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TokaiL Electric Guitars

Author Topic: Tone Woods  (Read 1874 times)

Offline davidj

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Tone Woods
« on: April 24, 2015, 10:38:39 AM »
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  • For an acoustic guitar, choice of wood must have a significant effect on tone.

    But for an electric?  Surely the effect is tiny compared to other factors:

    Construction (bolt-on vs glue-in vs straight-through neck)
    Scale length - 24", 25.5" etc
    Stringing method - through the body, t-o-m bridge, wrap around
    choice of pick-ups and their location
    AMP
    Speaker
    FX
    Settings
    etc
    etc

    Vintage fenders are highly sought after, but dear old Leo wasn't overly concerned with choice of wood or construction method.  He chose wood that was available and a construction method that meant his guitars could be mass-produced by relatively un-skilled people.  No one ever says that an early Fender sounds bad because it isn't made from something exotic do they?

    Thoughts folks?


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    Offline Daniel T

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    Re: Tone Woods
    « Reply #1 on: April 24, 2015, 07:36:37 PM »
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  • Thoughts folks?

    Just out of interest... does that logic extend to having a guitar body made of MDF or perspex? Can they be as good? I certainly don't think I would play as well with my right arm resting on a plastic guitar body.

    Come to think of it though I do remember a lecture by Trev Wilkinson about how very few of the electric guitar "tonewoods",. ash and alder and the like, were though of as any such thing. Leastways, not until Mr. Fender had put them into a guitar.

    Of course, if tonewood doesn't matter then the maple cap on a Les Paul is just a big waste of good money and I'm "right" to own an SG instead.  >:D
    I like to spell peddant with two Ds. That always annoys them.

    Offline davidj

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    Re: Tone Woods
    « Reply #2 on: April 24, 2015, 08:05:36 PM »
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  • Hmmm.  I did worry a bit about the maple cap question. 

    Also, I don't think a guitar made out of any old thing would sound too great.   

    Ok - someone please explain why a les Paul sounds so different to an SG?  Can't be anything to do with a bit of maple can it?
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    Offline Daniel T

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    Re: Tone Woods
    « Reply #3 on: April 30, 2015, 08:31:02 AM »
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  • You mean why guitars with similar scale length, p/up siting and p/up winding sound different? The placebo effect? (this thread was flame bait, right).

    Les Paul is typically heavy and with a stiff maple cap while an SG is much lighter with an softer, almost flimsy, all mahogany body. In the end this should mean the bridge on a Les Paul has more resisting its movement than an SG so it will reflect energy back in the string in a different way.

    You think the stiffness of the body will also impact the movement of the next? SGs hardly need bigsby's since you can just push on the neck...
    I like to spell peddant with two Ds. That always annoys them.

    Offline davidj

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    Re: Tone Woods
    « Reply #4 on: April 30, 2015, 04:24:08 PM »
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  • Not really "flame bait" because this isn't that kind of forum and I'm not the argumentative type!

    I am only semi-serious though, as you have spotted and I posted this and a couple of other things in response to the observation that it's quiet round these parts.

    I have a Les Paul and an SG special and as you say, the LP is much heavier and feels more rigid although the layout of the guitars is much the same.  They are chalk and cheese to play though even unplugged (the pickups are different).

    Assuming the differences are down to weight and rigidity, the fact that the woods involved happen to be mahogony and maple could be irrelevent?  Disregarding placebo effects - I am highly susceptible to these otherwise I wouldn't take Hayfever remedies!

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    Johnny-English

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    Re: Tone Woods
    « Reply #5 on: April 30, 2015, 10:40:49 PM »
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  • It was just a bit of banter/ fun post to get get things going after a quiet forum , tone wood discussions and solid electric
     guitars can open up a hornets nest in discussions , there are some fantastic argument on YouTube amongst the so called experts ,guitar makers and nay Sayers ,well worth a look .


    We are a strange lot as guitarist , even ones who buy a high end guitar then change pickups / bridge and pots in the Qwest for the lusted after tone .

    When a cheaper way could of been a change of string manufacture or even the humble pick 😀😇

    Guitar tone is a never ending story ,and that is the magnet that drives us ... no pun on the magnets 😸

    Offline Daniel T

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    Re: Tone Woods
    « Reply #6 on: May 01, 2015, 09:34:39 AM »
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  • Not really "flame bait" because this isn't that kind of forum and I'm not the argumentative type!

    Fair point. I really did mean flame bait like "discussion starter" rather than like trolling.

    Quote
    I am only semi-serious though, as you have spotted and I posted this and a couple of other things in response to the observation that it's quiet round these parts.

    I have a Les Paul and an SG special and as you say, the LP is much heavier and feels more rigid although the layout of the guitars is much the same.  They are chalk and cheese to play though even unplugged (the pickups are different).

    Assuming the differences are down to weight and rigidity, the fact that the woods involved happen to be mahogony and maple could be irrelevent?  Disregarding placebo effects - I am highly susceptible to these otherwise I wouldn't take Hayfever remedies!

    I've no idea where you look up the stiffness of woods but I thought maple was especially stiff. Maybe I've been reading too much Gibson propaganda. Just imagine a balsawood cap ... and doesn't a rubberwood guitar just sound cool. That must sound different otherwise there is just something wrong with the world.

    ... and, as a fellow sufferer, I love the idea of hayfever remedys being proof of the efficacy of the placebo effect.




    [/quote]
    I like to spell peddant with two Ds. That always annoys them.

    Johnny-English

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    Re: Tone Woods
    « Reply #7 on: May 01, 2015, 06:24:38 PM »
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  • Nice post Daniel ....... Rubber guitar , ummm , now that could be the end to broken head stocks on Gibsons 😃





    Could be on to a winner with that 😎

    Offline davidj

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    Re: Tone Woods
    « Reply #8 on: May 01, 2015, 06:39:52 PM »
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  •  :)
    I'm back - am I the same person or just a clone of myself?

     

    Interest free Finance on guitars, guitar amps and musical instruments