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The importance of the wood?

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

  1. cappei

    cappei Strat-O-Master

    Jun 24, 2017
    Quillota, Valparaíso, Chile
    So, guitar are mostly made of wood. How importante is that?, I mean, can you get a good body of solid wood and work your way up?

    had a 94 les paul and worked just fine. Let's say a pacifica of alder, a korean 1:1 affinity of solid alder ... how better can it get if you change every cheap part it has ... how much importance does the wood have?

    What does it means cheap guitar? wood, just components?

    Im wondering since I've been buyin a couple yamahas for their solid body to upgrade their hardware, since, despite of been from taiwan, they got excellent quality controls and solid bodys

    what are your thougths on this matter, since I've seen a lot of parts-caster in this forum

  2. Cerb

    Cerb Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 22, 2016
    A guitar is the sum of its parts. There are no good or bad parts only parts that go well together or parts that don't. All in my opinion of course.
    muso.greg likes this.

  3. Thin69

    Thin69 Strat-Talker

    Nov 16, 2009
    Galveston, TX
    It matters so much more in an acoustic guitar. In an electric I don't think it matters near as much as the pickups. The only problem with upgrading an electric guitar it is likely not to increase the value or decrease the value of the guitar. Everyone seems to like all original. Of course that hasn't stopped me, lol.

  4. henderman

    henderman Most Honored Senior Member

    Dec 4, 2013
    You could build yourself a great guitar from an inexpensive body no problem.

    It does not have to be a particular wood or from a certain name brand, it just has to work.

  5. papergoblin

    papergoblin Strat-Talker

    Sep 21, 2017
    Look up Fender cardboard guitar.

    In an electric the player, amp, pedals and pup's matter more than wood. Acoustic guitars is where type and placement of wood matter.

    Only thing different woods can do, is last longer. Some woods are harder than others, which means they can handle more abuse. In an electric, I'm more worried about the wood used and how it is used in the neck, than the body.
    Dick Blackmore likes this.

  6. Guy Named Sue

    Guy Named Sue Beer me up Scotty Strat-Talk Supporter

    Feb 11, 2015
    Terra Incognito
    To me the most important part of a guitar is the neck, it's essential to me that it has the right profile and shape, radius and fretwork and built well. If that's all set I'm good to go, I know a lot of basic models usually have basswood but a lot of high end Ibanez and Jackson guitars are made with basswood and they fetch high prices.

    To me how it's built it's more important than what was used to build it.
    Dick Blackmore, cappei, Cerb and 2 others like this.

  7. albala

    albala Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 10, 2012
    stamford, CT
    as long as I feel comfortable with a neck, I can deal with anything.

  8. nederemer

    nederemer Strat-O-Master

    Oct 25, 2017
    Somerset, Kentucky, USA.
    Most John Petrucci music man guitars are basswood also. He's one of my personal favorites.
    Tone Guru and Guy Named Sue like this.

  9. nederemer

    nederemer Strat-O-Master

    Oct 25, 2017
    Somerset, Kentucky, USA.
    The deal is wood matters to a certain extent between say a squire and an American strat in that you'll likely be getting a multi piece body in a squire of maybe 3 pieces. Typically you'l have at most 2 on an American and possibly one solid. If th t doesn't matter to you then by all means do whatever.

    I personally like ash because of the grain it looks most appealing to me and all of my guitars are transparently finished so you can see the beauty.
    rauchman, skypeace and Nate D like this.

  10. RichieS

    RichieS Strat-Talker

    Sep 1, 2016
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Guitars (or any musical instrument) are a very personal thing. One person can thing one Strat is the most beautiful, perfect instrument in the world. Another may think that same Strat sounds awful and plays horribly. It’s hard to measure what makes a guitar special to its players. If you like certain pickup and you like the way it sounds, you should buy it if you can. If a certain piece of wood sounds good to you, buy it. But I don’t think anyone can tell you exactly how important the wood is to the guitar- but once you plug it in and play it, you’ll if it’s the guitar for you.

  11. rolandson

    rolandson Most Honored Senior Member

    Wood is aesthetically pleasing. Wood matters because it came from something alive. Perhaps it touches a part of us on an existential level that defies logic.

    I can make an instrument out of lexan or aluminum but I doubt I could ever bond with it.

    However, it also contributes greatly to tone and timbre. I too once belived that with electrics, the electronics were all that mattered. I was quite mistaken. If ever the opportunity presents itself, try moving a set of pickups between bodies of different wood and listening for one's self. Depending on the woods, it's quite amazing.
    skypeace and Bladesg like this.

  12. Ebidis

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

    Nov 14, 2013

  13. felis

    felis Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 27, 2013
    To me (when strapped around my shoulder), the weight.
    Tone Guru and ryunker like this.

  14. Vjerilood

    Vjerilood Senior Stratmaster

    Jul 30, 2017
    The wood is just there to hold the pickups.
    npoomviset likes this.

  15. Highway Star

    Highway Star Former Member

    Apr 22, 2016
    Who knows?
    In many cases it is a differens between vintage wood in lets say a 50's guitar and a brand new when you play them acoustically. Does that matter? It's up to the player to decide.

    It is a differens in tone between maple, rosewood, ebony fretboards or if the guitar has ash or alder body or a maple top etc. Does it matter? It's up to the player to decide.

  16. Cesspit

    Cesspit Strat-Talker

    Sep 4, 2016
    Oxford England
    Been here before. As people have said, it's the sum of the parts reacting together. Any sound differences will be very small until you factor in pick ups and amps though resonance and sustain improvements can be detected. How you play is also a big factor.
    skypeace likes this.

  17. balston11

    balston11 Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 8, 2013
    Preston UK
    Don't judge all cheap guitars by Pacificas they are extremely well made guitars for the money. A very good musician I know swore that he got his best guitars by buying second hand Pacifica 112s for around £50 to £80 and adding DiMarzio pickups
    cappei likes this.

  18. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 21, 2010
    Sheffield, UK
    If the wood holds the other parts in the positions they're supposed to be in it's doing the job. Anything else is a bonus. The best suited and most stable wood for this purpose is of course, high grade plywood.
    skypeace likes this.

  19. slash1814

    slash1814 Strat-Talker

    Oct 1, 2017
    Rather than caring about 'with what its built or where its built', we should care about 'How its built'.
    cappei, rolandson and Ebidis like this.

  20. tim gueguen

    tim gueguen Strat-Talker

    Sep 3, 2015
    It's worth remembering Leo Fender used ash, alder, and maple because those woods were readily available.
    skypeace and Nate D like this.