Category Archives: Music

Anything related to music, guitar, piano, videos, singing

Does the type of wood of an electric guitar have an effect on its tone?

Probably, but its extremely minor.

In fact here I am playing a guitar made of an oil can; the wood in there is mostly agathis (very cheap wood) and is only used to line the frame – the majority of the body is completely hollow.

Gear used: Bohemian TNT (modified with Lollar Gold Foil pickups) + Vox MV50 Boutique head+Vox BC108 cabinet
Total cost of gear: $250 (guitar) +$400 (pickups) +$300 (amp+cabinet) = $950 

Do you think I got less sustain than I did with my Fender Stratocaster (with alder body)? Surprise! Not really. The amount of sustain was way more affected by my guitar pickups, amp and pedals than from me using a guitar with an oil can body.

In fact I changed the pickups on there so I know that inside the body, the pickups are connected by a piece of cardboard I had superglued in there since there wasnt enough wood on the neck to mount the pickup (and as mentioned the body was completely hollow inside). The neck was barely even making contact with the body. You’d think that would affect sustain too but it didn’t.

So this seems to be a conclusive experiment for me, which tells me that no, wood does not really matter all that much in an electric guitar- it might affect the tone but it gets completely drowned out by other factors.

So take from it what you will – all that marketing that guitar makers do about how nitro vs poly lacquer, short tenon vs long tenon, large mass trem blocks etc take it with a grain of salt because in the end I don’t think that stuff really makes that big of a difference. Unless you play your electric guitar without an amp. But who does that? lol

Why is Jimi Hendrix so revered as a guitar player?

hmm well I think a majority of his early songs like Purple Haze, Foxy Lady, Red House, Wind Cries Mary, Voodoo Child etc were based in blues (especially Red House which is now a blues standard) but I implore you to explore more of Hendrix’s catalog:

Third Stone from the Sun is psychedelic rock and we see Hendrix made use of feedback and whammy quite nicely here

Bold as Love, Little Wing and Castles made of sand are nice ballads with unusual chords that I guess we would call ‘Hendrixian’ now

Still Raining Still Dreaming, Rainy Day Dream Away and Burning of the midnight lamp are nice wah soaked tunes that are rooted in psychedelic/funk

1983 a Merman should be is an amazing track and is almost unlike anything else that was released at the time. It’s an experimental psychedelic studio tune that everyone should give a listen to

and of course Machine Gun is not only one of the greatest electric guitar performances ever, but some would say to this day no other guitar player has managed to fit so much emotion and be able to express it with their guitar as much as Hendrix did, he emulates the sounds of bombs dropping and planes diving (this is because the context was the Vietnam War which Hendrix was strongly opposed to) using his whammy, Octavia, Univibe, Fuzz face and feedback, it was complete and utter mastery of the electric guitar

The five types of guitar overdrives

I’m kind of a guitar gadget freak, and I’ve bought many guitar pedals over the years. One of the pedals I like to collect the most are overdrives – Overdrives are guitar pedals that cause the amp to breakup – but in a soft clipping way not hard clipping like a distortion or fuzz – soft clipping sounds more natural and pleasant to the ear, which is why I love talking about Overdrives or ODs.

There are a few different types of OD circuit designs over the years – I’m focusing now on the five I consider to be the most popular and common. 90% of the overdrives on the market today are derived from one of these five types.

Tubescreamer type (TS-type)

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Ibanez TS-808

Arguably the most famous OD type, the Ibanez/Maxon Tubescreamer overdrive circuit is probably the most duplicated and copied circuit. The TS-type OD has a pronounced mid-range and great for stacking with other more transparent OD types, although due to its pronounced nature, will often become the dominant colored OD if you stack it. The Boss OD-1 and its variants are also very similar to the TS circuit.

