The Book

We are in the process of translating the book “Physik der Elektrogitarre” (Physics of the Electric Guitar) into English language. The individual chapters are made available free of charge as the translations are completed. The CONTENT LISTING BELOW indicates the already translated chapters by a double entry with a direct link to the respective translation as the respective second entry.

Please note: in the PDF-version a (small) number of figures and passages is excluded. The complete text including all figures is available only in the printed hard-copy edition (German language).

The hardcopy edition of the book may be ordered directly from Prof. Zollner – for details regarding payment and shipping please see the information page (in German language) HERE.

The PDF-version of  “Physik der Elektrogitarre” (i.e. the Book in its original German edition) may be downloaded in its entirety as a single PDF-document for free only by members of GITEC. The present membership fee is annually 30 € – (Value Added Tax VAT, MWSt = 0 €), this includes the access to the annual GITEC meeting).

Here is also a PDF-version of the content:

Contents of “Physics of the Electric Guitar” (PDF)

Inhalt von “Physik der Elektrogitarre” (PDF)

Errata (concerning only the German version of the book)

 

 

Physics of the Electric Guitar (Vol 1)

Getting into the mood (Satire)

0.1 Barking up the wrong tree

0.2 Signature guitars

0.3 Strings and the orcus (cf. Schiller)

0.4 Unamplified E-guitars

0.5 Noehle-Gluehstrumpf

 

The fundamentals of string oscillations

1.1 Transversal waves

1.2 Wound strings

1.3 Inharmonic partials

1.3.1 Dispersion in the time domain

1.3.2 Dispersion in the frequency domain

1.4 Longitudinal waves / dilatational waves

1.5 Plucking a string

1.5.1 De-convolution of dispersion

1.5.2 Plectrum influence

1.5.3 String bounce

1.5.4 String rattle

1.6 The decay of string oscillations

1.6.1 Plane string oscillations

1.6.2 Spatial string oscillations

1.6.3 Partial level and summation level

1.6.4 Worn out strings

1.7 String lifetime

 

The string as a waveguide

2.1 Transversal waves

2.2 Image waves as a model for reflection

2.3 Standing waves

2.4 Transient phenomena

2.5 Reflection

2.5.1 Reflection factor

2.5.2 A resonator as string bearing

2.6 Internal dissipations

2.7 Dispersive bending waves

2.8 The generalized waveguide model

2.8.1 Ideal string, bridge pickup

2.8.2 String with singlecoil pickup

2.8.3 String with humbucking pickup

2.8.4 Dispersive waveguide components

2.9 Magnetic pickup with dilatational waves

 

String magnetics

3.1 Steel, nickel, bronze

3.2 String loudness

3.3 Magnetic string parameter

3.3.1 Measurements with a string loop

3.3.2 The magnetic skin effect

3.3.3 Measurements with a yoke

 

The electromagnetic field (translated by Wolfgang Hönlein, proofread by Andrew Graham) poteg-4-magnetics

4.1 Fundamentals of magnetostatic poteg-4-1-basics-of-magnetostatics

4.2 The magnetic potentials poteg-4-2-magnetic-potentials

4.3 Matter in the magnetic field poteg-4-3-matter-in-magnetic-fields

4.3.1 Soft magnetic materials – 4.3.2 Hard magnetic materials – 4.3.3 Nonmagnetic materials poteg-4-3-1-3-magnetic-materials

