#169720  by Jon S.
 
I knew my comments here might open a can of worms or two for issues that lead straight down rabbit holes!

Actually, for Jerry tones, perhaps northern ash (which IS relatively dense and heavy compared to many other woods, especially vis a vis the generally accepted as a more desirable tonewood southern swamp ash) is not a bad choice given that hardwoods like purplewood and maple are also relatively dense and heavy tonewoods.

I still don't love extremely heavy guitars! My Scarlet Fire Wolf is a svelte 8 lbs. 14.6 oz., my Philtone Tiger 9 lbs. 3 oz., and my Epi LP 9 lbs. 1 oz. These are the most my poor back can take these days. YMMV and that's awesome!

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 #169721  by wpmartin1979
 
Jon S. wrote: Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:38 pm I knew my comments here might open a can of worms or two for issues that lead straight down rabbit holes!

Actually, for Jerry tones, perhaps northern ash (which IS relatively dense and heavy compared to many other woods, especially vis a vis the generally accepted as a more desirable tonewood southern swamp ash) is not a bad choice given that hardwoods like purplewood and maple are also relatively dense and heavy tonewoods.

I still don't love extremely heavy guitars! My Scarlet Fire Wolf is a svelte 8 lbs. 14.6 oz., my Philtone Tiger 9 lbs. 3 oz., and my Epi LP 9 lbs. 1 oz. These are the most my poor back can take these days. YMMV and that's awesome!

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Wow that’s impressively light, how does it compare the weight of the actual Wolf? Do you know the weight of the original?
 #169722  by wpmartin1979
 
According to the article 9lbs is the average weight of an electric guitar, so it looks like you are right in there with your preference :rockon:
Typically the lighter guitars tend to be “shredders” like Ibanez type metal guitars. The lighter the brighter typically but that also can mean thinner tone
Gibson Lea Paul’s are pretty heavy at 9-10 pounds
Average Strat is 8-9 pounds
 #169723  by wpmartin1979
 
Jon S. wrote: Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:38 pm I knew my comments here might open a can of worms or two for issues that lead straight down rabbit holes!

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Yes well, if one thing is better than another then there should be evidence to support the conclusion. If the preference is simply for medical reasons or for comfort, then that’s a whole different thing, but doesn’t mean one thing is better or worse. :biggrin:
 #169724  by lbpesq
 
wpmartin1979 wrote: Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:10 pm It was experimental like everything else Jerry did.
Why would Jerry use brass on every single one of his guitars? Because he thinks it’s pretty? :biggrin:
Please excuse
My sarcasm, but Jerry took his tone seriously, I don’t think there was a method
To most of what he did, that’s just me. Doug Irwin is no tone slouch either in my book. But again, I’m no expert so I defer. :wink:

As I understand it, Jerry had little, if anything, to do with the design of Tiger. After receiving Wolf, a guitar Irwin worked on while employed at Alembic (& which originally sported an Alembic logo), Jerry commissioned Doug to make the guitar that became Tiger. Jerry told Irwin to do whatever he wanted and “don’t hold anything back”. The design and execution were all Irwin. Not Jerry. Not Lieber. All Doug. And, again, if a brass laminate adds to the tone, why doesn’t anyone else build guitars in this manner?

Bill, tgo
Last edited by lbpesq on Tue Feb 09, 2021 2:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 #169725  by wpmartin1979
 
lbpesq wrote: Tue Feb 09, 2021 1:56 pm As I understand it, Jerry had little, if anything, to do with the design of Tiger. After receiving Wolf, a guitar Irwin worked on while employed at Alembic (& which originally sported an Alembic logo), Jerry commissioned Doug to make the guitar that became Tiger. Jerry told Irwin to do whatever he wanted and “don’t hold anything back”. The design and execution were all Irwin. Not Jerry. Not Lieber. All Doug. And, again, if a brass laminate adds to the tone, why doesn’t anyone else build guitars in this manner?

Bill, tgo
Bill, that is a straw man argument. You cannot prove a positive assertion with a negative supposition. You need to positively prove that the Brass does not add tone.

