Tone woods...is this a subject best to death yet?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Mission6_OG, Sep 17, 2021.

  1. magicfingers99

    magicfingers99 Friend of Leo's

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    you mispelled tRopic..
     
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  2. ale.istotle

    ale.istotle Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Well, cypress might be a good choice given your location. If you can get it cheap, I think it's about as hard or harder than alder (but please anyone correct me if not). Cypress-caster from Louisianna could be a good project.
     
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  3. Flaneur

    Flaneur Poster Extraordinaire

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    Do you have a good source of Masonite, locally?

    IMG_20171006_164500638_HDR.jpg

    :lol::rolleyes::cool::D:lol:
     
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  4. bblumentritt

    bblumentritt Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Look at what has been successfully used, and why, as well as what hasn't.
     
  5. Bob J

    Bob J Tele-Holic

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    A balsa wood neck would balance out a balsa body nicely.
     
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  6. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Use commonly available local wood.... recycled preferably...... :cool:
     
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  7. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have to admit that I'm an shameless wood slut. I frequently pay more for a drop top than a decent guitar would cost. I've got a bunch of wood stickered away in my basement that I may never build with. I'm part of the problem, I know, but one of these days all the tropical rainforests will be gone and we truly will be building out of alternate materials.

    "cut down the trees, put 'em in a tree museum
    charged all the people a dollar and a half just to see 'em
    don't it always seem as tho
    you don't know what you've got 'till its gone"
     
  8. Peegoo

    Peegoo Doctor of Teleocity

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    I recommend shredder oil. You'll play faster!
     
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  9. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I'm watching Forged in Fire the other night and the guys were making some kind of african war axe... one guy decides to make the handle out of a piece of black Ebony....

    shapes the handle up and goes outside to test it before fitting the head, with the theory of better if it breaks now before the tv testing... one strike on a stump of wood and the Ebony shatters down the length and crumbled to the ground....:eek:

    my thoughts were, you frikken idiot wasting a good piece of expensive ebony on an axe handle..... :rolleyes:

    he made a new one out of Ash.... like he should have done in the first place....:lol:
     
  10. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    You know about all the ebony that was cut and left to lay on the ground because it didn't meet the standards of being black enough. We can thank Bob Taylor for changing all of that sillyness.
     
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  11. adjason

    adjason Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    can't really go wrong- I would base it kind of on looks- I love ash but much of it is heavy, I like alder but it is not grown around here so poplar is good too. I tend to like a one piece or three piece body- I am not a fan of two piece as a glue joint right in the center does not seem like a great idea to me
     
  12. Kiwi_Neil

    Kiwi_Neil Tele-Meister

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    My 5c says to use whatever wood you have access to, at a reasonable price. If the completed guitar is going to be finished so that the grain shows to a greater or lesser extent, then you pays your money and you takes your chances on what wood you can purchase. If not, then use whatever you can get you hands on easily. When the signal leaves the guitar and enters the amp, almost anything you want can be done to the sound (imo), and even more so if pedals are used.
     
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  13. DrBGood

    DrBGood Tele-Afflicted

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    Knock on it to hear its resonnance. I had two identical SG, one sounded like an SG should (first one in the video), the other was really dark, almost Les Pauly.

     
  14. maxvintage

    maxvintage Poster Extraordinaire

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    The subject is like Michael Myers. It can't be finished or killed.

    So I've made more than two dozen guitars, mostly solid bodies. I've made them out of, that I can remember:

    Pine
    Poplar
    Maple
    Mahogany
    Cherry
    Walnut
    Alder
    Basswood
    Spruce
    Spanish cedar
    Birch plywood

    And made fingerboards and necks out of cocobolo, ebony, maple, richlite, rosewood, sycamore.

    People will tell you all sorts of stuff about what wood sounds like. They will tell you maple is "bright," for example, even though all the classic jazz guitars, famous for a dark sound, are made of maple. And I've posted this before: tap test two identically sized billets of maple and rosewood and the maple will have a darker sound.

    All the woods listed above have advantages and disadvantages. Some are light and soft and some are heavy and hard. Some can have spectacular figure and some have an unattractive raw appearance and are best painted. Some need grain filler, adding an extra step. Some are more prone to move in service than others: some are more prone to tear out than others. Some will make you sick with allergies. Some are really expensive, or rare. Some don't take stain well, and get blotchy.


    But ok fine whatevs: you build the guitar out of magic tonewood famed for its haunting mids but right away there are all sorts of other factors, like what strings you use and what pick you use of how you pick: what pickups (the biggest art) what amp (the second biggest) and this is the key thing, what you think "good" sounds like. My favorite guitar I've made is a hollow body tele with a maple top and a hollowed out maple body. It does not sound bright, not at all: it has a Barden bridge pickup, famous for being bright, but it's not bright at all in this guitar. But then I use flatwounds a,lot, and heavy string and heavy picks and favor a clean jazz sound with a lot of midrange. Other people like a different sound.

    If I set out to make a guitar I think about what I want it too look like and how it will be built so I can consider how heavy it will be. If it's going to be hollow I can use wood that tends to be heavy. If it's going to be a painted solid body I'd probably use poplar or basswood. Do I want a traditional look? A natural wood look? I would try to think of the whole thing as kind of a system. Once it;s buit I might string it up with no pickups and then maybe decide what kind of pickups would work best.

    The whole thing is mostly a crapshoot: we know this from trying ten different teles in a store: they all sound a little different, but your wife or girlfriend or buddy very quickly gets bored with trying to pretend to hear small differences.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2021
  15. maxvintage

    maxvintage Poster Extraordinaire

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    So one more thing: yes a guitar is a resonating body--so is anything that vibrates when you tap it, like your front door or a drinking glass or an aluminum plate. Any resonating body will have resonant peaks, frequencies at which it resonates more readily. You can hear this if you play it acoustically. So if it seems "dark" you might want to go with bright pickups. Or not: you might want to go with dark pickups, or flat pickups. It's really hard to tell.

    As is often said, two identical boards cut from the same tree will have different resonant peaks. This is why IMHO you cant really generalize about how "mahogany has more midrange" or something like that
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2021
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  16. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    All the great American Masonite has been harvested to extinction
     
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  17. johnnylaw

    johnnylaw Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes.
    Fortunately, the better your amplifier, the less the tonewood really matters.
    Same is true for chops I suppose.
    Acoustic guitars are a little different.
     
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  18. Davecam48

    Davecam48 Poster Extraordinaire

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    :):lol:

    I have built several guitars using plywood!!! It makes beautiful strong necks, so strong that I do not use truss rods but 10mm x10mm carbon rod with an 8mm one piece dowel level with the underside of the fret-board which when glued on makes a truly light, responsive neck which remains in the same plane (level) you build it to. Some of the units I've built that way are still set perfectly as the day they were done! Instead of a one piece neck you could end up with a ten piece with all those extra layers with their glued components makes for a very stable and strong neck.

    Remember the old wise saying..............? There is strength in numbers!


    DC
     
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  19. jaxjaxon

    jaxjaxon Tele-Meister

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    If you get any wood the weight and density will be determined on where the slab was cut from closer to the heart of the tree will make it more heavy and dense.
     
  20. stratisfied

    stratisfied Tele-Afflicted

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    I think that is his ego speaking, not logic.

    With his reputation and the prices his guitars command, I would expect something more than random woods selected from a pile going into his guitars. I have every confidence his luthiers hand pick the woods to be used based on tonal criteria mere mortals are unable to recognize in the raw.
     
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