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Steven9000

Chipboard Guitar

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Lo folks :)

Thought you guys might be interested in a wee project I've been working on with a mate. I've posted this in another forum but no-one seems to be interested anymore. For a long time now whenever making derogatory comments about a guitar I've often inferred that it might as well be made from chipboard, so we decided to actually build a guitar out of chipboard and see how bad it would actually sound.

We took the neck off a Squier strat (rosewood fretboard), and installed a Seymour Duncan JB in the bridge position. Then, we made recordings of the guitar along with an Epiphone Explorer and Les Paul.

You can find clean recordings here and dirty recordings here. Just to make things a bit more interesting, they are both in random order(not the same order as each other), and I'd like to see if you can identify the order, choose which you liked best, and see if you can pick out which one is the chipboard guitar :)

Steve.

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Guest Savant

I 'm guessing that guitar number 1 on the clean recording and 3 on the dirty is the chipboard one...

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Guest DustyDeviada

Well, I can't be bothered listening to the clips, but I would say that there's likely to be just as much difference due to the different pickup. You should have used the same pickup in the different guitars.

Also, the Epiphones are just as likely to be made out of chipboard or plywood or some other cheapo mystery wood combo. You should have used a Gibson or something. But even then, high end Gibson archtops ie a 335 will be made with laminates.

But I'm not sure what the point of the experiment is. If it is to prove that a chipboard guitar can sound good, don't bother, Jimmy Page, Mark Knopfler and loads of others already did when they recorded with Danelectros.

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Guest DustyDeviada

Oh, sorry, didn't realise I had to check another forum, or even what the other forum is.

Still think it's pointless doing it with Epiphones.

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Sorry, I meant to put that in the original post, that all guitars in this test use the same pickup.

I think its more appropriate to use Epiphones for this comparison however. We all know its not fair to compare a 400 guitar to a 1000 guitar. Of course its not fair to compare a guitar made of a free bit of chipboard we found down by a disused harbour to a 400 pund guitar either, like :D But slightly fairer than comparing to Gibsons, imho.

Although if you feel like loaning us any guitars we'll gladly perform more comparisons to your liking :)

Oh, and the point of the experiment? Its a chipboard guitar! It has a painted on selector switch and a laminate worktop finish! It is the epitomy of everything that should be crap! Surely you find some entertainment in this? We do!

Those danelectros interest me, are you refering to one such as this: 59 DC - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia which claims a ply frame and basswood construction. We're using a pure, cheap-kitchen grade hunk of chipboard!Bet you Danelectro have never produced such a guitar as this.

Steve.

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ace! nice experiment! dont think there have been many/any production guitars made from proper chip board, maybe plywood or very cheap timbers!

im guessing that number 2 is the chipboard on the clean track as it sounds as tho the guitar is the worst set up, and number 1 on the distorted track as it doesnt have the same depth as the other two.

I hope im not wrong as it doesnt say much for me and my ears, especially when i'm customizing amps and pedals! :dunce:

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If it is to prove that a chipboard guitar can sound good, don't bother, Jimmy Page, Mark Knopfler and loads of others already did when they recorded with Danelectros.

danelectro guitars were constructed with Masonite top and back attached to a poplar frame, no chipboard or ply was ever used in their construction.

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Guest DustyDeviada

Yawn, pedantry of the highest order, made from woodchips, and the modern day reissues are made from laminates so your claim that ply has never been used in their construction is also wrong, unless you are going to indulge in further pedantry and semantics.

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Yawn, pedantry of the highest order, made from woodchips, and the modern day reissues are made from laminates so your claim that ply has never been used in their construction is also wrong, unless you are going to indulge in further pedantry and semantics.

Im so sorry, I was pointing out that "chipboard" was not used in the manufacture of these guitars and never has been, I think you will find if you look back the thread that it was you who wrongly made the claim that I was wrong...so does that make your comment pedantic and wrong?

I have no knowlege of the materials used in the current crap sold as danelectro and if there is ply in their construction then fine, i'm sorry.

