Northern Ash vs. Alder?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by 10string, Jan 24, 2008.

  1. 10string

    10string Member

    Messages:
    81
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    SoCal
    What are the tonal diferences/pro and cons between the two woods? I plan on getting a 1hum hardtail with San Dimas style rear routing, clear finish, using a Fender USA maple fb neck.

    Thanks for your input.
     
  2. jamison162

    jamison162 Member

    Messages:
    7,766
    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    Location:
    FL
    Why Northern Ash? It is used but I think the desired ash is Swamp Ash from the south.
     
  3. EADGBE

    EADGBE Member

    Messages:
    12,361
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
    Ash probably has more sustain.
     
  4. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

    Messages:
    15,919
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    Location:
    In The Basement
    Northern ash is known to be heavy. Sometimes extremely heavy. jamison162 is right, go with swamp ash if you want an ash body.
     
  5. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

    Messages:
    11,808
    Joined:
    May 19, 2003
    Northern ash is furniture wood.
     
  6. 10string

    10string Member

    Messages:
    81
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    SoCal
    I have chosen Musikraft to be the company I am going to order the body from. And of all the types of woods they offer those two are the ones I have narrowed the search to, since they dont do maple, my first choice.
     
  7. pokey

    pokey Member

    Messages:
    3,014
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2002
    Location:
    Aurora, CO.
    I had a late 70's strat made of Northern Ash and it weighed a ton. That certainly is a beautiful body you got there BleedingEdge.
     
  8. ghoti

    ghoti Member

    Messages:
    528
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Location:
    Mill Valley, CA
    I prefer ash to alder. Alder sounds kind of "medium" to my ears...to me, ash has more character.
     
  9. jay42

    jay42 Member

    Messages:
    6,834
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    Location:
    San Diego
    Years back I replaced a heavy northern ash body with an alder one. Acoustically, the alder body made for a louder guitar. Livelier imo, too. I felt like the ash body had far less dynamic range. To be fair, it was one of those thick Fender poly finishes.
     
  10. guitardr

    guitardr Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    971
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago
    Guitar Player had a short & 'to the point' article on woods in the last month or two. I had a Zion Fifty model in one-piece swamp ash made for me. Not as pretty as curly maple or bubinga or whatever, but it sounds bright & responsive. Read that article pronto.
     
  11. pfrischmann

    pfrischmann Member

    Messages:
    3,020
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    In the ATL.
    You know what's funny. Both Ed's #1 and his Ibanez Destroyer were northern ash. He seems to really like that sound, or did any way. I've only heard this wood on clips and it was by folks going for the VH sound. It's a big part of that sound and seems to have an upper mid thing.

    I'm not sure this would be a very versatile guitar but if you want to do the one pickup Rock guy thing, It may be a very good choice.

    It is very clearly not just furniture wood.
    It can be really heavy.


    BLeeding edge....
    Can you P.M. with where you got that body?....really cool:RoCkIn

    Thanks,
    Paul
     
  12. studiodunn

    studiodunn Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,537
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Location:
    LB, Ca.
    So is mahogony [​IMG]
     
  13. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

    Messages:
    14,722
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    I had a few Hamer Daytona strats in ash. They were a little heavy but real good tone. Real chunky bright tone, a little thin in the mids. I think it's similar to swamp ash, it's just swamp ash is a little sweeter or mellower maybe.
     
  14. 10string

    10string Member

    Messages:
    81
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    SoCal
    ...im going with the Northern Ash.

    And Bleedingedge, that body IS STELLAR!. I have serious grain envy.
     
  15. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

    Messages:
    14,722
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    I wonder what's the lightest weight strat body that can be had with northern ash. You think you could get one under, or at least at 4 lb.s?

    I wonder how different that'd sound compared to some swamp ash.
     
  16. Cary Chilton

    Cary Chilton Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,475
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Location:
    Canada

    Looks like a tone monster!
     
  17. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

    Messages:
    14,722
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Where'd you get the neck? Looks great!
     
  18. CitizenCain

    CitizenCain Member

    Messages:
    4,823
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2004
    Location:
    Magdalena, NM, US
    Hey, that looks great, Bleed! Are those brass saddles or is it just the lighting?
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice