Difference in tone between two Stoptail Siggys


New Member
Jun 20, 2012
Ok here is the deal. I am looking for some insight to an issue and I might be over thinking but here it goes. I have 2 stoptail siggys , one in charcoal burst and one in fire red. I have had the red for about 4 months now and the strings are probably about a month old and the charcoal buster I got about 2 weeks ago with new strings and yes they are both tuned to the same setting with same gauge strings. When I am playing the charcoal buster compared to the fire red it seems that charcoal is brighter with more highs and I am trying to take into account that the strings on the charcoal are new compared to the red. When I go from the fire red to charcoal I have to roll the tone knob on the charcoal about half way back to get the same sound using the same amp and settings. Maybe I am over analyzing but it just seems as though the charcoal has more of a single coil sound in the bridge humbucker than in the fire red burst. I am looking for insight and yes I am going to put new strings on the fire red.:confused:
We commonly hear "A guitar is the sum of it's parts." To put that differently, they sound different because they ARE different. Forgive me if that sounds dismissive. It is not my intent.

It isn't uncommon for professional players to line up many of the same model and pick the one that sounds best (to them). I had two R9's that were 40 serial numbers apart. They were quite different.

Just because two guitars of the same model are made from the same type of wood, using same electronics, sporting same strings doesn't mean they'll sound identicle. You'd have to play a few with your baseline guitar present to try and make that happen. I'm guessing your two Siggy's sound close enough that most people couldn't tell them apart. But you, being intimately familiar with all of the nuances of each guitar, have educated ears. Educated ears can be a double-edged sword if you're not careful. I'm not suggesting we all go stick our head in the sand. Quite the contrary. I'm suggesting you put the issue into context.

My suggestion: Get to know them and apply their characteristics where they serve you best. Diversity on your tonal options is a good thing as far as I can tell.

I was once asked by a friend if I wanted to take classes with him to become a Sommelier. I thought about how much fun that would be. Then I realized I would only be shooting myself in the foot. I used to like $12 bottles of fruity red wine. These days it usually takes a $25+ bottle of "big" Syrah for me to like it enough to finish the glass (and that's without formal training). Since I am not serving wine to others for my income, becomming a sommelier would only serve to make it even more expensive for me to enjoy a glass of wine with my friends.

Hmmmm... Maybe ignorance IS bliss. Where's the sand?! :)

Lagniappe: Sniffing the cork is pointless. Doing so in a restaurant tells your waiter that you don't know anything about wine. Inspecting the cork is only good for checking that the wine was properly sealed and for verifying that the printed writing on the side of the cork matches the label. Scammers have been grabbing expensive (and empty) wine bottles from the trash bins of upscale restaurants, refilling them, and reselling them as the real deal. Source: Guitar Aficionado
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As always Hans your input is always appreciated and like I said previously I am probably just over thinking. I mean really I could have alot worse problems than having 2 siggys that don't sound exactly the same. I think my next problem to solve will be freeing up some funds before I get to the experiance :eek:
Every piece of wood is different. Even two pieces from the same tree will be slightly different. Paul will be the first one to tell you - good wood makes good guitars, great wood makes exceptional guitars. And it can be really hard to tell which wood is which until the deed is done.

It is for this reason that I suggested in the "Dan" thread that people test their guitars blindfolded playing the same phrases on each candidate through neutral amp settings.

When one of my patients was looking for a new PRS, I took him to Coffey Music in Westminster, MD and made him close his eyes as I passed guitar after guitar through his hands. When he opened his eyes, we had a clear playing/tonal winner, but it was not the prettiest of the lot. The guitar who's looks he really liked had noticeably less output and was muddier than the tonal winner.

He bought the winner.

The ears never lie and the eyes are too easily swayed.

So, I'm guessing that new strings on the red one will make a little difference, but you will still be able to tell the two guitars apart tonally.

I'm with Hans on this one - celebrate their differences and apply their tonal colors to the types of music which suits each guitar the best.
Vive la difference! No two guitars are exactly alike, enjoy them for what they are :)
I've always operated on the assumption that it's much better to have guitars with sonic individuality.

In any event, any two guitars are always going to sound different in certain ways.
This issue, by the way, is why I find it hard to honestly compare two guitars of the same model when one has a tremolo and the other has a stoptail.