Welcome to Juxtatone! A few years ago when I was fortunate enough to start learning how to play this wonderful instrument, I found it very difficult to ﬁnd any detailed information about how
one guitar compares to another, sonically or empirically. Being a research fanatic, I scoured the Internet, guitar showrooms and various other avenues in search of this essential information to no avail. I found bits and pieces here and there for some brands but not for others. For sonic comparisons, the only avenue I found was YouTube and that was FAR from ideal as it was rare to ﬁnd a video comparing more than 2-3 guitars in a controlled environment. When I did ﬁnd one, comparing it to another such video was invalid because there were too many sonic variables in the recordings and too big of a sonic gap for ears to do a truly accurate A/B comparison. It was then I decided to implement my 15 years of software Q/A design experience and create the world’s ﬁrst and only guitar library of tones, stats and measurements!
First I broke down the most important factors one considers while choosing their next guitar and came up with 6 major categories:
TONE – What type of sounds can it produce? Can I play my favorite style(s) of music with it? How does it compare to x-other model I’m considering side by side?
PLAYABILITY – How does it feel in my hands? Is it easy to play?
WEIGHT – How heavy does the guitar feel on my shoulders?
COMFORT — What shape is the neck? How does it compare to other guitars that I do and don’t like?
QUALITY — How well is it built? Endurance? Overall analysis?
LOOKS – Does it ﬁt my personality? Does it inspire me to play?
What my team and I then realized is that there are many excellent shops around the world to try out guitars. But as anyone who has gone into their favorite stores, and we have ours, knows, you’re always at the mercy of exactly what models they happen to have in stock and then trying to play (if you are good enough) over a bunch of other people in a loud area to get a feel of the sound. Great for getting a feel for the guitar but not great for comparing tones efficiently. We then moved onto the issues of overall longevity and quality analysis, which are done exceptionally by numerous magazine and online publications. The types of information that were next to impossible to gather were direct, accurate, neutral tone, dimensions (like neck profiles and angle-weight) and image comparisons. So we set out to create this crazy endeavor that has taken us on a tedious but rewarding journey of accurately sound-mapping the tones of the most popular guitar brands and models for comparison through hundreds of hours of live musician tracking, editing, programming and Q/A ing the results!
- All guitars are tone-mapped in various different styles of musik, in virtually every tone combination available through their selector switches.
- All guitars are recorded and mapped using the same exact environment, tools, microphones, strings, and cables and BLACKSTAR |D:26OTVP Ampliﬁer with minimal tone coloration.
- All instruments are recorded in 24-bit stereo and streamed at 320kbps MP3 or 350kbps OGG format for clear tonal analysis!
- Custom tools and processes are designed for accurate neck proﬁle diagrams and shoulder-weight measurements.
- All-rights reserved, licensed patterns and styles you will recognize!
- Pro-Quality photographs taken in great lighting to give you true sense of its appearance.
My initial hope was to offer all of this to enthusiasts completely free, like any other library. Alas, 3 years into developing this site’s technology, application and infrastructure, and thousands of dollars invested, sadly I have to charge a minimal fee for unlimited access. This is essential in order to keep the high-bandwidth servers up and ensure our valued subscribers are getting regular updates with new and vintage guitar models added to the collection.
I hope this site helps all of you and perhaps opens your mind to new possibilities in making your own musik. The Blind Compare option is really fun to use for this purpose. It removes all brand-bias and often surprises you on which tone your ears actually prefer. Our technology randomizes the guitar tones, regardless of which order you picked them so you can truly determine your favorite tone without bias.
Our mission is to map the tones of every single guitar maker’s models in the whole world (yes even mom-pop shop brands) creating a Library of Congress of Guitar Tones!
Please feel free to contact us about any features you’d like to see in the future or problems you experience with the site. We have many ideas of our own planned but foremost, we want to make sure this site works for all of YOU. So speak up!
We also would like to thank all our business partners and private contributors for helping us compile and continue to expand our great library of tones!