How does an Ash Body and Rosewood fingerboard sound ?

Andre357

Member
Messages
3,211
I may be buying a tele over the internet. I'm very familiar with the ash/maple sound of a tele.........and the alder/rosewood sound of a tele or strat.....

I cannot find a guitar locally that has an ash body and a rosewood finger board to try.

So any ash bodied with rosewood finger board owners here ?? Will it warm up the sound a bit ?? Will the differences be so minute I wont tell the difference ?
 

Jellecaster

Member
Messages
184
People will be arguing this one until the end of time! I really doubt that anyone could REALLY tell the difference if just listening. You mind might tell you it's warmer, brighter, glassier, moister, whatever. I have thirty Teles of all different configurations and I really don't think the fretboard wood makes a big difference to the sound.
 

jamison162

Member
Messages
7,749
In general, there are two aspects to consider in discussing neck/fretboard tone woods. EQ and Attack/Reponse.

EQ: One piece maple necks are going to sound fundamentally brighter than maple/rosewood. There's also subtle differences in variations of rosewood....Indian vs. Brazillian, etc.

Attack: Maple is softer than rosewood and therefore so is the note attack and initial response. Rosewood gives you a faster response and can be heard as having more edge, bite, or zing and sometimes harsh. But this is different than eq. Once you pluck a note and listen to the frequency response...the maple should sound brighter. It's the initial attack that you have to watch out for.

Body wood is also just as critical. Alder is warmer with a fuller depth of sound. Swamp Ash is typically brighter and allows notes to "pop-out", has a lot of air and openness and can sit above the mix better. There are ways to balance everything out though: Pickup Selection.

And here we have the same aspects to consider as mentioned above; EQ and Attack. EQ is determined by the wind pattern, wire material and number of turns. The more turns, the more mids, less highs and warmer a pickup will sound. Lower winds will be brighter, quackier, and have less mids. The magnet type and strength determine the attack, punch or edge. A5's are stronger and will have more bite. Some winders grade/degauss their magnets to a certain range. A degaussed A5 will sound softer in its attack compared to a full strength A5. Then there's A2's which are even softer and really have a sweet mellow tone. There are other magnet choices as well.

Have fun!!
 

SFK

Member
Messages
618
Try a Muddy Waters Tele if you can find one. Ash/RW. I love mine but I don't have enough experience with the other varient to offer any advice.
 

buffbiff21

Member
Messages
68
My '79 Strat has an ash body with rosewood board. It sounds great! Really bright with tons of attack. I dig it. Only thing I can think of is ash will be quite heavy. Mine's a hardtail too, and it weighs more than my Les Paul!

Also I do believe fingerboard wood will affect the physical feel when fretting chords or notes. Maple feels a bit plainer and rosewood feels smooth. I'm not too good at describing it, but check this out:

http://www.warmoth.com/guitar/options/options_bodywoods.cfm
 

jamison162

Member
Messages
7,749
My '79 Strat has an ash body with rosewood board. It sounds great! Really bright with tons of attack. I dig it. Only thing I can think of is ash will be quite heavy. Mine's a hardtail too, and it weighs more than my Les Paul!

You must have northern ash and not swamp ash??

My swamp ash Grosh is lightweight. Not a feather but the lightest strat I've owned. Very open, airy, resonant...just breathes and notes bloom. Doesn't have the fullness or depth of tone of alder though.
 

Mike9

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,983
Swamp Ash can be heavy too it depends on where in the log the blank comes from. Closer to, or below the water line it will be lighter and further up the trunk will be heavier.
 

mrfjones

Member
Messages
1,009
i have a featherweight swamp ash body and a quartersawn maple neck with rosewood board. Great combo in my opinion possibly a little softer on the attack but otherwise it is still a tele and rocks like one.
 

84Bravo

Member
Messages
11,973
In general, there are two aspects to consider in discussing neck/fretboard tone woods. EQ and Attack/Reponse.

EQ: One piece maple necks are going to sound fundamentally brighter than maple/rosewood. There's also subtle differences in variations of rosewood....Indian vs. Brazillian, etc.

Attack: Maple is softer than rosewood and therefore so is the note attack and initial response. Rosewood gives you a faster response and can be heard as having more edge, bite, or zing and sometimes harsh. But this is different than eq. Once you pluck a note and listen to the frequency response...the maple should sound brighter. It's the initial attack that you have to watch out for.

