Who knew vintage oil can guitars would sound so great?


Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/05/02/who-knew-vintage-oil-can-guita.html


would sound better thru an oil can delay


Great sound for sure.

But to answer the question “Who Knew …”: Probably everyone who has ever seen Seasick Steve. Exhibit A: Two hubcaps and a broomstick:

Oh, and one John Paul Jones.


Does it have to be a “vintage” oil can, or can you use any old bit of tin with a bolt on neck?

For an electric, I think the pickups, electronics and strings are going to be a bigger component than what you make the body off. I know a lot of folks are going to argue their alder, maple or mahogany has some properties to tone that basswood can’t offer. But I look at an electric guitar and I see the resistor-capacitor circuit and wonder at the performance of the filter in their guitar first.


I’m assuming there’s a piece of hardwood inside from the neck to the bridge, otherwise it would never be rigid enough. As for wood type, i once prototyped a body from 1.25" particle board with a neck and hardware from an hockshop Epiphone Les Paul. Sounded pretty good.


While I’m not that guy but…


If the string don’t vibrate, there’s no sound, and the way the body (along with the pickup) vibrates definitely adds to the timbre of each particular guitar, but yeah, definitely not as much as most people might think.

There’s definitely something inside holding all the tension from the strings

There’s no way those strings aren’t going to tear the can at the base of the bridge with as much tension as they can produce.


New cans seem to work fine. There is some sort of wood reinforcement inside.

The effect of tonewoods in electric guitar sounds (or lack thereof) seems like a hotly contested rabbit hole if you start digging into it.

My take is that 1) there IS a difference, sometimes, if you’re sensitive enough and 2) it’s usually such a tiny, tiny difference considering the sum of factors (strings, technique, bridge, nut and neck construction variables, the whole chain of electronics up to and including pickup height and cable impedance) that caring too much about it approaches audiophile levels of self-deception and missing the point. I believe “cork sniffing” is the popular term for it.





I could see a guitar body having a lot of impact on sustain, because it’s stiff. But if we made the whole guitar out of carbon fiber, we’d fine people who would claim it sounds “mechanical” or “tinny”, so there is no pleasing some people.


The all-synthetic construction gave a very smooth sound and feel, immediate note attack, and very even tonal response. Depending upon the preferences of the listener, this was either a good thing, as it made the instrument sonically clean, or a bad thing, as it made the instrument sound synthetic and unnatural. Steinberger was and still is proud of this dichotomy and one of their slogans was “We don’t make 'em like they used to.”


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