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Being on the front lines at Kahler customer support, I get asked many of the same questions over and over. What model do I have or is this the right part# for my guitar etc...

Another question I get often is about tone. Variations of the question include “will adding a Kahler effect the tone of my guitar"? If so, then "how"? "What does Brass do to my sound"? "How will steel effect the tone of my guitar"? "If I route out of my body, what will it sound like"? "Should I use this or that"? And if I do "what will it sound like"?

There is no simple answer to any of these questions except that the first one gets an emphatic yes. Adding a Kahler will effect the tone of your guitar by adding sustain and depth. In fact adding anything to your guitar will change the way it sounds to some degree. Your guitar, right now, is what it is, and the tone is what it is, because you have a set of ingredients that make up your guitar. 

Tone really begins in the forest. The wood starts things off with the core tone of the guitar or bass. Hard woods such as maple and ash give more sustain but are heavy to shoulder than alder or basswood which have a more dampening deep effect and are lightweight. Then by adding a little salt and pepper to the mix in the way of various guitar parts such as knobs, switches, tuners and strings, you start to change things. Every ingredient you add or subtract, changes the original tone to some degree. Some obvious tone modifiers include bolt-on or a neck thru design, the type of pickups used and how they are selected, other factors include the bridge metal. Is it made from steel, brass, aluminum or pot metal? And is the nut material either bone, graphite or plastic? Even the brand of the guitar cord and length can effect the tone.

But some ingredients are hardly thought about at all, and yet still change tone on a small scale. Tone can simply be altered by the type of paint and lacquer used in the finishing, the fret wire on the neck and to some extent even the wiring in the cavity and whether the control cavity is shielded or not can modify the tone. Don’t forget your pick too! Is it plastic, nylon, bone, stone or metal?

The bottom line is, if you change the ingredients, you change the tone. There are no tables, scales, or any units of measures, in which to help you decide if you should or shouldn't do it. It’s all a guessing game. A grand sport of accumulations and expectations. You can search the world over and never achieve what you want in the way tone. Why? Because we as humans (and secondly guitar players) are never satisfied with anything! Otherwise we would still be eating off the floor, partially clad in loin cloths, pounding out drum riffs on cave rocks with the jawbones of an ass.

Whammy J. 

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