4.4 Pickup magnets poteg-4-4-pickup-magnets

4.4.1 Alnico magnets poteg-4-4-1-alnico-magnets

4.4.1.1 Alnico-III and Alnico-I

4.4.1.2 Alnico-II

4.4.1.5 Alnico-V

4.4.1.6 Additional Alnico materials

4.4.1.7 Comparison of Alnico materials

4.4.2 Cunife magnets poteg-4-4-2-cunife-magnets

4.4.3 Ceramic magnets poteg-4-4-3-ceramic-magnets

4.5 Magnetic aging poteg-4-5-magnet-aging

4.6 The magnetic circuit poteg-4-6-magnet-circuit

4.7 Representation of magnetic fields poteg-4-7-1-field-representation-flux

4.7.1 Magnetic field strength and flux density

4.7.2 Magnetic potentials poteg-4-7-2-3-potentials-fields

4.7.3 Spatial fields

4.8 Field geometry inside materials poteg-4-8-distribution-in-materials

4.9 Mathematic field theory poteg-4-9-field-theory

4.10 Magnetodynamics poteg-4-10-magnetodynamics-induction-inductance

4.10.1 Magnetic voltage induction

4.10.2 Self induction, inductivity

4.10.3 Permeability poteg-4-10-3-permeability

4.10.4 Magnetic losses, magnetic skin effect poteg-4-10-4-magnetic-losses

4.11 Magnetic field forces

4.11.1 Maxwell force poteg-4-11-1-maxwell-force

4.11.2 Field related pitch modulation poteg-4-11-2-field-induced-pitch-deviations

4.11.3 Field related level modulations poteg-4-11-3-field-induced-amplitude-deviations

4.11.4 Field related dissipations poteg-4-11-4-field-induced-damping

4.11.5 Indirect sound effects poteg-4-11-5-indirect-effects-on-sound

4.11.6 Coulomb force poteg-4-11-6-coulomb-7-lorentz-force

4.11.7 Lorentz force

4.12 Magnetic figures of merit (table) poteg-4-12-magnetic-quantities-and-units

 

Magnetic pickups (translated by Tilmann Zwicker)

5.1 Singlecoil pickups poteg-5-1-singlecoil-pus

5.2 Humbucking pickups poteg-5-2-humbucking-pus

5.3 Coaxial singlecoil pickups poteg-5-3-hum-compensated-sc-pus

5.4 The pickup’s magnetic field

5.4.1 The static field without string poteg-5-4-1-static-magnetic-field

5.4.2 The static field with string poteg-5-4-2-static-magnetic-field-with-string

5.4.3 The alternating magnetic field poteg-5-4-3-alternating-magnetic-field

5.4.4 Magnetic window (aperture) poteg-5-4-4-aperture

5.4.5 Absolute pickup sensitivity poteg-5-4-5-pickup-sensitivity

5.4.6 Staggered, level, and beveled polepieces poteg-5-4-6-staggered-beveled-polepieces

5.4.7 Fender Jaguar and Lace poteg-5-4-7-fender-jaguar-lace

5,4,8 DeArmond Pickups poteg-5-4-8-dearmond-pus

5.5 Basic pickup parameters

5.5.1 DC resistance poteg-5-5-1-dc-resistance

5.5.2 Coil inductance poteg-5-5-2-coil-inductance-capacity

5.5.3 Coil capacity

5.5.4 Resonance quality, Q-factor poteg-5-5-4-resonance-q-factor

5.5.5 Polarity poteg-5-5-5-pu-polarity

5.5.6 Time variance poteg-5-5-6-pu-time-variance

5.5.7 Wire coating, wax poteg-5-5-7-insulating-varnish-wax-and-bobbin

5.5.8 Flatware

5.5.9 Absolute sensitivity, loudness poteg-5-5-9-loudness-dc-resistance

5.6 Pickup measurement devices poteg-5-6-instrumentation-for-pu-measurements

5.7 Hum sensitivity poteg-5-7-sensitivity-to-hum

5.8 Nonlinear distortion poteg-5-8-non-linear-pu-distortion

5.9 Equivalent networks poteg-5-9-equivalent-circuits

5.9.1 Models and analogies

5.9.2 Impedance models

5.9.2.1 Singlecoils with low eddy current losses

5.9.2.2 Eddy currents in the nonmagnetic conductor

5.9.2.3 Equivalent two-pole networks

5.9.2.4 Eddy currents in the magnetic conductor

5.9.2.5 Singlecoils with high eddy current losses

5.9.2.6 Gibson-Humbucker: screw-coil

5.9.2.7 Gibson-Humbucker: plug-coil

5.9.2.8 Gibson-Humbucker: coupling of the coils

5.9.3 Equivalent transmission networks

5.9.4 Connected pickups

5.10 Analysis of the transfer behavior poteg-5-10-transfer-behavior

5.10.1 Measurements with a shaker

5.10.2 Measurements with a Helmholtz coil

5.10.3 Measurements with a coaxial coil

5.10.4 Measurements with a tripole coil

5.10.5 Measurements with a laser-vibrometer

5.10.6 Measurement accuracy

5.10.7 Finite Element Modeling

5.11 Directional characteristic of pickups poteg-5-11-directionality

5.11.1 String polarization

5.11.2 Wave polarization

5.12 Pickup noise poteg-5-12-noise

5.13 Pickup microphonics poteg-5-13-microphonics

5.14 Pickups with shorted turns poteg-5-14-shorts-in-the-winding

5.15 Database poteg-5-15-data-collection

5.16 Patents and Inventions poteg-5-16-inventions-and-discoveries

 

Piezoelectric pickups (translated by Tilmann Zwicker) poteg-6-piezo-pickups

6.1 The piezoelectric process poteg-6-1-piezo-effect

6.2 Electric loading poteg-6-2-piezo-high-pass-effect

6.3 The piezo pickup as a sensor poteg-6-3-piezo-as-sensor

6.4 Reciprocity – the other way ’round poteg-6-4-reciprocal-piezo

6.5 The piezo pickup as an actuator poteg-6-5-piezo-as-actor

6.6 The disassembled pickup poteg-6-6-piezo-by-itself-in-isolation

6.7 Pickup noise poteg-6-7-noise-in-piezo-applications

6.8 Piezo pickup vs. microphone poteg-6-8-piezo-sound-vs-microphone-sound

6.9 Microphonics poteg-6-9-microphonics

6.10 Differences compared to magnetic pickups poteg-6-10-difference-between-piezo-and-magnetic-pickup

6.A Supplement: Piezoelectric state equations poteg-6-A-piezo-equations-of-state

 

Neck and body (translated by Tilmann Zwicker, Volker Eichhorst & Gabriel Mallory) poteg-7-neck-&-body-of-the-guitar

Translation by Tilmann Zwicker:

7.1 The guitar neck poteg-7-1-neck

7.2 The frets poteg-7-2-frets

7.2.1 Fret positions poteg-7-2-1-fret-positions

7.2.2 Fret materials poteg-7-2-2-fret-materials

7.2.3 The Buzz-Feiten-system poteg-7-2-3-buzz-feiten-system

7.3 Neck and string geometry poteg-7-3-geometry-of-strings-&-neck

7.3.1 Headstock and neck angle poteg-7-3-1-neck-&-headstock-angle

7.3.2 String trees poteg-7-3-2-string-trees

7.4 String dynamics poteg-7-4-string-dynamics

7.4.1 Playing forces poteg-7-4-1-playing-forces

7.4.2 Bearing forces poteg-7-4-2-bearing-forces-at-the-nut

7.5 Reflection and absorption at the bridge/nut poteg-7-5-bearing-forces-at-bridge-&-nut

7.5.1 Reflection and absorption parameter poteg-7-5-1-reflection-&-absorption-parameters

7.5.2 Reflection analysis poteg-7-5-2-analysis-of-reflections

7.5.3 The mechanical bridge impedance poteg-7-5-3-mechanical-bridge-impedance

7.5.4 Measurement results poteg-7-5-4-results-of-measurements

7.6 Vibration measurement techniques poteg-7-6-instrumentation

7.6.1 Impedance / admittance measurements poteg-7-6-1-impedance-&-admittance

7.6.2 The spectrum of decaying tones (Volagramm) poteg-7-6-2-spectrum-of-decaying-partials

7.6.3 The decay time T30 poteg-7-6-3-decay-time-t-30

 

Translated by Volker Eichhorst, Gabriel Mallory & Tilmann Zwicker:

7.7 Absorption of string oscillation poteg-7-7-absorption-of-string-oscillations

7.7.1 Radiation absorption poteg-7-7-1-radiation-damping

7.7.2 Internal dissipation poteg-7-7-2-internal-damping

7.7.3 Winding attenuation of wound strings poteg-7-7-3-damping-in-wound-strings

7.7.4 Bearing absorption poteg-7-7-4-bearing-damping

7.7.4.1 Coupling of transversal waves poteg-7-7-4-1-transversal-wave-coupling

7.7.4.2 Absorption of longitudinal waves poteg-7-7-4-2-longitudinal-wave-damping

7.7.4.3 Residual absorption poteg-7-7-4-3-residual-string-damping

7.7.4.4 Bearing conductance poteg-7-7-4-4-bearing-conductance

7.7.5 Finger-, hand- and capodaster-attenuation poteg-7-7-5-finger-hand-&-capo-damping

7.7.6 String aging poteg-7-7-6-old-strings

7.7.7 Flatwound strings poteg-7-7-7-flatwound-strings

 

Translated by Tilmann Zwicker:

7.8 “Specialized” literature poteg-7-8-journalistic-specialties

7.8.1 The fairytales of the primary tone poteg-7-8-1-legend-of-the-primary-tone

7.8.2 “Stratone” poteg-7-8-2-stratone

7.8.3 BS-Journalists poteg-7-8-3-flachjournalismus-(german)

7.9 Does the body wood affect the tone? poteg-7-9-wood-influencing-the-sound—not

7.10 Special bridge constructions poteg-7-10-guitar-bridge-designs

7.10.1 Simple models poteg-7-10-1-equivalent-circuits

7.10.2 Bridges without vibrato (Gibson / Fender) poteg-7-10-2-non-vibrato-bridges

poteg-7-10-2-1-gibson-abr-1

poteg-7-10-2-2-telecaster-bridge

7.10.3 Bridges with vibrato (Fender / Bigsby / Rickenbacker) poteg-7-10-3-bridges-with-vibrato

poteg-7-10-3-1-stratocaster-bridge

poteg-7-10-3-2-jazzmaster-bridge

poteg-7-10-3-3-bigsby

poteg-7-10-3-4-rickenbacker

7.11 Solid vs. semisolid body poteg-7-11-solid-body-vs-hollow-body

7.12 Vibration – soundwaves – sound poteg-7-12-vibration-sound-tone

7.12.1 Linear string oscillations poteg-7-12-1-linear-oscillations

7.12.2 Nonlinear string oscillations poteg-7-12-2-nonlinear-oscillations

7.12.3 The causes of timbre poteg-7-12-3-roots-of-the-electric-sound

7.12.4 So what? poteg-7-12-4-something-anything

7.13 Neck curvature and fret/string distance (“action”) poteg-7-13-neck-relief

7.14 Damping reduction poteg-7-14-undamping-via-vibration

 

Physics of the Electric Guitar (Vol 2)

Psychoacoustics

8.1 Tone systems

8.1.1 Das Pythagorean tone system

8.1.2 Just intonation

8.1.3 Tempered intonation

8.1.4 Equal tempered intervals

8.1.5 Typical guitar mistuning

8.1.6 The stretched intonation

8.2 Frequency and pitch

8.2.1 Frequency measurement

8.2.2 Frequency and pitch accuracy

8.2.3 Pitch detection

8.2.4 Grouping of partials

8.2.5 Inharmonicity of partials

8.3 The character of keys

8.4 Consonance and dissonance

8.5 Timing and rhythm

8.6 Loudness and timbre

8.7 Listening tests

8.7.1 Psychometry

8.7.2 The un-amplified electric guitar

8.7.3 Tactile sensations

 

Guitar Circuits (translated by Tilmann Zwicker)

9.1 Potentiometers (Volume- and Tone-Control) poteg-9-1-potentiometers

9.2 Capacitors in the Tone-Control, Tone-Cap poteg-9-2-tone-caps

9.3 Pickup cables poteg-9-3-pu-connecting-wires

9.4 Guitar cables poteg-9-4-guitar-cables

9.5 Metal sheets poteg-9-5-mounting-plates

 

Guitar Amplifiers (translated by Tilmann Zwicker)

