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Very Resonant Gibsons, Do you have one ?

Any Name You Wish

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Apr 15, 2021
Messages
248
I've been shopping for a Custom Shop SG, and this past week I played several more of them and the best one of the bunch was the one that sounded best BOTH acoustically and plugged in. I had a similar experience playing a bunch of Custom Shop Telecasters recently, but not so much when I bought my R9. I think I would have to play dozens of the same model to start drawing a conclusion, although the folks at Wildwood Guitars would put out the "Not You Again" doormat at some point:). In the end it is all magic. Good magic, not that dark stuff involving curses that the girl I met in New Orleans placed on me. No not that.
 

c_wester

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May 9, 2002
Messages
2,070
I stay away from these internet weird buzzwords.
I would never buy a "resonant" guitar....

It sounds like it's riddled with deadtones.

I want a stable one that does not Vibrate and fuck up the tone.
I want one that's hard like rock and rings all along the suspicious g string and high up on the fretboard.... looking at you Mr SG.


Stop with the resonant guitars...


We want good playing guitars that sound awesome.

Not some rattlejoke.
 

Wilko

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Mar 11, 2002
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20,377
the resonance is what give the guitar it's voice. Maybe not too much. just the right amount, in the right places.

Without it, all electric guitars would sound the same.
 

charliechitlins

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Nov 16, 2021
Messages
619
the resonance is what give the guitar it's voice. Maybe not too much. just the right amount, in the right places.

Without it, all electric guitars would sound the same.
This ^^.
I like microphonic pickups.
If you have a little microphone inside a guitar "hearing" the body, a nice sounding body can help.
 

wmachine

Active member
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Mar 17, 2016
Messages
272
"Resonant" and "Resonance" have to be the most missapplied and wrongly used terms for solidbody guitars. Unplugged acoustic tone of Les Pauls are claimed to be resonant or have amazing resonance by many, yet it is the amplified tone that is. I find overly loud unplugged tone rarely sounds better than more focused subdued ones when jacked up. Mushy more often than not.

I listen for clear balanced tone and volume. A brang with each note in a chord heard with equal clarity without too much midrange smearing or overpowering. Single string notes have pleasing clear tone with good attack and sustain. No sitar or quack tone, no dead notes or overpowering ones. Just to evaluate how it may sound amplified, because unplugged sounds thin and plinky and way better amplified, with a cord not a microphone.
Then I plug in and get real. Real loud.
I'm not so sure the terms are misapplied. I firmly believe there is "something to it". But I get what you're saying. Maybe there is a better word for it? To me there is absolutely a connection to how it sounds unplugged and how good it is. Volume is part, but not all of it. My experience is that when it sings in your hand, as you say, it will reflect that plugged in. Yes there is definitely a connection. I'll add that I won't say there are not exceptions, but that has been a go-to guide that serves me well when getting a new guitar. I have had exceptionally good luck getting good ones too. Big exception was a year old Gibson Explorer I got. With all that body mass, I really expected it to sound good unplugged. But I was quite surprised how dead it was. Plugged in, it was just as lifeless. It was a well reviewed and received model, so it is safe to say I just had a bad one. Put new strings on it, and did my amateur setup on it, and it was marginally better, but I still considered it dead and not worth trying to do any more to revive it. Ended up getting another Explorer to fill that slot for me, and it was fine.
I realize that even though I have a lot of guitars, my personal experience is not nearly enough for me to "believe the theory". But I found enough pro players that really know guitars that believe it true too. My experience just reflects that. BL, "it works for me".
 

