How far could a Mooncaster get into Gibson tonal territory?

Stilgar138

Active member
Messages
34
I wouldn't expect it to sound exactly like an ES-335 as I know the construction is very different but what I'm looking for is something along the lines of Clapton's Cream sound. I'm not looking to exactly recreate that but I want something that has warmth and the ability to get nice and dirty lol.  Could a Mooncaster get anywhere in that neighborhood with maybe a mahogany body and a mahogany/rosewood Gibson scale conversion neck?

Of course, I have the Switchback I've asked questions about planned out and I have other projects I want to do before starting to really think about something else. This is nothing more than a possibility for the future at this point. If I decide to do it, I won't be able to for a few years or so. I ask now because it would be better to know now if I should just forget it cause it ain't gonna happen and move on haha. I was doing fine with enjoying what I have and not thinking about what I may want to buy next but putting together a Jazz Bass started a whole  new guitar addiction in me lol.
 

alexreinhold

Senior member
Messages
504
Others will disagree but my experience is that the shape of the wood will barely affect the way your instrument sounds like.

If you have an exact sound/tone in mind that you want from a Mooncaster body, I recommend looking into these first:

1. pickups
2. pickups
3. pickups
4. neck wood
5. body wood
6. bridge type
7. kOhm of pots (250 vs 500) - if 1-3 yielded passive pickups as a result
 

NedRyerson

Senior member
Messages
451
And finally, effects chain, including amp.

Then there's the player.  Whether I'm playing a $100 Rogue or a $1,000 LP, I still sound like me. :)
 
C

Cowbell Fever!

Guest
alexreinhold said:
Others will disagree but my experience is that the shape of the wood will barely affect the way your instrument sounds like.

If you have an exact sound/tone in mind that you want from a Mooncaster body, I recommend looking into these first:

1. pickups
2. pickups
3. pickups
4. neck wood
5. body wood
6. bridge type
7. kOhm of pots (250 vs 500) - if 1-3 yielded passive pickups as a result

I would put body wood ahead of neck wood. I think pickups are very important, but with lower gain levels wood can affect the overall sound more than number 4. IMO
 

ragamuffin

Senior member
Messages
1,004
I think you're on the right path with the specs to get Gibson-y tone. Just add a good set of P.A.F.-esque pickups!

The "Seraph"/singlecut build that I just finished (korina body w/ bubinga top, bubinga/ebony neck conversion neck, p.a.f. style pickups) gets a good Gibson-y tone even without being quite "standard" on the woods.
 

teleme01

Senior member
Messages
388
one, i think the pickups make a huge part,  either seth lovers or pearly gates or benedetto or compatible paf humbucker and b) the resonance of the wooden chamber,  i think i would probably go with mahogany or ash or perhaps korina and lastly 3)  you would be close but more in the line of 336 with carved chamber vs back and sides ... and lastly lastly d)  i think gibson uses a lot of mahogany necks ... i think ...  ???
 
C

Cowbell Fever!

Guest
I bet you could get close enough to satisfy you. Choose some good PAF style pickups a 24 3/4" scale neck a Plexi and a treble booster and you would be "Fresh".

As the construction is different,I might be tempted to use 250k pots to bring down the resonant frequency a tad.
 

aarontunes

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Staff member
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2,585
Might interest you to know that as part of the R&D on the Mooncaster Ken purchased a Custom Shop Gibson 339.....which is sitting in its case ten feet from my desk as I type this.


The Mooncaster is obviously based on a Fender design, but there is a dash of Gibson in the recipe.
 

Stilgar138

Active member
Messages
34
Thank you everyone! That gives me food for thought, I may have to do one. I'm expecting anything exact, I guess what I was wondering is if the construction would lend itself to just being bright. Take something like Rickenbacker, I find it hard to imagine even putting PAFs in one would give it the sound I'm looking for in this. I love the Rick sound and have a 330, it's just not what I'm after in possibly doing a Mooncaster. I have wondered what a Rick would sound like with PAF type pickups but I'd never consider carving one up.

For this, I was thinking possibly a pair of Gibson '57 Classics. I have one in the bridge of my Les Paul and absolutely love it. Although it certainly strays from the 335, it stays in Gibson territory, I'm also thinking a bit about a pair of P90s. I love the dirt a good P90 can deliver! It's so far off that I'm not intending on thinking about details yet. Knowing me though, I probably won't be able to resist trying to plan it out haha. It doesn't really hurt anything to do that but it can get in the way of playing and enjoying what I have.
 

teleme01

Senior member
Messages
388
/correct me if im wrong,  which i probably am,  the 339 is somewhat a 7/8 335 and the mooncaster would be closer to a 336, carved versus backs and sides.
 

TBurst Std

Senior member
Messages
2,661
Spud said:
TBurst Std said:
Will it sound like a 335? As much as a 339 or Midtown does.
You’re correct, not as much as a 339 or Midtown does.