Body wood is also just as critical. Alder is warmer with a fuller depth of sound. Swamp Ash is typically brighter and allows notes to "pop-out", has a lot of air and openness and can sit above the mix better. There are ways to balance everything out though: Pickup Selection.

And here we have the same aspects to consider as mentioned above; EQ and Attack. EQ is determined by the wind pattern, wire material and number of turns. The more turns, the more mids, less highs and warmer a pickup will sound. Lower winds will be brighter, quackier, and have less mids. The magnet type and strength determine the attack, punch or edge. A5's are stronger and will have more bite. Some winders grade/degauss their magnets to a certain range. A degaussed A5 will sound softer in its attack compared to a full strength A5. Then there's A2's which are even softer and really have a sweet mellow tone. There are other magnet choices as well.

Have fun!!

What a great post. It's all here: this is the true Gen, as Hemingway liked to say. Wood, winds, and magnets. Concise. Thanks.
 

swimrunner

Member
Messages
575
In general, there are two aspects to consider in discussing neck/fretboard tone woods. EQ and Attack/Reponse.

EQ: One piece maple necks are going to sound fundamentally brighter than maple/rosewood. There's also subtle differences in variations of rosewood....Indian vs. Brazillian, etc.

Attack: Maple is softer than rosewood and therefore so is the note attack and initial response. Rosewood gives you a faster response and can be heard as having more edge, bite, or zing and sometimes harsh. But this is different than eq. Once you pluck a note and listen to the frequency response...the maple should sound brighter. It's the initial attack that you have to watch out for.

Body wood is also just as critical. Alder is warmer with a fuller depth of sound. Swamp Ash is typically brighter and allows notes to "pop-out", has a lot of air and openness and can sit above the mix better. There are ways to balance everything out though: Pickup Selection.

And here we have the same aspects to consider as mentioned above; EQ and Attack. EQ is determined by the wind pattern, wire material and number of turns. The more turns, the more mids, less highs and warmer a pickup will sound. Lower winds will be brighter, quackier, and have less mids. The magnet type and strength determine the attack, punch or edge. A5's are stronger and will have more bite. Some winders grade/degauss their magnets to a certain range. A degaussed A5 will sound softer in its attack compared to a full strength A5. Then there's A2's which are even softer and really have a sweet mellow tone. There are other magnet choices as well.

Have fun!!
Quoting this post again because it's very, very concise and factual. I like the important distinction between attack and brightness - I consider ebony to be much the same, having a strong attack that can be easily mistaken for brightness/crispness.
 

jamison162

Member
Messages
7,749
Thanks guys. It's like putting a puzzle together, you have to take everything into consideration and balance it all out. I've learned alot around here...just trying to pass it on.
 

Andre357

Member
Messages
3,211
Thanks guys. It's like putting a puzzle together, you have to take everything into consideration and balance it all out. I've learned alot around here...just trying to pass it on.

It helped me a lot ! I ordered the guitar and I should have it Friday. Thanks again everyone !!
 

bluesjuke

Disrespected Elder
Messages
24,181
Attack: Maple is softer than rosewood and therefore so is the note attack and initial response. Rosewood gives you a faster response and can be heard as having more edge, bite, or zing and sometimes harsh. But this is different than eq. Once you pluck a note and listen to the frequency response...the maple should sound brighter. It's the initial attack that you have to watch out for.


Isn't this reverse as rosewood gives a slower attack with a more mellow tone and less edge, more mids and smoother highs.
 

jamison162

Member
Messages
7,749
Isn't this reverse as rosewood gives a slower attack with a more mellow tone and less edge, more mids and smoother highs.

Actually no, the harder wood = harder attack. To quote John Suhr:

"Maple Necks:

Maple has a unique tone, strong in the midrange with a sweet spanky high end. Maple will cut through when you need it and it is never muddy on the bass. Maple is good for overdrive with good harmonics.


Maple/Indian Rosewood:

Sweet and warm with some sparkle on the top end. Warm and fat, it is not too bright and not too dark - very neutral, it does however have more "sizzle" than 1-piece Maple necks.


Maple/Brazillian Rosewood:

It doesn't have as much brights as the Madagascar and is more crisp than Indian. It is best not used on Ash unless you like brights or you compensate in some other way like using darker sounding pickups or bridge."
 

bluesjuke

Disrespected Elder
Messages
24,181
Through 44 years of experience I don't agree with the attack part at all.
I don't believe most guitarists would either.
 




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