10.1 The input stage poteg-10-01-preamplifier

10.1.1 The input tube poteg-10-01-01-preamplifier-tube

10.1.2 The tube’s input resistance poteg-10-01-02-tube-input-impedance

10.1.3 Triode charts poteg-10-01-03-characteristic-curves

10.1.4 Nonlinearities, distortion poteg-10-01-04-nonlinearity-distortion

10.1.5 Cutoff frequencies poteg-10-01-05-frequency-limits

10.1.6 Time variances poteg-10-01-06-time-variance

10.1.7 Noise, hum, microphonics poteg-10-01-07-noise-hum-microphonics

10.1.8 Noise processes poteg-10-01-08-noise-processes

10.1.9 Pentodes in the input stage poteg-10-01-09-pentode-preamp

10.2 The second stage poteg-10-02-intermediate-amplifier

10.2.1 Cathode-basis-circuit poteg-10-02-1-common-cathode-circuit

10.2.2 Cathode follower poteg-10-02-2-cathode-follower-circuit

10.2.3 The mixing stage poteg-10-02-3-mixing-stage

10.3 The filter section (Tone Stack) poteg-10-03-tone-controls

10.3.1 Bass-Middle-Treble poteg-10-03-1-tone-stack-bass-middle-treble

10.3.2 Equalizer poteg-10-03-2-equalizers

10.3.3 Presence-Control poteg-10-03-3-presence-control

10.4 Phase reversal (Phase Splitter) poteg-10-04-phase-splitter-driver

10.4.1 Paraphase poteg-10-04-1-paraphase-driver

10.4.2 Cathodyne poteg-10-04-2-split-load-driver

10.4.3 Difference amplifier poteg-10-04-3-differential-amp-long-tail-driver

10.4.4 Halfewave antimetry poteg-10-04-4-half-wave-anti-symmetry

10.5 The power stage poteg-10-05-0-power-stage

10.5.1 Class-A, tetrode, pentode poteg-10-05-1-class-a-single-ended

10.5.2 Class-A push pull poteg-10-05-2-class-a-push-pull

10.5.3 Class-B poteg-10-05-3-class-b-push-pull

10.5.4 Class-AB, class-D poteg-10-05-4-class-ab-push-pull

10.5.5 The impedance paradox poteg-10-05-5-impedance-paradox

10.5.6 Negative feedback poteg-10-05-6-negative-feedback

10.5.7 The source resistance of the power stage poteg-10-05-7-output-impedance

10.5.8 Biasing the power stage poteg-10-05-8-bias

10.5.9 Stress and aging poteg-10-05-9-tube-strain-aging

10.5.10 The magic sound of a 6L6 poteg-10-05-10-6l6-sound

10.5.11 Match Point poteg-10-05-11-matching

10.5.11.1 Selecting, matching (and leg pulling)

10.5.11.2 Tube testing

10.5.12 Selected tube circuits VOX, Marshall, Fender poteg-10-05-12-vox-marshall-fender

10.5.13 Comparing analysis: Power tubes poteg-10-05-13-tube-comparison

10.5.14 Pentode / triode / ultralinear poteg-10-05-14-triode-pentode-ul

10.5.15 A word of caution poteg-10-05-15-current-flows

10.6 The output transformer poteg-11-6-output-transformer

10.6.1 The linear model poteg-10-6-1-linear-model

10.6.2 Impedance matching poteg-10-6-2-impedance-matching

10.6.3 Winding capacitance poteg-10-6-3-winding-capacitance

10.6.4 The nonlinear model poteg-11-6-4-nonlinear-model

10.6.5 Comparing analyses poteg-11-6-5-transformer-comparison

10.6.x At the lab poteg-11-6-pix-from-the-lab

10.7 Power supply poteg-11-7-power-supply

10.7.1 Heating circuit poteg-11-7-1-tube-filament-heater

10.7.2 Filter capacitor poteg-11-7-2-charging-circuit

10.7.3 The internal resistance poteg-11-7-3-impedance

10.7.4 Rectifier tubes poteg-11-7-4-rectifier-tubes

10.7.5 The smoothing filter poteg-11-7-5-filter-chain-capacitors-choke

10.7.6 The mains transformer poteg-11-7-6-mains-power-transformer

10.8 Effects

10.8.1 Reverb poteg-10-08-01-reverb

10.8.2 Vibrato & Tremolo poteg-10-08-02-tremolo-vibrato

10.8.3 Phaser, Flanger & Chorus poteg-10-08-03-phaser-flanger-chorus

10.8.4 Wah-wah-pedal poteg-10-08-04-wah

10.8.5 Distortion devices poteg-10-08-05-distortion-devices

10.8.5.1 Diodes poteg-10-08-05-1-diodes

