Shape and tones

#1
I was just wondering, apart from the wood, will the shape affect the tone of a guitar?
you know, like ESP custom shop, they make some crazy guitars in ridiculous shapes , would those guitar sound good, or just a badass looking guitar with shitty sound after all?
 

ArchieIsted

Well-Known Member
#4
Well the shape would give more/less wood so yeah it would have an effect.
A massive chunk of solid wood is gonna sound very different to an ibanez style super strat
 

Nick

Well-Known Member
#5
From what I understand, it's mostly the central piece of the body that shapes the tone - the rest is negligible. That could be totally wrong though.
 

Cathedral

The Rock 'N Roll Clown.
#6
Its not so much the shape but the mass. If there's a larger volume of wood you tend to get a much thicker sound. Look at early Les Pauls. They may look small but they're fairly thick and built from fairly heavy materials, hence that balls to the wall sound in comparison to a Strat which is much thinner and has had huge chunks removed from its overall mass after contouring, ergo Strats have that thinner, glassier tone. I remember reading an interview with Eddie Van Halen about his, "Shark" guitar. He took an Ibanez destroyer (huge body, fairly thick and made of Korina wood) and cut a huge chunk out of the body to give it a distinct look, hence the shark nick-name. He compained that after removing such an amount of wood the guitar never sounded the same again and lost its meat, just sounded way too brittle in comparison to what it used to deliver.

Here's a little home experiment, get a slab of wood and rest the headstock of your guitar against it, strum a chord and you'll notice the guitar is naturally amplified. Now try it with a larger, more substantial piece of wood (you're about to learn why my ex-girlfriend never let me near her coffee table after a while) and you'll notice the sound is not only more amplified but has a much beefier tone to it.
 
#7
Its not so much the shape but the mass. If there's a larger volume of wood you tend to get a much thicker sound. Look at early Les Pauls....
so can I suggest that, the shape is just for the sake of appearance and totally nonfunctional (assuming same amount of wood obviously)
 

Cathedral

The Rock 'N Roll Clown.
#8
Its functional in terms of ergonomics and in a specific area yes it can still affect tone: A big chunky neck heel can dramatically improve sustain, although that's mostly applicable to thru-neck guitars. I'm not sure if it'd make a difference for bolt-on and set neck guitars.
 
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