Alder: What's the next best thing?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Rigel7, May 17, 2021.

  1. Willie Johnson

    Willie Johnson Tele-Afflicted

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    One less cottonwood in the world to blow its stupid seeds all over the place and get caught up in my fishing line, too!
     
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  2. stratisfied

    stratisfied Tele-Holic

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    Yeah. Fender was said to use alder and poplar interchangably.
     
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  3. Rigel7

    Rigel7 Tele-Meister

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    See? Ol' Wrench gets it.
    But it's a no on cottonwood, wrench. Not carried.
     
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  4. Rigel7

    Rigel7 Tele-Meister

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    The suggestion of butternut has fascinated me, and it apparently grows in the area, but the hardwood places can only get it one inch thick and I don't really want a Norlin sammich.

    Came across black ash, stat-wise it's close to swamp ash. Grows here too. And like swamp ash, it grows around water. Thought I had a winner on my hands... turns out the friggin' tree's 'threatened'. So that's out.

    Someone earlier suggested "wood", might look into that.
     
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  5. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Doctor of Teleocity

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    Tulip poplar is what does not need filler
     
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  6. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Doctor of Teleocity

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    I use many things one inch, glue a 3/4" board on top and you have a blank
     
  7. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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  8. ctmullins

    ctmullins Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    Walnut!!

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Arfage

    Arfage Tele-Meister

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    It produces a very different sunburst than Ash, but it's beautiful stuff, sounds great too.
    Paul Reed Smith put it nicely; "Ella Fitzgerald sounds like Ella Fitzgerald no matter what mic she sings through" in regards to pickups vs. wood. In '78 I was shocked at how much my guitar still sounded like my guitar with my first aftermarket pickups - DiMarzio SDS-1's vs. stock Fender, two completely different pickups. Later Bill Lawrence, Duncans, other DiMarzios it always sounded like my guitar. But for decades I've been failing to reproduce the sound of that guitar with different ash bodies and maple necks, I just can't do it. It fact, the 3rd neck I put on my go to guitar got strangely close, considering the different fingerboard wood. But it did change the tone and behavior so dramatically I still marvel at it every time I pick it up. The different wood species have their unique characteristics, but wood is like snowflakes, none grow just the same. Choosing your woods carefully and being curious is important.
     
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  10. Rigel7

    Rigel7 Tele-Meister

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    I hadn't really thought about it, at least as a body wood. I thought it would be heavy like maple, or super bright like maple... or for some other reason parked it beside maple.
     
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  11. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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  12. Rigel7

    Rigel7 Tele-Meister

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  13. stratisfied

    stratisfied Tele-Holic

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    Walnut can make a very striking body but you have think semi-hollow or it will be a brute. A burl walnut top adds some character and sounds similar to maple (bright) but slightly thicker toned.

    The one in my avatar is a personal favorite of mine. Neck is also walnut

    IMG_2855.JPG

    IMG_2872.JPG
     
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  14. middy

    middy Friend of Leo's

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    Still poplar
     
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  15. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Doctor of Teleocity

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    Yeppers
     
  16. Rigel7

    Rigel7 Tele-Meister

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    Let it be said that despite the fact that this thread is still ongoing and that I haven't bought wood since first asking, that that in no way means poplar has been ruled out! Haha
     
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  17. stratisfied

    stratisfied Tele-Holic

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    If a painted finish is your goal, there is no reason not to use poplar. It will sound the same as alder. There is no point in using a more expensive wood if you won't see it.

    The other alternatives are Paulowni and Basswood.

    I find Paulownia way too light, very soft, too compressible in the neck pocket and around the neck plate and prone to denting.

    Basswood is has better density/weight but is also very soft and dents very easily. The hard shell of polyurethane finish helps minimize the dents but lacquer finishes are very soft and offer little protection.

    You would be amazed at how easy both Paulownia and Basswood dent. You play the guitar, put it away, pick it up a couple days later and "Whoa! Where did that dent come from?"
     
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  18. JeffBlue

    JeffBlue Tele-Afflicted

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    I prefer Black Korina (Limba) over Ash, Alder and Mahogany. I don't really care for Popler or Basswood. I do, however, like the sound of Paulownia as a tone wood but it is extremely soft.
    IMG_0033.JPG IMG_0035.JPG IMG_0200-2.JPG IMG_0202.JPG IMG_0200.jpg IMG_0449.jpg IMG_0450.jpg
     
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