Why does used guitars sound better than brand new ones? - Jemsite
Ibanez JEM, UV, JS & Other Signature Models For discussion of Ibanez JEM, Universe and JS (Satriani) guitars only.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 61 (permalink) Old 05-23-2004, 08:35 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 451
Why does used guitars sound better than brand new ones?

whenever i touch my 7 years old guitar, which is heavily played and abused, if sounds wonderful, the way i bend the strings on it, the vibrato is full of life, unlike my new jem though, its not like the guitar sounds bad or plays bad, the JEM is wonderful, but i just feel better with the old guitar, is there any other reason why old guitars sound better other than the fact that we get used to them?

+ i feel that the old guitar became an extension of my body. i hope this happens with my jem though.

i had a weird experience a few monthes ago, i went to my Ibanez dealer, and found a used rg3120 i just grabbed it and played and it felt wonderful, now i didnt get used to that guitar, but why did it feel so gr8? cos it is used?
Ralph khoury is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 61 (permalink) Old 05-23-2004, 09:10 AM
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 42
Worn-in ala Prestige treatment after years of playing?
lewis_ho is offline  
post #3 of 61 (permalink) Old 05-23-2004, 01:11 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 668
A lot of the time, a big manufacturer like Ibanez will not dry their wood long enough before using it, so older guitars can have a drier, more even moisture content, which helps resonance. There's also the X Factor. For some reason, instruments sound better after they've been together a while than they do right off the line. It has to "settle in," so to speak.

I have an RG 550 from 1987 that I play nearly exclusively now because it does sound so much better than my others. And it still has stock pickups as opposed to DiMarzios.
The_Grindfiend is offline  
post #4 of 61 (permalink) Old 05-23-2004, 03:23 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Upstate N.Y.
Posts: 1,086
I don't think used guitars "sound" better than new one's, but "play" and "feel" better than a brand new guitar. My Wolfgang I bought brand new (took 7 months to make for me) in Dec.'01 STILL isn't broke in yet. That's my fault for having 6 guitars.(I,m NOT getting rid of that one, TONE!!) I bought a Jem 7vsbl brand new when they went on sale from MF a couple years ago and sold it 4 months later ( bought J.C. PMC.) It just didn't "feel" right to me, so out of my 6 guitars 5 are used...........
bob mclaughlin is offline  
post #5 of 61 (permalink) Old 05-23-2004, 05:42 PM
Moderator
 
jemaholic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 2,848
Reviews: 1
Wood need to cure and dry, pickup winding wire needs to oxidize, frets need to lose that new edge....

I would love LGM Guitars and Rich Harris to chime in on this- as they are pros and I believe a more educated opinion. This thread is on EVERY guitar site on the planet and I've never seen a solid reason.
jemaholic is offline  
post #6 of 61 (permalink) Old 05-23-2004, 05:49 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 2,234
Different reasons for different cases, IMO. Wood drying may be a factor, but I doubt it's a big one if the wood is properly dried to begin with and a hard finish is used.

Pickups and other electronics? I don't think they go anywhere but down in most cases.

Human error in perception? That's a big possibility, IMO. Note that every guitar is different in the first place, however. But taking 2 identical guitars (a fantasy itself), one old and one not... I doubt there's any difference in sound greater than the subtle differences in any 2 guitars of the same make.
JESTER700 is offline  
post #7 of 61 (permalink) Old 05-23-2004, 11:55 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 668
I disagree. My 550 sounds markedly better than any of my other guitars (other Ibanez RGs [same body and neck material, just different fingerboards]), which are all fairly young guitars.
The_Grindfiend is offline  
post #8 of 61 (permalink) Old 05-24-2004, 06:08 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 3,153
I swear my 93 RG has gotten louder in the last three years or so...
Petie is offline  
post #9 of 61 (permalink) Old 05-24-2004, 06:17 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 451
Quote:
Originally Posted by Petie
I swear my 93 RG has gotten louder in the last three years or so...
lol
Ralph khoury is offline  
post #10 of 61 (permalink) Old 05-24-2004, 06:46 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 3,153
Hehe, seriously, it seems louder and more resonant when unplugged. A bit more in-your-face. It started out sounding like Orson Welles and now it sounds like Fran Drescher.
Petie is offline  
post #11 of 61 (permalink) Old 05-24-2004, 08:04 AM
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Richmond, Kentucky
Posts: 3,339
I disagree that an older guitar can sound better than a new one. Some old old guitars were made with better wood, but basically all 87 on ibanezes have been using the same strain of basswood and rosewood they always have. I think older guitars do feel better as they are more worn in, but a enw guitar can feel like this witha good coat of lemon oil on the fretboad, and a little dirty on her neck. lol. ive often thought about just getting my new guitars nasty dirty like with mud, cleaning em off and going to town on em. That way the new is worn off so to speak. They get more comfortable after a while I think the players becomes more used to the instrument. each guitar is very different. How could one expect two things to sound so identical?
sniperfrommars1 is offline  
post #12 of 61 (permalink) Old 05-24-2004, 08:23 AM
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 2,234
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Grindfiend
I disagree. My 550 sounds markedly better than any of my other guitars (other Ibanez RGs [same body and neck material, just different fingerboards]), which are all fairly young guitars.
My point is, how do you know it's the age and not THAT piece of wood - you have a sample set of ONE.

