Beauty is in the ears of the beholder. The genus is part of the ancient Araucariaceae family of conifers, a group once widespread during the Jurassic period, but now largely restricted to the Southern Hemisphere except for a number of extant Malesian Agathis.. My grandson and I went to GuitarCenter today and did a little test. A thinner piece, like an SG, has a warm growly tone with lots of bite and presence. Tonally and structurally they are the same, black korina comes from the edge of the tree where white korina comes from the core. “Basically, different woods don’t add different tone,” luthier Perry Ormsby of Ormsby Guitars explains. you might be suprised at the results. The short answer is that nearly all the parts of an electric guitar affect the tone in some way. Forgot your password? overall tone of an electric guitar. Embedded content: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLoi2sDiBa0Ebpai8seeAy7N2r0REs0m. Or they haven’t been playing the right guitars. Also the shape of the guitar or if it’s solid or hallow shouldn’t be a tone factor… Realy?! importance of the wood in an electric guitar must also be evaluated. Brightness, attack, bite paired with a slick, speedy feel. I suppose only real thing with using denser woods for example, will be better sustain…. This classic, brownish wood has being used for instruments for years. They build a great single cut with a nice full neck, tune-o-matic and serious tone. In a blind test you would swear they were significantly different, and might easily ascribe it (wrongly) to being different woods. And if you're not a member yet, click here for a free trial. I had this idea of buying a small guitar wireless system (Such as Line 6 G30), take out the guts and just put them inside of the guitar, so it wouldn’t hang there outside of your guitar… ♦ Best wires you could get for the guts. This is correct. However, air molecules and the molecules of the different woods are all going to vibrate differently, due to the differences in woodgrain spacing and the little air pockets in all the different woods and the density of the different woods. Agathis is a general moniker? Despite what /u/swordfingers has stated modern electric guitars do have cavities- if there are tone blocks added, for instance, and so this does have an impact of the sound. Alder is a tree that grows in medium, temperate climates with a lot of moisture. Guitar: How much does wood effect tone? It is not the only factor, there is also the touch of the player, quality of strings, amp settings, pickup quality and so on. Fender Musical Instruments Corporation. I would defy anyone to reliably identify bodywood used in any guitar design in a blind test. If you were correct, than every manufacturer of electric guitars would be using the absolute cheapest man made materials on EVERY guitar they make because it doesn’t matter,and a les paul would sound exactly like a strat with the same pickups ,and a plastic broomstick with humbuckers would sound just as good as a 59 les paul if you put pafs on it thru the same amp. Some guitars of the ’80s were fully maple, and for the styles they were used for were extremely good. Individual vibro-acoustic characteristics are mainly due to different densities of wood types. I was even surprised how huge. Poplar sounds a lot like alder, but looks usually a lot less appealing (and some players report a little more upper midrange compared to alder). You can talk to a thousand guitarists and everyone of them will have a slightly adjusted opinion. ( now you will have some debating on if the wall is sheet rock or wood, lol) I have never built a guitar but I believe nature is the teacher on this one. You cannot properly evaluate the tone of production guitars, they are too inconsistent in supplies and craftsmanship. A great deal, actually. light lacquer on necks & body’s little yellow stain on maple body, identical build, pickups and hardware…. Does an electric guitar's tonewood affect the tone? Then how could the wood not play a role in your guitarâs tone? Finally, a confirmation of what I have long believed in! (La Trobe Electric, still a yes but depending you’re a clean guy. So… if there is no difference to tone NO MATTER the material of the body and all that matters is the scale the pu and the strings, then a tin made guitar will sound exactly the same as a concrete body or a mahogany body guitar!!! One is an original 59. http://www.truetemperament.com ♦ A built in wireless system. I don’t need to build anything, I need to play them. You just said they sound different with that little piece. Dana O. So what do you make of that. were the braces carved to be a close as identical as possible? But it doesn’t. And yes tones can easily be adjusted to sound like different woods, but then you are just overriding the natural tone already presented. There are subtlety’s to every guitar, a musician can hear them, in many cases anyone can hear them. Wood has very minimal effect on the tone of an electric guitar. I agree with the majority of what you are saying here. Incomplete Vague just an opinion nothing more so many variables with tone woods its a waste. With that said though, most people believe that wood does still have some impact. So if the guitar tone and sound