Alder vs Swamp Ash vs Mahogany - Guitar Body Wood Tone Test

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by LGOberean, Dec 30, 2018.

  1. Colors

    Colors Tele-Holic

    May 12, 2016
    I have it on good authority that the recording engineer flipped the guitar cable on the alder body. He did this because as a sound engineer he know body wood on electrics doesn't make a difference and he knows Warmoth still needs to sell guitars. Something had to be done.
  2. rz350

    rz350 Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Waubeka Wisconsin
    No, no and no....

    I like Paulownia bodies, I can make a 5.x pound Tele or Strat that doesn't hurt my back or neck, and sounds just like every other wood including Masonite, OSB, Cement board, or Swamp Ash.
    awasson and notmyusualuserid like this.
  3. william tele

    william tele Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 7, 2009
    Kansas City, MO
    I don't care for the prefix "tone" before the word "wood" when discussing electric guitars. "Wood" is all that's needed. The term tone wood makes it sound like each species has a distinct tone. No matter how experienced a player I'd challenge anyone to be able to identify the wood species of an electric guitar they were playing while blindfolded.
    soulgeezer and notmyusualuserid like this.
  4. mgreene

    mgreene Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 27, 2010
    south carolina
    Can't resist adding a final(ish) statement to this.

    There is a similar ongoing argument in the high end stereo hobby, having to do with whether various electronic components have an effect on the final sound.

    The objectivists (motto = electrons is electrons) say that things like wire configuration, different capacitor and resistor composition, tubes vs solid state cannot make a difference in the sound - because "physics".

    The subjectivists (I can hear the difference types) can also be scientific, but less rigid, and are willing to accept that unmeasurable factors can make a difference in sound perception. There is a famous quote about how the wrong things are being measured when certain measurements show no difference.

    In regard to wood and musical instruments in general, my opinion is partially based on observations like these:

    1. The violin family, after hundreds of years, is still made of spruce (top), maple back, sides bridge and neck, and ebony fingerboard. Of course, tradition plays a role but do you really think that EVERY type of wood hasnt been tried at some time or another in a violin - and yet the traditional formula rules. Do you think its possible that people hear the difference? (OK, electric guitars are amplified but do you hear no difference between a Les Paul and a 335?)

    2. Every guitarist I know uses a solid state amp. OH WAIT - I mean NO guitarist I know uses a solid state amp. Why is that?
  5. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Oct 11, 2017
    I read an article many moons ago, Guitar Player magazine me thinks, where budding guitar superstar was handed journeyman guitar superstar's axe & couldn't get the same sound due to technique. I believe that technique has way more to do with "my sound" than tone wood, and less than pickup/amp choice.
    Bill likes this.
  6. Cesspit

    Cesspit Tele-Holic

    Oct 16, 2014
    Oxfordshire England
    I have never heard a difference in 'tone woods'. Unless, that is, it is in relation to acoustic guitars where the differences are tangible and reasonably consistent. Logic follows that there must be some effect in relation to solid body guitars, but there are so many variables and the differences may be tiny.
    For me the body (and neck) is all about resonance, feel and looks . Still I am happy sat on this fence.:rolleyes:
    Bill likes this.
  7. Rjelecaster

    Rjelecaster Tele-Meister

    Jan 13, 2018
    Southeast Asia
    Unobtanium works both ways, good players want to make you think only good players can achieve a great tone while the manufacturers want to make you believe that they are the ones doing that extra special to their gear for it to sound great. It must be a mix of both.
  8. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

    Oct 12, 2012
    Scottsdale, AZ USA
    I don't know how it happens, but I know for sure that the same pickup can sound significantly different when moved from body to body - somehow, a pickup DOES pick up tonal qualities that are imparted by the body! And I'm pretty sure that the wood species and/or density do play some part in this.

    Perhaps the strings vibrate differently, depending on the mass and density of the body material and neck which the strings are connected to?
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
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