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Thoughts on tone woods??

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by dansbrother, May 17, 2018.

Should I change to an Ash Body?

  1. Yes

    12 vote(s)
  2. No

    32 vote(s)
  1. dansbrother

    dansbrother Strat-Talk Member

    Jul 23, 2015
    I've recently got back into playing the first strat I ever bought- it's one of the MIJ fotoflame strats- 1995. It has a 54 style maple neck- no fake flames on the neck- just on the body - it's a black/green sunburst. I LOVE that neck- it's a fat C, 7.25 radius and has some lovely wear now (I bought it new). I'm pretty sure the body is basswood. Now, I like the way the guitar sounds- it's pretty resonant, and seemingly 'sparklier' and kinda 'springier' (for want of a better word) than my alder bodied strat- but I am vain enough (and old enough) to no longer appreciate the fake flamed finish on the body (as such I don't gig it). I've upgraded p'ups, pots, trem block and springs and now I'm considering a replacement aged tobacco burst, ash 2 piece body from Fraser Guitars here in the UK to go with the neck I love. I know I can always put the thing back together at a later date, but do you guys think I should do this? ie- pull apart the guitar I saved up for as a teenager in order to make it tick more boxes now that I'm older?! (in terms of tone woods/finish etc) Do you think an ash body will make it sound better?

    Here's some pics...
    My Strat...
    My neck...
    Fraser 50's S type:
    martincaster and T Guitar Floyd like this.
  2. Guy Named Sue

    Guy Named Sue Beer me up Scotty Strat-Talk Supporter

    Feb 11, 2015
    Terra Incognito
  3. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Squier-A-Holic Strat-Talk Supporter

    Apr 19, 2014
    Windsor, Ontario, Canada
    In all honesty, I find wood species on an electric guitar hardly matters. Your alder bodied Strat probably has other things going on that affect the tone like different pickups, neck thickness, composition of the metal of the bridge/block, etc.....

    The foto flame looks great! I don't know why you're not a fan....if you take it apart you will destroy much of the original value of that Fender Japan guitar.....
  4. Will Lefeurve

    Will Lefeurve Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 1, 2016
    England & France
    Why not just get another guitar.. ?

    The tonewood thing is just well manured internet bullsh1te. The basswood body on your MIJ is the mate to the neck you love so much. No Ash or Alder interloper is going to make a note's worth of notable difference to your tone.

    If you're fed up with the photo-flame why not invest in a good spray job. A solid colour. I had a Sunburst AM Standard that I didn't care much for.. sprayed it turquoise, and now the things never out of my hands..
  5. amstratnut

    amstratnut Peace thru Music. Strat-Talk Supporter

    Dec 1, 2009
    My house.
    No one can say if a new body will make your strat sound better.

    I had an ash body and swapped for an import (alder I assume) and it does sound better. But, better is subjective and wood is all different. You just never know.

    Id say keep what you have. That said, if you really dont like it and cant live with it, then roll the dice.

    Let us all know.:)
    Will Lefeurve likes this.
  6. Yves

    Yves Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 2, 2016
    sssstratsss, Ruscio and Will Lefeurve like this.
  7. Black Strat Guy

    Black Strat Guy Strat-Talker

    Mar 27, 2018

    With a different body, no matter of what wood, you'll never know exactly how it's going to sound like until you out everything back together, set it up, string it and play it.

    Why not strip the finish off and refinish it in a color (and finish type) that you fancy...? Of course as long as you're not bothered by it's hypothetical "resale value" loss...
    Speaking for my self, i never do, all i care is how the guitar sounds and looks to me, and doing whatever i need to do to make it so...
    Will Lefeurve likes this.
  8. mabley123

    mabley123 Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 21, 2010
    If it aint broke, don't fix it.

    Just save and get another guitar with an Ash Body, and get another neck like the 1 you have.

