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Other than Brewing => The Pub => Topic started by: tubercle on August 27, 2011, 01:21:51 AM

Title: Don't know what to think
Post by: tubercle on August 27, 2011, 01:21:51 AM
Please, don't get political..... :(

 I got many, many guitars. Some very old

 I love the tone of old wood.

 Just don't know what to think other than:

 1> the forrest should be preserved
 2> trees are a renewable resourse.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904787404576530520471223268.html?fb_ref=wsj_share_FB_bot&fb_source=home_multiline
Title: Re: Don't know what to think
Post by: bo on August 27, 2011, 01:44:45 AM
Sometimes things that are done today are so bizarre, I don't even know how to comment.  :'(
Title: Re: Don't know what to think
Post by: woadwarrior on August 27, 2011, 02:27:28 AM
Sometimes things that are done today are so bizarre, I don't even know how to comment.  :'(
I'll 2nd that. While I consider the laws mentioned in the article as necessary, the draconian enforcement against the musicians is uncalled for.
Title: Re: Don't know what to think
Post by: bluesman on August 27, 2011, 02:29:02 AM
I'm not sure what to think either. How many trees are we talking about here???

Are we taking down entire forests or what???

As a lifelong musician this saddens me. This can become political so I'll refrain from further comment.
Title: Re: Don't know what to think
Post by: Tim McManus on August 27, 2011, 03:21:31 AM
I have a buddy who works for Fender.  He's spent the past two years traveling the globe to research sources of wood.  Now I know why.
Title: Re: Don't know what to think
Post by: MrNate on August 27, 2011, 04:05:00 AM
I dunno. I seem to spend a lot of time explaining to my girls how we grow new trees just like we grow new corn, just on a longer timeline. I'm a conservationist at heart, but I guess more in the Teddy Roosevelt sense. There's a lot of complete and utter hogwash out there nowadays.

Green sells, man. Green sells.
Title: Re: Don't know what to think
Post by: nicneufeld on August 28, 2011, 11:17:44 PM
I suppose if we're gonna make the laws, even if they are silly laws, it would be hypocritical and foolish to enforce them half-heartedly or only when we see fit.  Gibson knows what they are doing, they are one of the biggest guitar vendors in the nation and they make a LOT of money and if they are treading to close to the legal line to maximize profits, they deserve to get slapped a bit and back off.

But then I find it hilarious when I'm talking to fellow guitarists that are more of a mediocre vein and they start talking about how they NEED a Brazilian rosewood fretboard, for tone reasons.  Heavy marketing to consumers over the past several decades has created this environment, where people who couldn't tell the difference between a Strat and a Tele, when blindfolded, will wax on about how they can't settle for a solid state rectifier and the KT88 tubes in their amp are non-negotiable.  Hey, if you have to spend your money on SOMETHING, then fine, get your Brazilian rosewood fretboard, your scatterwound Alnico II pickups with the specific gauge wire you specify...cloth covered internal wiring, orange drop capacitor for the tone pot, milspec hand wired amp with NOS tubes, etc etc etc.  If you can't play, the best rig in the world won't make you sound better, and if you can play, I mean really play, you can sound great on cheap gear as well as expensive.  And most people in the audience wouldn't know the difference anyway.

Saw Steely Dan for the 3rd or 4th time Thursday....Jon Herington is one of those sorts of guitarists.  I'd put him on a cheap Korean budget axe into a solidstate practice amp, up against your average weekend warrior with 10 thousand work of vintage or boutique gear.  The man is an utterly brilliant player.
Title: Re: Don't know what to think
Post by: majorvices on August 28, 2011, 11:22:54 PM

Saw Steely Dan for the 3rd or 4th time Thursday....Jon Herington is one of those sorts of guitarists.  I'd put him on a cheap Korean budget axe into a solidstate practice amp, up against your average weekend warrior with 10 thousand work of vintage or boutique gear.  The man is an utterly brilliant player.

Where did you see them? I saw then in Tuscaloosa, AL a week ago yesterday. Damn good show. One of the best concerts I ever saw.
Title: Re: Don't know what to think
Post by: tubercle on August 28, 2011, 11:40:22 PM
nicneufeld, I agree with just about everything you said. But I have several fairly old axes, including Gibson elec's and acoustics. I would hate for customs to confiscate them because they were made of something I had no control of.
 