is all you’re concerned about, then it might not be worth spending the extra cash for features that don’t contribute to the tone. Where does cherry fall into your list? Walnut’s rich … These necks have a classy, speedy feel to them with an amazing tone. This wood originated in Brazil (amongst other countries) but due to over harvesting, this wood is nearly extinct in its native region. Just because you cannot discern a difference, doesn’t mean there isn’t one. Unless you checked sonically and measured every sound from the lowest to highest and directly compared them, you can not make that statement, if you had checked,you would see a measureable difference ,and anyone with a discerning ear would be able to hear it, all else being equal,(obviously if you crank everything to 11enty eleven and at 150 db where there is no possibility of actually making music instead of noise,whats left or your hearing isn’t likely to hear anything but volume.The changes will be made at specific vibrational frequency’s ,and change specific characteristics,IE sustain, tone attack, etc whatever your term, dependent on what you change ,how its connected ,what its connected to. People just attempt to justify their decision to sink down big bucks on boutique guitars, when the tone is actually not any different. ELI5: How does wood affect the tone of an electric guitar? It looked amazing!!! All the same materials. These are the same folks who most likely cannot hear the difference between an Epiphone or Gibson Les Paul or a Squier or Fender USA Tele. It’s more like a “That is where my logic goes, but a real test should be made to make sure”. Toss in some effects, tube distortion, and game over. Sapwood tends to have a more porous structure – it is softer, and tends to shrink or swell more easily with changes in moisture – so luthiers avoid it and use ‘heartwood’ whenever possible. If not, you cannot compare them and say it is the wood in the back that made a difference. That said, I assume tone-wise, the difference between an expensive guitar (with exotic wood) and a cheap electric (of plywood), but both have the same pickups, hardware, etc., is nearly non existent. Don’t expect a smooth jazzy tone of honky, smokin blues sound, but if bite is what you need, maple is your best friend. This is by no means a complete picture, only a global overview. Walnut. So if the guitar tone and sound is all you’re concerned about, then it might not be worth spending the extra cash for features that don’t contribute to the tone. I have used it as a body wood, and despite the great sounds I get, I cannot recommend it because of the weight. Wood does not resonate when it weights a ton either, density prohibits such behavior. Copyright Â©2020. Viewed 5k times 11. Sorry. Baked maple is heat treated maple. I don’t know… I think I disagree… Once I tested 5 G&L ASAT guitars, same model, and same construction and each of them hade its own sound… I think in whole process of construct a guitar, the major variant is the wood, since it’s kinda “organic”…. Young’s modulus of elasticity describes stress (density) over strain (the material moving and responding to stress) or more simply put—stiffness in an object. Nice! A classic! Wood is the key to tone. In my experience of experimenting with builds/transfers of components between custom guitars, body & neck wood absolutely contributes to electric guitar “tone” (frequency curve), as well as – perhaps even more so – to attack, decay, and sustain. I've been playing guitars for roughly 2 years now (mostly on guitars my dad used to own when he was my age but didn't want to sell because they didn't hold their worth (ie not an overpriced Gib LP)). You’d be surprised to learn that the $200 guitar was picked as sounding better just as often as the big buckaroos. The wood from the centre of a tree is called “heartwood” while the outer layers are called “sapwood”. Admits what? Agreed, body wood does not contribute to tone. Why not just use the other kind of wood if that’s what you intend to do? Used for hundreds of years for fingerboards, bridges and other parts, this extremely hard, durable wood is noted for its dark color. The difference between a billet cut from the top or the bottom of the tree makes a huge difference in tone. Then build your own guitar with the best features you could get. Are you an idiot or just plain stupid? I suspect deep inside people at least admit that wood matters little, but they let the myth lives on cause hey…you need something to justify the purchase of that expensive Hawaiaan Koa or Honduran Mahogany guitar. It's about the wood or, more accurately, which tonewood is used to make the guitar actually and if that wood actually affects the guitars sound. And remember all earls like genitals are different, some people have well trained and sensitive ears (Eric Johnson, etc) and some people can’t tell analog from digital and all its annoying qualities it delivers to those of us who hear the difference. Heavy grain filler, thick clear coats and especially poly finish. I have played probably hundreds at this point in my music career, be it at music shops, a friends, my own, etc, Hardware of course will always play a role in tone and in the end, every aspect of the guitar is essentially