The Slide challenge

A discussion of techniques, and equipment for guitar. Fretted, bottleneck or slide, acoustic or electric, this is the place.

The Slide challenge

Postby Jakeblues » Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:01 am

So, talk of slide playing often turns to slides, materials, preferences, etc.. I have my preferences, but I have a whole range of slides that I've collected over the years. I took 6 different slides and recorded 8 bars (give or take) with each one. I recorded them with the same set up, National Reso-phonic Tricone mic'd with a Sure 55. No EQ'ing, no reverb, no compression. I did normalize all tracks, but that was it for processing.

I used: Diamond Cobalt , Dunlop Brass, 70's Vintage Corecedin Bottle, Bant's 12 ga Shotgun barrel, Paloma Stone Ceramic, Craftsman 16mm socket. Match them all and win "Golden ear bragging rights"

https://soundcloud.com/mean_old_fireman/sets/slide-challenge
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Re: The Slide challenge

Postby bottleneckjohn » Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:17 pm

Hey JakeBlues!
Cool idea and I must say I can't tell one from the other.. :oops:
All slides do look and feel different but there's not THAT much difference in tone..
It'll be really, really interesting to see if anyone can nail it!!! :D


A while back I did a similar thing, a slide comparison on video. If y'all haven't seen it, have a look sometime..



Have a look and listen, folks.
I think that most of the tone difference is in the mind and hands of who ever's playing!!


And good luck on Jake's challenge!!!!! :mrgreen:
Last edited by bottleneckjohn on Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Slide challenge

Postby bottleneckjohn » Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:13 pm

Nobody's eager to give the contest a go?!
It is difficult.. That's for sure.
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Re: The Slide challenge

Postby kiwiblues » Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:38 pm

I wouldn't even try because I agree that to my ears any differences are to subtle.
There has been a lot of talk about the sounds of different slides on this board over the years and as hard as I've tried I can't find myself agreeing with a lot of it.
For example somebody said that for real tone and sustain you need a thick metal slide.
I duly went and bought a big bronze bomber.
Noticed little difference in sound to a thin brass one, but boy did it strengthen my pinky! :lol: :evil: :roll:
bottleneckjohn wrote:Nobody's eager to give the contest a go?!
It is difficult.. That's for sure.
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Re: The Slide challenge

Postby bottleneckjohn » Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:14 pm

Yeah, I see what you mean!
That's why I made my little demo clip too, it's surprising how little difference there is, if any. :wha:

But we're guitar folks, there's always, always gonna be discussions over the material we use!! :mrgreen:
And that's part of the whole thing, and a good thing!
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Re: The Slide challenge

Postby OldWailer » Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:11 am

I wouldn't even try to guess--too many variables--there is a distinct raspyness on a couple of the cuts that I think would be thinner material--but I don't know one from the other--and that raspy sound can come out of any material if the pressure on the bar is slightly light--so it depends mainly on the player.

I have to say--Ive been around this bend a few times over the last several years--and nothing in my collection is better than a heavy brass slide I bought in a music store back in the 70's or 80's--(hard to remember those times). I just grab it and play and it works--and if I drop it it bounces. I just use all those glass and ceramic ones these days for ballast in my kit--in case I lose the brass one. Saves a lot of time for playing to stop wondering about this kind of nuance. . .
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Re: The Slide challenge

Postby kiwiblues » Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:00 am

Yep, that's why I keep on coming back.
There ain't no one around these parts that I can discuss any of this stuff with.
Long live Big Road Blues :D :D :D
bottleneckjohn wrote:Yeah, I see what you mean!
That's why I made my little demo clip too, it's surprising how little difference there is, if any. :wha:

But we're guitar folks, there's always, always gonna be discussions over the material we use!! :mrgreen:
And that's part of the whole thing, and a good thing!
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Re: The Slide challenge

Postby Jakeblues » Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:16 am

Well, the main idea of the challenge was to generate some more discussion...I guess I succeeded. In retrospect, I tend to prefer smooth materials for slides, so my collection doesn't really give the full range of slide options.

Listening to the clips, I'm stunned by how subtle the differences are in sound. I'm not sure I could pick them. I will say, they all play/feel very different. And yes, I most certainty appreciate having such great folks to talk about such things. Glad I stumbled in here.
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Re: The Slide challenge

Postby Disciple » Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:14 pm

Bout a year or so ago I got out my Tile Wet Saw and chopped the neck off a wine bottle. Half assed sanded and polished the cut ends as well as putting a notch in the one end. Fits amazing because I checked dozens of different wine bottles till I got just the right size. Frankly it's a poor specimen compared to the Diamond or Paloma Stone that I have purchased. Raw spots, a seam, some scratching from the sanding / polishing process and generally ordinary glass quality but hands down it's the best slide I have owned. I gave away a Dunlop tube, tried sockets and metal tubes and Corciden Bottles and gave these expensive quality slides plenty of try outs.

In the end I can't hear a spec of difference in the sound but I definitely can tell the difference in fit and feel. The Paloma is sure pretty and exactly what they say they are. The Diamond, perfect polish in every way but neither sit on my finger or move with me the way that scratched homemade wine bottle slide does. So in the end it sounds better not in tone or frequency etc. but because it lets me do exactly what I'm trying to do without distraction. It goes where I put it in other words, without slipping or feeling to snug or moving when I try to sneak up past the twelfth fret. It doesn't get in the way when I use fingers on frets, only clunks fret ends when I want it to and has a real story as opposed to some sort of marketing focused yarn.
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Re: The Slide challenge

Postby NEONMOONY » Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:30 am

Image
Here is a pic of a couple slides I made. (The 2 slides on the left) The first one is from a blue glass wine bottle. Polished out the seams. The second one is brass pipe cut and polished. I've made a few others from various colors of bottles, plumbing, neighbor kid's tricycle handle bars etc.
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Re: The Slide challenge

Postby diamond » Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:47 am

All sound great Ned & I'm pleased the cobalt's arrived safely. Tone is a difficult subject to nail down ~ as kiwi says, one persons 'tone to die for' probably sounds pretty awful to another player :D. A perfect fit is everything, and my own personal favorite bottleneck is one we made from an Italian balsamic vinegar bottle around 15 years ago....we make some amazing stuff that goes out of our workshop - but when I get chance to sit & play, it's 'my' bottleneck that's used & nothing else, no matter how awesome it may look & feels, comes close ;)

Slide On!

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Re: The Slide challenge

Postby Jakeblues » Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:43 pm

Since I put this up, I've been paying a lot of attention to which slide I pick for what, and why I might prefer it. I don't always have immediate answers. I'm finding the heavier glass (Diamond or Mr. B's) for acoustic/resonator playing, Bant's Bluz 12gauge or the tone dome for Telecaster and the softer coricedin bottle for sliding on the SG. Most noticeably, they all have a different feel, more than a huge difference in tone, but they do contribute to the overall tone.

Here's the "answers":

Slide challenge one: Craftsman 16mm socket :https://soundcloud.com/mean_old_fireman/slide-challenge-1-mp3
Slide challenge two: Bant's 12 ga shotgun barrel: https://soundcloud.com/mean_old_fireman/slide-challenge-2-mp3
Slide challenge three: Dunlop brass: https://soundcloud.com/mean_old_fireman/slide-challenge-3-mp3
Slide challenge Four: Diamond Cobalt Blue: https://soundcloud.com/mean_old_fireman/slide-challenge-4-mp3
Slide Challenge Five: 70’s vintage Coracidin: https://soundcloud.com/mean_old_fireman/slide-challenge-5-mp3
Slide Challenge six: Paloma Ceramic: https://soundcloud.com/mean_old_fireman/slide-challenge-6-mp3
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Re: The Slide challenge

Postby Clifford D » Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:44 am

I couldn't do this challenge until your latest post.

I thought I'd like the Coricedin but I really liked the Palina (sic) the stone one.
The socket didn't do it for me, nor the brass one.

Me? I basically use a glass slide for guitars, for lap steel or dobro I use a Dunlop Lap Dawg Tonebar, that is chrome plated brass.

Thanks for educating me on these slides, I want to get the stone one
Gotta get the name right first.
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Re: The Slide challenge

Postby Disciple » Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:34 am

Hey Clifford, I'd sell you the Paloma Stone slide I have. I messed up on the size, if it fits you maybe we can work something out, depending on where you are.

It`s blue and measures 22 mm inside diameter and 69 mm overall. It`s just to big for me.

I`m going to order the next length smaller in a 20 mil diameter.

It`s really a nice slide I didn`t really think the size thing thru real well.
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Re: The Slide challenge

Postby Jakeblues » Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:56 am

I like the feel of the Palomar. It plays and feels nice. It's slightly rough for my taste, but nothing compared to Rocky Mt slides. I think I'd be my go to slide if it was unfinished inside. (The Diamond has an "imperfection" on the inside. It's a mall bulge that let's the last segment of my finger hook onto. It,s a keeper)
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