As I mentioned earlier, I personally believe that it was experimental as I don’t think it is logical to add 2-3 pounds to an instrument simply for cosmetic purposes. But, hey, maybe Irwin was not logical and maybe he cared more about aesthetic than tone or comfort. That is essentially what you are saying right?
What inferior knock off builders do is hardly pertinent to anything in this regard. The question is, whether or not Irwin thought that adding the brass would enhance the tone. I argue that as a master builder he must have thought about it those terms. You are arguing that he just did it to make the guitar look pretty.
Last edited by wpmartin1979 on Tue Feb 09, 2021 2:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 #169726  by wabisabied
 
Here’s a bunch of wild conjecture for you:
wpmartin1979 wrote: Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:47 pm … The lighter the brighter typically but that also can mean thinner tone….
I used to play baseball in a wood-bat league. My favorite bats were made from maple, as opposed to (northern) ash, which is lighter (better for bat speed) but not as hard (less durable.) Maple bats sound different than ash bats. Maple makes a brighter “crack” when it hits a ball in the sweet spot than ash does. Ash is more of a thud… well maybe not really a thud, but not as bright/sharp a crack as maple. So in the case between northern ash and maple, the heavier, more dense wood is brighter. This may or may not be partially due to the density of the woods.

On the other hand, I cut and split a lot of firewood, mostly fir, maple and oak. Oak is heavier/more dense than maple, but its sonic qualities are far darker. When pieces of maple tumble against each other, they make a bright, resonate sound like percussive wood block instruments. Oak does no such thing, just sound dull and lifeless. The fir (mostly Douglas fir) that I cut and split is much lighter/less dense than either, and its sonic qualities seem to be somewhere in between.

So this tells me that it’s not just density of the woods that contribute to sonic qualities. Things like cellular structure, chemistry, grain characteristics, and any other variables in wood probably have as much or more to do with it than just overall weight of the material.

As for brass, ever tried to ring a wooden bell? There’s no doubt that brass is brighter and more resonant than any wood. Whether this enhances tone when sandwiched between layers of wood, I don’t know. But if the bridge were tapped into the brass layer, I would suspect it might send the string vibration deeper into the body and perhaps produce a more enhanced tone.
wpmartin1979 liked this
 #169727  by lbpesq
 
First, my point is that Jerry had nothing to do with the construction of either Wolf or Tiger. Wolf was completed at Alembic using brass bridge, tailpiece, and nut, as all Alembics sport. Tiger was designed and built solely by Doug Irwin. We can speculate on the reason a brass laminate was used, but the available evidence is that it wasn’t because Jerry requested it. I haven’t visited with Doug since pre-pandemic, but I’ll try to remember to ask him next time I’m up there.

And I believe the fact that a particular guitar employs some unusual or novel feature, it’s around for many years, it’s not a secret, and no one else adopts it, is fairly strong circumstantial evidence that the feature doesn’t act to improve sound or playability. Certainly not dispositive, but can you offer an alternative explanation for why no one else has built with a brass laminate layer in the body?

Bill, tgo
 #169729  by wpmartin1979
 
lbpesq wrote: Tue Feb 09, 2021 2:20 pm First, my point is that Jerry had nothing to do with the construction of either Wolf or Tiger. Wolf was completed at Alembic using brass bridge, tailpiece, and nut, as all Alembics sport. Tiger was designed and built solely by Doug Irwin. We can speculate on the reason a brass laminate was used, but the available evidence is that it wasn’t because Jerry requested it. I haven’t visited with Doug since pre-pandemic, but I’ll try to remember to ask him next time I’m up there.

And I believe the fact that a particular guitar employs some unusual or novel feature, it’s around for many years, it’s not a secret, and no one else adopts it, is fairly strong circumstantial evidence that the feature doesn’t act to improve sound or playability. Certainly not dispositive, but can you offer an alternative explanation for why no one else has built with a brass laminate layer in the body?

