Sunday, March 25, 2012

Floyd Rose Part II

So to continue our floating tremolo talk, I was thrilled to death that another issue came up which is so near and dear to the critical thinking Don't Get jacked was meant to promote.

As many of you know, there exists a market for stabilization devices for tremolos. I could never hope to do justice to that subject the way this excellent website does. Go have a look, it is well worth your time.

Almost without exception, and yesterday was par for the course, any discussion of tremolo stabilizers is undoubtedly met with "well those things change your tone"

What a perfect call to arms for the friend of every critical thinker and the sworn enemy of every marketing company in the universe, the dreaded ABX test!

Now, you can conduct this experiment yourself without too much hassle. There is a problem that it wont be fully blinded, as you will know while supplying the raw data (actually playing the guitar) if the stabilizer was on or off, but the listening test should be decently blinded. Maybe have a friend do the playing instead.

I have done this a few times through the last 20 years, but certainly not enough to be statistically significant.

When doing this test I ask two questions

1: Identify which one has the stabilizing device
2: Which do you like better

The results have been VERY close to random for me.

Slightly more than random, people get #1 wrong

Slightly more than random, the guitar with the stabilizer wins #2

Why should that be? Again, I say, my sample data pool is too small and probably need many more test subjects, but I have a suggestion.

If I look at the waveforms generated by the stabilized and non stabilized guitars on a frequency analyzer, I can't tell the difference. Sometimes I think i can pick which is which, but then I realize I am just fooling myself. However! Looking at the waveform itself, the stabilized guitars almost always sustain longer, sometimes far, far longer on the plain strings than their nonstabilized counterparts.

Does more sustain sound better? That's the only real tonal difference I can quantify

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