The original: Ibanez TS-808, Ibanez TS-9, Maxon OD808, Maxon OD9

Copies/variations: Boss OD-3, Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive, Seymour Duncan 805, BBE Green Screamer, EHX East River Drive, Ibanez Nu Tube Screamer, Keeley Red Dirt Overdrive, JHS Moonshine, Wampler Clarksdale, Maxon ST9, MXR GT-OD, Maxon TOD9, T-rex Diva Drive, Earthquaker Dunes, Walrus Warhorn, Way Huge Green Rhino

Blues Driver/Full-Range type (BD-type)

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Boss BD-2

The Boss BD-2 Blues Driver circuit is also known as a ‘full range overdrive’ circuit, and is quite different from a TS-type. The BD-type OD can go from cleans to full on distortion or even fuzz territory in some variations. This type of OD is one of the most versatile types you can get. One of the most famous variations of this circuit is the Chandler/BK Butler Tube Driver which is basically a full-range overdrive with a built in 12AX7 preamp tube, adding tube compression. This variation has itself spawned numerous other pedal clones and variations.

The original: Boss BD-2, Boss-BD2W

Copies/Variations: Keeley Super Phat Mod, Fulltone OCD, Chandler/BK Butler Tube Driver, EHX Crayon, Hermida Dover Drive, MXR FET Driver, Walrus Voyager, Seymour Duncan Forza, Maxon VOP9, Maxon TBO9

Dumble-type (D-type)

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Hermida Zendrive

Although this OD type is technically based on an amp (the Dumble amp), the pedal which popularized this type of OD circuit is the Hermida Zendrive which is a pedal that is essentially a ‘Dumble in a box’ that attempts to give you the warm breakup, touch response, and smooth compression of playing a $100k Dumble amp. Although the Analogman King of Tone and Fulltone Fulldrive came before the Zendrive, I put them in the same bucket of extremely touch responsive tube-like overdrives. D-type pedals tend to be more transparent then TS-type or BD-type pedals, but not as transparent as K-type pedals.

The original: Lovepedals/Hermida Zendrive

Copies/Variations: Analogman King/Prince of Tone, Wampler Euphoria, MXR Shinjuku Drive, Fulltone Fulldrive 2, JHS Morning Glory, Earthquaker Westwood, Way Huge Overrated Special, Kingsley Maiden D, Greer Special Request, Ethos TWE-1

Klon Centaur type (K-type)

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Klon Centaur

Ah yes, the K-type OD. This circuit was made popular by the Klon Centaur which was a pedal hand built by a man named Bill Finnegan. This pedal became very rare and sought after after famous artists like John Mayer and Warren Haynes used it and now it fetches high premiums in the used market. The signature tone of the K-type pedal is that its very transparent. It does not have the mid-range hump like a TS-type nor does it break up into distortion/fuzz territory like the BD-type. This transparent feature makes it ideal for stacking with other ODs. The Paul Cochrane Timmy pedal, is a very similar transparent touch-responsive pedal that I would put in the same category.

The original: Klon Centaur, Klon KTR

Copies/Variations: J Rockett Archer, Paul Cochrane Timmy, Mythos Mjolnir, Wampler Tumnus/Deluxe, Keeley Oxblood, MXR Sugar Drive, EHX Soul Food, Way Huge Conspiracy Theory, Ceriatone Centura

Marshall Plexi/Bluesbreaker type (M-type)

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Marshall Bluesbreaker

The Marshall-type OD is basically a pedal that tries to emulate a Marshall amp in a box, usually a Bluesbreaker amp or Plexi amp. Just like the D-type, the M-type is essentially a pedal in a box type OD, but is common enough for me to include here. The “original” is the Marshall Bluesbreaker pedal by Marshall themselves, but since then have been numerous copies and variations trying to get a Marshall in a box type sound. These pedals usually have a high amount of gain on tap due to it being based on iconic amps that were pushed to high distortion by the famous bands that used them.

The original: Marshall Bluesbreaker, Marshall Bluesbreaker 2

Copies/Variations: Lovepedals Purple Plexi, Wampler Plexi-Drive, RambleFX Marvel Drive, Keeley El Rey Dorado, Keeley 1962X, JHS Angry Charlie, JHS Charlie Brown, Xotic SL Drive, Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret, Way Huge Supa Lead, Alexander Silver Jubilee