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Thread: What makes vintage Fenders sound so good?

  1. #21
    Ultimate Tone Slacker mrfjones's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes vintage Fenders sound so good?

    from playing a few old ones and owning a lot of new guitars it really is about the wood and how it ages even with a solid body. If it is coated in so much junk that the wood can't breath and age then it will never sound like it is old or vintage. The guitar will always sound new. I personally like the feel of a nitro finish but if it lets the wood age better then i am glad i have it on some of my guitars.

    The older guitars i have played all sound great and the only real difference, other than the finish, were a few nicks and scratches.

    GJ i think you may be right about the kluson style tuners. They don't add much mass but let the neck wood vibrate the way it should. I think the aluminum tail pieces for LPs do the same thing as the tuners do, but there is some balance between the added metal pieces being too light or too heavy. I am sure we can come up with more factors that make vintage guitars more desireable.

  2. #22
    Frito's Better Half beandip's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes vintage Fenders sound so good?

    Norman, I say atleast 20 years old.
    This is the very perfection of a man, to find out his own imperfections. - St. Augustine of Hippo

  3. #23
    Tone Member hacker's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes vintage Fenders sound so good?

    The old pickups from the 50s and 60s sounded better. Thats a bigger factor than the nitro vs. poly thing. I have owned some great sounding guitars finished in poly-and some very mediocre ones finished in nitro.

    I disagree with the numbers that are being thrown out in this thread-"robs 40% of the tone" and Lew's over 20 years old remark. High end manufactures dry their wood out so that a brand new piece of wood has the same moisture content as a much older one.

    I was recently reading about violin making. Stradavarious would get wood from trees grown in extreme climates-like on the top of mountains, that have been subjected to high winds, temoperature changes, etc. because this wood would be stronger and have more desirable acoustic properties. Spruce and maple were commonly used. Also, he would tap the top of the violin with his finger and be able to tell if he had a "good one" coming out.

  4. #24
    Unseen Vasshu the humanoid typhoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes vintage Fenders sound so good?

    High end manufactures dry their wood out so that a brand new piece of wood has the same moisture content as a much older one.
    Well is has its drawbacks....all this way too busy stuff is just not the same as natural drying.
    Last edited by Vasshu the humanoid typhoon; 06-23-2004 at 02:13 PM.
    “Time is a drug. Too much of it kills you.”

  5. #25
    Frito's Better Half beandip's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes vintage Fenders sound so good?

    I still stand by my mojo point. Go pickup a vintage Fender and tell me you dont feel mojo just jumpin off that thing. Now, go pickup a CS Fender and tell me if you dont feel like you'd better not drop it.
    This is the very perfection of a man, to find out his own imperfections. - St. Augustine of Hippo

  6. #26
    Gear Ho Gearjoneser's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes vintage Fenders sound so good?

    Then, factor in the player holding the instrument! I've seen an old bluesman blow my mind with a new $200 MIM strat. A stradivarious could be dried out for 250 years and still sound like a cat being stepped on, in my hands. Ha Ha.
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogie Bill View Post
    I've got 60 guitars...but 49 trumpets is just...INSANITY! WTF!

  7. #27
    Buttery Toneologist Hot _Grits's Avatar
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    Default Re: What makes vintage Fenders sound so good?

    I have a nitro finished custom strat, and it definitely resonates well. I've had similar experiences to some of you guys with the highway ones, too: all of them sound great unplugged, not to mention sacrily consistent. I played six in one shop, and they all sounded nearly identical.

    Ideally, an oiled finish is the best for not deadening an instrument's tone. And thick poly finishes definitely hamper tone: some of you more long term forum members may remember the burnt strat in one of my early avatars. That guitar had a typical Japanese poly finish, and after I BBQ'd it, the guitar sounded way better.

    Still, my poly finished strats, tele and PRS sound good, so I'm not about to refinish them.

    As for saddles and low mass tuners, there's something to that too. You can compromise, though: I have gotoh vintage replacement locking pegs on one strat, and they are great. Locking, with a higher gear ratio, but almost identical looking and very similar in weight to the originals. No mod to the guitar, either. Thoroughly recommended for those who want the old tone with less hassle.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jolly View Post
    ...but then again, I'm so deaf I can't even hear myself fart.

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