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Guest Tam o' Shantie

please tell the guitar nerds to stop ruining what could have been an interesting thread

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Very interesting. I think it shows that the sound of an electric guitar is more to do with pick ups than woods. I don't think epi's are not bad guitars and putting good pups on them level out the playing field so to speak. But you pay your money and take your choice.

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please tell the guitar nerds to stop ruining what could have been an interesting thread

Why dont you tell them yourself?...........chicken?

:popcorn:

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Hi folks! Glad to see theres been some more interest in this thread, I thought it was going to go the way of the other one :(

britheguy - yes, this was one of the points of the experiment, we've also made recordings of the difference in sound using a vocal microphone instead of an SM57 on the guitar cab, and the difference in sound made between different players using the exact same rig and settings. Some of the results have been rather interesting.

By far the biggest difference, in my opinion has been the microphone test. We compared against a sennheiser e835 and everyone we've got to listen to these tests agree that the 57 sounds better. There was no real point in this test we just had the mic lying around, but I want to repeat it with an SM58 because I see quite a few hacks throwing them onto guitar cabs saying it makes no difference.

I was rather dissapointed in how much an influence on the sound the strong characteristics of the JB had, and in retrospect I'm not convinced it was a good choice of pickup for this. We're going to repeat the experiment in future with something like a texas special single coil, which I'm almost certain will reveal larger differences soundwise.

Dusty, sorry you aren't as enthusiastic about this as some of us are. The consequences of these experiments could leave the door open to some of us finding contentment with a much cheaper guitar, if the quality of body wood isn't such a great factor. Personally I was hoping that the experiment would reveal body woods to be a larger contributing factor than a lot of people think, because it would be nice justification for me to save up for an american strat :) I know you've got a fine collection of guitars but penniless folks like me are always trying to get the best value for money. If I'm going to be just as happy in the long run with a mexican strat and better pickups I might end up saving myself a few bob.

Ooh and you guys probably want to know what the order actually was, dont you?

Clean recording: Les Paul, Chipboard Guitar, Explorer

Dirty recording: Explorer, Chipboard Guitar, Les Paul

Thanks for participating, folks 8-)

Steve.

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Guest DustyDeviada
Dusty, sorry you aren't as enthusiastic about this as some of us are. The consequences of these experiments could leave the door open to some of us finding contentment with a much cheaper guitar, if the quality of body wood isn't such a great factor. Personally I was hoping that the experiment would reveal body woods to be a larger contributing factor than a lot of people think, because it would be nice justification for me to save up for an american strat :) I know you've got a fine collection of guitars but penniless folks like me are always trying to get the best value for money. If I'm going to be just as happy in the long run with a mexican strat and better pickups I might end up saving myself a few bob.

No, I was in fact speaking up for cheaper guitars by pointing out that some of the greatest guitar players have made some classic records with cheaper guitars. And yes, I have some pricey gutars but I also have some cheap(er) guitars and I love playing them as well.

For example, the last gig I played was acoustic with Emma Forman at Drummonds. I have two acoustics with electronics, a Gibson J-45 and an Epiphone Chet Atkins SST which cost me a couple of hundred back in 1995. I took the Epiphone for a change and was amazed, easily the best acoustic tone I've had, ever.

I've also played my Burns 12 string live quite a few times, it cost less than 300, and it always, without exception, gets praise and compliments from other guitar players who haven't batted an eyelid at the more expensive guitars. So you can get great guitars for not much money, definitely, and as you have shown, upgrading pickups, hardware and perhaps most importantly, electronics will reap rewards.

And sorry your thread got hi-jacked, but it seems some people just can't help being smart-arses, or maybe they just want to share with the world the exciting tonal benefits of hardboard over chipboard. :rolleyes:

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Cool to see a Regents chap about here :) (I haven't posted in a while admittedly, though some muckups with the new anti spam stuff)

I would guess a JB would hide a lot of the influence of the wood - something like a lower gain singlecoil (or even lower gain hb like a paf) should let the guitars qualities shine through a lot more

As for cheap guitars, I have the stereotypical cheap beginners stratalike, and while it sounds completely different from my tele or bc rich, it has a sound of its own that sound great for some stuff, crap wood (and pickups) or not

David

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