Why 5 Ply?

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by SaltyDog, Feb 9, 2020.

  1. Byron

    Byron Synchromatic

    671
    Sep 4, 2009
    uk
    Can I just say something? (had an old girlfriend who used to start her sentences that way) Brian Setzer complained about Gretsch using 5 ply in the early days of his model, asked them to go to 3 ply like his vintage original. Could be wrong but that's how I remember it.

    Plus TV Jones said he guessed a pickup represented around 80% of a guitars sound, so all the materials and vibrating stuff was 20% of what was happening
     
    CalicoSkies and Ati EDGE like this.
  2. Byron

    Byron Synchromatic

    671
    Sep 4, 2009
    uk
     
    Ati EDGE and new6659 like this.
  3. Byron

    Byron Synchromatic

    671
    Sep 4, 2009
    uk
    Found the above from an old thread here, discussing the top thickness issues. The Setzer are thin, each to their own of course
     
    Ati EDGE likes this.
  4. Grez

    Grez Electromatic

    76
    Apr 29, 2015
    Petaluma, CA
    Don't think I can agree with 5 ply = bad, 3 ply = good as an overall all generalization. Many factors in the mix here but if in this context Good = sounding like a vintage Gretsch that was made with a 3 ply top, then I agree 3 ply is better at achieving this.
     
  5. Ati EDGE

    Ati EDGE Electromatic

    53
    May 23, 2013
    Budapest, Hungary
    Don't get me wrong, I don't know what is "cheap" sound. I said It sounded like a cheap toy guitar compare to the 3 ply one.
    The sound of the 3 ply top guitar was more lively plugged and unplugged. The sound of the 5 ply top guitar was kinda flat, less dynamic. But if you plug it to a Marshall JCM 900 and add some gain you can hardly tell the difference in front of the amp. I feel the difference on stage during solos and palm muting parts. Anyways, I am really thinking on buying a G2420 also... they are good guitars and all the 5 ply electromatic and streamliner line are good for that money.
     
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  6. jarrodtaylor

    jarrodtaylor Gretschie

    138
    Mar 14, 2019
    Delray Beach, FL
    Interesting. I get the same thing, especially with palm muting. Like it has more of a thump to it. I never took the time to figure out if it was just feel or if I was imagining a sound. Then again, a guitar that feels better is a guitar that plays better, and if you play better the song sounds better, physics be dammed.
     
    G5422T likes this.
  7. afire

    afire Country Gent

    I always find "estimates" like that curious. 100% of amplified sound comes from the amplifier. 100% comes from the pickups, and 100% comes from the strings. Where the body materials and construction come into play is how they affect how the strings vibrate. After all, that's what the pickup is picking up and transmitting to the amplifier.
     
  8. CalicoSkies

    CalicoSkies Gretschie

    143
    Nov 18, 2019
    Hillsboro, OR, USA
    80/20 rule? :p

    I think it's interesting how much a little change in vibration of the magnetic fields ultimately affects the sound. I wonder if there have been any studies that explain specifically how different materials and other properties of a guitar body affect string vibrations and what kinds of vibrations you can expect from different materials & properties of a guitar?
     
  9. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    bottom line. an electromatic doesnt feel or sound like a pro line, or visa versa. They are their own things.
     
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  10. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    I think maybe the biggest difference between my 5420 and my pro is that my 5420 feels like it’s been dipped in a coating like a candy apple.
    My falcon has a poly finish, but no where near as thick.
     
  11. jarrodtaylor

    jarrodtaylor Gretschie

    138
    Mar 14, 2019
    Delray Beach, FL
    Is that the rule about how the first 20% will get you a decent sound, the next 80% will make you a decent player, and the next 80% after that will have you considering which strap locks give you the most accurate vintage tone?
     
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  12. snakestretcher

    snakestretcher Gretschie

    Age:
    67
    178
    Sep 7, 2009
    England
    Don't forget to wear the correct hat if you're a Blues player; it's an essential accessory if you want to be taken seriously.
     
    new6659 likes this.
  13. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Someone should scrape the paint of the top of a 5120. Maybe take it even further, and remove one or two layers from the ply... any takers? :)
     
  14. jarrodtaylor

    jarrodtaylor Gretschie

    138
    Mar 14, 2019
    Delray Beach, FL
    srv-tail-hat_full.jpg

    The tail makes you ply faster. It's like flames on a car.

    I've often wondered what it would take to pull the trestles out of a guitar. Could it be done through the pickup routes (maybe)? Would I fat finger it and scratch something (probably)? Would it improve things (don't know but I'd like to find out)? And how do you get the wood glue to separate (no idea)?
     
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  15. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    I wasn’t thinking that far ahead but now you’ve planted the seed... hmm interesting.
     
  16. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    I read another pickup winder guestimate it at 90%... It’s so transparent it’s kinda endearing. :D
    By that logic, every guitar regardless of model would practically sound the same with the same pickups fitted. And nothing could be further from the truth. I’ve even experienced the same pickup sounding different fitted in two different guitars of the same brand and model.
     
  17. snakestretcher

    snakestretcher Gretschie

    Age:
    67
    178
    Sep 7, 2009
    England
    The trestles are structural, so I don't think removing them is a good idea.
     
  18. DennisC

    DennisC Synchromatic

    Age:
    37
    606
    May 11, 2017
    Germany
    Me neither. Thinner top requires more inner structure to stay intact.

    While taking them out might be easier than it looks (heat usually gets glue open, but I'm not sure on the temperature needed, neither on the temperature the finish may tolerate), if it's just for the sake of them being away, nevermind the glue, just cut the posts close to the ends and take'em out, haha...

    ... but ... this might lead to the guitar collapsing if the top is severely thinner than on a non-trestle braced one. I wouldn't dare to try without further research.
     
  19. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    A 3-ply 17” proline, I wouldn’t dream of it. But a 5-ply 5120?
     
  20. MikeSchindler

    MikeSchindler Synchromatic

    829
    Feb 3, 2014
    Pennsylvania
    5ply to me feels kind of cheap .. a bit stiff with less tonal dynamics than my 3 ply guitars.
     
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