Guitar Lessons by Chip McDonald - Roasting Isn't Just For Peanuts

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Roasting Isn't Just For Peanuts

 I'm sold.

 I recently put together yet another kit guitar, this time based on a Warmoth roasted 1 piece maple neck.

 I wasn't expecting much of a difference; the difference gained was actually more drastic than I expected, and in a way I didn't expect. As one can see in the picture, it has a slightly burned appearance relative to normal maple:

Warmoth one piece roasted maple neck, stainless frets

 Even more curious was it had a smell!  Not overtly offensive, but it was almost humorous how there was a "hint of char" present while opening the box. It was almost alarming, because during one's entire life you are used to associating that smell with "something bad has happened". The scent is gone now, a few weeks later.  I could see Warmoth deciding to try to eliminate that one day, but I'd suggest they don't because it lends a certain charm to the experience of knowing "this has been prepared in a certain manner".

 I'm having a bite right now because at my office right now, that guitar is still sustaining.  It's almost weird how long chords sustain on it, it almost behaves like a perfect compressor releasing.  It seems like what I expect from a vintage Les Paul (back when such a thing was around), very even attack and decay on each string.  With the bonus of still having a Strat tonal balance, in my case with a vintage style bridge/bent steel saddles.

 This is what a great "vintage", old guitar does.  I've never been super impressed with the vintage guitar craze, having played only a few vintage Strats that have impressed me.  When they have, though, it's been in this manner.  You can feel the neck resonate, and it doesn't seem to be dampening vibration but enhancing in a self-resonate manner.  The taper of the decay of the vibration in the neck is lengthier than "normal".

 This sensation, combined with the crazy sustain, makes me want to roast all of the necks on all of the guitars I have, as well as the bodies.  I'm not sure if I'm joking or not, time will tell.

 Bottom line is, you don't get a different sound per se, but more sound as it decays.  The anti-banjo dead-guitar effect, which I like immensely.  YMMV.

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