Great video! Shows how important the neck is!I always like this video:
If you can't hear that the size of the neck influences tone (and by quite a lot I might add) then you're on the wrong forum.
It's hard for me to say if "alder" sounds different than "ash" or if the difference between a body made of ash and a body made of alder can be lesser than the difference between two bodies made of alder. However I do believe that, if anything, the mass and density of the wood the guitar is made of definitely does have an impact on the instrument's tone. I also believe all of this is secondary to hardware: bridges, pickups, pots.
However, I think the anti-tonewood people are not saying that wood does not affect tone at all, just that it does not dependent on wood species, am I correct?
Personally and IMHO, wood species certainly have different tone properties, which contribute to the final timbre of a guitar. BUT there are a lot of variables, which contribute as well to the final sound, like the neck thickness as clearly shown in this video and of course the hardware. Further, it depends on where and in what time/climate the tree grew and from what section of the tree the wood comes from. Again more variables.
At the end you can have two guitars made from "the same materials" and they sound really different, whereas you can use different woods and end up with a similar sound. However, this does not "proof" that wood species don't matter, it simply demonstrates that there are a lot of variables and it's difficult to show very significant differences with different tone woods in the final product. Doesn't mean there are no differences.
For me tone wood is about tendencies