Last week me peeps dug down a txt thread rabbit-hole regarding the difference between guitar TONE vs. guitar SOUND. I had enough coffee in my circulatory system to posit a position guitar videos demonstrating sounds are useless for evaluating what an instrument actually sounds like.
The blowback was pretty intense.
I am happy to report however, that because I have a website — and can type using all ten fingers (instead of texting with thumbs) — some slight speed and bandwidth advantages accrue to me outlining the dissemination of my philosophical perspective.
So here it is:
TONE is the acoustic character of a guitar when played un-amplified, or played through a basic signal chain: clean (or overdriven amp) or direct. TONE is the acoustic responsiveness your ear uses to discern the differences between guitars, or types of guitars.
SOUND is the finalized combination of a guitar plus a signal chain when heard in the context of a song. SOUND is TONE plus the addition of effects, compression, EQ, mixing.
I like guitar videos where I can hear the TONE of the guitar. Once that baseline is established, it becomes easier to determine which guitar a player would choose for the gig or session. You have a clear idea of your basic building block which will affect all other results downstream in the music.
My fingers are raw after running through some of the paces amplified last night. I only went through the 5 positions on the humbucker side. It sounds so HUGE!!
I locked in a sick Wes Montgomery 335 tone using the tone knob and position 2 on the selector with the volume knob dialed back slightly. The versatility, clarity and dynamics are unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.
I found myself daydreaming for a few minutes not feeling this instrument either on my body or in my left hand. I literally woke up noodling and did not feel this instrument on me at all. Totally invisible, but not at all missing in any way, as it has just the exact amount of chunk to still be felt.
The neck feels absolutely perfect. The frets… Oh My… How did you get them SO SMOOTH?!?!? If I could translate the design specs of the perfect neck for me, this one is better! Its also the most gorgeous natural wood grain… Perfect!
Words cannot describe how striking this neck is to my eyes. It is so beyond birdseye which until today was my favorite look on a neck. This is just so many levels higher. The pictures and demo video did not at all capture how insanely patterned and beautiful this neck is.
I can’t call the Goshawk ‘American Girl’ a guitar at this point. You probably hear this all the time – its flawless!
I appreciate you Rick, I really do. Thank you.
‘American Beauty’ Goshawk™ is inspired by the classic Strat/Tele/Les Paul tones of the 1950’s. Lindy Fralin hand winds pickups using all of the original methods and materials in Richmond, Virginia. I wanted to bring his aesthetic into Goshawk™ to create a one guitar which allows you to leave your vintage closet queens home. Combined with 10-way switching and truly useful tone control, everything is at your fingertips. In a professional studio or stage setting where you desire that American sound, this is the guitar you will reach for night after night.
Even grained, light weight, and resonant — when I find Swamp Ash this lovely — it begs to be paired with highly figured roasted Flame Maple, with a minimalist organic clear finish. Expect snap, resonance, plus the exceptional string clarity and sustain characteristic to my builds.
Goshawk™ is hand built, luthier’s art. Details throughout: Hipshot locking tuners, luthier’s joint tilt-back headstock, bone nut, mother of pearl inlays, polished Dunlap stainless frets, custom neck mount plate, carbon fiber pickguard. Patented Intonation Cantilever™ solo bridges precision machined from stainless steel. Trademarked Advantage™ neck profile for hours of ergonomic comfort. Unrestricted upper fret access. Perfect curves and lines blend with your body as you play. (Rick Toone)
I love this video of Chris Buono improv-looping through the pickup selections on ‘American Girl’ Goshawk™ 6-string guitar. We used the simplest signal chain: Noble DI > Strymon Iridium (Deluxe) > Logic. His playing is superb and his switch selections shine through.