Absolutely. We can have an idea of what neighborhood the voice is in though. Give me an Alder body, Maple neck guitar with a titanium bridge and nut, stainless frets, and DiMarzio super 2s in the neck and bridge and I can tell you that guitar will be on the brighter side of the spectrum. Don’t know what the exact PRF will be, but if I am looking for a warmer voice I know that is not the guitar for me!Yeah, wood DOES effect tone... as does all the other facets that comprise a guitar... it's just there's no way to know definitively what the guitar will sound like until it's completed..
Again you cannot walk into a guitar shop and say.. "OK, I want to sample guitars that only have great sounding tone wood..." You simply play 'em, and they reveal who they are as you do so.. then ya pick one.. The tone of the wood mattered only in the context that it was part of the sonic signature of the guitar you were playing..
It would also be dependent upon how much someone has educated themselves on the topic. To someone who plays and does not delve deeper into how a guitar works, the ear is all they have.
To someone who has educated themselves to understand how the guitar works, they can have an educated idea of where to start to get where they want to go. They would then need to validate their idea with their ears. Such a musician could also alter components of the instrument to push a guitar in a given direction based on their knowledge. Like replacing the titanium bridge in the previous example with a brass bridge in order to tame the highs.
While every guitarist is admittedly not capable of this, there are some who have developed enough knowledge be it formal or intuitive to understand how to achieve a desired sonic outcome. Hardware can be changed... easily for that matter. Nuts, tuners, frets, pickups, and bridges are easy to swap. Wood on the other hand is a foundational and expensive decision.For me.. unless you can take knowledge of some factor relative to a guitar and use it to purchase a guitar and get the desired sound as a result of that applied knowledge, it's useless, it does not matter... it's simply good for a discussion .. that's where the Wood's potential sonic sculpting falls... I don't care what type lumber you choose, or how it sounds as you bonk it to hear it ring, or listened to it's resonating sounds as it's machined... the eventual sound will ONLY be a composite of what the wood brings, plus everything else.
Yet we have a very long history in which observations have generally reinforced the expectation. The law of large number has held for centuries in the case of acoustics. There are outliers, but a species I believe does have a dominant vocal character.Choosing a specific species because it's reputed to produce a certain sound has more to do with your expectations than the reality, and that reality has more to do with you getting the guitar you really want than getting the guitar that makes the sound you think you want.
For instance, you hear Ash produces a more "snappy" sound.. so you go to Guitar Mania, an say ya only want to sample Ash guitars... the sales guy "screws" with ya an throws an Alder one into the mix... you play and determine the one made of alder has the "snappy" sound you want... so who was wrong... You.. for being :close minded" or the Sales guy for screwing with ya..
In the Alder/Ash scenario you present, who is to say that the Alder was the source of the snappiness? Could be the tremolo sustain block, the saddles, the bridge plate, the nut that imparts the “snap” the guitarist is looking for.
It is certainly a complex “dance” that occurs. It is a dance that many people do not take the time to study and understand. It is not a dance that is beyond our capability to understand and manipulate at some level if we invest the time and effort to do so.
We do not need mathematical models or a grand unified guitar theory to affect the “dance”, intuitive models are a tried and proven way of approaching it.
Ain’t that the truthPsycho acoustics can be a bytch..
Also to be clear Ron, I am not aiming at you with any of this. You have presented reasonable, detailed, and cogent reasoning for what you have contributed. We disagree on some points and there is nothing wrong with that.
It is quite frustrating to deal with participants who simply say “Well, it doesn’t work that way because it doesn’t make sense to me”. Ok, why doesn’t it make sense? How does it work? Can you provide a comprehensive and cohesive model that doesn’t fall apart when delved into? Can you provide more meat than “no” and a stream of consciousness of loosely related pseudo-scientific factoids?