0% Interest for 36 Months! Learn more »
(800) 222-4700
  • Español: (800) 222-4701
Cart
February Giveaway

Sweetwater Forums [Archived]

After 15 years of great discussions, the Sweetwater Forums are now closed and preserved as a "read-only" resource. For discussions about current gear, check us out on Facebook, YouTube, inSync, and our Knowledge Base.

Guitars - Difference In Tone?

Annabelle

Do any of you fellow Sweetwater Music Members play the guitar? I have a question for you, and I was wondering if you might have an answer for me. I've always wondered, how would I be able to tell the difference between a nylon guitar and a steel guitar? Do they have a certain tone that lets you tell them apart? The reason why I ask this is because, when I tried out the demo versions of Strum Acoustic and Strum Electric (which are both Virtual Instruments), I couldn't make out a difference between the two. Maybe one of you could send an email to me with an audio example of the difference in tone.
November 24, 2011 @01:07am
R Whittington

Hi Annabelle,
There should be quite a bit of audible difference between the StrumElectric and StrumAcoustic. Main differences being the Electric are sounds recorded through a guitar amp often using efx and overdrive. Acoustic being simply a mic on an acoustic guitar delivering a pure, clean tone. The differences between steel string acoustic and nylon string acoustic can be more subtle. Steel strings deliver a brighter sound with a lot of attack and nylon strings are played fingerstyle, not with a pick...and will have a more mellow, understated tone.
November 25, 2011 @01:45pm
Annabelle

Hi Annabelle,
There should be quite a bit of audible difference between the StrumElectric and StrumAcoustic. Main differences being the Electric are sounds recorded through a guitar amp often using efx and overdrive. Acoustic being simply a mic on an acoustic guitar delivering a pure, clean tone. The differences between steel string acoustic and nylon string acoustic can be more subtle. Steel strings deliver a brighter sound with a lot of attack and nylon strings are played fingerstyle, not with a pick...and will have a more mellow, understated tone.

I know this may sound strange, but I wonder, is it a possibility that nylon string guitars can be made into electric guitars?
November 25, 2011 @02:42pm
R Whittington

Sure...there are nylon string guitars with built in electronics. That is to say, a way to amplify the sound for live performance...etc. But not really an effective way to make a nylon string sound like a "traditional" electric guitar. But who says you can't try? I think it'll likely not be a pleasant sound however.
November 25, 2011 @02:49pm
Annabelle

Sure...there are nylon string guitars with built in electronics. That is to say, a way to amplify the sound for live performance...etc. But not really an effective way to make a nylon string sound like a "traditional" electric guitar. But who says you can't try? I think it'll likely not be a pleasant sound however.

Could you please explain what you mean? I'm a bit confused. And, what do you mean when you say, a traditional electric guitar?
November 25, 2011 @10:48pm
R Whittington

A traditional electric guitar...meaning steel strings, with pickups, played through an amplifier. Examples of traditional electric guitars used in popular music:
Dire Straits/Sultans of Swing. Beatles/Ticket to ride. Deep Purple/Smoke on the Water
etc...Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn etc. These would be your more traditional electric guitar sounds.
November 25, 2011 @10:54pm
Annabelle

One thing I find a bit strange is that neither Strum Acoustic nor Strum Electric include various effects like guitar slides, string slaps, fret squeaks, pick scrapes, and wah-wah "chuckas". I wonder if there's a guitar VST that would include all of these, as well as the ever-so-popular country western steel guitar.
November 26, 2011 @01:22am
anotherfender

listen to the Doors "Spanish Caravan", Mason Wiliams "Classical Gas", the Hell Freezes OVer version of "Hotel California" and you'll hear some nylon string guitar sounds
the opening of "Stairway To Heaven" Crosby Stills Nash and Young's "Suite Judy Blue Eyes"..much of Clapton's "Unplugged" will give you some Steel String tones
a nylon stringed guitar makes it's sound by the strings vibrating, the top of the guitar vibrating and the air in side the sound box of the guitar
an electric guitar makes sound from the metal strings vibrating over the magnetic pickups, this makes a tiny current which is carried through some wires, a cable to an amplifier that causes the speaker to vibrate
I guess you could put steel strings on a nylon stringed guitar., put a pick up in it and make it into an electric guitar
November 26, 2011 @01:54pm
Annabelle

Interestingly enough, Trilogy, made by Spectrasonics, is a series of basses, both acoustic and electric, which sound so realistic it makes me wanna faint! I wonder if there's a virtual instrument like that one, but with guitars?
November 26, 2011 @02:41pm
Dave Burris

I guess you could put steel strings on a nylon stringed guitar., put a pick up in it and make it into an electric guitar

I would be concerned about the neck going this route.
November 26, 2011 @04:29pm
R Whittington

yes...not recommended. Completely different string tensions with nylon and steel strings. I realize we're talking about sound and virtual instruments...but just in case someone is thinking about trying this....don't
November 26, 2011 @04:31pm