a tonal factor. Embedded content: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLoi2sDiBa0Ebpai8s. One pickup if you want sustain, more pickups if you want more tones. all of them giving diff tones… I had a piece or heartwood/Hardwood mix for a body. The highs are kind and singing, the lows are firm but not pronounced. But since it’s so rare and expensive, you’d be hard pressed to find a solid rosewood guitar. Announcing the Eric Steckel Signature “Candy” Humbucker Set. All rights reserved. Umm yeah so even while they are made from the same type of wood they sound different. Put a set of lipsticks in a strat and they won’t have the same spank and boing as in a dano; put a set of strat p’ups in a dano and they won’t have the same fluidity of sound as a strat. Hardware, strings etc, all very finite. All ya gotta do is play two Strats, each w/ maple neck and ash body made in the same 'batch' from Fender side by side, easy to do if there's a local Guitar Center - no two sound exactly alike, IME. I could make the mahogany sound like the Maple, or make the maple deeper and more resonant and the mahogany bright and treble dominated just by doing that – with no change to the wood used in the body. This is because the tree grows rather fast, the grain doesn’t look particularly interesting or pretty (and therefor not considered to be a shame if finished in an opaque color; the extreme softness of the wood makes a hard finish a necessity, too) it doesn’t have the growl of mahogany, it doesn’t have the tightness or bite of maple, it doesn’t have the sweetness of alder or the chunky quality of ash. Good job. Copyright © 2020 Seymour Duncan. You will get an opener sound with lots of highs and upper mids that cut through the mix like a hot knife through butter. When the thing capturing the sound is directly under the thing generating the sound and, it makes no sense for the wood, which vibrates in a secondary fashion, to have any effect on a tone that has already left the guitar. I can’t stand the grammatical errors. The wood type and its vibration characteristics change the "color" of the signal and give different tones. Remember me Not recommended on shared computers. And for those who care about grammar, why not become professors of tone and open up a school for guitar players who need to brush up on their ABC’s LOL Orpheo nice work with the article very informative . We have been told that some woods sound some ways, but then we listen to them expecting the difference. The highs just sing. Acoustics, in my opinion, are a whole other ball game. Due to its price tag and hard nature, ebony is most often used for fretboards, though some luthiers are known for using ebony as the sides and sometimes even the top or back of an acoustic guitar, and on occasion you can even find ebony necks. But somebody who is being paid to write should be able to write with correct spelling and grammar. A large aspect here is also the quality of that wood. Maple brings in a nice amount of high-end with a good bass boost too, however when strings are … Cherry is lovely and I use it for bodies and necks – makes excellent acoustics and I see no reason not to use it in electrics – it is a lot like maple to work and in strength and flex, (although it smells nicer – but the dust can be an irritant – use a mask) although that can vary with the tree – some cherry is hard, some are soft. It might be so small a contribution that some people may not hear it. Birdseye is considered a figure pattern but actually, it is not. Maple is far and away the most common type of electric guitar neck wood, and for good reason. Nice try though. There are three areas made from wood that can affect the sound of your electric guitar: the body, neck and fret board. For years, boutique luthiers and guitar purists have claimed the quality of wood used to construct solid body electric guitars has impacted tone. But when it comes to the Electric guitar signal to the amp, the wood is bypased. Also, there is no reason even a shred-style guitar can’t be acoustically resonant and harmonically rich. I am not a luthier, just a guitar lover and a history student who tries to help others with my experiences. This coarse-grained wood can be used for bodies, necks and fretboards and feels incredibly fast because your fingers have less drag. Walnut is also beautiful – why not go for a cherry and walnut mix – very tasty – see my acoustics at http://www.catherwoodguitars.com, Idk if this is true with electrics I would belive it when I see a video where someone is blind folded and plays each, don’t feel the wood just play and see if they know what’s what and if it really is a tonal difference. I really REALLY want to know the truth. Of course, you can use electronics and amplification to dial it all back in or enhance the sound, but as with so much in engineering, the final result depends on a sound base to work from. Also, I noticed quite a lot of grammatical error. For years I have challenged folks to do double-blind tests of identical guitars (shape, paint, etc) varying only the wood say of the body, neck, or fingerboard. How do Gibson SGs, LPs, Flying Vs, and Explorers sound different if not for the woods? As a fretboard you get the bite of maple and the rumble of