Will gluing in some mahogany blocks of wood change guitar tone?

toonskeez

Tele-Meister
Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Posts
224
Age
47
Location
Ireland

Attachments

  • 20221122_100002.jpg
    20221122_100002.jpg
    90.1 KB · Views: 46
  • 20221122_100208.jpg
    20221122_100208.jpg
    115.5 KB · Views: 45
  • 20221122_100416.jpg
    20221122_100416.jpg
    86.7 KB · Views: 44

toonskeez

Tele-Meister
Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Posts
224
Age
47
Location
Ireland
If it was mine, I’d build it without the mahogany. Could be perfect that way.
I would, if I had enough genuine mahogany for a body, but I guess I'm i a thrifty mood and I'm kind of using of a lot of spare bits and pieces left over from unused parts and/or stuff I bought and never used. I'm actually considering throwing my two epi dot humbuckers in there. If I do that though, I will remove the high frequency choking covers. Apparently they have quite a negative impact on their tone. I'm thinking of putting the neck pup in the middle position and the bridge pup in the bridge position. I have a GFS hight output tele neck pup that I'm thinking of putting in the neck position.
 

Freeman Keller

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Aug 22, 2018
Posts
10,455
Age
77
Location
Washington
The general consensus would suggest that I'm a raving misguided tone lune (on this specific matter), but I'll prove you all wrong... when my guitar is the bestest mahoganyest toniest axe ever! or maybe not.
Just to be clear though, when I said hollow body, I guess that wasn't fully correct, in that I will most likely retain the Beech wood down the center of the body, but stopping short of the base of the body. I aim to just retain a center core of Beech to support the bridge, tail piece and pickups to be screwed into; so there'll be kinda like a hollowed out U in the body.
In fact, I might just drill a load of large holes in that U shape. Still undecided. I think if I was to go fully hollow, BUT glue a solid mahogany block under the bridge that was also glued to the bottom of the guitar, that would probably reduce feedback, like @Telenator mentioned above, but I don't think I'll be going fully hollow.
In any case, yeah, I agree, the final sound I will get will be whatever it will be, due to a crap load of factors and is impossible to predict to any reasonable degree of accuracy. That said, no harm in giving my cherished blocks of mahogany a new home.
I have pretty definite definition of what I consider a "hollow body" as well as a "semi hollow body" - both have some wood structure in the center of the body to support pickups and the bridge. I usually use spruce or maple but there is absolutely not reason those could be mahogany, in fact mahogany makes very good brace wood and is sometimes used in acoustics. Does the wood choice have an effect on the sound? I believe that every choice you make has some effect but probably not that you will hear it or it will matter.

Pictures attached of the bracing on a hollow and a semi hollow body
 

Attachments

  • IMG_3525.JPG
    IMG_3525.JPG
    160.2 KB · Views: 21
  • IMG_3219.JPG
    IMG_3219.JPG
    125.3 KB · Views: 20

toonskeez

Tele-Meister
Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Posts
224
Age
47
Location
Ireland
I have pretty definite definition of what I consider a "hollow body" as well as a "semi hollow body" - both have some wood structure in the center of the body to support pickups and the bridge. I usually use spruce or maple but there is absolutely not reason those could be mahogany, in fact mahogany makes very good brace wood and is sometimes used in acoustics. Does the wood choice have an effect on the sound? I believe that every choice you make has some effect but probably not that you will hear it or it will matter.

Pictures attached of the bracing on a hollow and a semi hollow body
Very nice! Yeah, I tend to agree with what you consider hollow and semi hollow. Currently I'm just trying new things on each new build I undertake. This will only be my ninth build, so I'm learning all the time and also trying things out design/construction wise, within the confines of reason of course. I do agree that every part of the guitar of the guitar has SOME effect on the it's final sound. I guess it's a bit like making a stew; you throw in whatever you think will help achieve the taste you're after, but the more the components, the harder it becomes to decipher what component attributed what part of the sound and how much; and then there's the amp and speaker of course...
 

ElJay370

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Apr 3, 2018
Posts
1,963
Age
52
Location
Los Angeles, CA
It will add a bit of structural rigidity, but since it sounds like you’re already mounting a bunch of stuff to the top I don’t think it will contribute much tonewise.
 

effzee

Friend of Leo's
Ad Free Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2017
Posts
2,402
Age
59
Location
Germany
Yeah,

Yep, Beech.
My most recent hollow body guitar was Beech too (wish an Ash cap). Turned out really nice. I got a massive slab of it at my local lumber supplier, so this is the last Piece of it that I have.
I'm a beech fan 😊 I have two guitars with beech laminate necks, same material they used to make airplane propellers from, they're super light and very stiff at the same time.

A friend of mine has a large supply of "swamp beech" that he uses for solid-body builds. It's literally a tree that he and his father dug out of a swamp after it had been lying in the muck for many many years, maybe 20(?). It's got a fungus staining the grain black in places, looks absolutely amazing and it's excellent wood for the guitars. Also very light, but stiff, like unkaputtbar.
 

Telenator

Doctor of Teleocity
Vendor Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2005
Posts
15,121
Location
Vermont
It won't make any difference.

Without trying to start another tone-wood discussion, watch this video and make up your own mind.

(1) Tested: Where Does The Tone Come From In An Electric Guitar? - YouTube
This might actually be helpful if you were talking about the same thing the rest of us are talking about.

