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Can an ash body and maple neck REALLY make this much difference?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by DHart, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. JodanOrNoDan

    JodanOrNoDan Tele-Meister

    Age:
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    It isn't just plausible it is a fact. The wood does change things. It is the foundation of the instrument. To try to insinuate it doesn't tosses simple facts to the wind.

    How much of the wood change can actually be heard by the human ear could be up for discussion.

    Everyone hears different things. My wife can't tell the difference when I switch from the neck to the bridge but I can tell if identical guitars have rosewood or maple fingerboards.

    Closer to the low end of the spectrum I start loosing clarity though. I would be far less picky about my instrument if I played bass, but my bass player will only play with rosewood fretboards "because it is warmer". I can't hear the difference. That does not mean it is not there, only that I can't hear it.
     
    Richie-string, DHart and DougM like this.
  2. alnico357

    alnico357 Tele-Meister

    440
    Jun 2, 2015
    Arkansas
    Wow! Someone actually acknowledged this!

    Different neck PUs and some are wondering why the guitars sound different?
     
  3. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Dec 27, 2011
    Minnesota USA

    Be careful... there is violent opposition to what you just said, even though others might agree...


     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
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  4. JodanOrNoDan

    JodanOrNoDan Tele-Meister

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    LOL. Thanks for the heads up. It's ok. People can tell me the sky is green all day long but that doesn't change the fact that it appears blue. I am fortunate enough to have access to a lot of guitars. When I record I will often lay down many identical tracks using different ones and people will like one track over another even though they cannot tell me why. In some cases the only difference is the wood.

    If what some of these guys said is true a thinline should sound like a "standard". They don't. The air pockets make a difference.
     
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  5. sothoth

    sothoth Tele-Holic Platinum Supporter

    607
    Nov 24, 2010
    Kepler-186f
    I prefer the weight and feel of ash/maple over alder/rosewood but as others have said you have several different things on two different rigs so drawing conclusions from your lone pair of guitars is pretty much a waste of time.

    If I had a nickel for every definitive study that concluded wood makes no difference and for every definitive study that says it makes a huge difference, I’d be wealthy but without any good answers.

    When I built my first guitar body I bought a fat slab of poplar since it’s cheap. Crappy tone wood, right? Well it was the fullest, thickest sounding tele I ever played. Loved it. If I hadn’t screwed up the neck pocket I’d still be playing it today.

    There are some questions that really don’t need to be answered. It’s sort of a science but not really.
     
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  6. JodanOrNoDan

    JodanOrNoDan Tele-Meister

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    This I can get behind. I don't "believe" in tone wood. There are materials that can give you the potential to get the tone you need. If it is poplar, so be it. You can enhance or detract from what the wood wants to do with scale length and the components on the guitar.
     
    AxemanVR likes this.
  7. sothoth

    sothoth Tele-Holic Platinum Supporter

    607
    Nov 24, 2010
    Kepler-186f
    Plus it’s possible to enjoy new combinations of things rather than just try to chase some vintage tone of your liking. I know Tele purists might hate my poplar guitar and I realize it doesn’t sound like a vintage tele (lacked some twang but had more beef) but it sounded good anyway.

    I hear people looking for that AC/DC or Zeppelin or Hendrix (or whomever from the past or present you really like) but I can guarantee none of them were emulators, they made their own tone and wrapped a genre around what they could afford at first, which was likely crappy equipment, until they could afford more/better.

    Lately I’ve been listening to this amazing band, Deap Vally... female guitarist and female drummer, and have seen them live twice. I’m telling you they put on an amazing show. Guitarist plays some Fender Mustang that her dad retrofitted way back when and she says he put in linear taper pots. In the day it was an entry level guitar. Does she sound like Charlie Christian? Nope. But she sounds like Lindsey Troy and it’s amazing. She pioneered her own vibe and I respect that. Plus I’m tired of watching dudes play music all the time. After their show they went out and hung with the fans. Nicest and coolest women ever.

    And I realize this band didn’t invent fuzz pedals or anything but they have their own sound going on and I dig it.

    So tell me is the mustang ash or alder?







     
  8. JodanOrNoDan

    JodanOrNoDan Tele-Meister

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    Not bad at all. Had never heard of them. You would like my bass player. She's young, cute and about the same size as the bass she plays. I'm always yelling at her that every song does not require fuzz. I hid her pedal one time. LOL.

    Don't get me wrong, the girls have a great sound but there is nothing new there other than the fact that girls are doing it. It is very Jack White.
     
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  9. sothoth

    sothoth Tele-Holic Platinum Supporter

    607
    Nov 24, 2010
    Kepler-186f
    I see what you mean about Jack White... sort of... but not totally. I don’t think they set out to copy his tone. But I could have done a better job of picking a more pioneering sound to make a point.
     
  10. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

    Dec 21, 2017
    York PA
    so if the guitar player in Greta switches to a maple neck SG..his tone will be the same ?
     
  11. JodanOrNoDan

    JodanOrNoDan Tele-Meister

    Age:
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    New sounds are hard to come by. Mixing old and recent is where I am going in my current project. Many people in the 20ish range are not very familiar with old tech. It sounds new to them. A kid came buy this weekend for an audition and was letting me listen to some of the stuff he was working on in another project. Some rap thing. It wasn't that bad for what it was, but he wanted it to sound different. So I told him, why don't you run the keyboard through one of those (pointing to my cry baby). The flipping cry baby blew his mind. Not exactly a new idea, but a new sound to virgin ears. LOL
     
  12. markfowler54

    markfowler54 TDPRI Member

    Age:
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    Yes.
     
  13. LeicaBoss

    LeicaBoss Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

    436
    Oct 16, 2015
    New Jersey
    Both of the following are true:
    1. Any material in the guitar can affect its sound, including the wood bits
    2. Knowing the species of a piece of lumber tells you exactly nothing about how it will make your guitar sound

    What you'll find are people that believe in one of these or the other and those who believe in both.
     
  14. sothoth

    sothoth Tele-Holic Platinum Supporter

    607
    Nov 24, 2010
    Kepler-186f
    I am guessing you couldn’t tell the difference if played plugged in and you were blindfolded, if that was the only change. Especially with a little OD from the amp.
     
  15. sothoth

    sothoth Tele-Holic Platinum Supporter

    607
    Nov 24, 2010
    Kepler-186f
    Yeah I guess my point is that trying to dial in your own sound and style is better than emulating someone else’s and it’s probably better to not freak out over small things like alder vs ash if your goal is to be your own musician. But that’s off topic from the OPs post so I’ll shut up about it now :)
     
  16. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

    Dec 21, 2017
    York PA
    that is the one guitar i would know immediately..the notes pop quicker..got 4 of em right in front of me and the SG maple is very dif than the 3 mahogany in response..note quickness almost..think of it this way even on a strat the maple vs rosewood..i believe the wood def translates into vibration of dif degrees and density even which goes towards shaping the tonal response...i think its why we all choose the guitars we play..there is an immediate response to you playing style and the guitar takes all that and becomes the "instrument" for which sound comes out of...
     
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  17. sothoth

    sothoth Tele-Holic Platinum Supporter

    607
    Nov 24, 2010
    Kepler-186f
    Could you tell if you were blindfolded and someone else was playing it?
     
  18. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

    Oct 12, 2012
    Scottsdale, AZ USA
    OK, Ok, ok.... I had some fun with screwdriver and soldering iron today!

    I considered pulling the Lion King from the Tele Ash - Aged Cherry Burst and trying it in the Tele Player - Tidepool, but honestly, the Ash Aged Cherry Burst Tele is so perfect right now, that I didn't even want to crack it open.

    BUT, my Tele '69 Thinline Mahogany, which had a Cavalier Lioness (same as a Lion King, but without a cover on it) in the neck position, has been an exceptionally bright sounding instrument - even with a 210k volume pot and 250k No-Load tone pot. A little TOO bright for my liking, actually. SO, I saw that guitar as the perfect candidate to do the neck pickup swap with!

    To recap, I found the Twang King neck pickup in my Tele Player (Tidepool finish) to be a bit warm for me, IN SPITE of running a 930k volume pot and 250k No-Load tone pot.

    So... I switched the NECK pick ups between these two guitars today. Cavalier Lioness went to the Tele Player Tidepool, and Dimarzio Twang King went to the Tele '69 Thinline mahogany.

    [​IMG]

    Now, the Tele Player has a Cavalier Lioness in the neck position and a 350k volume pot. And the Mahogany '69 THinline has the Twang King neck pickup and a 210k volume pot.

    And guess what... the Tele Player Tidepool is now as bright and snappy as the Aged Cherry Burst Tele I was previously comparing it to. And the Mahogany '69 Thinline is still bright and snappy, though slightly less-so than with the Lioness in the neck position.

    SO, WHAT THIS TELLS ME is that the Twang King pickup is a "warmer" pickup, which was less well-suited to the "warm-toned" Tele Player alder wood/rosewood, but VERY well-suited to the "bright-toned" Mahogany/Rosewood '69 Thinline! Something about this mahogany Thinline imparts significant brightness to whatever pickups are installed in the guitar.

    On a scale of "brightness" I would place the Cavalier Lioness as "quite bright", the Cavalier Lion King as "moderately bright", and the Twang King as "neutral-warmish".

    As for the guitars... there is no doubt that the alder bodied/rosewood fretboard Tele imparts a "warm" influence on whatever pickups are in it. And the mahogany/rosewood '69 Thinline guitar imparts a "bright" influence on whatever pickups are in it! THAT MUCH, I can say with certainty.

    THERE IS NO DOUBT IN MY MIND that the guitar wood/neck/bridge DOES have a significant impact on how any given pickup will sound! I found the tone of the Twang King, when in my alder/rosewood Tele, to be less bright that I prefer, but now, I'm very happy with how the Twang King sounds - when installed in the '69 Thinline mahogany/rosewood.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019 at 3:17 AM
  19. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

    Oct 12, 2012
    Scottsdale, AZ USA
    The air pockets and/or mahogany in my mahogany Thinline certainly seem to have a significant impact on the tone.
     
    JodanOrNoDan likes this.
  20. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

    Oct 12, 2012
    Scottsdale, AZ USA
    My initial question can't be definitively answered, nor did I expect us to come to a definitive conclusion.

    What I did learn beyond question or doubt, though, is that a pickup that may sound warm in one Tele (solid alder with rosewood fretboard) can certainly sound bright in another Tele (semi-hollow mahogany, also with rosewood fretboard).

    So there is no doubt that the guitar itself (the body wood and the design) imparts significant influence over the sound of any given pickup! The tone given from a pickup is not the sole result of the pickup itself!
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019 at 12:26 AM
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