10.8.5.2 Transistors poteg-10-08-05-2-transistors

10.8.5.3 Range Master (Dallas Arbiter) poteg-10-08-05-3-range-master

10.8.5.4 Tube-Screamer (Ibanez) poteg-10-08-05-4-tube-screamer

10.8.5.5 Fuzz-Face (Dallas Arbiter) poteg-10-08-05-5-fuzz-face

10.8.5.6 Roaring semiconductors poteg-10-08-05-6-the-roaring-transistor

10.9 Operational behavior poteg-10-09-general-operating-characteristics

10.9.1 Tube-sound vs. transistor-sound poteg-10-09-1-tube-vs-transistor-sound

10.9.2 Tube-Watt vs. transistor-Watt poteg-10-09-2-tube-watts-vs-transistors-watts

10.9.3 Coupling capacitors poteg-10-09-3-coupling-capacitors

10.9.4 Sound event vs. listening event poteg-10-09-4-sound-event-vs-auditory-event

10.10 Comparative analyses poteg-10-10-comparative-analysis

10.10.1 … for they knew what they did? poteg-10-10-1-did-they-know

10.10.2 Stage topology poteg-10-10-2-topology

10.10.3 Headroom charts poteg-10-10-3-headroom-chart

10.10.4 Comparison of nonlinear distortions poteg-10-10-4-distortion-comparison

10.10.5 Audibility of nonlinear distortion poteg-10-10-5-distortion-audibility

10.10.6 Comparison of Frequency responses poteg-10-10-6-frequency-responses

10.10.7 Comparison of VOX, Fender & Marshall poteg-10-10-7-vox-fender-marshall

10.10.8 Modeling amps poteg-10-10-8-modeling-amps

10.11 Tube data

10.11.1 Nomenclature poteg-10-11-1-tube-data-nomenclature

10.11.2 Double triodes poteg-10-11-2-double-triodes

10.11.3 Power tubes poteg-10-11-3-power-tubes

10.11.4 Tube parameters poteg-10-11-4-tube-parameters

 

 

Guitar loudspeakers (translated by Tilmann Zwicker) poteg-11-loudspeakers

11.1 Construction and function poteg-11-1-construction-and-function

11.2 Electrical two-pole characteristic poteg-11-2-two-pole-characteristic

11.3 Frequency response poteg-11-3-frequency-response

11.4 Directional characteristic poteg-11-4-directionality

11.5 Efficiency and maximum sound pressure poteg-11-5-efficiency-maximum-SPL

11.6 Nonlinear distortions poteg-11-6-non-linear-distortion

11.7 Alnico- vs. ferrite magnet poteg-11-7-magnets-alnico-vs-ceramic

11.8 Loudspeaker cabinets

11.8.1 Basics poteg-11-8-1-enclosures-and-boxes-basics

11.8.2 Comparison of cabinet materials poteg-11-8-2-enclosure-materials

11.9 Beamblockers and Diffusors poteg-11-9-beam-blockers-diffusors

11.10 Horn loudspeakers poteg-11-10-horns

11.11 Studio monitors poteg-11-11-studio-monitors

11.12 Loudspeaker cables poteg-11-12-loudspeaker-cables

11.A Supplement: Measurement techniques poteg-11-A-measuring-microphones-reverberation-time

11.A.1 Measuring microphones

11.A.2 Reverberation time

 

Supplement: Vibration and waves (Translation provided by Volker Eichhorst – with Tilmann Zwicker) A-vibrations-waves-&-cryo-schlock

A.1 Oscillations vs. waves A-1-vibrations-&-waves

A.1.1 Forced oscillations

A.1.2 Free oscillations

A.1.3 Forced waves

A.1.4 Free waves

A.1.5 Standing waves

A.2 Longitudinal waves A-2-longitudinal-waves

A.2.1 Pure longitudinal waves

A.2.2 Dilatational waves in strings

A.3 Transversal waves A-3-transverse-waves

A.3.1 Pure transversal waves

A.3.2 Transversal waves in strings

A.4 Bending waves A-4-flexural-waves

A.4.1 Bars under zero tension, pure bending waves

A.4.2 Vibrations of a stiff string

A.4.3 Eigenmodes of bending waves

A.5 Characteristic impedance  A-5-wave-impedance

A.6 Stiffness A-6-stiffness

A.7 Impulses A-7-impulses

A.8 The Ultimate end: the Cryo-Schlock A-8-unltimate-end-with-cryo-schlock

Epilogue Epilogue

 

References

Glossary

 

Animations 

 

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