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Thread: Most Important Parts of a Guitar's Sound?

  1. #1
    Ultimate Tone Member
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    Default Most Important Parts of a Guitar's Sound?

    From most to least, this is how important I view the different parts of a rig to a guitars sound:

    Pedals
    Amplifier
    Pedal/Amplifier settings
    Guitar wiring
    Tuning
    Scale length
    String material/gauge
    Pickups
    Pickup height adjustment
    Magnet swaps
    Polepieces
    Plectrum
    Saddle material
    Neck wood
    Cable to amp resistance
    Nut and fret material
    Pot values
    Body wood
    Sustain block/stoptail
    Tuners

    I know that the guitar player him/herself is easily one of the most important parts of the signal, but I don't know where exactly that would fall in my list given that not even the best chops can turn a muddy guitar to a bright one like a change in amp, pedal, or pickups can.

    I also know that a lot of you will get on me for putting wood so low on the list, but I feel that the effect of wood is often times exaggerated because it makes up such a large part of a guitar structurally, but people forget that it's one of the few parts of a guitar that passively absorb energy (especially considering wood is always at least one component removed- frets, bridge, etc.- from the string) instead of the items higher on the list that have a more active part in the tone by adding to that energy or being an electrical part of the system.



    How do y'all think I did on the list? And if you actually read the parts after the list, bonus points for you!

  2. #2
    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Most Important Parts of a Guitar's Sound?

    The player can override a lot of things on the list. He/she has more to do with the overall EQ of a guitar than many components.
    Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Most Important Parts of a Guitar's Sound?

    I mentioned that in my first post, but the way I see it, the player themself would be in a bracket next to the list, not a part of the list itself.

  4. #4
    OH THE GLAZE! Clint 55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Most Important Parts of a Guitar's Sound?

    Looks generally very good.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Most Important Parts of a Guitar's Sound?

    Although I know you probably included it in with the amplifier, I would say the speaker cabinet and the microphone on it (presuming you're in a studio/live environment) affect the tone more than pretty much anything other than the player. I've run different amps into the same cabinet/mic combo or impulse response and the results were hardly night and day, but I've run the same amp into different cabinets and heard a HUGE difference.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker NecroPolo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Most Important Parts of a Guitar's Sound?

    For me it's attitude, craftsmahship, pickups, amps, picks. All the rest have minor impact.

  7. #7
    of the Forum PFDarkside's Avatar
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    Default Re: Most Important Parts of a Guitar's Sound?

    I’d separate out the Amplifier into Speaker, Cabinet, Preamp, Power Amp, Tubes/etc.
    Oh no.....


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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Most Important Parts of a Guitar's Sound?

    Oriental rug

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    of the Forum PFDarkside's Avatar
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    Default Re: Most Important Parts of a Guitar's Sound?

    Quote Originally Posted by TMD View Post
    Oriental rug
    Ah yes, Tone is in the rug. More specifically, how your bare feet interact with the rug.
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  10. #10
    A Ficus ehdwuld's Avatar
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    Default Re: Most Important Parts of a Guitar's Sound?

    Persian Rug

    Not just a dang bath mat

    But I have seen teal bath mats with incredible bluesy tones
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  11. #11
    tonewood instigator
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    Default Re: Most Important Parts of a Guitar's Sound?

    Don't forget to add the room into the equation if you're playing live.
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    Difference don't seem quite as bad today.
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Most Important Parts of a Guitar's Sound?

    I was gonna say, apart from the rug, it is the fans blowin' the hair around.
    Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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  13. #13
    HardtailPisser ibanezrocks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Most Important Parts of a Guitar's Sound?

    Boss metal zone

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  14. #14
    BadHairDayologist Empty Pockets's Avatar
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    Default Re: Most Important Parts of a Guitar's Sound?

    The amp is the main ingredient. Pedals are spice. Guitars are forks and knives.
    green globe burned black by sunn

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Most Important Parts of a Guitar's Sound?

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty Pockets View Post
    The amp is the main ingredient. Pedals are spice. Guitars are forks and knives.
    The bass is a serving spoon.

  16. #16
    tonewood instigator
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    Default Re: Most Important Parts of a Guitar's Sound?

    The singer is the dog whining for scraps.
    Once I had myself a million, now I've only got a dime.
    Difference don't seem quite as bad today.
    With a nickel or a million I was searchin' all the time
    For something that I never lost or left behind.

  17. #17
    A Ficus ehdwuld's Avatar
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    Default Re: Most Important Parts of a Guitar's Sound?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mincer View Post
    I was gonna say, apart from the rug, it is the fans blowin' the hair around.
    Fans blowing

    I'm wit cha
    EHD
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    Ehdwuld branded Blue semi hollow custom with JB/Jazz
    Reptile Green Gibson Custom Studio / Aqua Dean Shire semi hollow with piezo
    Carvin Belair / Laney GC80A Acoustic Amp (a gift from Guitar Player Mag)
    GNX3000 (yea I'm a modeler)

  18. #18
    Mojo's Minions
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    Default Re: Most Important Parts of a Guitar's Sound?

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty Pockets View Post
    The amp is the main ingredient. Pedals are spice. Guitars are forks and knives.
    The 7th String is the little dessert spoon that nobody wants.
    “For me, when everything goes wrong – that’s when adventure starts.” Yvonne Chouinard

  19. #19
    Mojo's Minions LLL's Avatar
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    Default Re: Most Important Parts of a Guitar's Sound?

    Q: Most Important Parts of a Guitar's Sound?

    A: Practice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgecrusher View Post
    I thought it sounded great, until I heard something that sounded good.
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  20. #20
    Mojo's Minions devastone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Most Important Parts of a Guitar's Sound?

    The speaker is a big part of the sound, unless you are counting that in the "amplifier" line. One of the biggest tonal changes you can make.

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