It's possible that for a given brand/model/line older guitars ARE better, if they went to cheaper wood or switched suppliers. But in general, what I'm saying is I don't buy the "improving with age" thing on solidbodies with a hard finish. Tung oiled ones? Maybe. Acoustics? Yes.

This will never be anything but belief on either side, though. With as many variables as you have in a guitar, you can never know for sure. You CAN test electronics for this if you wanted to, but not the body/neck.
JESTER700 is offline  
post #13 of 61 (permalink) Old 05-24-2004, 10:34 AM
RCB
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Argentina
Posts: 1,635
I think that a used guitar may feel more comfortable, but I wont sound better (at least not in a noticeable way). Sorry dudes, but when I hear every body talking about the drying of the wood or pretending to hear a grat tone difference between a jacaranda fingerboard vs a rosewood/bolivian rosewwod fingerboard, it just doesnt make a lot of sense, unless everybody here is a renowned luthier of has a gilfted ear (wich is unlikey). I wont say this issues doesnt affect the sonic properties of a guitar (because the proabblly do), but they are hardly noticeable. More so since most of us use several procesors or effects, or play with heavily distorted sounds. Most people I know cant tell the diference between a Tone Zone, and Evolution and a Super 3 when a signal is heavily procesed.

I have several old Ibanez (91s, 92s) and newer ones (96,97,98,2001). To me the better sounding one is my Jem7BSB, but I dont think it has to do with it being older or newer. Its just the one I like better.
RCB is offline  
post #14 of 61 (permalink) Old 05-24-2004, 03:30 PM
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Somerville, MA
Posts: 6,200
course, the BSB is a stained, and not clearcoated, finish- a bit more natural wood resonance. Might not be the beest sample.

-D
Drew is offline  
post #15 of 61 (permalink) Old 05-24-2004, 06:39 PM
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: SWEDEN
Posts: 257
I believe that one of the X factors for a good old player is the wood.
When you play a guitar, the strings wibrating, tones passing through the wood, resonating and "packing" the fibre of the wood so it gets more compact. If you buy a guitar, letting it rest in itīs case for 5 years and then start to play it. There will be a wery little improvement over a brand new one (i know, i had my JEM10h in its case, waiting for a Black EVO F-Spaced for almost 5 years, and it still isnīt broken in yet after a year of twanginī ).

You just have to Play it, break in the springs and elbow-grease it over and over again
Of course a factor is that you will grow together more and more, just like EVO and Mr Vai.....they couldnīt even chnge the P-U on her before Steve screamed to the tech: Look in the garbage and put it back again !!!

:P

Rock-On
JEM10th is offline  
Reply

Tags
acoustic guitar , chord progression , custom guitar , custom guitars , ebony fingerboard , electric guitar , ibanez dealer , killer guitar , lgm guitars , playing guitar , rosewood board , rosewood fingerboard , tone zone , tung oil

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Jemsite forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address

IMPORTANT: You will be required to activate your account so please ensure that your email address is correct.

If you do not receive your activation check your spam folder before using the CONTACT US form (at the bottom right of each page).



Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Best Phaser brand pedal substitute for van halen sound!? Dannymanc81 Gear, Equipment, Recording & Off Topic 5 12-21-2012 09:17 AM
My Custom RMB being built by Perle Guitars. How does this sound? RBMCustom666 Tech: Setup, Repairs and Mods 5 04-26-2012 05:03 PM
sound clips of ibz guitars Pee All Other Guitars (including Prestige) 0 10-28-2002 07:36 AM
what is Quest brand of guitars??????????? zendra All Other Guitars (including Prestige) 2 09-03-2002 11:56 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome