What did they do differently back then?

GuitarIV

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So I was just wondering...

I recently got an ESP M-II from 1992 as some might be aware from the NGD thread I posted. I dropped the Suhr Doug Aldrich in and it sounds amazing!

IMG-20200315-WA0009.jpg

The guitar is alive. I can't find a different word to describe it, apart from the fact that it feels great because the neck is played in and the coating is no longer there, when you hit chords and notes on the thing it vibrates, you feel the whole body moving, massaging your gut.

Super leightweight, right at 7 pounds, long sustain when played unplugged and chimey and percussive. Sound translates straight into the same characteristics when you plug it in.


I got my Orville LPC from 1997 about 2 months ago and that too is one of my best sounding guitars. Acoustically it's so loud you can play it unplugged and sing to it. Crazy.


Just makes me wonder, what was different back then? It's not like my more modern guitars (E2 Eclipse from 2015 and ESP M-II from 2009) sound or play bad, but when I pick up the Orville or the red M-II there is something there that feels and sounds different than with the others. Again. Just more alive. It's hard to describe!

Is it the age? Is it the woods they used back then? Did they pay more attention to detail? I can't wrap my head around it.

I just know for me personally... I am not buying anything anymore that was built after 2000. At least when we're talking big brand guitars. My handmade Strat exhibits the same characteristics. But in regards to production guitars these days... I seldomly stumble across one that leaves me impressed; the last axe that I played and that had "it" was a Maybach DC Junior with a single P90. I unfortunately don't have the 1700€ to drop em on it right now...

Share your experiences!

Be safe during these crazy times and cheers
 

pedecamp

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So I was just wondering...

I recently got an ESP M-II from 1992 as some might be aware from the NGD thread I posted. I dropped the Suhr Doug Aldrich in and it sounds amazing!

View attachment 68927

The guitar is alive. I can't find a different word to describe it, apart from the fact that it feels great because the neck is played in and the coating is no longer there, when you hit chords and notes on the thing it vibrates, you feel the whole body moving, massaging your gut.

Super leightweight, right at 7 pounds, long sustain when played unplugged and chimey and percussive. Sound translates straight into the same characteristics when you plug it in.


I got my Orville LPC from 1997 about 2 months ago and that too is one of my best sounding guitars. Acoustically it's so loud you can play it unplugged and sing to it. Crazy.


Just makes me wonder, what was different back then? It's not like my more modern guitars (E2 Eclipse from 2015 and ESP M-II from 2009) sound or play bad, but when I pick up the Orville or the red M-II there is something there that feels and sounds different than with the others. Again. Just more alive. It's hard to describe!

Is it the age? Is it the woods they used back then? Did they pay more attention to detail? I can't wrap my head around it.

I just know for me personally... I am not buying anything anymore that was built after 2000. At least when we're talking big brand guitars. My handmade Strat exhibits the same characteristics. But in regards to production guitars these days... I seldomly stumble across one that leaves me impressed; the last axe that I played and that had "it" was a Maybach DC Junior with a single P90. I unfortunately don't have the 1700€ to drop em on it right now...

Share your experiences!

Be safe during these crazy times and cheers
Maybe you were used to playing crap guitars (as I was for many years) and now having a great guitar in your hands youre blown away!
 

Seanxk

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20 years ago I would have said, don't touch anything made after 73. I think the guitar makers were running out of good and properly seasoned wood by then ( or earlier in fact ), they were starting to cut corners because of demand.

But sometimes you just get lucky, I have a 91 Rickenbacker and it's as you describe, it's a massive sound and you can feel the resonance running down the lead along with the signal lol.
 

BanditPanda

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Off topic but what is that velcro tie on your headstock?
I received one free with a piece of gear I had purchased on line.
Still don't know what it is supposed to do?
BP
 

Michael Roe

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I call that "mojo". I personally don't think it has anything to do with what year or manufacturer etc. but just a good piece of wood the guitar was made with.
I have an old '03 Ibanez and a newer '19 LP that has it. To me, those are the guitars when you are out shopping to buy.
 

GuitarIV

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Maybe you were used to playing crap guitars (as I was for many years) and now having a great guitar in your hands youre blown away!

Might very well be the case... my other ESPs aren't crap though. Just something special about the red one I can't really describe :p

Off topic but what is that velcro tie on your headstock?
I received one free with a piece of gear I had purchased on line.
Still don't know what it is supposed to do?
BP

The velcro ties are for storing cables. Handy little buggers if you ask me.

OK. Why do you keep it on your headstock?
BP

It muffles ghost notes.

It's a so called GruvGear Fretwrap. You can use them on the fretboard to mute adjacent strings when you're recording, that's the initial idea, I myself however use it to mute the strings behind the nut towards the tuners so when I play staccato stuff where I need the guitar to shut up quick it kills the ringing noise that the strings on the headstock produce as John pointed out.

You can use some tape or just foam, but it sure as hell doesn't look as fancy. The red fretwrap was a gift from a friend and it looks nice with the CAR finish of the guitar imho :D
 

Edgar Frog

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I think ageing has a lot to do with it, if not the most to do with it. Even a ply guitar gets better with age and can sound damn good and be super resonant. That's a bad ass looking guitar BTW. :cool:
 

Lefty68

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I think ageing has a lot to do with it, if not the most to do with it. Even a ply guitar gets better with age and can sound damn good and be super resonant. That's a bad ass looking guitar BTW. :cool:
I think there's truth to this. I've read some about wood lignin, which through time & vibration, affects tonality.
 

Tatzmann

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"Imagining things" its called.

On some days all of my stuff sounds
like utter garbage.

Plug in couple days later with whatever
guitar into whatever amp its great again.

Its an electromagnetic system.
 

Wildeman

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People were happier, more hopeful, that's it. If you make a instrument when you're bleak, that energy gets into the instrument......,🙄
 

Lefty68

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"Imagining things" its called.

On some days all of my stuff sounds
like utter garbage.

Plug in couple days later with whatever
guitar into whatever amp its great again.

Its an electromagnetic system.
Psychoacoustics?
 

Tatzmann

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People were happier, more hopeful, that's it. If you make a instrument when you're bleak, that energy gets into the instrument......,🙄

Mystics said the same nonsense in endless
books. Some ate only stuff which was prepared
by cooks who only had pleasing thoughts towards them.

What computing device would work in such
crappy ways?
 

Maggot Brain

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I agree pretty much with your observations, I've only ever pulled the trigger on a brand spanking new guitar maybe 2 or 3 times. 99.9% of the new guitars I pick up just don't have that resonance, the loud acoustic sound when played unplug, the feeling or the body vibrating against yours. I don't necessarily believe guitars are built worse, maybe the wood isn't as "special"... maybe?... I tend to believe it has to do with being played.

The best Strat I've ever played is my 1992 MIM Fender Strat. Soon as I plucked the first note upon finding it at GC I knew it had "mojo". Playing it unplugged it is very loud and the whole guitar resonates/vibrates with authority. The frets were heavily worn and you could tell it was heavily played... I'm assuming either it was "special" from the beginning and that is why it was so worn and played in OR all that playing and wearing it contributed to it's "mojo".

I believe heavy use can definitely "break in" wood or influence it's resonance. In the classical guitar community they definitely believe in "breaking in" the soundboard of guitars etc and look at it much as some look at speaker break in etc.
 

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