Difference in tone between ash, hard ash and swamp ash?

EdMan57

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This is based mostly on internet readings,some personal experience [a northern ash Strat and a trio of swamp ash solidbodies] and general heresay,but northern ash [hard ash?] is usually heavier with strong/present mids,tight bass and somewhat brighter highs than the usually lighter southern swamp ash,which is known for it's rather mellow mids,piano like bass and sweet/clear high end.Regular ash,I have no opinion.Of course,others will offer different,if not exact opposite,takes on this subject.



Ed
 

GrungeMan

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Hard ash is a little brighter in tone, weighs heavy compared to the lighter swamp ash. I've made guitars bodies out of both, hard ash is harder to work with than the softer swamp ash.

Grungy :D
 

EADGBE

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12,337
The heavier wood will probably sustain more, and be a little more compressed and brighter sounding.
 

Ron Kirn

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Can ya play? If so,, the wood is not important... no one will care... all they wanna do is hear how you sound playing anything....

Can ya NOT play?? Then it doesn't matter either... 'cause no one gives a hoot, and probably, just hopes you will just stop making noise.

Ron Kirn
 

kidmo

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1,149
Can ya play? If so,, the wood is not important... no one will care... all they wanna do is hear how you sound playing anything....

Can ya NOT play?? Then it doesn't matter either... 'cause no one gives a hoot, and probably, just hopes you will just stop making noise.

Ron Kirn

This :agree
 

Dale

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10,311
The differences within type tend to be larger than the differences between. The differences are also not all that pronounced to me. So it really ends up being a play to see for that guitar in my estimation.
 

robertkoa

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4,203
Hard ash is a little brighter in tone, weighs heavy compared to the lighter swamp ash. I've made guitars bodies out of both, hard ash is harder to work with than the softer swamp ash.

Grungy :D

I remember some of those really heavy Strats in Ash were thin and bright sounding ( even compared to most Strats ) but I think these were 3 Bolt and may have other issues- so not sure if it was the wood weight or not...

I'm going to guess that Ash when it's really hard and heavy is often thinner sounding ( unless Fender just did not dry the wood properly back then ? ).

Koa and Mahogany can be heavy and still sound full and rich IMO- but maybe not Ash.

Obviously every piece of wood differs and this type of speculation is more important if you're having something BUILT( and are aiming for certain tones ).
 
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paulscape

Member
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3,549
Thanks for the help. Yes been playing 25 years. Depending on the type of music being played wood does make a difference. I'm considering getting a swamp ash strat body but wondered if it will have the same 'snap' as other ash types but not too bright. Weight is not much of a problem. I have an ash tele but all my strats are alder so I don't have as much experience playing ash strats.
 




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