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Need some advice on body wood please...

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by Nick-O, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. Nick-O

    Nick-O Strat-O-Master

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    I am looking at these 4 choices....

    Clear pine
    Poplar
    Alder
    Basswood

    Curious what would be best for good resonance on another build? My most recent tele is pine and it is light and sounds very nice so far, still honeymooning though. I usually point towards ash on strats, but I am honestly open to suggestions. Many thanks!
     
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  2. Guy Named Sue

    Guy Named Sue I don't seem able to get it straight in my mind... Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Resonance.. Building an acoustic?
     
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  3. Nick-O

    Nick-O Strat-O-Master

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    No, another electric. I just notice some woods 'vibrate' acoustically...always inspires to plug in.
     
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  4. Bowmap

    Bowmap I nose a thang or two. Gold Member

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    Clear finish or painted?
     
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  5. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Which one looks most aesthetically resonant?

    The wood is there to hold the other bits the right distances apart, I'd be more worried about how it holds screws.
     
  6. Guy Named Sue

    Guy Named Sue I don't seem able to get it straight in my mind... Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Screw that, forget about all that and throw it out of the window. Pick something that isn't too heavy and is easy to work with the type of finish you'd like.

    What's the first thing you think about when you pick up a new and great guitar? Because it ain't resonance for me. For me it's;

    - That great neck profile that makes it effortless to play
    - The sound of those pickups that let's me be innovative and inspired to play.
    - The shape and weight of the body that feels comfortable both when sitting and standing up.

    And then the look of it, perhaps looks should be further up as it's what brings me to pick it up to begin with, it catches my eyes. But if all those other things are great, I can live with a not so good looking guitar.
     
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  7. Nick-O

    Nick-O Strat-O-Master

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    It will be stained if the grain is something to behold. I have a roasted neck for it...and that is where I usually select guitar from, the neck. Just in this case, I have some choices on the body. Like I said, I am digging this 3.5 lbs tele body....just thought I would listen to some opinions. :)
     
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  8. jayoldschool

    jayoldschool Mod Admin Staff Member

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    Cross off basswood, then.
     
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  9. ido1957

    ido1957 Senior Stratmaster

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    It's all about weight for me. So whatever wood is the lightest is my choice. I can get the tone I need out of the amp/pedals/pickups/fingers.
     
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  10. amstratnut

    amstratnut Peace thru Music. Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I like alder.
     
  11. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Senior Stratmaster

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    Out of those choices.... alder
     
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  12. tschucha

    tschucha Strat-Talker

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    I'd definitely go with alder.
     
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  13. Smokey3

    Smokey3 Strat-Talker

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    I was actually reading a article about this and they claim they have proved that the wood you choose doesn't affect the tone at all .Then some argue that since the vibration of the strings breaks op the magnetic field of the pickup to produce sound then the wood that the guitar body is made of does make a difference. That's because certain Woods will handle vibration differently. I really don't know myself , I can see both sides of it, but I do know that for me it's all about the neck and pickups.
     
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  14. Guy Named Sue

    Guy Named Sue I don't seem able to get it straight in my mind... Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Going by appearances only now and based on the fact that you want the body stained, I'll rank the best by appearance and grain structure

    Alder
    Pine

    Like Jay says, remove basswood because that's just plain with no visible grain most of the time.

    Poplar is not the best choice for stained body if you ask me, mostly because it's such a hit and miss. It usually has streaks of green, brown and black in it. Depending on the piece that you get and the stain, it can either look good or really horrible.

    That's just my opinion.
     
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  15. Malurkey

    Malurkey Senior Stratmaster

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    When I was looking at buying my first electric guitar I made a list of features of what I perceived to be the perfect guitar for me. I bit down hard on the whole tone wood thing and decided mahogany would suit my taste best.

    Nowadays I’m no longer sure how big the effect of the wood is on tone or sustain. I can testify however, that out of my very limited sample of electric guitars the one with the mahogany body keeps ringing the longest if a string is plucked whilst not plugged in.
     
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  16. Nick-O

    Nick-O Strat-O-Master

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    Well, overwhelming majority is alder. I know there is a chance of decent grain for staining, although as mentioned clear pine can be decent as well. Many thanks to you all!
     
  17. dirocyn

    dirocyn Senior Stratmaster

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    Lighter weight woods resonate more easily with lighter strings, while heavier bodies may not resonate until you get some heavier strings on them. Heavier bodies may have more sustain. Harder woods may have more attack (sometimes perceived as brightness) and softer woods may have less.

    But it's all marginal. The sound really comes from the strings, the wood effects it a little around the edges. It's very difficult to hear a difference between poplar and basswood (both of which are very soft) just as it's difficult to hear a difference between alder and mahogany. There are a lot of different kinds of pine with a lot of different properties--some are quite hard and some are quite soft.

    Of these, Alder is the one Leo picked--but he picked it because it was cheaper than ash (which he was using before, and continued using for transparent finishes) and still easy to work with. Alder would be the traditional choice. Other companies choose mahogany, also a very nice wood--clean grained, comes in large trees so it makes large clean boards, and easy to work with.

    I personally would prefer ash to alder, mostly because I think the grain is prettier, but also because it's a little harder and often not any heavier, and easier for me to source locally.
     
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  18. sjtalon

    sjtalon Senior Stratmaster

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    It's an ELECTRIC geetar......................get whatever looks best to YOU.
     
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  19. fezz parka

    fezz parka Making a record.... Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I have three pine Teles. Here's two of them:

    156240-9d0f9065487630f9784907f435318f36.jpg

    Here's the third:

    313420-015370480c4e745e431b15c4fee3d463.jpg

    These are the most resonant Teles I've ever owned. The strings stay moving on these. The overtones on individual strings just jump.

    They also have big honkin' D shape necks too.

    So...pine.
     
  20. EAllen

    EAllen Strat-Talker

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    The most resonate wood is the one with good hardware and pickups all setup well. Other than that, get what you like the look of best.

    Eric
     
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