Electric and Acoustic Guitar Reviews and Guides

62-reissue-stratA guitar might seem like a simple strumming instrument when wielded by iconic rock gods, but such a claim is in fact far, far from reality. Fact is, guitar is an intricate and highly complex device that even musical masters have trouble fully grasping with the vast array of available choices on today's market.

As the time went on, guitar became more and more popular, resulting in an increased number of options for potential buyers. Different wood types were introduced, the electronics department became more complex and advanced, string technology had changed, different new pickup models were developed and much more, turning guitar purchase into both more and less complex endeavor.

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Choosing the Right Guitar

Our introductory paragraphs might seem paradoxical, but it's the truth. Because on one side, the guitar was made more accessible to users, making the task of picking the right guitar sound somewhat easier.

But if the user wants to truly understand the technology and the effect of each change and different parts, the task becomes far more daunting, time-consuming and complex. So right now we'll delve into some of the basic parts and sections of the guitar domain to get you acquainted with the sonic aspect of guitar parts and hopefully ultimately help you to reach that desired sound in the most effective manner possible.

Guitar Wood

Guitar Woods

Seeing that guitar is mostly built from wood, it comes as little or no surprise that wood plays a crucial role in every axe's sound. We'll get down to it right away, so check out our rundown of some of the most prominent wood types on todays market.
 

 

  • Alder – A light type of material making the guitar itself weigh less. Tone is always evenly balanced.
  • Ash – One of the most commonly used types of wood for transparent finishes. Tone is once again always evenly balanced.
  • Basswood – This type of wood makes light guitars with a warm sound. Such instruments also tend to deliver strong mids.
  • Korina – Very warm-sounding wood with plenty of lower bass end. It typically features medium to heavy weight.
  • Mahogany – Once again a quite warm type of wood, features medium to heavy overall weight and a great sustain.
  • Maple – This type of wood delivers light tone with long sustain.
  • Poplar – A light type of hardwood, delivers bright and crisp output audio.

It should be noted that this is guitar body wood we've just discussed. There are also various types of neck and fretboard woods. Maple and mahogany stand out as the most commonly used neck woods and deliver the same kind of sound and vibe as previously discussed. As far as fretboards go, maple, ebony and rosewood stand out among more prominent picks.

Guitar Pickups

Guitar PickupAlong with the wood type, pickup models are what define the greatest part of pretty much every electric guitar's output sound. As their name clearly indicates, these devices pick up the sound your strumming produces and ultimately process it to the amp's output, and that's quite an important task.

As always, there's plenty to choose from, so we'll once again make a brief rundown of some of the prominent picks. Make sure to scroll down for further details.

  • Single Coil Pickups - Single coil pickups come as an early product featured on the very first electric guitar. The technology has advanced since, so they are still very much in use these days. Anyhow, as the name clearly indicates, single coil pickups use only one coil of wire. They might also have only one magnet or a single individual magnet for each of the strings.

 
In the sound department, single coil pickups produce a clean, transparent and thin output audio. They are common on such prominent Fender guitars as Stratocaster or the Telecaster, as well as in musical genres like folk, rock and pop.

  • Humbucker Pickups – Introduced later on during guitar history, humbucker pickups were initially produced to solve the issue of hums produced on single coil models due to interference of different parts in the electronic department of the guitar. As the name clearly indicates, they were made to "buck" the hums and did so by altering the single coil technology.



Therefore, humbuckers feature two coils and two magnets or pole pieces placed at the opposite ends of a single magnet. The two given coils are wound with an opposing electrical polarity, as well as reversed magnetic polarity for each of the coils. To keep it simple, we'll simply note that the humbucker sound is reinforced with strong vibrations, resulting with thick, strong and solid output audio. The list of some of the most iconic guitarists using humbucker guitars includes such names as Jimmy Page, BB King, Chet Atkins and more.

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Guitar Neck and Frets

Guitar NeckAnother important point that needs to be covered includes the type of neck and frets featured on the guitar. Neck can influence the sound in a vast array of ways, starting from the wood type to the neck point, or the location where the neck is connected to the guitar body. Whether it's set-in, bolt on or through-body neck we're talking about, the difference can be massive.

As far as frets go, they play a crucial role when it comes to the ease of playing, allowing the player to shift through the neck with more or less efficiency. Tone-wise, frets affect the output audio by impacting the vibration every string produces through strumming.

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Guitar Bridge

Guitar BridgeIn general, there are two basic types of guitar bridges – tremolo bridge (whammy bar) and stoptail bridge. The whammy bar gives player the possibility of bending all strings at once, easily detuning them at the same time. The stoptail model doesn't include such a feature, but is far more stable terms of sustain and tune reliability.

So as you can see, there are really a whole lot of factors to pay attention to when buying or testing out the guitar, and we've scratched the surface here to be fair. Feel free to browse more and check out the specific products you're interested in. Just take your time, be patient and rock steady.

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