rosewood, with a unique, speedy feel. Here is a definition from Wikipedia: The genus Agathis, commonly known as kauri or dammar, is a relatively small genus of 21 species of evergreen tree. to me the sound difference is huge. Yeah, and not all of us care about grammer or what you think either. The push that Pau ferro gives your tone is amazing. That said, the effect of all of this is not as large as people tend to make it out to be. As a builder (construction) I agree with the definitions of “hardwood, heartwood, and softwood” that you’ve used. Maple: Many an electric guitar is capped with a maple top and neck. ♦ True temperament frets (True overtones increase sustain instead of strings canceling each other out). Ebony is most closely associated with black, but brown, yellow, red and even purple hues and stripes aren’t uncommon for ebony. That doesn’t mean to say that you should only use the “big brand” tonewoods. Rosewood can also be used as a body wood, though. That is the nature of the beast. I think Agathis has slowly started to replace basswood in cheap guitars, while nyatoh is being used to replace mahogany. As a luthier, I tend to agree with those who say that the species of body wood has little effect on the tone (especially in electric guitars – pickups, scale length and hardware have more influence, while shape and the topwood, and how it is braced are the vital drivers in acoustics.) Is the tone of an electric guitar affected by what type of wood is used? I own 2 guitars that have rosewood as a body wood: one has a rosewood top, the other a rosewood back. Yes they are, they connect with the wood through the bridge and the nut. The difference may not be huge, but there is still going to be a difference. Johann, better start fixing your own grammar before trying to fix other people’s mistakes. No, the wood doesn’t affect the tone in the slightest. This is because the wood itself is mimicking the string’s vibration at two separate points: Manufacturers and guitar players suggest that using a particular shape, or a specific wood material - be it alder, poplar, ash, basswood etc - will produce significant and specific tone variations. Agathis is a general moniker, not a specific species. This article talks about the need to wait for the note to bloom for a fraction of a second. However, if you toss any guitar in the mix, control the strings, pickup placement and playing, and still get indistinguishable tones, that pretty much says that wood type along with all the other free variables (like body shape, body finish) does not affect the tone, as long as the electronics and strings are identical. Of course it does, The strings are mechanically attached to the wood on the guitar by the frets ,nut bridge and hardware,when the wood resonates (vibrates )it absolutely has to have an effect on string vibration, it is an absolute certainty.And your statement that the tone doesn’t change when you mechanically attach the guitar to another structure is ,again,absolutely wrong.ANYTHING you do to change the overall vibrational frequency of a guitar ,or any musical instrument that isn’t an entirely electronically generated tone (some keyboards,synths etc)will affect the tonal characteristics. Koa loves to be matched with a walnut back for added power, more tightness in the lows and extra scream, or with korina or mahogany for more sweetness and growl. This is a tropical wood like rosewood, but has a tighter grain and a brighter tone. And they are not all shredder axes. That’s how I know the materials don’t make a difference. If the body material did a difference, the tone of the guitar would significantly change if you pressed the guitar against a wall, or put the guitar on the floor, because that’s like an extention of the body. Moisture content also determines the tone colour changes. The sound is caused by the vibration of strings through the magnetic field emanating from a guitar’s pickups. With acoustics, however, I have found different wood combinations to provide a great deal of tonal versatility. The coloring doesn’t take away anything of the tonal qualities we came to know and love. Wood types don’t matter? Hard ash is generally speaking on the heavier side. Maple. Be the first to know about new products, featured content, exclusive offers and giveaways. Just knocking on different types of wood can demonstrate that....or strum a guitar, especially an electric not plugged in and hold it against the wall. Swamp ash, on the other hand, is much lighter, with less compression in the tone. The tone is similar to korina and mahogany but with more upper mids and highs. Can I tell you what kills the tone and gives all the guitars an average tone of similarity??? It can have sap pockets – again that varies with the tree – which can result in weak lines along the grain – watch out for red, grainy lines that under a magnifier show crystal structures of dry resin. Wood. The biggest downside is perhaps the weight. I wrote to the mythbusters, unlikely that they will test it, but it’s worth a try… It’s probably most worth buying unfinished bodies and necks, Just pick the cheapest/lightest one. I haven’t played enough guitars to actually tell for sure. same bracing pattern? Shut up and go play your guitars!!!!!! with all due respect, i disagree….i made two Les paul Jr’s one with Mahogany body one with maple body, both have maple necks and rosewood fingerboards. There are generally only two different electric guitar neck woods. Try that on an acoustic and you’ll have some weird sounding stuff. Dense and fairly heavy, with sonic characteristics similar to those of mahogany, walnut is occasionally used in electric-guitar bodies. The heavier the guitar the more upper range energy it will absorb while sustaining the lower range energy creating a … No body wants to test it cause if the test does debunk the myth, they will have to face the reality that they have all along deluded themselves and hence, wasted so much money on exotic tonewoods. All Rights Reserved. I believe it is all just a matter of the musicians opinion and preferences. I don’t think that a maple body only has highs and upper mids because it also has a decent amount of lows too. Ignorance is bliss my man. “They simply absorb certain frequencies, which in turn affects the string vibration in a subtle way. Even resting your axe against your body will affect the sound,if however ,you have electronically distorted everything beyond any tonal recognition thru use of distortion, or any other direct change to the original resonance, that will absolutely affect whether ANYONE ,can hear the natural tonal characteristics of whatever instrument you choose. All that nonsense about this wood sounds warm while that one has more bite, etc., etc., are all bullshit blown by self-aggrandizing amateurs. However the density and resonance of the individual bit of wood used can make a little difference to the individual guitar, no matter what species is used (and wood of a particular species is likely to have a particular density and resonance), so perhaps some generalisations may have a little truth to them. You have hard ash, which has a lot of bite, almost like maple, but with more (and chunkier) lows. That’s another figure pattern of maple. With a tone similar to bubinga, the feel is less ‘glassy’, more like rosewood. The woods used to build guitars—acoustic guitars in particular—are called tonewoods, and they have enormous effects on … The woods used to build guitars—acoustic guitars in particular—are called tonewoods, and they have enormous effects on the sound and price of an instrument. The Stevie Ray Vaughan signature strat has a Pau ferro finger board and Reb Beach of Whitesnake and Winger has sworn by Pau ferro necks for 20 years already! It doesn’t add anything to your tone but it doesn’t take away anything. So if you buy a maple, what kind of sound are you going to get from it. You left out ‘birds eye maple’ dude. I have a guitar that I use to try out different strings and pins – it is astonishing how much the tone can be changed, and how much I can hate the sound of that guitar with the wrong combinations, and love it with the strings and pins that suit it best to my ears. George, while I agree that there is an effect on tone from woods, the electronics are a majority of the tone, its an electric guitar, as for the picking out different guitars from a line-up like you said, I would certainly like to see that. I had this idea of a sliding pickup, that you could slide from bridge to neck, that could be cool. This hard, dense, oily wood can come with a very tight or coarse grain, and can be very evenly colored or very striped. Apples and oranges my friend. What is “hardwood” used in budjet guitars. Same model, same hardware, same everything… except for the wood. You can make to identical bodies from on plank and they can sound different. The tone is very mid heavy. Your guitar's intonation also contributes to the tone, and donât forget the amp, which converts the signal from the pickups into an audible sound. Generally speaking bubinga has a slightly lighter color than rosewood. rest of the world that actually plays guitar: very minimally, being good at guitar instead of being online talking about it affects tone much more. Grammar might not be relevant in the field of guitar playing, but it is absolutely relevant in the field of professional writing. Originally Posted by smooth55 View Post Honestly, I think the real reason that there aren't more non-wood guitars out there has more to do with the Why does wood affect electric guitar tone? The wood does not need to resonate for the string to induce a current in the pickup, but the idea that wood type directly affects sound quality has been applied to the electric guitar in publications and media (Sweetwater 2013; Wormoth Custom Guitars & Bass Parts). Various woods have distinct sound qualities, especially when used for the top of an acoustic guitar, which is the most important wooden tonal element of the instrument. I would almost describe it as maple with softer highs and more gentle mids. While they both sound very similar, I can absolutely hear and favor the mahogany bodied. So what’s the difference? The amount of peer-reviewed research on this subject currently is lacking; an article published by a university in Australia claims that a researcher has proven that wood does not affect a guitar's sound, but no data has been published together with this assertion. Personally, I have found the type of guitar wood used to produce a great difference in tone. The big question is whether the species of wood makes a noticeable difference in the electric tone of a solid body electric guitar. You can’t argue with a fact like that, it just makes you look dumb. !” It’s a bias or a placebo. Not much mention of wood there, but in reality, that is only part of the story. 