The "lacquer sound"? (in reply to Andy Culpepper

quote:

The result of the experiment was...IT DOESN’T MATTER!

Your tone with the Arcangel of Richard is the best I heard from your videos by far.
No offence: You are a great musician no matter the guitar you play, but if you ask me, your tone in that video easily pops up.
Again, matter of tastes, but if any guitar was the same why so many people bother so much with expensive guitars?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 6 2020 20:45:32
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3012
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: The "lacquer sound"? (in reply to Echi

At the moment I have 3 flamencas: 2 blancas, 1 negra. They sound and feel different to me. But I haven't tried a blind test.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 6 2020 23:52:06
 
RobJe

 

Posts: 711
Joined: Dec. 16 2006
From: UK

RE: The "lacquer sound"? (in reply to Andy Culpepper

Do flamenco guitarists really care how their guitar sounds to other people? When choosing a guitar I am looking for something that sounds and more importantly feels great to me. Perhaps you get your friends to listen when you try out a guitar. Perhaps you even trust their judgement. I wouldn’t.

If you record a guitar and play it back, even the most modest pre-amp turns the sound into something far removed from the unamplified sound in the same room. If you go further (as most performers do these days) you get something that is far removed from how the guitar sounds unamplified, although not necessarily unpleasant. Perhaps guitars should be chosen on the basis of providing good balanced output across the strings that will give the sound engineers the least number of problems. The guitar that fits the bill might well be a Conde of course.

The blind test I suggested in a previous post was not about listening to a recording, for the reasons hinted at above. It was about listening to yourself play a few guitars by one maker without knowing whether the finish was FP or lacquer. I was invited to do a similar experiment by Jose Ramirez back in 1968 – but to evaluate something else.

A guitar isn’t better or worse because of its finish. The guitar that pleases you the most is the best.

Rob
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 7 2020 10:31:38
 
Sr. Martins

Posts: 3072
Joined: Apr. 4 2011
 

RE: The "lacquer sound"? (in reply to Andy Culpepper

It's easy to focus on the instrument and forget how the sound is generated.

For instance, try playing with a sharp tip 0.6mm nylon plectrum and then with a round tip 3mm glass plectrum.. no matter what guitar you play, the difference between both will be gigantic.

Our right hand picks, the nails, are different from person to person and also the chunk of mass that holds them, the hand.

This to say that you would be more likely to easily distinguish between what/who is attacking the strings than which guitar is being played.

_____________________________

"Ya no me conoce el sol, porque yo duermo de dia"
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 7 2020 12:37:51
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12668
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: The "lacquer sound"? (in reply to Echi

quote:

Your tone with the Arcangel of Richard is the best I heard from your videos by far.


Of course it does... because your eyes and brain were already biased. Trust me the same happens to me too. But when the bias is removed you won’t be able to tell.

And to others trying to sell yourselves on recording pre amp etc....no, sorry. You see that is part of the control just like player, the music and the strings. I was only worried about the music giving it away, because I can’t play 100% perfectly.

Only when I knew precisely what guitar was in my hand did the sound differences appear. Of course that’s good enough to pay for Arcangel vs Cordoba .... but in terms of sound to the unknowing blind audience, it doesn’t really matter.

I simply challenge you all to take a sample yourself playing 4 or more guitars, the same short music. Have a significant other use their phone. Then have them play it back in random order (so you don’t know of course) with headphones on. Call them 1-4. It’s shocking.

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 7 2020 17:50:32
 
RobJe

 

Posts: 711
Joined: Dec. 16 2006
From: UK

RE: The "lacquer sound"? (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

And to others trying to sell yourselves on recording pre amp etc....no, sorry


It's a long time since I studied acoustics so what follows might be just confirmation of my ignorance.

If all preamps did was change the volume I could understand your point. However a pre-amp changes the ‘colour’ or ‘texture’ of the sound. I am suggesting it is possible that the changes made by the pre-amp can mask the original subtle differences and make the guitars sound the same.

Rob
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 7 2020 20:25:13
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3012
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: The "lacquer sound"? (in reply to RobJe

quote:

ORIGINAL: RobJe

If all preamps did was change the volume I could understand your point. However a pre-amp changes the ‘colour’ or ‘texture’ of the sound. I am suggesting it is possible that the changes made by the pre-amp can mask the original subtle differences and make the guitars sound the same.

Rob


Years ago I used to hang around with some pro symphony players. Some of them had big fantastic record collections, but all of them had cheap playback equipment. Some of them were pretty well off. I asked them why they didn't spend a little more on hi-fi gear. Every one of them replied, "None of them ever sound like the real thing, so why bother?"

Lots of commercial guitar recordings, both classical and flamenco, are very highly processed these days. They sound more like some kind of extra-terrestrial synthesizer than a guitar.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 7 2020 21:27:32
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