Alder or ash strat?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Webfoot, Mar 13, 2015.

  1. Webfoot

    Webfoot Supporting Member

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    Any big preference?

    Probably would have a rosewood fingerboard.
     
  2. gigs

    gigs Member

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    I like pine better than either one.
     
  3. Crossroads

    Crossroads Member

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    from what I've read, ash and rosewood boards are not the best combination.
     
  4. swiveltung

    swiveltung Member

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    Probably the specific guitar is more important . For years all Fender sunburst were Ash. Ash is supposedly a bit more spanky/punchy.... but it's REAL subtle... There have been many Ash/rosewood combinations over the years.
    "Ash. Best known as the wood of classic ’50s Fender guitars, ash is most desirable in the form of swamp ash—wood taken from the lower portions of southern-grown wetland trees that have root systems growing below water level. Good swamp ash is both light and resonant, and generally carries a broad grain that looks great under a translucent finish. The swamp-ash sound is twangy, airy, and sweet. It offers firm lows, pleasant highs, a slightly scooped midrange, and good sustain. Ash from the upper portions of the tree has also been used, as has harder northern ash. Both tend to be denser and heavier, and have a brighter, harder sound that might be more useful when cutting, distorted tones are desired. Ash is traditionally used for single-wood, slab-bodied guitars, ....."
     
  5. budglo58

    budglo58 Member

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    From what I have ash and rosewood work very well together. Maple and ash works well too. I have no preference , love both. Ash for looks, either for tone.
     
  6. mxvin

    mxvin Member

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    the neck shape, feel, and set up is so much more important. Also with pups you like
    you wouldnt know the dif I bet.
     
  7. 71strat

    71strat Member

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    Only until 1955 were all Fender Guitars Ash.

    In 56 they went to Alder and used Ash on Blond/White/Translucent colors only. Not all of it was light either.
     
  8. TresGatos

    TresGatos Member

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    Totally doesn't matter. 2 pieces of ash or 2 pieces of alder have as much chance of sounding different as 1 piece of ash and 1 piece of alder.

    Until I see a blind test proving me wrong, that's my story.

    ...but I always use swamp ash since I can get superlight pieces that I can't find in alder.
     
  9. TNO

    TNO Member

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    A fairly lightweight alder body is probably the safest way to go to get a good-sounding guitar.
     
  10. Rockerduck

    Rockerduck Member

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    Alder sounds better and I like Pine second.
     
  11. K-Line

    K-Line Gold Supporting Member

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    You are correct. I always hear people saying that they heard you cannot use an ash body with a rosewood board. Have you ever tried it? I have, my number 1 SPG is ash with rosewood. Sounds as good as my alder rosewood one. I love ash with rosewood, sounds great, can get a bit lighter. What is there not to love?
     
  12. swiveltung

    swiveltung Member

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    I think the go-to wood for sunburst was ash also... right? I guess that's "translucent". Also..... there are some examples of opaque ones that were ash... evidently Fender liked to repaint some former sunburst guitars for some reason... I think the common thought is they didn't like the wood to be seen on a particular body.. maybe a minor color defect or something showed up after making it sunburst.
     
  13. dbeeman

    dbeeman Gold Supporting Member

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    I have an ash bioy, brazil rose board S. One of my favorite guitars
    and it has a maple top which should make it even brighter, but not
     
  14. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    I tried a rosewood board neck on an ash Tele body and couldn't get the neck off that body fast enough. I put a maple neck on it and it sounded great.

    The next Strat I put together will have a pine body. I prefer rosewood and doubt I'll find alder as light as pine and like pine with both rosewood and maple.
     
  15. Steve Dallas

    Steve Dallas Supporting Member

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    I have found that it does not make much difference in most cases. In the early 90s, I built a custom guitar from a wonderful swamp ash body blank and mated it to a neck made from StewMac neck and fretboard blanks (maple and rosewood). I tried many different pickups in it, and it always took on the tone of the pickups as far as I could tell.

    Fast forward to 2003 or so. I bought an ash American Strat Deluxe and an alder Am Strat Deluxe shortly thereafter. They sounded almost identical. I attributed that to the noiseless pickups and other electronic bits and gutted them both. The ash guitar received Fralin Blues Specials, and the alder guitar received Fralin Vintage Hots. The ash guitar sounded like a late 60s to 70s Strat, and the alder guitar sounded like a late 50s Strat. That seemed backwards to me, so I decided to swap the pickguards and put the brighter pups in the supposedly "darker" wood guitar. Err... The two guitars just switched places. The tone followed the pickups, and the wood made very little, if any, difference. I tried the same experiment with some very 50s sounding Amalfitano pickups a few years later, and the results were exactly the same.
     
  16. Baxter Stockman

    Baxter Stockman Member

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    My other strat is rosewood board with an ash body. I thought it sounded so good too before I started reading TGP...
     
  17. K-Line

    K-Line Gold Supporting Member

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    :roll:roll:roll
     
  18. budglo58

    budglo58 Member

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    I know. I am ruined by TGP. I have my white blonde 59 thin skin with a rosewood board burning on the wood pile as we speak ( I dont want anyone else to be deceived by its tone) and am on my way to get my hearing checked.:eek:
     
  19. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    It's all good. Some like ash/rosewood, some don't.

    This guy sounds OK playing an ash/rosewood Strat but that Tele I put together just...was...not...happening...until I swapped the neck!

    Play what sounds right to your ears.

     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2015
  20. mellecaster

    mellecaster Member

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    There are numerous other things I would be concerned about relevant to a Guitar build.

    [​IMG]
     

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