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NickNihil

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 28, 2021
Messages
52
One performance aspect of all three of my EBMM's I've noticed is how well they seem to respond to picking across different parts of the body. I know all guitars do this, but it's more pronounced in the EBMM's. My AL HH (all rosewood neck) gets a lot more of a scooped midrange picking right above the neck or up the neck but instead of getting muddy it still stays really clear, in fact I think it's a bit brighter. Based on other guitars I've had over the years I'd certainly expect bassier but not necessarily brighter. And of course things get midrangier and thinner as you get to the bridge. It's the same dramatic degree of difference on my Stealth Black hhh STV and my STV Goldie. Comparing it to my American Strat with Duncan Lil '59's in the bridge and neck (noiseless single coil in the middle). The difference in picking across the body, especially going further up the body and neck is much less dramatic while getting muddier. With the EBMM's I feel like I can almost play 3 different guitars on one pickup position depending merely on where on the body I'm picking, whereas the Strat has a narrow sweet spot and an anywhere else either doesn't make much difference or sounds like crap.

My question, and I expect I'll get many differing opinions, is whether this is entirely due to pickups, wood/precision of construction/quality of hardware, or somewhere in the middle. The Strat is alder with a roasted maple neck/rosewood fingerboard, all EBMM's are Okoume, both STV's with roasted maple neck/ebony fingerboards and the AL (repeating myself, I know) is the all rosewood neck. I know there are schools of thought that say wood means virtually nothing in solid body electrics and that the tone is all pickups, while apparently Lindy Fralin and someone at Duncan apparently said pickups are really on 10-15% of the tone. It's virtually impossible to scientifically quantify, but I will say that tonal characteristics of all 3 EBMM's when played unplugged come through when plugged in. The Goldie is big and bright as hell, the AL is thick with a softer high end, and the stealth black is all mids, almost with an 'AH' sound to its resonance, less (or tighter) low end, and certainly not as bright.

Long post, I know. Let's see the debate!
 

NickNihil

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 28, 2021
Messages
52
I should add that all guitars have the same strings on them (stringjoy custom 12-52 sets), they all have two point tremolos, none of them are floating, they all have virtually the same action, and while all pickup heights differ slightly due to of course being different pickups, I don't feel like I have them set in any extreme positions. I'm very particular about setting the height and I'm not into getting the most output possible. I like them all low enough to keep the bass clear and detailed but high enough to have a bit of punch and fullness, and I'm on clean or cleanish tones probably 70% of the time.
 

racerx

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 10, 2021
Messages
78
As much as I love the magic of guitar building - I believe electric guitar tones are primarily driven by their pickups (most important), their bridge composition, and their nut. Anything else seems trivial to the final tone in my experience. I believe these are the three main ingredients related to picking/plucking point-of-attack also. Otherwise I think everything else falls in the bucket of comfort, balance, style, etc.
 

tbonesullivan

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 24, 2012
Messages
2,044
Location
New Jersey
I definitely have a "sweet spot" on all my guitars where I like the sounds best from playing. It changes a bit based on the guitar, but means I get a good difference between the bridge and neck pickup sound. So yeah, it definitely matters.

Like, with a Stingray bass with a single H pickup, you can get a HUGE variety of sounds just by changing where you play on the string.
 
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