Hey guys, can anyone give a definitive answer to how the choice of wood in a solid body electric guitar effects the tone you hear? There’s a lot of other threads that tackle this topic hope I don’t rub anyone wrong with redundance. I just have not been able to find an explanation that satisfies me as to what’s really going on. A bunch of people say choice of tonewoods doesn’t matter at all, it’s the strings making the vibrations that count and the electronics are where the tone of a great solid body really comes from (paraphrasing). I just don’t think this holds up to empirical evidence; not to my ears at least. I’ve watched videos of traditional style guitars like strats made out of weird funky materials like colored pencils glued together, and I think some clever dudes actually managed to make one out of specially treated cardboard. Standard pickups, strings, and everything else, but wildly different sound to my ears. I can also usually tell the difference between a rosewood tele vs. ash, a redwood strat vs. ash vs. alder, and am strongly convinced that none of this is my imagination. They really do just sound different to me. I’ve been interested in the topic for a while, and recently acquired a really nice tele built from old growth ash by a really top notch builder. It sounds phenomenal to me. It’s balanced, stable, sustains with beautiful clear sweet highs, slight mid scoop and well defined bottom end. If I strike a string on the guitar unplugged, and hold the body right up against my ear, I can hear it ring out and it sounds very similar to when I have it plugged into an amp as clean as it gets with a flat eq. My conclusion from all this is that choice of woods is a significant factor in solid body construction. But why, exactly? We all know that even the greatest solid body moves a relatively small amount of air when played unplugged. You hear the sound produced by the speakers, not the body of the instrument itself when you play with an amp. But how can everything I described above be explained? Why does my electric guitar sound so similar to me plucked acoustically as compared to clean through an amp? Why can I hear the difference between a mahogany guitar and an ash one, if I’m not really hearing the wood, but rather the strings vibrating through the pickups? My hunch is that 1) vibrations in the wood interact with the vibration of the strings and 2) the reference frame against which the strings are seen as vibrating is also moving - the pickups moving with the guitar’s vibrations is creating a changing magnetic field just as the strings alone would if the pickups were theoretically at an ablsolute dead stand still with no vibation. You move one thing relative to the other, it’s equivalent to moving the second thing relative to the first. The idea that the strings are vibrating and the pickups stand still has got to be false, but to what extent does that effect the sound? Anyone have definitive knowledge on any of that, spefically on which of those two factors might be the most significant?