For recording purposes, you can EQ them close enough. Live, the sound is close.  Playing it, it does feel different. Having owned multiple hollow, semi hollow and fully chambered guitars, there is a difference you feel. I hear the difference when playing solo. Recorded solo, you can hear a difference.  Record with others or play live with others, not so much difference.
 
C

Cowbell Fever!

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TBurst Std said:
Spud said:
TBurst Std said:
Will it sound like a 335? As much as a 339 or Midtown does.
You’re correct, not as much as a 339 or Midtown does.

For recording purposes, you can EQ them close enough. Live, the sound is close.  Playing it, it does feel different. Having owned multiple hollow, semi hollow and fully chambered guitars, there is a difference you feel. I hear the difference when playing solo. Recorded solo, you can hear a difference.  Record with others or play live with others, not so much difference.
All depends on the recording.
 

Unwound G

Senior member
Messages
835
It's closer to a Tele Thinline than a Gibby 335 in my experience since I use a Trem bridge and a Warhard 25.5" scale.
 

JohnnyHardtail

Senior member
Messages
356
I'm not entirely convinced a conversion neck with Warmoth's double trussrod is going to give as much warmth as you expect.  I also have concerns about the stability of Mahogany neck shafts.  There's no guarantee a double truss rod will provide adequate support thoughout the life of the instrument.  Gibson's can develop bumpy fret boards over time as well, which means that fretwork is needed.  No way in :evil4: I would ever own a Gibson guitar.

If I want to make a warm sounding guitar I would rather use solid alder, mahogany or maybe basswood with an exotic top.  When you use a weight-relieved / chambered body, you are likely to receive a stronger, harder and more rigid piece of lumber.  When I listen to the Warmoth demos of the chambered bodies, they typically give a brighter tone.  That's my perspective, but I'm sure people will have other opinions.
 

Stilgar138

Active member
Messages
34
JohnnyHardtail said:
I'm not entirely convinced a conversion neck with Warmoth's double trussrod is going to give as much warmth as you expect.  I also have concerns about the stability of Mahogany neck shafts.  There's no guarantee a double truss rod will provide adequate support thoughout the life of the instrument.  Gibson's can develop bumpy fret boards over time as well, which means that fretwork is needed.  No way in :evil4: I would ever own a Gibson guitar.

If I want to make a warm sounding guitar I would rather use solid alder, mahogany or maybe basswood with an exotic top.  When you use a weight-relieved / chambered body, you are likely to receive a stronger, harder and more rigid piece of lumber.  When I listen to the Warmoth demos of the chambered bodies, they typically give a brighter tone.  That's my perspective, but I'm sure people will have other opinions.

Question on the dual truss rod, what about it changes tone? Is the the added mass of having, well, two truss rods? That'd make sense.

The neck I'll be ordering for my Switchback project is very similar, apart from some cosmetic differences, to what I think I'd want for the Mooncaster. I think finding out how it feels and sounds will be a help in deciding if this whole Mooncaster thing is really something I want to do or not. It won't tell me everything as it'll be on a mahogany solid body but I think it'll give me an idea.

Edit-

I watched a couple YouTube videos of people playing Mooncasters and maybe it isn't exactly what I described wanting, I definitely like what I heard! They had humbuckers but I think they had 25.5 scale necks. They both had a nice Gibson/Fender hybrid tone. There was some Gibson warmth but also some Fender snap. I think I could really enjoy having something with that hybrid kinda tone! I may need to rethink just what I'm after with this.
 

JohnnyHardtail

Senior member
Messages
356
My understanding is the dual truss rod gives the neck increased rigidity, so it has the opposite effect of using a softer wood such as Mahogany.  My belief is the rigidity of the neck and also the body wood both change the fundamental resonance of a guitar, which occurs around the guitar's neck joint which is located near the guitar's overall centre of mass.

What the others wrote about pickups is a lot more important for tone.  Once you have purchased a large number of pickups sets and know which ones suit your preference, then there is a good chance to learn about matching them to the character of the guitar.
 

Sadie-f

Senior member
Messages
427
JohnnyHardtail said:
I'm not entirely convinced a conversion neck with Warmoth's double trussrod is going to give as much warmth as you expect. 
....
If I want to make a warm sounding guitar I would rather use solid alder, mahogany or maybe basswood with an exotic top. 

Agreed on the effect of body wood. My first W build was rosewood over mahogany, it adds a lot of warmth.

Going by Aaron's shootout videos, neck wood/construction doesn't have as much impact on tone.
 

cromulent

Senior member
Messages
265
The Aaron said:
Might interest you to know that as part of the R&D on the Mooncaster Ken purchased a Custom Shop Gibson 339.....which is sitting in its case ten feet from my desk as I type this.


The Mooncaster is obviously based on a Fender design, but there is a dash of Gibson in the recipe.

This is the sort of thing that makes me wish there was a Warmoth video about Mooncasters!
 
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