Any Name You Wish

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Apr 15, 2021
Messages
248
I'm not so sure the terms are misapplied. I firmly believe there is "something to it". But I get what you're saying. Maybe there is a better word for it? To me there is absolutely a connection to how it sounds unplugged and how good it is. Volume is part, but not all of it. My experience is that when it sings in your hand, as you say, it will reflect that plugged in. Yes there is definitely a connection. I'll add that I won't say there are not exceptions, but that has been a go-to guide that serves me well when getting a new guitar. I have had exceptionally good luck getting good ones too. Big exception was a year old Gibson Explorer I got. With all that body mass, I really expected it to sound good unplugged. But I was quite surprised how dead it was. Plugged in, it was just as lifeless. It was a well reviewed and received model, so it is safe to say I just had a bad one. Put new strings on it, and did my amateur setup on it, and it was marginally better, but I still considered it dead and not worth trying to do any more to revive it. Ended up getting another Explorer to fill that slot for me, and it was fine.
I realize that even though I have a lot of guitars, my personal experience is not nearly enough for me to "believe the theory". But I found enough pro players that really know guitars that believe it true too. My experience just reflects that. BL, "it works for me".
I don't know about this. Once you plug into say a 50w or even a 20w tube amp and crank it up it is a whole new ballgame. Unless something is wrong with the pickups or other electronics, or there is a neck/fret problem with a bad setup, that thing is going to scream loudly and you are going to feel vibrations in your hands. Put an overdrive pedal in there and the sound is pretty much divorced from any "resonance" of the guitar. That said, I go play a bunch of the same model guitars, leave the amp on the same settings, put all the knobs on the guitars on 10, and some are rather quiet while others are loud. Could be old strings on some, or the pickups are too high, or the action is too low. I choose the one that feels good neck-wise and sounds good through my own amp, clean, at reasonable volume say 3 on my '59 Bassman. I wouldn't bother with testing an electric guitar unplugged unless I was checking for neck/fret problems, which I always do. Got to plug that thing in first and foremost. If the store doesn't have your amp, bring your own and have mercy on the folks that work there:)
 

Big Al

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Apr 24, 2002
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14,411
It is the QUALITY of the tone, not how LOUD it is. So often I read these resonance post about how acousticly loud and resonance are the same and louder is better. Nope, not for me. Evaluation of the tone, timbre and balance as I posted gives me a clear idea of the amplified tone. Not a weight thing. Lighter guitars are not more resonant and one advantage of owning so many guitars is the ability to compare.

My most resonant guitars are heavier, loud and proud. I have 8lb Melody Makers that destroy my lighter ones, tonaly. I have very loud unplugged chambered Les Pauls yet, as anyone who owns one knows, they have their own sound, one that still needs to be evaluated as I explained. I like them, but the do not gain tone by being loud unplugged and rather lose some when compared to a quieter, heavier, solid supposed tone reducing one. Not louder or stronger or more toneful.

Microphonic pickups do not. They just don't.
 

Guitar Magic

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Apr 16, 2015
Messages
54
It's the overall responsiveness, balance, clarity, sustain and note attack what matters while resonance is the icing on the cake. It's the most enjoyable experience to have a responsive LP that ticks all the boxes in your preferred tonal must-have attributes while also having a nice loud acoustic ring to it. Overall it's a must have for a keeper.

My acoustically loudest Les Paul ever was an early 2000s R7, but I missed the fast note attack in that guitar. I've had countless other very loud Les Pauls and some of them had unfavorable tonal characteristics for my taste (soft rubbery low-end, not enough percussiveness). I had a 2005 or 2006 R9 that was super loud and super percussive with good sustain - the perfect mix.

My best guitar was a late 69 Goldtop with a Braz board (while it was evident by first glance, it was also inspected and confirmed). It had a big fat neck. It wasn't only fat though, it was stable. I hit an open low-E while bending a whole note on an upper register and the low E rang steady. The weight wasn't heavy for the period, about 4.2 kg (9.2 lbs) which is not overly heavy with such a fat neck and big headstock. There's no words to describe that guitar. It could be soft and whispery if I wanted but when digging in, the palm mutes sounded like jackhammer. Clarity and definition in every possible position along the neck with absolutely no muddiness. I played Historics by the hundreds and I've found none that had that quality. That 69 GT must have sounded like a good Burst. Forgot to mention it had a great natural resonance on top of all that.

What a fool I am for selling it! The only reason were the mini humbuckers. I should have routed it for humbuckers and kept it forever with a non-stop grin on my face. Instead here I am, chasing 'the one' again...
 

Garyinboston

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Mar 3, 2017
Messages
8
I am fortunate enough to own a 1957 Les Paul TV Model that is not only light-ish in weight, because LP Jrs tend to be, but very resonant.

It just rings and vibrates and it only gets better when plugged in.

Maybe its the P90 or maybe the fat neck, I'm not sure but when you are holding it you can feel it.

The only down side (for me) is the fact that it has the smaller frets of the the period which I am considering changing but these are still (believe it or not) in good shape.

Any way that's my story, a nice example of a great guitar.

Gary
 
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Big Al

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Apr 24, 2002
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14,411
I am fortunate enough to own a 1957 Les Paul TV Model that is not only light-ish in weight, because LP Jrs tend to be, but very resonant.

It just rings and vibrates and it only gets better when plugged in.

Maybe its the P90 or maybe the fat neck, I'm not sure but when you are holding it you can feel it.

The only down side (for me) is the fact that it has the smaller frets of the the period which I am considering changing but these are still (believe it or not) in good shape.

Any way that's my story, a nice example of a great guitar.

Gary
Gary, sounds like a GREAT guitar. I've been lucky to have owned so many, ( $150-$300 when I bought them mid 70's-80's ), I never was able to score a TV Model. Expensive even back then. My favourites were 57's. I think a big STIFF neck is the secret. Every great guitar I've found had a big stiff neck. For me that is the thing I look for.

I prefer jumbo frets but have never felt the need to refret an original in good shape on any of my pre 1959 Gibsons. They played very well for me and I used them alot.
 

Garyinboston

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Mar 3, 2017
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funny story about that guitar.

In 1974 ish I wanted a sunburst Jr.

I scoured the want ads every week for one.

One day I saw an ad for a Les Paul Jr. for $245.00, no color was mentioned.

I called the guy and asked and he said "Yeah it's yellow" so I drove over as fast as I could with my money.

i get there and he pulls out this limed mahogany TV model which has a green-ish tinge to it!

I'd never seen one and my first thought was why would anybody want a guitar in this baby poop yellow color ?

He was a great player and I a noob so all though it wasn't a sunburst I bought it, I was basically intimidated by the guy.

As the years wound along that color became the collectable one (if you are into collecting that is).

And I still have it, in the condition it was in 1974 when it was 15 years old, a little beat up but it came by its' dings honestly.

Here's a photo of it.

Gary
 

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Big Al

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Apr 24, 2002
Messages
14,411
funny story about that guitar.

In 1974 ish I wanted a sunburst Jr.

I scoured the want ads every week for one.

One day I saw an ad for a Les Paul Jr. for $245.00, no color was mentioned.

I called the guy and asked and he said "Yeah it's yellow" so I drove over as fast as I could with my money.

i get there and he pulls out this limed mahogany TV model which has a green-ish tinge to it!

I'd never seen one and my first thought was why would anybody want a guitar in this baby poop yellow color ?

He was a great player and I a noob so all though it wasn't a sunburst I bought it, I was basically intimidated by the guy.

As the years wound along that color became the collectable one (if you are into collecting that is).

And I still have it, in the condition it was in 1974 when it was 15 years old, a little beat up but it came by its' dings honestly.

Here's a photo of it.

Gary
That looks pretty sweet to me. The SC TV Models vary in color but most seem to range from straw to mustard, ( Colmans or mustard seed), not very yellow. You can see the original color under the gaurd. The Sunburst varys a lot, too. When my son was little he called them my Bumble Bee guitars. The color of the double cut TV Models is much more yellow and I like it much more. The tortoise pickguard is a winner, too.

SC TVs are expensive, not because of color but rather the rarity as they made so little in comparison to the Jr.
I'll give ya a dollar for it.
 

Garyinboston

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Mar 3, 2017
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That looks pretty sweet to me. The SC TV Models vary in color but most seem to range from straw to mustard, ( Colmans or mustard seed), not very yellow. You can see the original color under the gaurd. The Sunburst varys a lot, too. When my son was little he called them my Bumble Bee guitars. The color of the double cut TV Models is much more yellow and I like it much more. The tortoise pickguard is a winner, too.

SC TVs are expensive, not because of color but rather the rarity as they made so little in comparison to the Jr.
I'll give ya a dollar for it.
Hmmm I didn't know they were rarer.

It's funny the longer i own this guitar the more interesting and better it gets.

Thanks for the info!

Gary
 

Dilver

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Feb 17, 2016
Messages
111
I think the simple design of Juniors/TV Models lend themselves to being resonant guitars…. nothing in between nut and wrap tailpiece bridge, small body cavity, simple plank body, one pickup. Even my 2018 Junior is super resonant. Love this thing… 97098846-4F2C-488B-83C8-45BA075CCA4D.jpeg
 

Guitar Magic

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Apr 16, 2015
Messages
54
My most resonant electric ever was a 69 SG Special with a big fat but narrow neck. It was a heavenly sounding guitar, I liked it better than my 1960 LP Special DC that I had at the same time (it had a thin pencil neck but sounded fabulous too). The problem was with that SG is the neck joint was so weak that I had to sit or stand steady for it to keep it staying in tune. The slightest movement or heavy playing would cause a tremolo effect on that guitar.

I should have kept it and professionally reglue the neck to make it steady. I still can't believe that an electric could sound that good acoustically. I could hear the individual nuances of every note, the way some of them bloomed, some jumped with a fast percussiveness and some notes just faded away kinda fast. What I heard acoustically was exactly the same I heard when plugged into my 69 Plexi.
 
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