 I just wish for everyone cut down they would plant 2.
Title: Re: Don't know what to think
Post by: bluesman on August 29, 2011, 12:33:23 AM
I suppose if we're gonna make the laws, even if they are silly laws, it would be hypocritical and foolish to enforce them half-heartedly or only when we see fit.  Gibson knows what they are doing, they are one of the biggest guitar vendors in the nation and they make a LOT of money and if they are treading to close to the legal line to maximize profits, they deserve to get slapped a bit and back off.

But then I find it hilarious when I'm talking to fellow guitarists that are more of a mediocre vein and they start talking about how they NEED a Brazilian rosewood fretboard, for tone reasons.  Heavy marketing to consumers over the past several decades has created this environment, where people who couldn't tell the difference between a Strat and a Tele, when blindfolded, will wax on about how they can't settle for a solid state rectifier and the KT88 tubes in their amp are non-negotiable.  Hey, if you have to spend your money on SOMETHING, then fine, get your Brazilian rosewood fretboard, your scatterwound Alnico II pickups with the specific gauge wire you specify...cloth covered internal wiring, orange drop capacitor for the tone pot, milspec hand wired amp with NOS tubes, etc etc etc.  If you can't play, the best rig in the world won't make you sound better, and if you can play, I mean really play, you can sound great on cheap gear as well as expensive.  And most people in the audience wouldn't know the difference anyway.

Saw Steely Dan for the 3rd or 4th time Thursday....Jon Herington is one of those sorts of guitarists.  I'd put him on a cheap Korean budget axe into a solidstate practice amp, up against your average weekend warrior with 10 thousand work of vintage or boutique gear.  The man is an utterly brilliant player.

Nic...I agree to a point.

I don't know all of the details, but I surmise that Gibson is going to extreme measures to contract the removal of vast quantities of exotic woods for the benefit of their sales.  :-\  However, that's an assumption on my part. I just can't imagine that their production demands would require extensive deforestation. Maybe I'm wrong.

BTW...I am a huge SD fan. Music to my ears
Title: Re: Don't know what to think
Post by: majorvices on August 29, 2011, 12:38:00 AM
If you get a chance go see them on this tour. They have put a phenomenal band together. I expected them to be good but, damn - thyy were awesome.
Title: Re: Don't know what to think
Post by: bluesman on August 29, 2011, 01:47:34 AM
If you get a chance go see them on this tour. They have put a phenomenal band together. I expected them to be good but, damn - thyy were awesome.

I definitely keep that in mind.  :)
Title: Re: Don't know what to think
Post by: akr71 on August 29, 2011, 02:36:56 AM
...  And most people in the audience wouldn't know the difference anyway...
^^^ THIS  - I'm trying to get this through to my daughter.  If you just keep playing, the audience has no idea whether or not you played the right notes.

As to the OP - it seems a little draconian, but then Gibson should maybe be paying closer attention and better document where their inventory comes from.
Title: Re: Don't know what to think
Post by: dhacker on August 29, 2011, 12:27:30 PM
. . . I surmise that Gibson is going to extreme measures to contract the removal of vast quantities of exotic woods for the benefit of their sales. I just can't imagine that their production demands would require extensive deforestation . . .

Even at their production rate, how much rare wood could it possibly take to make a fret board overlay?

Another way of asking . . how many trees does it take to make a thousand fret board overlays? Two, three, ten?? I don't know but it can't believe it's significant.
Title: Re: Don't know what to think
Post by: nicneufeld on August 29, 2011, 12:44:24 PM
A company as big as Gibson is not just making an accidental mistake in their sourcing, IMO...they've been well aware of the issues of sourcing "legal" wood for a long, long time.  Was it ten years ago that they had their "eco" Les Pauls made out of assorted legal exotics?  I could see a small outfit or custom shop bungling this up but I just would think Gibson would be more careful.  Imagine a huge oil company drilling in ANWR, or Steinway buying a bunch of elephant tusks for keys...if they do it, it isn't just an accident, they are seeing what they can get away with!  But I could be wrong.  Confiscating it from new owners though is ridiculous.