    If the guitar intonates properly, and stays in tune. Leave it be.
  9. Grux

    Grux Strat-Talker

    May 17, 2018
    Clarksville, TN
    Tone wood to me is just a well marketed term that got people to debate something really insignificant, and to sell more guitars at a higher price point.

    Same goes for "hand wound" pickups. I've never known of anyone winding 10,000 plus turns of very thin copper wire around a bobbin by hand. If they have, it took a LONG time and wouldn't be practical to make any profit. "Hand guided" is the proper term, but that doesn't make those pickups anymore special to me than a machine that is more consistent.
    Elvie, Ruscio, ido1957 and 2 others like this.
  10. Dick Blackmore

    Dick Blackmore Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 10, 2017
    San Diego
    It depends...

    if you play outdoors a lot and the sun is shining then Alder sounds better.


    If you play a lot of smoky honky tonks and dive bars then Ash sounds better.

    Everybody knows basswood is for shredders
  11. Will Lefeurve

    Will Lefeurve Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 1, 2016
    England & France
    What about walnut... that's just for nutters.. ;):whistling:
    Yves, Ebidis and Dick Blackmore like this.
  12. albala

    albala Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 10, 2012
    stamford, CT
    Tone Loc says leave your guitar alone and build/buy another one

    Will Lefeurve likes this.
  13. tery

    tery Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jul 31, 2014
    You are chasing the rainbow :)
    Textele likes this.
  14. ChukkerNation

    ChukkerNation Senior Stratmaster

    Apr 9, 2015
    I third fourth or fifth or whatever one I am for you to just go with another guitar. Either sell or keep this one and I would go with the "build your own" crowd. You definitely have the modding bug.
  15. T Guitar Floyd

    T Guitar Floyd Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 27, 2014
    Since we're sliding down the old "tonewood" rabbit hole, I say, get that relic ash body and see. It would have to look way better. Just my opinion, but flame maple just looks wrong on a Strat body. :)
  16. jvin248

    jvin248 Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 10, 2014

    Be more concerned with where the volume pot falls within it's tolerance band than the type of body wood you are using. Pots have an industry acceptable tolerance range of 20% and they can make your guitar bright or dark all on their own. You'd be upset if one body were 20% thicker/thinner than another 'identical' guitar.

    Grux likes this.
  17. smithstrato

    smithstrato Senior Stratmaster

    Aug 25, 2013
    Para Para
    Kinda like changing chocolate ice cream to strawberry.. Enjoy each flavor for what they are. Then try pistachio.
    Elvie likes this.
  18. Black Strat Guy

    Black Strat Guy Strat-Talker

    Mar 27, 2018
    Honestly, if you love the neck and really want to use it, and don't want to mod the original body, by all means get the new body ad transfer everything to it. If you don't like how it sounds you can always return to where you where and sell the other body.

    To me it makes no sense to buy another guitar and sell this one or put it assure when you obviously love the neck and electronics and want to use it, but just don't like the body color, but that's just me...
    maqcatt likes this.
  19. AlexJCRandall

    AlexJCRandall Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 11, 2012
    I have a whole range of strats covering a lot of wood variants. None of them sound like anything else but a strat.....even though each of them make the pickups that have been rotated through them sound a bit different.

    The thing you most like about the guitar is its tone.....which could well be that particular body, or indeed that body and that neck. Certainly I've had a few guitars where the neck and body only worked well mated to each other.

    Personally I'd work to do a refin if the cosmetics are no longer to your liking - find a local place to finish the body and maybe get them to replicate some of the neck level of patina on the body
  20. Ebidis

    Ebidis Providing the world with flat bends since 1985 Strat-Talk Supporter

    Nov 14, 2013
    Will an ash body make your guitar sound better? Who knows? Define better.

    Chances are if you swap the body, no matter what type of wood, it will sound a bit different, just because it is different. Is that different going to be better? It is subjective, and only you can decide. Your better may be my worse, and vice-versa, but you can't know until you try.