70% of the strings’ vibrations travel along the neck. When used on necks, it imparts a warmer tone than ebony or maple. Wood is the majority of tone on a electric guitar or any guitar!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As a member of the rosewood family, cocobolo has a warm tone with an open clear yet presence. Fender PlayCYBER WEEK SALE: Save 50% on a Monthly Plan.UNLOCK THIS OFFER. This is a dense, hard wood that’s being used on necks, fingerboards, tops and occasionally bodies and comes in three major figure patterns: flamed (stripes across the grain), quilt (cloud like shapes across the grain) and no pattern at all called plain. Rosewood is incredibly heavy! Intuitively, it would seem strange if it didn’t; but, there are many factors that are going to affect the sound produced from a guitar; isolating them is as difficult as creating a study that will convince anyone of an idea they already are clinging to. So I put EMG’s on it to save the sound… Then it was fair. The fact that it is about guitar is completely irrelevant. And the wood of the neck and body is an ingredient in that recipe. You just proved the point the tonewood is BS. Poplar is used on many inexpensive guitars, often as ‘body wings’ for neck-thru Vs and the like, but there are also much finer, higher-quality, higher-priced examples. Finally someone admits this. So who decides? The tone of this wood is extremely dependant on the thickness of the billet. Generally, the highs are slightly attenuated with lows that aren’t that pronounced and a midrange that might use an extra kick because the mids aren’t that abundantly available. What kind of tone would a guitar made out of morning wood produce? When someone says, “this guitar sounds better” I focus on the word “better’. No. Not only does tonewood affect the tone of a guitar, each individual piece of wood affects the tone. The looks are always stunning. Even so, a shredder axes) get their tonality through hardware and electronics but are not harmonically rich instruments by nature. I am surprised no one made a real test yet. As you stated same construction but different tones. This goes for all woods, but in my experience this is even stronger the case with ash than other types. Sometimes you get a piece of poplar though that seems to defy every ‘rule in the book.’ These pieces will just knock you off your feet due to the sheer beauty of things. And donât forget feel. That he has an opinion??? Orpheo, dont let any of those bitches bother you, I thought it was a decent article, and its hard to be very specific with something like tone woods, but Im sure theres plenty of beginner or intermediate players who would enjoy this article and could stand to learn a lot from it. Walnut is a great choice as a laminate top on korina or as a core for Koa. You make one statement on all electrics being the same then make a statement outlining every other variable that effects sound. Previously, the reason behind the different tones that different woods create has been explained. Wood type only affects the tone and sound of acoustic instruments. Logic goes: Acoustically – Yes, everything on the guitar affects the tone, because the tone comes from strings resonating the wood, and the vibrating wood (The whole guitar actually) is causing the amplified sound. Sorry but not all guitar players are so stuck up on grammer…. Stop buying stuff blind online, go to a sawmill or timber importers with a tuning frork and spend a few hours comparing blanks. I am of course a beginner and I am having trouble understanding the science of how the wood of a guitar's body affects the tone. Its a defect in the wood due to ‘frostbite’, for the lack of a better term. It should always be remembered that no two pieces are the same, there are the general tonal characteristics to these woods. *grammar …and until I see a group of people pick different tone woods out in a “blind” hearing test, i will always thing this argument is ridiculous. Does the type of wood on a solid body electric guitar affect its tone or sound? you all are crazy!!! However, its no less music or art,or genius, if you can express whatever you intend with a broomstick,but your options are likely limited. ♦ Great pickups for your taste. trust me, those same difference you hear with an accoustic are technically there on an electric, they don’t just dissapers. Most of us aren’t wood experts, so what exactly do different woods have to do with the sound of an acoustic guitar? you probably would not understand the difference unless you tried building a few with a few woods… you could not be further off. Active 1 year, 11 months ago. CYBER WEEK SALE: Save 50% on a Monthly Plan. With electric guitars I completely agree. Youâll be well on your way to finding the right guitar for you. Plus most people adjust the sound though electronics which standardizes the tone. Having a korina body and korina top will give you a great, fat tone with more bite than one would expect from a mahogany body. According to many musicians, in order to have the best sound possible, an acoustic guitar has to be made from the "right" type of wood. That shows disdain for the reader and contempt for his own writing. Sorry. Do notes last long enough for the timber to affect the timbre? You may be able to tell the difference between your two guitars, but I would bet I could play you a dozen mahogany guitars and maple ones in a blind test and you would not know which was which, because I would pick the maples that sounded full, and the mahogany’s that were bright. I. Listen to the sound of two Les Pauls with the same pickups in this video. BACK TO INDEX . A thicker piece, like a Les Paul Junior, has a thicker, chunkier, meatier tone with softer highs and more push in the lower mids. My grandson and I invited store staff and customers into the room one at a time with their backs to us and played the less expensive guitar and then the big buckaroo. No one has been willing to pay for the test, so it remains a theory. The question is simple, does wood make a difference in the tone of an electric guitar? Then, put a couple seymour duncan to a broom and the result will be the same as if you have a Gibson LP…. John I tend to disagree with people that talk like you. Acoustic a definite yes. I have a great opportunity to get some incredible cherry, but won’t waste my money if is not well suited for an electric guitar. Basically, the tone of the electric guitar is dependant on the pickups, pickup position, the bridge and the nut, the material that strums, strumming technique, The wiring, the main output wire, and the amp, the cabinet, and the room. If it were relevant, then the only writing that ever needed to use correct grammar would be writing about grammar. This African wood also goes by the name limba and is available in two versions: white and black. Welcome back to Fundamentals of Guitar Anatomy, my multi-part series examining the ins and outs of your electric guitar.In the last lecture, we talked about body styles, and that knowledge will help you to grasp this one, as we’re going to be talking about the different types of wood used for guitars and their effect. take 10 identical guitars with the same wood and same pickups, do a blindfold test, I can tell you which guitar sounds better. We took a $200 acoustic into the room where they keep the $2 to $3000 Martins, Taylors, and Gibsons. Electrified a tonally dead guitar will still work but will tend to be ‘hard playing’ or just sound flatter and less complex. Instead, it has all of that, although to a lesser degree. The purple is its natural color but it will change to a brownish hue over time under the influence of air and light. But seeing “whether” spelled “wether” tells me the writer cannot be bothered with a spell checker. Acoustically – Yes, everything on the guitar affects the tone, because the tone comes from strings resonating the wood, and the vibrating wood (The whole guitar actually) is causing the amplified sound. Generally, heavier woods like mahogany resonate differently than a medium-bodied wood like alder and a lighter wood like basswood. It means different things to different people. Either you love it instantly or you won’t like it at all. Rickenbacker uses this wood for their fingerboards. I am really waiting till someone makes a real lab test, comparing tones blindly with sound software or something… I really want this myth to be confirmed or denied, because I really want to know for sure. As a neck, korina is much like mahogany too. Entire books can be written about woods, this is just supposed to be an overview. I have strangers come in and they can tell the difference….sorry, it’s true. To what degree each factor alters the tone varies. And you are sure to find a different grade wood on a $3,000 custom shop than you are on a $300 stock. Who decides what sounds better? Mahogany is a tonewood that produces a punchy growl with excellent sustain, generally favoured for punchy rock music. Is it better or worse than basswood used in cheapies also. Try to make a blind test and I am not certain, but pretty sure you will screw up badly. The strings might not directly touch the wood, but the energy from a strummed string is transferred from the bridge and nut into the body and neck, creating frequencies that move through that wood. Do you really think the last 500 years of guitar making with exotic wood was bullshit?? Electric guitar neck woods. Maple is "brighter"; mahogany is "darker". Santa Barbara, California. In this paper two differing wood types are studied, ash and alder, and a method are investigated to determine their tonal spectrums. Considered by some to be the holy grail of neck woods, Pau ferro feels slick, speedy, fast. It won’t be fat or juicy, but it does have a lot of bite, scream and presence. The answer is that it does. It may or may not be that the wood colors the vibration of the strings, but the effect is so small it’s insignificant. The tone is similar to maple but with more chunky mids. The most accurate answer would start by saying that the difference is most noticeable when the guitar is plugged into the amp directly, without sound