Whenever you have airspace inside an electric guitar body, it is going to have an effect on the sound.
If you have ever played a Gibson ES-330 alongside an ES335, the difference is alarming.
The ES330, being completely hollow, howls and shrieks like a banshee when you amplify it anywhere near a useful point. But the ES335 with its solid block attaching the top to the back can be played at much higher volume without all the feedback. It's not some convenient video someone finds on the internet that doesn't even come close to proving or disproving the scientific facts. I am speaking from the actual experience some of us have.
Why would Gibson put a solid block in their 335 model if it didn't make difference? Please don't underestimate the knowledge and experience some of the members on this forum have.
 

kbold

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jul 21, 2015
Posts
3,247
Location
Australia
I think if I was to go fully hollow, BUT glue a solid mahogany block under the bridge that was also glued to the bottom of the guitar, that would probably reduce feedback
That would certainly prevent the soundboard from making any unwanted (or wanted) sounds.
Great untapped marketing strategy: heavily attenuated soundboard.
Quick .... quick ... down to the patenting office.
 

Greenmachine

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Nov 28, 2011
Posts
1,392
Location
BC
The general consensus would suggest that I'm a raving misguided tone lune (on this specific matter), but I'll prove you all wrong... when my guitar is the bestest mahoganyest toniest axe ever! or maybe not.
Just to be clear though, when I said hollow body, I guess that wasn't fully correct, in that I will most likely retain the Beech wood down the center of the body, but stopping short of the base of the body. I aim to just retain a center core of Beech to support the bridge, tail piece and pickups to be screwed into; so there'll be kinda like a hollowed out U in the body.
In fact, I might just drill a load of large holes in that U shape. Still undecided. I think if I was to go fully hollow, BUT glue a solid mahogany block under the bridge that was also glued to the bottom of the guitar, that would probably reduce feedback, like @Telenator mentioned above, but I don't think I'll be going fully hollow.
In any case, yeah, I agree, the final sound I will get will be whatever it will be, due to a crap load of factors and is impossible to predict to any reasonable degree of accuracy. That said, no harm in giving my cherished blocks of mahogany a new home.
You had me at “mahoganyest.” 😆
 

RodeoTex

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Sep 14, 2005
Posts
12,269
Location
Uvalde, Tx
Well, I don't think there will be any way to compare it to the same guitar without the mahogany.
I wouldn't worry about it.
 

hopdybob

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 28, 2008
Posts
2,733
Location
netherlands
1 warning, watch out for iroko dust.
it can give you a nasty nose infection that can be permanent.
( i know because it happened to me)

routing out a plank of mahogany is, in my opinion, not worth the effort and degrading a beautiful piece of wood that took ages to grow.
to use for the back for a SG/LP construction, i would understand it, but otherwise just use a massive block for what you were planing to do.
but that are my 2 cents ;)
 

gimmeatele

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jun 5, 2014
Posts
2,708
Age
63
Location
Alora Spain
Doubt it, I hard tail my strats by just putting a piece of any wood behind the term block and there is no difference in sound
 

Nogoodnamesleft

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Aug 19, 2020
Posts
1,385
Age
51
Location
Canaduh
I say try it.

There’s an element of unpredictability with all of them. People often talk about two different solid body guitars they tried at at shop. Same make, same specs, same year, same woods. One winds up feeling more resonant than the other for whomever is trying them out.

Ultimately you’ll know you did something unique. And if you like the results, well all the better.

That beech guitar is gorgeous.
 

toonskeez

Tele-Meister
Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Posts
224
Age
47
Location
Ireland
I say try it.

There’s an element of unpredictability with all of them. People often talk about two different solid body guitars they tried at at shop. Same make, same specs, same year, same woods. One winds up feeling more resonant than the other for whomever is trying them out.

Ultimately you’ll know you did something unique. And if you like the results, well all the better.

That beech guitar is gorgeous.
thanks. I'm tempted; I really am.
 

toonskeez

Tele-Meister
Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Posts
224
Age
47
Location
Ireland
It looks like there might be enough mahogany to fashion a center piece and then add Beech wings, like a three piece body.
Unfortunately I'd say there's not enough to do that. Some of those pics probably make the pieces look bigger than they actually are, but no biggy.
 

naneek

Tele-Holic
Joined
Mar 19, 2010
Posts
807
Location
PNW
It's funny that people here are so eager to say "Tonewood is fake, you're crazy!" that they ignore the practicalities of the design that is being discussed.

Yes, this construction method of having a solid block under the bridge will definitely make a big difference.

Semihollow bodies definitely sound and behave differently than a fully hollowbody archtop.

For example, I have a mid 50's kay speed demon which has a center block that supports the bridge and makes contact with the top and back of the guitar, and provides a solid wood bolt point and heel for the bolt on neck. (it doesn't touch the top or back of the guitar at the middle, only at the bridge and neck pocket. This lets the top and back work as a soundboard, while still providing structural support.)

I also have an early 50's kay pacer which is a fully hollowbody archtop with bracing like an acoustic instead of a block. It uses the exact same pickups and similar wiring. Not only does it sound completely different plugged in and acoustically, the design completely changes the way the guitar interacts with an amplifier in terms of resonance, liveliness, and feedback.

The other factor to consider is that the blocks prevent warping- the pacer is only a few years older than the demon, but it is completely warped in every way. That solid block will really improve the durability of the instrument, and make it less prone to warping over time.

So no, you're not crazy, but the people who ignored the fact that you were discussing the design of a guitar and immediately jumped to "tonewood is fake" as a response to essentially a structural engineering question, they need to chill out.
 
Last edited:




Top