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View Full Version : Is agathis a good tone wood?


jpervin
02-09-2007, 08:41 AM
As far as tone goes, what are the pros and cons of agathis wood guitar bodies?

sosomething
02-09-2007, 08:50 AM
The only pro I'm aware of is that it is cheap, and readily available to Korean, Chinese, and Indonesian factories. YMMV.

laflamme
02-09-2007, 12:36 PM
Agathis is considered in the same family as alder. As the previous poster listed, you don't see any high quality guitars using agathis so I would say it isn't considered a great tone wood. maybe it is good, but so is poplar and basswood.

Good luck and God bless

Rhomco
02-09-2007, 05:02 PM
tell the difference. I have used Agithis bodys right alongside Alder bodies with the same pickups and controls. As far as I can tell it's all good!

Jon Silberman
02-09-2007, 06:55 PM
Had agathis been the readily available wood when Leo got started instead of ash and alder, we'd all be playing agathis axes today and loving them. Some pieces can be quite heavy, though. P.S. LOTS of different species. P.P.S. I have an agathis Ibanez acoustic - it's closer to mahogany than alder in appearance and tone, closer to pine genetically.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/ef/Kauri_Te_Matua_Ngahere.jpg/250px-

Austinrocks
02-10-2007, 04:42 PM
In a strat style guitar the pickguard and routing pattern have more impact on the tone of the guitar than the wood used IMO.

however the mechanical strength of the wood is important and I would avoid soft woods like agathis and basswood, I have a basswood Jap Strat, and the jackplate has come out several times, and when I replaced the pickups the screw holes striped, I had to fill the holes with wood glue and sawdust to hold the screws, and double sided tape is helpful to hold the stuff will the glue dries.

Agathis and bass wood are easy to machine, hard woods like Alder and Mahagony are harder to machine, in a Strat there is a lot of machining involved so a softer wood make life easier for the manufacturer, however the guitars wont hold up as long for the user IMO, which is why you see so many starter guitars made of Agathis and Basswood.

Jon Silberman
02-10-2007, 09:15 PM
It's inexpensive!

pm81
02-10-2007, 09:40 PM
Sounded great to me with an Indonesian Squier Tele

barkingpumpkin
02-11-2007, 12:19 AM
Had agathis been the readily available wood when Leo got started instead of ash and alder, we'd all be playing agathis axes today and loving them. Some pieces can be quite heavy, though. P.S. LOTS of different species. P.P.S. I have an agathis Ibanez acoustic - it's closer to mahogany than alder in appearance and tone, closer to pine genetically.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/ef/Kauri_Te_Matua_Ngahere.jpg/250px-

So Jon, howz it sound in your subjective opinion?

rooster
02-11-2007, 09:06 AM
Number Four -- the Larch.



the Larch.



rooster.

ssss
02-13-2007, 06:32 PM
Is agathis a good tone wood?

Do you like a particular guitarist because of his style/what he's achieved from years of practise of because of the tone wood he's using? ;)

Kind of......hey, tonight I'm going to see an alder player.....:p

I recently played an entry-level Ibanez GSA60 in a store and that guitar sounded as good as any solidbody strat-style guitar I've ever played.

sroux
08-30-2007, 02:55 PM
Number Four -- the Larch.



the Larch.



rooster.

Nice....A Monty Python reference....

And an obscure one to boot!

Martian
08-30-2007, 05:57 PM
Number Four -- the Larch.



the Larch.



rooster.

Outstanding!!!

9fingers
08-30-2007, 08:44 PM
Back to topic (sorry!)- I have a couple of Cort (don't laugh) Matt Murphy sig guitars with agathis bodies that feel & sound really nice.

daddyo
08-30-2007, 10:54 PM
One variety, agathis christi, is a very mysterious wood,

EADGBE
08-31-2007, 05:54 AM
Do you like a particular guitarist because of his style/what he's achieved from years of practise or because of the tone wood he's using? ;)

Kind of......hey, tonight I'm going to see an alder player.....:p

There are a couple of artists that I would love to know what woods their guitars were made from. I would then buy guitars made with those exact same wood combinations. Because they have the ideal tone in my opinion. Oh and I love my favorite artists' technique and style too of course.

Jack Briggs
08-31-2007, 06:53 AM
Agathis = Kauri. I'm finishing up a Kauri guitar and I can say that the particular piece I'm using is one of the most lively and resonant bodies I've ever had hands on.

I should have a tone report in a couple of weeks.

JoeDeCologne
09-11-2007, 03:39 AM
One variety, agathis christi, is a very mysterious wood,

Mysterious it is - especially when used with a Marple neck.

