• We would like to remind our members that this is a privately owned, run and supported forum. You are here at the invitation and discretion of the owners. As such, rules and standards of conduct will be applied that help keep this forum functioning as the owners desire. These include, but are not limited to, removing content and even access to the forum.

    Please give yourself a refresher on the forum rules you agreed to follow when you signed up.

Your best electric guitars, do they sound great acoustically?

OrganicZed

Experienced
Yes. I've heard people say that they have a guitar that sounds amazing through an amp but is lifeless acoustically. I can't say that I've ever encountered a guitar like that.
 

Rick

Fractal Fanatic
A pickup is a microphone. It can’t make a dead sounding guitar suddenly sound lively. The better question is whether or not the meat sack that the guitar is strapped to can tell the difference. Otherwise, you’re just talking quality of combs with a bald man.

No offense intended to you bald guys. :)
 

Stratoblaster

Fractal Fanatic
The first chord I played on my brand new Suhr S4 after taking it out of the case (without plugging it in to an amp) immediately caught my attention and made me go "whoa"; it really rang out and had a liveliness and a rich acoustic tone that I'd not heard on any electric guitar before. Plugged in it produced strong, detailed tones/harmonics that, again, I noted right away vs other guitars. I knew right then that I had something that was definitely a 'cut above' most other guitars.

I remember reading in Guitar Player that a noted luthier said his baseline/mark of a 'good piece of wood/guitar' is when you play a chord and put your right hand on the headstock and it vibrates a fair bit and slowly dissipates over time.
 

Toopy14

Fractal Fanatic
I remember reading in Guitar Player that a noted luthier said his baseline/mark of a 'good piece of wood/guitar' is when you play a chord and put your right hand on the headstock and it vibrates a fair bit and slowly dissipates over time.

I must have read the same article or a similar article...I was about to post the same thing. I believe it was thumb on one side of the headstock and forefinger on the other side. Then, as you said, strum the guitar and feel the vibration and sustain in the headstock.
 

Admin M@

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
Mine all do, but let's really qualify what that means. For me, it means that you can hear that the instrument has nice chime and good balanced sustain. There is no buzz or rattle (unless I created it on purpose). Attack is crisp and the fundamental pitch of each note can be perceived without weird dominating overtones.
 
Last edited:

Morphine

Inspired
It's really hard to determine imo. How great can an unplugged electric guitar actually sound? And by what measure? Loudness? Resonance?

Both my main guitars are pretty much opposites in terms of construction. One of them has an Evertune and I would say acoustically "rings" a little less than the one without the ET. That said, both sound great plugged in for what I use them for.
 

stink

Experienced
The first chord I played on my brand new Suhr S4 after taking it out of the case (without plugging it in to an amp) immediately caught my attention and made me go "whoa"; it really rang out and had a liveliness and a rich acoustic tone that I'd not heard on any electric guitar before. Plugged in it produced strong, detailed tones/harmonics that, again, I noted right away vs other guitars. I knew right then that I had something that was definitely a 'cut above' most other guitars.

I remember reading in Guitar Player that a noted luthier said his baseline/mark of a 'good piece of wood/guitar' is when you play a chord and put your right hand on the headstock and it vibrates a fair bit and slowly dissipates over time.
I had a very disappointing opposite experience once. I ordered a Peavey Wolfgang (taking over 10 months), picked it up, played a chord, and immediately thought, I've gotta sell it. It sounded dead, like it had a blanket over the wood or something. Fortunately I was able to sell it at the same cost of acquisition.

Now my Tom Anderson drop top, OTOH, rings and vibrates all through the neck. I'll go out on a limb and say acoustically, it's the best guitar in my stable. When plugged in, it's over the top amazing. Shout out to @FractalAudio for the recommendation.

That's not to say the other guitars are bad, it's just that the TA REALLY stands out above the others.
 

Stratoblaster

Fractal Fanatic
Mine all do, but let's really qualify what that means. For me, it means that you can hear that the instrument has nice chime and good balanced sustain. There is no buzz or rattle (unless I created it on purpose). Attack is crisp and the fundamental pitch of each note can be perceived without weird dominating overtones.

These are great descriptions/definitions of 'good sounding' acoustical properties on an electric. They would align with my experiences on my Suhr S4 and my Suhr Classic Pro.

The don't necessarily sound great acoustically, but they all sustain well and are balanced. Like I wouldn't mic one up or anything.

Definitely...the acoustic tone is not a sound you'd mic up, nor is even a desirable one....it's really only useful to reveal the fundamental, physical, properties of the guitar/wood/construction it would seem.
 

Stratoblaster

Fractal Fanatic
Now my Tom Anderson drop top, OTOH, rings and vibrates all through the neck.

Nice! A P-90 equipped Tom Anderson is very likely my next guitar purchase...:cool:

That's not to say the other guitars are bad, it's just that the TA REALLY stands out above the others.

Same with both of my Suhr's...they do indeed stand out vs so many other guitars I've played.
 
Last edited:

Stratoblaster

Fractal Fanatic
I must have read the same article or a similar article...I was about to post the same thing. I believe it was thumb on one side of the headstock and forefinger on the other side. Then, as you said, strum the guitar and feel the vibration and sustain in the headstock.

Right! I remember that from the article too. The luthier said if the headstock vibrates a fair bit, has a good sustain, and the instrument/neck just felt 'lively' he could immediately tell it would be a great sounding guitar electrically.
 

TG3K

Power User
One of the main things I look for when buying an electric guitar is how it sounds unplugged. I've bought several used guitars without ever plugging them in. I figure if the wood sounds good, I can fix/replace any of the electronic parts that don't.
 

Stratoblaster

Fractal Fanatic
The above sounds wrong to me. The headstock should feel more "fixed" for good sustain, otherwise you're losing energy.

Perhaps I'm remembering the article slightly wrong, in that the headstock may not vibrate a lot but should have some 'life' in it and not feel completely dead.
 
Top Bottom