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Tiger Tone Question

PostPosted:Mon Apr 06, 2020 9:48 am
by thistle3585
I am building a Tiger style guitar. I would consider it to be a semi-hollow instrument as opposed to what I consider Tiger to be a chambered instrument. I'm trying to decide how to reduce weight while also retaining the look and tone of the instrument. How much tone do you think is derived from the solid wood strip that runs through Tiger? Do you think that contributes substantially to the sustain and the tone associated with the guitar? What about the overall weight? If I were able to drop a couple pounds would that be a good or bad thing? Also, I wondered that since it is an active system, would that negate or reduce the impact that the weight plays on the tone and the only loss would possibly be in sustain?

Re: Tiger Tone Question

PostPosted:Mon Apr 06, 2020 4:14 pm
by TI4-1009
thistle3585 wrote:
Mon Apr 06, 2020 9:48 am
If I were able to drop a couple pounds would that be a good or bad thing?
I wish I could....

Re: Tiger Tone Question

PostPosted:Mon Apr 06, 2020 8:33 pm
by Cosmopolis
The weight is definitely a factor. I have a Phiga Tger that’s 10.5 Lbs and a more accurately made Tiger copy that’s 13.5 Lbs. You can definitely hear the difference. Having said that, the other components such as Super 2 pickups and buffer are critical to the sound. I have some other guitars that weigh between 9 and 10 Lbs but otherwise have the same pickups, wiring, etc. and they sound great. Playing a 13 pound beast gets to you pretty quickly too. In my opinion if you landed between 10 and 11 Lbs it would still work well.

Re: Tiger Tone Question

PostPosted:Mon Apr 06, 2020 9:42 pm
by ccw3432
I think you will hear a difference if you do a true semi-hollowbody. I would stick with chambers if you want the traditional tone. I think you could also do a thinner or smaller body design than Tiger and have less effect on tone than doing a semi-hollow. A Gibson ES-335 for instance is a true semi-hollowbody and you can hear those characteristics even though it has a block of wood running down the center. I suspect the top and back thickness contribute to this as well in the 335. If you knock on the instrument and it sounds hollow, I would venture to guess that those properties will be audible when amplified, even with an electric instrument. That being said I think a semi-hollwobody Tiger would sound awesome!

Re: Tiger Tone Question

PostPosted:Tue Apr 07, 2020 6:21 am
by bzbz
if the guitar is well balanced and one uses a goo strap, I have found weight is no issue at all

Re: Tiger Tone Question

PostPosted:Tue Apr 07, 2020 11:48 am
by Jon S.
When Phil Jacoby at philtone.com built my Tiger-inspired one-off Philtone Jerrycaster we'd designed together (pictured below), he showed me the body before adding the cocobol top and back. He'd routed out a fair amount of wood from the exceptionally heavy and dense mahogany center we chose together but his routs were both randomly placed and of varying diameters.

I wish I still had a picture of how they were placed to share with you now but I can tell you that Phil emphasized to me from his deep personal luthiery experience that the key to weight-reliefing a body while avoiding turning the guitar's tone from a solid body into a semihollow is to do it this way.

I love the way my guitar came out, it plays and sounds so good. Some will tell you it's impossible to use a mahogany body and have the final product sound Jerry-like. In my case, all I can say is the combination of my super-stiff sapele (that looks like mahogany but has a quotient of elasticity closer to maple's)-maple-padouk-maple-sapele 5-piece neck with its ebony board and cocobolo top give me incredible immediacy and snap with a strong fundamental tone.

Where the mahogany center may come into play more is in how the notes decay. I hear a bit more warmth in my guitar's decay than in my Scarlet Fire Wolf's which is what I was seeking for this specific guitar (my range of music features Dead and JGB but isn't limited to it).

This is more info. than you requested but what can I say - I've got some extra time these days. :-)

At the beginning:

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At the end:

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Re: Tiger Tone Question

PostPosted:Tue Apr 07, 2020 12:13 pm
by thistle3585
Thanks to everyone for their input. Here is what I did on my first few, which was just a larger version of the mandolins that I make, but had been thinking that I'd need a bit more structure on a larger guitar.
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Re: Tiger Tone Question

PostPosted:Tue Apr 07, 2020 12:23 pm
by Jon S.
Wow, that pic is like a solid top/hollowbody Gretsch! Assuming the body is now part of a completed guitar, if it plays like the Gretsch's I've tried, I personally think I'd find it too lively. But that's just me - Trey made his Languedok work for the 50th Anniversary shows.

Re: Tiger Tone Question

PostPosted:Tue Apr 07, 2020 1:35 pm
by augustwest1
I believe that only the wings on Tiger are chambered, and that the center segment is solid from head to toe.

Your design would not result in the PUP cavity walls that extend below the cocobolo top (and which can be seen in many Tiger photos), nor would it allow for the depth of buffer cavity also visible in many photos.

Re: Tiger Tone Question

PostPosted:Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:03 am
by thistle3585
augustwest1 wrote:
Tue Apr 07, 2020 1:35 pm
I believe that only the wings on Tiger are chambered, and that the center segment is solid from head to toe.

Your design would not result in the PUP cavity walls that extend below the cocobolo top (and which can be seen in many Tiger photos), nor would it allow for the depth of buffer cavity also visible in many photos.
Yes, I realize that and that is my question. Is that center strip necessary? What am I giving up if I go with a lighter construction as pictured? I'm not concerend about it structurally but more about whether it would affect the tone. I wondered if the original design called for a neck through construction and the set neck was a second thought.

Re: Tiger Tone Question

PostPosted:Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:46 am
by ccw3432
I would keep the the portion between the nut and bridge solid unless you're willing to accept changes to the tone. I think you will hear a difference. I haven't played a guitar with that type of chambering as in the picture so this is speculation. Changes to the neck wood and fretboard have significant effects on tone, more so than the body wood. I believe that would apply to anywhere between the nut and bridge.

Re: Tiger Tone Question

PostPosted:Wed Apr 08, 2020 12:30 pm
by thistle3585
After having gotten a lot of feedback from a lot of people on different sites, I have decided to go with a design that has a strip down the center. Not because its necessarily better than any other design but because that is what the market wants. This is what I have come up with.
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Re: Tiger Tone Question

PostPosted:Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:46 pm
by Cosmopolis
I like it. Good concept

Re: Tiger Tone Question

PostPosted:Thu Apr 09, 2020 10:15 am
by TI4-1009
DISCLAIMER! : For Informational Purposes Only! :lol:

Without opening a new can of worms.... This is the Tiger core that we worked on at the Tiger workshop that Tom Lieber conducted a few years ago. Tom apprenticed with Doug Irwin back in the early Tiger days.

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