effects of any kind. Anyone who doesn’t believe that wood dictates the resonance and length of time (sustain) that the strings vibrate on an electric guitar is either tone deaf or completely ignorant. The wood is about as hard as maple but has a bit more oil in it than maple, making the tone a bit warmer. The last paragraph said it all. And please, please, have your article reviewed by a professional writer. right! Looking for a beginner guitar? Warm but not muddy with great sustain. Build a few guitars then you will realize just how stupid a statement that is. Electric guitar neck woods. My guess is: ♦ Locking tuners ♦ A good bridge (Tune-o-matics are crap, because the strings lay on small blades and they snap a lot, also small surface area is bad for sustain) ♦ A metal nut, best if it also locks. Our interactive gear guide, FindYour.Fender.com, matches you with the perfect model by learning about your sound & style. Many players ask: shouldn’t a solidbody electric guitar be immune to the acoustical properties of its materials? Were the tops from the same tree? You’re right that 2 guitars is not a large enough sample size at all. Korina makes for a great substitution of mahogany, not to mention its great looks. Those who don’t believe wood affects a guitar’s tone point to the physics of how an electric guitar works. In fact, most guitarists would agree that it is an important one. An acoustic guitar requires vibration and echo to produce sound. Just to confuse things some “hardwoods (like Balsa and Obeche) are very soft, while some “softwoods” like Pitch pine are quite hard. pickups and hardware are for fine tuning. Sign Up His impact on the sound of the guitar and the electric bass is noticeably greater than that of the wood of the body itself. A thicker piece, like a Les Paul Junior, has a thicker, chunkier, meatier tone with softer highs and more push in the lower mids. A non subjective test must be made to make sure. As a neck you get the tone of maple but with howl. YES!!!!! on tgp: yes, only the most expensive, rarist finger board wood will give you good tone. Analysis of the data shows that in an electric guitar the body wood type does not contribute significantly to the sound of the amplified instrument. One can argue true artistry is the successful pleasurable combination of these subtleties that create true genius and unique music. A high-cut piece of hard ash might be closer to the sound you’re looking for than a lower cut of swamp ash. Basswood is a wood that’s being used predominantly on ‘metal’ guitars. This fast growing wood produces relatively soft timber with long grains. The grammar in this article, which is not a piece of guitar playing but a piece of writing, is bad. So make a guitar body out of crap and play it so we can all listen how it sounds… If you really can’t hear any difference, change instrument… Learn the flute. Otherwise, I’ll go with walnut as I can get some great walnut from the same supplier. The mids are quite pushed though, and will give your tone a howling, singing quality to it. Electric guitars have been made out of plastics, stone, plywood etc and that didn’t stop them from sounding great. It’s like an exaggeration of a rosewood fingerboard. Check this, please: http://youtu.be/ryzie8mham8. I can be brief on this wood. Tonewood is a dense specialty wood coveted for it's tonal resonance and ability to reverberate. The sound is caused by the vibration of strings through the magnetic field emanating from a guitarâs pickups. In my experience, what Orpheo has said is pretty accurate, and as he mentions are general rules for species. Tonally korina is very similar to mahogany, with a bit more upper mids and presence. Try a quality hand made electric guitar and plug into a clean Jazz amp like a ploytone, you’ll hear all the tonal differences in the wood. The wood species contributes less than scale length and the electronics. I disagree on your point that an electric guitars wood doesn’t have an effect on sound resonance. Been playing for 50 years. Maybe guitarists are not hung up on grammar. This is by no means a complete picture nor should this be regarded as such. If the guitar is tonally dead unamplified, its electrified tone will mirror that inadequacy. Neck's wood has a strong influence in the guitar tone. Props to Mr. Catherwood. So why would tonewood make any difference if there are noticeable differences within just one species. There a many different grades of Maple, Mahogany, etc etc. Rosewood is most often used as fingerboards because of its durable nature and sweet, warm tone. The short answer is yes, different wood species have distinguishable sound characteristics, influencing the tone of an electric guitar. That makes it a perfect template for your own sound. The reason wood affects the tone of the guitar is because the wood responds to the vibration of the strings. they sound different to everyone who plays them…. What is wrong with you people? I don’t know what tone you want, i am just saying there is a difference. While its very true that the air and wood molecules will vibrate differently, your pickups are not really going to capture and amplify any of that; it’s only of the metal strings. 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