Re Don et Walt, actually one of the better things about them is how amazingly consistent their band is now...in the studio they would change musicians every track, but since reforming in the 90s they've kept a lot of the same folks around.  I saw them in maybe 2003, again in maybe 2007, and now.  Plus last year the Donald Fagen / McDonald /Scaggs tour which was mostly backed up by Steely personnel.  Jon Herington, Walt Weiskopf, Carolyn and Michael Leonhart, Keith Carlock...lot of constants to their touring band now.  They are every bit as good now as when I saw them previously (can't say the same for Yes sadly).  Walter Becker though...my only quibble...I got a little tired of the modal minor blues scale noodling...but only really because every time Becker took a solo it meant that Jon Herington was not.  Blessedly they did change Becker's contribution from singing (ie., Haitian Divorce, or a new song) to a sort of spoken interlude, which was less harsh on the ears.  Great show though.
Title: Re: Don't know what to think
Post by: stlaleman on August 29, 2011, 01:02:28 PM
If you can keep the harvest to musical instruments, it most likely would be sustainable, but alas, most of the harvested wood goes for furniture. The same problem is taking place in the Pacific Northwest with Sitka Spruce. One of the best soundboard materials out there (having built a couple hundred musical instruments, I've been able to compare), but the bulk of the old growth timber being harvested goes to Korea, where it could end up as nylon. Soon there won't be any cutting allowed of this resource as we squander it away now. Then what will we use for soundboards?
Title: Re: Don't know what to think
Post by: denny on August 29, 2011, 03:42:46 PM
If you get a chance go see them on this tour. They have put a phenomenal band together. I expected them to be good but, damn - thyy were awesome.

I saw them on the first tour they ever did, opening for Zappa in 1980. 
Title: Re: Don't know what to think
Post by: Slowbrew on August 29, 2011, 04:48:18 PM
The problem with harvesting these exotic woods isn't centered around how much wood goes into a single guitar or even 1000 guitars.  The root of the problem is the means by which the harvesting is usually done.  These woods come from places where people are very poor and typically not educated very well.  They either clear cut the forest to get the few trees there. that they would like to sell, or they get paid small amounts of money to let a logging company do it.  We really are killing ourselves for pretty baubles.

That being said, it doesn't make any sense to take an instrument that was manufactured long before using these woods became illegal.  The person buying an antique piano can't control how the ivory on the keys was sources 50+ years ago.  How many of the people creating these laws will proudly show off the fireplace mantle and wall their Granddad had built out of old growth mahogany?  Same thing in my mind.

If Gibson intentionally and willing purchased illegal wood, throw the book at them.  If they can show they really did believe the product was (or is) legal than this is a non-story.  What's next?  Raiding state fairs during performances and confiscating guitars from the stage?  Then arresting the people in the stands for aiding and abetting?

We live in sad times.

Was a big SD fan way back when. 

Paul
Title: Re: Don't know what to think
Post by: nicneufeld on August 29, 2011, 05:08:24 PM
I saw them on the first tour they ever did, opening for Zappa in 1980. 

Sure it wasn't 1970 or 71 or so?  By 1980 they were recording Gaucho, on the verge of a 15 year hiatus, and had long since given up touring (which they did in the early 70s, but eventually hated it and became a studio only band).  I think it was either Pretzel Logic or Katy Lied that was their last album as a touring band...then Royal Scam, Aja, and Gaucho, where they really honed their art.  Seems like they really enjoy touring now though, been at it for 15 years now, again. 

At least with sitars the scarcity of wood isn't a big problem.  Tun (Indian mahogany) is pretty plentiful, although teak (at least good, instrument grade teak) less so.  But the "sound box" of a sitar is a large dried calabash gourd, so I imagine those should always be readily available!
Title: Re: Don't know what to think
Post by: bo on August 29, 2011, 05:47:43 PM
I saw them on the first tour they ever did, opening for Zappa in 1980. 

