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Thread: Guitar, Speakers, Amp, or all Three ?

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    Guitar, Speakers, Amp, or all Three ?

    I've noticed for many years now that some notes played on a loud and distorted guitar give a type of 'Howl' for lack of a better term. That is, they start out with rather bright and then progress to a duller sound a few tenths of a second into the note. The reverse sometimes happens as well, as in starts out dull and then becomes brighter.

    I realized a few years back you can invoke this type of frequency change when bending notes by placing your finger very close to the fret and picking the note violently while you bend and relax the note. This I believe has to do with a type of muting you are invoking with your fretted finger, but it's not just that simple, as it seems to work a whole lot better as you ease off the bend, and not on the upswing. Also there is the recovery of the string itself after a large transient from the pick, and perhaps a bit of fret buzz that changes the harmonic content of the note as well.

    Then there are guitar amp speakers that can't handle severe and high power transients, and seem to 'Shut Down' for a very short instant while they deal with the surge energy level of the amplifier transient. This also effects tone in a sometimes dramatic way, depending on the speaker, amp, and gain settings. I had a very powerful Ampeg Twin years ago that assaulted the 2 stock speakers in this manner, and I sometimes hear the same thing happen when running a single 4x12 Marshall cabinet with a 100w head, particularly if the cabinet runs low wattage Celestions (20 or 25 watt Greenback).

    Finally, there is the amp itself, and how it compresses the transients of a note, and on the release, how the frequency response of the already picked note changes in time. Kinda like an 'Auto Wha' but much less predictable and a whole lot more exciting to the ear.

    Anybody have any personal insight (or scientific notes) on any of this ?

    Thanks for the input, and your help !

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    Last edited by HaroldBrooks; 04-15-2019 at 10:43 PM.

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