New scientific article on whether it is purposeful to „Play-in“ musical instruments

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:

Sound enhancement of musical instruments by "Playing them in": fact or fiction?

The translation of Chapter 10 of „Physics of the Electric Guitar“ continues

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!

Go and see:

This makes for Chapters 10.1. - 10.4 .... and Chapter 10.5 (on the power stage) is already in the works!

Translation of Chapter 4 of „Physics of the Electric Guitar“ complete!

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!).

New scientific article: The 1967 Fender Solid-State Twin Reverb – the Edsel of amps?

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:

- Part 1: Introduction, appearance, build and serviceability

- Part 2: Circuit design

- Part 3: Plugging in: playability & sound

Scientific article on distortion boxes now on-line!

At last, we found some capacity to translate another scientific article. Thanks to the initiative of GITEC member Ralf Jamer, the investigation of distortion- and overdrive-boxes is now available in English language. Particular attention is dedicated to the good old Range-Master booster, and to the legendary Tube-Screamer overdrive. Given that only a few days ago Ibanez brought out a “Nu Tube-Screamer” at the 2018 NAMM-show, it is just the right time to look into what made its legendary ancestor so special. Check out Overdrive, Fuzz & Distortion: investigating Range-Master, Tube-Screamer, et al. !

Re-launch of the collection of animations

Much that is essential for the function of the electric guitar remains invisible to begin with:

  • The movement of strings and loudspeaker-membranes is too quick to be perceived in detail with the eye.
  • Electric and magnetic fields are from a different, somewhat mysterious realm altogether and remain hidden.
  • Wave propagation is known to us from the waves on water – but there it is often complex and confusing.
  • Electrons buzzing about within a tube stay – irrespective of the "hot" sound they may generate – as atomic particles outside our daily reality.

Many of us would like to "get a picture" of what really is going on in the invisible domain.

This picture can aid our understanding considerably!

For this reason, GITEC has put together a collection of animations that render visible what happens. We have just reissued the animations on our website, and have complemented them with explanations.

Here they are:

Also, there is further knowledge in the scientific articles the translations of which we hope to continue soon: