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

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

  1. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    It's the strings and pickups.
    I have maple and ash teles that are DARKER than alder rosewood ones but they have different pickups in them.

    Swap the PICKUPS and strings in your guitars.
    You will find out that the guitar that will get lighter strings and the Cavalier pup will sound brighter
     
  2. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Nick... from my pickup changes, I'd say the pickups are definitely the primary difference.

    That said, since the Twang King sounds so much brighter in the mahogany Thinline than it did in the alder Player.... I'd add that the guitar body itself significantly influences what a given pickup sounds like!
     
  3. Lonn

    Lonn Friend of Leo's

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    It's the strings and pickups FAR more than the neck/body wood.
     
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  4. Colo Springs E

    Colo Springs E Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Agree completely.


    I think body and neck material make very little difference in the sound of an electric guitar. I would love to see a blindfold challenge for those who think there is a significant difference.
     
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  5. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    If it influences it,it is slightly and mostly due to the WEIGHT difference than the type of wood.
     
  6. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Would you expect a light-weight, semi hollow mahogany Thinline to be brighter or darker than a much heavier, solid alder body?

    All you need to do to know that a guitar body has significant influence on tone is move the same pickup from one body to another.
     
  7. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    No question that the pickups accounted for nearly all of the difference between the two guitars in my first post. The Twang King neck pickup is a much warmer pickup than a Lion King neck pickup.

    But that said, move the same pickup from one body to another and you'll find that the body can have a significant influence on the sound of a particular pickup. Some guitar bodies are warm and some are bright. The tone you get from a given pickup is not owing entirely to the pickup and the strings.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  8. JodanOrNoDan

    JodanOrNoDan Tele-Meister

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    I am personally torn on that and very curious to find out. My thinline is ash and I am intending on having another thinline built. My thinline is the "clean" guitar on the track I posted this morning over in the twanger section. Neck pickup with the tone at about 5. Its got delay and reverb on it so it may be a hard comparison.
     
  9. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    In my case, the Thinline mahogany '69 BODY (with the same pickup, electronics, and neck) is MUCH brighter than my solid alder Tele. And, it is somewhat brighter than my solid Ash body.
     
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  10. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    IMO a rosewood neck vs maple is the #1 biggest difference between any 2 strats or teles tonally. It IS dramatic, and the fact so many say they don't hear it is one of the most puzzling things i ever read on any guitar forum. You are hearing it unlike what seems like the vast majority.
     
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  11. JodanOrNoDan

    JodanOrNoDan Tele-Meister

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    I am thinking it has a lot to do with the air pockets. My "weight relieved" les pauls are brighter than my traditional ones. I can't really compare my teles. One is an American Special the other is the thinline. They are just too different, but the thinline is considerably brighter. Both have maple necks.
     
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  12. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    I think a lot of people who say they don't hear any difference between this and that happen to play with some form of overdrive or break-up, and typically in a band - which can very easily mask any subtle difference. For such players, they're right - there is no difference that they can hear.

    However, if you play solo, quiet home environment, in a very clean, clear style (as I do), (not in a mix with other players) small differences in tone are clearly much easier to hear.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  13. Ash Telecaster

    Ash Telecaster Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I have had people get angry at me for suggestng that building materials affect the tone. And I understand their argument however I have 2 instruments, guitar and bass, that are Swamp Ash and I hear an upper mid bump that is different from my other instruments. I can accept the fact that something else accounts for the difference. What I have a problem with is some pompous you know what telling me Im imagining things. At this point I believe the wood makes a difference even if subtle but it is an unscientific opinion.
     
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  14. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Between my experience and yours... it would seem that the reduced mass, and large air pockets in the Thinline Teles results in much more brightness from a given pickup than one would get from solid alder or even solid ash. I wonder if other Tele Thinline players have experienced the same thing?

    And in my experience, I'm pretty sure that an all maple neck does impart a bit more brightness (they certainly seem to with my Teles and Strats) - but that alone would be fairly subtle and only audible to the ears when playing solo, with a very clean (NO overdrive) reproduction of the guitar.
     
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  15. eallen

    eallen Tele-Afflicted

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    My pickup drives different in the snow than my car. Could the paint make that much difference?

    Sorry, couldn't resist.

    Seriously though, even swapping pickups it would only be a valid test if every single other component is the exact same in the exact same body size and type with the exact same setup specs and moving all the electronics with the pickups. PEven pots of the same brand have 10% tolerance as well as caps having tolerances. Is the pickup height the exact same? It all effects it. You would also then have to do it blind test to avoid preconceived views from influencing your perception.

    Always fun things to consider though.

    Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk
     
  16. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Of course! For a scientifically based test, all variables but one should be eliminated.

    It must be obvious that here, I'm not conducting a scientifically-based test. I'm changing components around to find the personal "tone" that I desire from each of my guitars. And the two most significant factors in finding that tone were the pickup, AND which body it was in. The "system" is what defines the tone.

    As it turns out, the third pickup that I tried in the neck position of the alder Tele Player hit the "sweet spot" that I was looking for. And, the Twang King that I found too warm for my needs in the alder Tele Player happens to sound "just right" to me in the mahogany Thinline. WONDERFUL SUCCESS!

    I can tell you this, without a shade of doubt - the Twang King in the mahogany Thinline sounds MUCH brighter than it did in the alder solid body. Both with rosewood necks and no-load tone pots in the No-Load position. AND, this, in spite of having a volume pot measuring 930k in the alder solid body and a volume pot measuring 210k in the mahogany Thinline!

    Read that last sentence again if it didn't quite register.
    With the installation of the Lioness pickup in the alder solid body, I was able to reduce the volume pot down to a measured 350k... hitting a sweet spot for that pickup in that particular body.

    My take-away here was dramatically demonstrated. A given pickup can sound dramatically different when moved from one guitar to another. Which speaks volumes as to the significance of the guitar body in influencing the tone of a given pickup. My alder Tele Player with rosewood neck contributes a MUCH warmer tone influence on a given pickup than my ash FSR with maple neck, or my mahogany Thinline '69 with rosewood neck - and the same pickup.

    One may need to try a particular pickup in different guitars to achieve whatever particular tone-quality one might personally be seeking, as the final sound you get out of the guitar is clearly the result of a SYSTEM of components, not the result of any single variable. And the guitar body can play a very significant role in this.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
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  17. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    People can and will quibble endlessly over how much influence this or that variable has on the tone of an instrument. And that may be an interesting or a boring discussion - without resulting in general agreement.

    BUT, the bottom line is that we each have an individual "sound" that we strive for.

    And those who are fortunate enough to be able to try out different bodies, different necks, different pickups, different bridges, and different electronics have a great opportunity to learn about what influences their sound, AND to achieve precisely the "sweet tone" that they are looking for from each guitar that they own.!

    And for each of us, we know what we're hearing and whether we like it, or not - regardless of anyone else's opinion. I say change things up, as much as you can, until every guitar you own sounds exactly as you would like it to sound! :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
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  18. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    Well, for me it doesn't matter what sound i use or at home, band etc. Like i said, for me i hear the biggest difference between them of any part on a guitar bay far. So i still scratch my head over it.
     
  19. Lonn

    Lonn Friend of Leo's

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    "The tone you get from a given pickup is not owing entirely to the pickup and the strings."

    Which is what I said in reverse.
     
  20. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    Man, can i relate to that ! Thats happened to me many times. People seem to take it as meaning "i can hear better then you". My response is always the same.....i've been playing about 1/2 century and when i started all those years ago I couldn't hear it either ! Time, experience, experimenting with parts in a "all else being equal" scenario have all changed that to where i now hear subtle details i couldn't hear before with a gun to my head. So I too was there at first and it took many years of all that to get to where i now hear what i do. But they never seem to accept that and in their eyes i'm a know it all or i'm Mr. placebo. Gets really tiring trying to explain it but I know what i hear and what i don't or am not sure of.
     
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