Bill, tgo
Well again, it is impossible to prove a negative. I am simply using logic to build my argument. Logically, perhaps it is too expensive and too much of a pain in the arse to do it that way, after all the point of recreating these guitars is to make money.
I also seriously doubt that Jerry had no say in the guitar. Sometimes reality is much different than the lore that follows it.

Did he have a say in the neck length? Number of frets? Pickups?
I mean obviously it is logical to assume that Jerry was in communication with Doug.
 #169732  by tdcrjeff
 
Jon S. wrote: Tue Feb 09, 2021 2:39 pm
wpmartin1979 wrote: Tue Feb 09, 2021 2:27 pm That explains why I’ve personally never seen an oak guitar
And this explains why you'll never again be able to say this! 8)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Special

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Acoustic even, though I've never personally seen it.
https://www.birthplaceofcountrymusic.or ... oc-watson/
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 #169734  by lbpesq
 
Will, circumstantial evidence is used all the time in our legal system. It is not a new concept that I made up. And here’s an excerpt from an interview with Doug Irwn:

DI: He liked the Wolf so much when I delivered it, he said "I want you to make me another one, but I don't want you to hold back, I just want you to go for it." He said, " I'm not going to tell you what I want, you can just make it the way you want."

SQ: Man, can you ask for a better project than that?

DI: Oh, no, that was it.

SQ: What went through your mind during the first stages of that?

DI: I mean, I just thought to myself, "jeez how many times does anybody in their life get a chance to do this, where somebody says yeah, go for it. Don't hold back, do it the way you want to." I really made an effort to make it my best effort. It's a guitar unlike any one I've ever built since then
.

On another note, I just weighed my Alembic Further. 8 lbs, 1.8 oz.

And yet another note, here’s a 100+ year old parlor guitar I have made of quartersawn oak.

https://reverb.com/item/34101489-eugene ... -1890-1910

Bill, tgo
 #169735  by wpmartin1979
 
lbpesq wrote: Tue Feb 09, 2021 2:58 pm Will, circumstantial evidence is used all the time in our legal system. It is not a new concept that I made up. And here’s an excerpt from an interview with Doug Irwn:

DI: He liked the Wolf so much when I delivered it, he said "I want you to make me another one, but I don't want you to hold back, I just want you to go for it." He said, " I'm not going to tell you what I want, you can just make it the way you want."

SQ: Man, can you ask for a better project than that?

DI: Oh, no, that was it.

SQ: What went through your mind during the first stages of that?

DI: I mean, I just thought to myself, "jeez how many times does anybody in their life get a chance to do this, where somebody says yeah, go for it. Don't hold back, do it the way you want to." I really made an effort to make it my best effort. It's a guitar unlike any one I've ever built since then
.

On another note, I just weighed my Alembic Further. 8 lbs, 1.8 oz.

And yet another note, here’s a 100+ year old parlor guitar I have made of quartersawn oak.

https://reverb.com/item/34101489-eugene ... -1890-1910

Bill, tgo
Asking someone to prove why something didn’t happen is not the same as circumstantial evidence. It is called a straw man in argumentation.
So is showing that dialogue. Just because Doug said that once in an interview and just because Jerry told him do what you want in the beginning does not prove that they did not discuss the guitar at a later point in time. In fact to suggest that they didn’t discuss it defies logic. Anecdotes that make for good interviews don’t always represent reality.

So you are arguing that Doug Irwin decided what length of neck Jerry should play, what pickups he should use and how high the action should be on his guitar?
I’m sure that Jerry told him what he liked and didn’t like about Wolf and that such feedback went into Tiger.
Who knows, Jerry may have even mentioned that he was intrigued by how brass could shape the tone of a guitar? They probably spoke hundreds of times, so you really can’t say that Jerry didn’t have input into the guitar.
The interview is being using as a straw man to detract from the logic of reality.
It is a logical fallacy to take one moment in time and presuppose that it represents a much larger and longer period of time. That’s not how reality works.
Last edited by wpmartin1979 on Tue Feb 09, 2021 3:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.