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What Are We Talking About When We Talk About Tone?

When I walk into my local Guitar Center I hear Angus Young wailing away from a TV set; setting the standard for “tone.”  A Gibson SG, a Marshall tube amp - it makes sense… It’s worked for years… If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.  Right?!  But really—what is tone?  Is it a knob beneath the volume?  Does it make things more or less muffled?  Is it enhanced by having an Ibanez TS808 in your pedalboard?   The Merriam-Webster Dictionary gives quite a few descriptions of tone.  A portion are as follows:    1. Vocal or musical sound of a specific quality (spoke in low tones) ; especially :  musical sound with respect to timbre and manner of expression 2.  ...

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Is The Guitar Really Dead?

Could be just me but it feels like the party isn’t over. It is however changing. Big time.  Interestingly, many of the major  early guitar designers such as Leo Fender and Ted McCarty were not even guitar players. And without having any guitar playing experience, they had no feel and preference for how a guitar should feel and play. This may have worked to their advantage. They had no other option but to consult with the great players of the time—with engineers, with other instrument builders. And when they’d established themselves, they enrolled their own customers to aid them in the further development of the instrument.  Given the ubiquitousness, even today,  of their designs and basic construction methods, their success is...

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