There is an ongoing controversy about whether it is purposeful to "play-in" musical instruments. In other words: do much played instruments sound different (or – preferably – even better) compared to instruments that have been played little? Dr. Gregor Weldert addresses this interesting topic in an extensive overview-article and has kindly agreed to us publishing it here on the GITEC-website:
Another big chunk of the translation of the (rather extensive) Chapter 10 of "Physics of the Electric Guitar" has been completed: most everything you ever wanted to know about the first sections of a (tube) guitar amp is available: preamp, tone-controls, intermediate amp (incl. the infamous cathode-follower discussed in detail), phase-splitter/driver, associated distortion and non-linearity, noise, hum ... all there!
This makes for Chapters 10.1. - 10.4 .... and Chapter 10.5 (on the power stage) is already in the works!
Wolfgang Hönlein and Andrew Graham have completed the translation of Chapter 4 of "Physics of the Electric Guitar" - it discusses magnetism, i.e. one of the foundations of our instruments. No magnet – no magnetic pickup – no electric guitar as we know it!
Special thanks got to Andrew who provided some serious help and support to Wolfgang, checking the language and proofreading the translation.
Check out the result here (scroll down until you hit chapter 4!).
Transistor-amps do not enjoy a particularly good reputation among guitar players. Presumably, a main contributor to this (certainly not always deserved) image was the Solid-State amplifier series unveiled by Fender in 1967. What went wrong with these amps? Is the catastrophic image they "enjoy" justified? Are they really that bad? These questions are not easy to answer – the amps are (understandably) quite rare today and very few people can actually play them and check them out.
At GITEC, we could get hold of a Solid-State Twin Reverb and investigate it inside and out - and, last not least, play it. The result is a 3-part article:
Revisiting the amp that gave "Solid-State" a bad name: the Fender Solid-State Twin Reverb:
Dear members and friends of GITEC,
we continue receive confirmation that the book "Physik der Elektrogitarre" (Physics of the Electric Guitar) is – globally – one of a kind, both with regard to the truly scientific approach and the extent with which it covers the subject. However, it is also clear that most of "the globe" does not have any access to the contents of the book, simply because the language it is written in – German – does not have any widespread prevalence compared to English.
Given this situation, we (in the board of GITEC) decided last November to address the issue of the translation of the book. Checking in with a number of translators did not only show that the cost would be exorbitant. Even more problematic was the fact, that the knowledge even of technically experienced translators quickly hit boundaries in the face of the multidisciplinary character of the contents of the book: instrumentation, material science, mechanics, systems theory, tube (valve) and solid state technology, musical and psycho-acoustics, plus much more. This results in a necessary checking and reworking effort which we are not able to provide. Last not least, the sheer scope of the work to be done is a bad match to the business models of scientific translators. They prefer to provide smaller share of their capacity to a multitude of clients and do not like to dedicate a big proportion of their capacity to a single client. In any case, we have so far not been able to find a translator who could (or even would) do the translation as a whole.
Since we do not want to waste too much time, we have adopted a different strategy, namely a kind of "crowd translation". Everybody who has the capacity, the knowledge and the "drive" may contribute. Depending on the individual, the circumstances and the result, monetary recognition is not out of the question. So if you are a student seeking to de-escalate your financial situation - think about it.
We suggest that those who are interested pick a (sub-) chapter from the book as it is accessible online and translate two pages – first without consideration of the figures i.e. focusing on the text only. That way you can see how much work the translation is going to be and whether this kind of work is something for you to begin with. You could send the two pages to us so we could check whether the style is reasonably in line with what we have line up. And then you would be free to "translate at will"! By the way: with regard to possibly necessary corrections to the text we are hoping for some kind of "crowd-checking".
Some of us are already working on the translation. Considering the amount of work there is relatively small progress - but something is happening!
In the following, a content listing of PdE/PotEG is included. The chapters which already have been translated are shown - together with the name of the translator in green. The chapters which are "under (translation-) construction" are listed in red (again with the name of the translator). The black chapters are the ones which do not have a "master" and are waiting for you!
In September 2017, the Board of GITEC
Helmuth Lemme is a journalist and author well kwon in the german technical community - and a kind of a hero to all German-language guitar aficionados who are interested in the technical side of the instrument. This is because he wrote wonderful, highly informative little books about electric guitars and amps as early as the 1970's, and was one of the first people to really get to the bottom of what makes (or breaks) the guitar sound. He also very much helped to enable the reader of his books to differentiate between fact and myth. In a way, he is the "fore-runner" of GITEC, and of course we made him an honorary member!
Helmuth has published mostly in German, but there is one book on the electric guitar in English language:
Electric Guitar - Sound Secrets and Technology
published by Elektor; ISBN 978-1-907920-13-4
Again, this is an entirely useful book, very practical and easy to understand. It would be a perfect primer for anyone who wants to get into the technical side of the guitar.