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The importance of the wood?

Discussion in 'Non-Fender S-Type Guitar Forum' started by cappei, Nov 25, 2017.

  1. knh555

    knh555 Senior Stratmaster

    Dec 6, 2016
    Danelectros have masonite bodies. Those guitars certainly get some love from certain quarters.
  2. Silverman

    Silverman Strat-Talker

    Feb 28, 2016
    huh, uh, huh, huh huh, huh.... Wood....... Huh huh, huh huh , huh huh.
    RobZ69, Yaralag and Dan_Q like this.
  3. Paperback Rocker

    Paperback Rocker Nitro-mancer Strat-Talk Supporter

    Sep 18, 2014
    Lewisville, TX
    Plastic guitars with wooden necks . . . makes no sense.
  4. Cryptical11

    Cryptical11 Strat-Talk Member

    Mar 26, 2017
    Memphis, TN
    It’s subjective but my guitar I’ve had for 30 years has mellowed in sound subtly but right where it needed.

    Someone else tried to look at it from a scientific perspective:

    “Researchers in England say that laboratory tests conducted on wood commonly used to make violins supports age-old claims by musicians that the regular playing of a stringed instrument improves its tone.

    Dr. David G. Hunt of the School of Engineering Systems and Design at South Bank University in London says his studies with pieces of spruce show that continuous forced vibrations similar to those experienced with regular use of a musical instrument changes the nature of the wood.

    In a letter published in the current issue of the journal Nature, Dr. Hunt and a graduate student, Emmanuel Balsan, said that wood vibrated in conditions of high humidity increased in stiffness and saw a decrease in dampening coefficient, a measure of cycles of vibrations emanating from the material. Both factors are known to help provide more pleasant tones in spruce, mature pine and other woods used in instrument sounding boards, experts say.”
    Yaralag likes this.
  5. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Apr 21, 2010
    London, UK
    You're talking about acoustic instruments there - but we are talking about solid bodied electric guitars, which were specifically designed to eliminate the very factors (resonance etc.) that you are describing. It's a total non-sequitur to assume that factors that affect a Strad will equally affect a Strat.

    With the greatest of respect, Graham Chapman's explanation of "woody" in the Monty Python sketch I posted makes just as much sense!
    Thrup'ny Bit likes this.
  6. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 21, 2010
    Sheffield, UK
    I always ask myself "Who is funding the university reseach?" before taking the findings with a pinch of salt...
  7. Vjerilood

    Vjerilood Senior Stratmaster

    Jul 30, 2017
    ...and were other researchers able to get the same results?
  8. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh needs you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too. Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 10, 2014
    Initech, Inc.
    Those effects aren’t eliminated in an electric though, just minimized.
    Yaralag likes this.
  9. strat_strummer

    strat_strummer Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    I would play a broom stick as long as it has a truss rod and strings. The kind of wood the guitar is made out or has never bothered me either way.
    Thrup'ny Bit likes this.
  10. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 21, 2010
    Sheffield, UK
    The truss rod would be optional... :D
    strat_strummer likes this.
  11. strat_strummer

    strat_strummer Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    LOL sadly I live in a small town with two signal lights so broom stick selection in this town is minimal. Therefore a truss rod is mandatory. I tried a aluminum broom stick one time and the sustain was terrible. :eek:
    Will Lefeurve and Thrup'ny Bit like this.
  12. Nate D

    Nate D Senior Stratmaster

    Apr 2, 2016
    Philly, PA
    I see what you did here...
    Thrup'ny Bit likes this.
  13. dirocyn

    dirocyn Strat-O-Master

    Jan 20, 2018
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Eric Clapton playing Little Wing on a late 60s strat through a Marshall sounds radically different from Jimi Hendrix playing Little Wing on a late 60s strat through a Marshall. I think they might have both been using Vox wahs, too.

    How you play is definitely part of how your tone sounds, but there's also how you twist all those knobs on the amp and on the guitar and on all that recording equipment. Of course, they had different set up; Jimi was playing a strat strung lefty and turned upside down. But the biggest difference is that ultimately, Jimi and Eric had different tonal goals: the sounds they wanted to get on tape were not the same.

    That said, Eric Clapton sounds different on an SG than Eric Clapton on a Strat. And radically different from Eric Clapton on an acoustic. If you want to get tone like EC Unplugged--don't reach for a Strat or an SG, it's not gonna work. If you want to sound like Disraeli Gears or Layla, don't reach for a Martin 000-42. Differences in the guitar itself make real (and sometimes large) differences in tone, even if the player is the same.

    The wood in the body of a solidbody electric probably has less effect on tone than string gauge, neck thickness, the size & weight of the headstock, the choice of pickups, the resistance of the pots, pickup height, the value of the tone cap, the position of the tone knob. But it still has an effect: it doesn't take "special ears" or corksniffery to tell there's a difference between a solid body guitar and a hollow body. Think Les Paul vs. ES-335. While more of the tone resides in the neck, strings, headstock, and pickups--the body of a guitar is not "just" a plank to hold the other bits together. It's part of the whole package, and it makes a difference that some people can hear. Sometimes I can even hear a difference from the wood even across Youtube compression & laptop speakers. If your goal is to sound like somebody who was playing an Alder strat, then maybe an Alder strat will put you just a little closer to getting that same tone.

    But also, your hero was not a guitar god when he fell out of the womb. He had to learn how to play like that. He had to practice. You think you're better than him, that you can play that way without practicing?
  14. smithstrato

    smithstrato Senior Stratmaster

    Aug 25, 2013
    Para Para
    I will just say No , the wood is not detrimental to tone.
  15. Uncle Fiesta

    Uncle Fiesta Senior Stratmaster

    Sorry if I've posted this before, but I used to have two Epiphone Casinos. They were only a year apart and identical, except one was sunburst with a trapeze tailpiece and the other natural with a Bigsby. The sunburst one was loud and vibrant, and the natural one pretty dead.

    Until you plugged them both in. Not a haporth of difference in the amplified sound.
  16. T Guitar Floyd

    T Guitar Floyd Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 27, 2014
    Who are you addressing, here? You know this is an old zombie thread (thinly veiled tonewood debate that always seems to get folks riled up). :eek: