Does $10,000 guitar sound better than $300?

La Trobe University Bachelor of Science honours student, Matthew Angove says that the jury is still out on whether a $10,000 electric guitar gives better quality sound than a $300 one.

electric-guitar Mr Angove is currently conducting research into whether or not the shape and construction of the body of a solid body electric guitar has an effect on the quality of sound produced when played.

‘The body - front and back plates and the air cavity - of the acoustic guitar influence the resonant conditions and therefore the sound produced by the guitar,’ he says.

‘However, the electric guitar relies on a magnetic pickup on the strings and in simple terms the body of the instrument should not affect the quality of sound.’

Mr Angove said manufacturers and players claim that there are significant differences in the sound produced by electric guitars of particular shapes or made of particular materials.

‘I’m a player myself and I grew up believing the hype around different sounds and tones that can be created by using different woods such as mahogany or maple. I’m now testing that assumption.’

Mr Angove is trying to determine whether there is a difference in sound produced based on the body and materials used in the electric guitar. If there is he hopes to identify its cause.

Mr Angove has spent the past month and a half collecting data. ‘While my research is not complete, the data I have leads me to suspect that there is no significant difference.’

He has been in a Strathfieldsaye music studio collecting data with guitars loaned to him by J’s Music City, which is based in View Street Bendigo. Mr Angove hopes to complete his research by the end of the year.


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