Sure it wasn't 1970 or 71 or so?  By 1980 they were recording Gaucho, on the verge of a 15 year hiatus, and had long since given up touring (which they did in the early 70s, but eventually hated it and became a studio only band).  I think it was either Pretzel Logic or Katy Lied that was their last album as a touring band...then Royal Scam, Aja, and Gaucho, where they really honed their art.  Seems like they really enjoy touring now though, been at it for 15 years now, again. 

At least with sitars the scarcity of wood isn't a big problem.  Tun (Indian mahogany) is pretty plentiful, although teak (at least good, instrument grade teak) less so.  But the "sound box" of a sitar is a large dried calabash gourd, so I imagine those should always be readily available!

Good to know. I'd hate to miss out any new Hindu rock.  ;D
Title: Re: Don't know what to think
Post by: denny on August 29, 2011, 05:50:10 PM
Sure it wasn't 1970 or 71 or so?  By 1980 they were recording Gaucho, on the verge of a 15 year hiatus, and had long since given up touring (which they did in the early 70s, but eventually hated it and became a studio only band).  I think it was either Pretzel Logic or Katy Lied that was their last album as a touring band...then Royal Scam, Aja, and Gaucho, where they really honed their art.  Seems like they really enjoy touring now though, been at it for 15 years now, again.

You're absolutely right, it was 1970, not 80.
Title: Re: Don't know what to think
Post by: MDixon on August 29, 2011, 11:28:30 PM
I didn't post earlier, but figured after several pints of various O'fest what the heck. I read the WSJ article when it first came out and thought (still think) what a waste of resources. We could seriously lay off this entire group of people and those like them and save some coin. Now it is not good if Gibson has illegally harvested wood on their property, but to allocate resources to do a witch hunt is absurd.

As to whether or not a tree from a particular forest can make the difference in sound - the jury may be out - I'd say on an accoustic guitar is may make a difference, on an electric, not so much. I would bet SRV could still play his brain out on a Squier.
Title: Re: Don't know what to think
Post by: majorvices on August 30, 2011, 02:42:30 AM


Was a big SD fan way back when. 


Some of their new stuff is awesome. "Everything Must Go" was their latest album, it won a grammy. Worth the purchase of the album for sure. "Two Against Nature" also had some really good songs on it. And Fagen's "Kamikiriad" was a solo album but since Becker produced it it sounds like Steely Dan. good stuff, all of it.
Title: Re: Don't know what to think
Post by: nicneufeld on August 30, 2011, 12:37:01 PM
Also check out Morph the Cat, Fagen's newest...good album!  Love all his solo stuff, and I definitely preferred the new Dan album to Two Against Nature, which I liked, just didn't LOVE.

And this '82 album is classic.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANA5MGMKyBU
Title: Re: Don't know what to think
Post by: Kit B on August 30, 2011, 06:04:18 PM
Heavy marketing to consumers over the past several decades has created this environment, where people who couldn't tell the difference between a Strat and a Tele, when blindfolded, will wax on about how they can't settle for a solid state rectifier and the KT88 tubes in their amp are non-negotiable.

If a person plays either regularly & can't tell after strapping one on & strumming...They should probably hang it up.
Title: Re: Don't know what to think
Post by: nicneufeld on August 30, 2011, 06:59:49 PM
If a person plays either regularly & can't tell after strapping one on & strumming...They should probably hang it up.

I bet it would be very easy to engineer a blindfolded sound test where at least 90% of guitarists could not consistently tell the difference...the amount of variations available in factory and aftermarket strat and tele pickups are such that as long as you avoid the middle pickup (the 2, 4 positions are a dead giveaway on a strat) there is a wide area of overlap.  Strat and Tele in the neck position, if with comparable strength pickups?  You hear a song on the radio and think, "well, that chrome pickup cover really deadens the tone..."  I think more people like to THINK they can tell a difference, than actually do.

Of course, if you strap one on, then you should be able to figure it out in a tactile way regardless!
Title: Re: Don't know what to think
Post by: Kit B on August 30, 2011, 07:34:59 PM
I've always been partial to the amazing tones & deepness you can get from a Tele.
Strats just can't make certain kinds of noise.