Boogs
09-11-2007, 08:12 AM
ba-dum-pissshhhhh :D

daddyo
09-11-2007, 09:51 AM
"What was the bear doing in your pajamas?"

hick304
11-25-2009, 07:54 AM
agathis christi! LMAO!!!

Quarter
11-25-2009, 08:05 AM
LoL ... the funny is strong in this thread :)

NoahL
11-25-2009, 08:32 AM
One variety, agathis christi, is a very mysterious wood,

Funny. How about a spoof metal band called Agathis? An inside joke for guitar people.

Tone_Terrific
11-25-2009, 09:06 AM
Agathis is rather like mahogany.
My agathis guitar (Tele) has a mahogany-ish look to it but does not hold screws as well, imo. Medium weight, sounds normal to slightly mellow. Not much mystery.

shane88
11-28-2009, 12:46 AM
play the damn thing and if u like it then buy it = wot it's made out of is overshadowed by wot it does 4 u

enjoy

K-Line
11-29-2009, 07:08 AM
I could build with Agathis and no-one would be able to pick it out of a the alder builds. Problem is that they use it on imports so it is a mental thing mostly. Also alder is easier to get!

Mike9
11-29-2009, 02:02 PM
Agathis is a conifer so technically it's related to pine. I've found it to have very good tone properties, but it gets a bad rap because it's local to Asia. If it were a native wood this whole discussion would be moot.

bunny
11-30-2009, 07:03 AM
Rumours are what they call "agathis" in those cheap guitars specs is not really that rare (if not endangered) kauri, but rather "some hardwood" of variuous families and species growing close to where those cheap guitars are made. They call it so because not many people really know anything about it:-)))

Eagle1
11-30-2009, 09:23 AM
Do you like the tone of it?
If you do then it is good "Tonewood," End Of.
Anybody here think mahogany wasn't cheap in the 50's. Alder was pulped or burned ,Rosewood was the cheapest wood that would hold a fret ,shall I go on?.

Boris Bubbanov
11-30-2009, 01:45 PM
As home building has slowed and furniture making has been sourced overseas, all the while American trees are in some places returning to marketable size, there may be a shift back towards ash, alder and perhaps basswood in guitar building, especially in the US.

Agathis is a softwood and thus has some relation to kauri and other South Hemisphere coniferous trees. Do you know those foot tall lush Christmas-y type trees you see at the grocery market, the "Norfolk Island Pines"? Auracarias, such as the "Monkey Puzzle" trees you see in South Florida? Agathis are relatives of these, as opposed to the usual USA pines like Loblollys and Jeffreys and Eastern White Pines.

I'm seeing Auracaria showing up as stock for turning decorative bowls that are showing up more and more at Florida Arts and Crafts fairs. A 50 foot Norfolk Island Pine will blow down or be cut to make way as an old house in Florida is demolished. Some folks find the colored marks left by the radiating branches intriguing but all in all I think these woods look kinda insipid. I like a trans finish on certain 1 piece alder bodies but agathis leaves me cold.

Chris Scott
11-30-2009, 02:00 PM
Number Four -- the Larch.



the Larch.



rooster.


It's not a real Python quote until it gets the Paul C stamp of approval.

(but you already knew this):aok

ctgblue
05-10-2012, 01:22 PM
There are a couple of artists that I would love to know what woods their guitars were made from. I would then buy guitars made with those exact same wood combinations. Because they have the ideal tone in my opinion. Oh and I love my favorite artists' technique and style too of course.

You will be sorely disappointed, the tone is in their FINGERS not the WOOD they use.

So unless you buy the exact guitar, use the exact signal chain, and study how they play, you won't sound like them.

EADGBE
05-11-2012, 10:06 AM
You will be sorely disappointed, the tone is in their FINGERS not the WOOD they use.

So unless you buy the exact guitar, use the exact signal chain, and study how they play, you won't sound like them.
I don't want to sound just like them. I'm talking about the sound the guitar makes regardless of who is playing it. All guitars don't sound alike. If you designed a robot that could play a guitar. And it played the same riff on every guitar you tested it with. The resulting differences would be what we call tone. I'm not talking technique. Which is what all of us guitarists have. How is it you believe that all guitars sound alike? How is it you believe that an all maple guitar would sound exactly like an all mahogany one? How long have you been playing? Not very long probably.

notryt
12-15-2013, 11:40 PM
wood has very little to do with tone. pickups electronics amps and the player are 90% of it... there is little if any difference between alder and agathis accept in the weight alder is lighter. Jackson guitars are agathis, ibanez are basswood and fenders alder... which is better??? schecter uses basswood on their s types and mahogany in the lp style bodies... I guess its just one more thing people who think they know sumthin about sumthin can argue about. I can remember Resoglas bodies :bonk