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Poll: Telecaster body wood - Alder, Ash or it doesn’t matter?

Alder, Ash or doesn’t matter

  • Alder

    Votes: 17 11.3%
  • Ash

    Votes: 75 49.7%
  • Doesn’t matter

    Votes: 58 38.4%

  • Total voters
    151

skhan007

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,362
Personally, I've been really curious about the other woods, like Paulowina (sp?) or Pine. How do these sound and compare to the traditional choices of Ash or Alder?
 

cap10kirk

Member
Messages
8,127
Doesn't really matter to me, especially if it's going to have an opaque finish over it. Ash, alder, pine, mahogany, basswood, whatever...I just don't think the body wood matters tonally. At least not enough to worry about.
 

scott

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,748
It seems like a pretty significant difference. Alder seems a little more even, probably better for the rock. Ash can be twangy but can also rock.
To me alder has Avery specific sound that kinda takes over......kinda like curry. You either like it or you don't.
Ash is getting a lot harder to come by now a days.
 

Guitarwiz007

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,723
Nice demo. I was surprised at my personal listening observations. I really thought the Ash and Mahogany were amazingly similar. The Alder in all the samples had sort of a cocked wah thing going on. I didn't expect that and I didn't really like it. I chose Ash before listening to this demo and will stick with that selection. I really just like the look of it. While I have no doubt in my mind that I couldn't just pick up an Alder bodied guitar and hear what I heard in this demo (I tried it right before typing this out), I think it would affect any partscaster build I may do in the future. I honestly thought I wouldn't like the Mahogany but it was pleasant to listen to. Very even response. Now, after 30+ years of playing live, my hearing is pretty shot so take what I say with a grain of salt but....
 

modavis99

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,428
2nd time posting to this thread, sorry, but I think there is more variance to ash than alder - both in weight and in tone. I’ve had some ash tele types I had to sell because they were on the harsh side of twangy. My current ash tele type is twangy without being overly harsh, especially with the tone knob rolled back just a little. I never had this experience with alder.

also pine is a great option too. Not sure why pine doesn’t get more love
 

sutherland

Member
Messages
3,245
Not sure why pine doesn’t get more love
Too soft. Decreases likelihood of: "hate to see this one go, but hear goes nothing. never gigged. never left my smoke free studio. no dents, dings, or scuffs. as mint as can be. my next guitar will definitely be another pine one!"

Back to Ash vs Alder:
- Ash for grain
- Alder for solids

and regarding Ash, the weight seems be all over the place
 

Ron Kirn

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
6,796
It only matters in your head.... and that's significant if you play for yourself, or if you're bought the bunk suggesting one is superior to the other... If you're a professional , playing for an audience, No it does NOT matter a twit..

r
 

skhan007

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,362
It only matters in your head.... and that's significant if you play for yourself, or if you're bought the bunk suggesting one is superior to the other... If you're a professional , playing for an audience, No it does NOT matter a twit..

r
Makes total sense. Wouldn’t EQ-ing the amp be the best way to compensate or adjust tonal quirks that one notices? Or maybe I’m being too simplistic in my assumption.
 

Ron Kirn

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
6,796
Wouldn’t EQ-ing the amp be the best way to compensate or adjust tonal quirks that one notices?

Well to do that, you would have to walk over to the rack and crank in a little EQ .. it's much easier to take your guitar, rip the thing apart, buy a new body of the prefered wood paint it.. reassemble it, set it up and begin playing... :eek:

r
 

Mpcoluv

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,247
Pine is softer but sounds pretty good to me. On my home built telemaster, I put coats of zpoxy on the bare pine to harden it a little. Sounds great.
 
Messages
87
Makes total sense. Wouldn’t EQ-ing the amp be the best way to compensate or adjust tonal quirks that one notices? Or maybe I’m being too simplistic in my assumption.
It doesn't work like that.

take for example a nice bright piece of light swamp ash.
You simply cant dial that brightness out by adjusting the amp, it ends up dull and lifeless.
If you switch guitars to perhaps a nice more balanced piece of lets say Alder, you're suddenly in the zone you want to be in, no dullness necessary.
I'm surprised to see people advising this, to be honest, but I suppose I shouldn't be.
Tone rule - you can't escape the guitars fundamental sound except for say, going into a digital amp/modeller.
 

skhan007

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,362
It doesn't work like that.

take for example a nice bright piece of light swamp ash.
You simply cant dial that brightness out by adjusting the amp, it ends up dull and lifeless.
If you switch guitars to perhaps a nice more balanced piece of lets say Alder, you're suddenly in the zone you want to be in, no dullness necessary.
I'm surprised to see people advising this, to be honest, but I suppose I shouldn't be.
Tone rule - you can't escape the guitars fundamental sound except for say, going into a digital amp/modeller.
Ok, so just for clarification (serious question and genuinely interested)...if I have a bright Tele, adjusting my amp’s EQ or rolling off some highs with my tone knob won’t work and will result in a dull and lifeless tone?
 
Messages
87
It will vary from amp to amp, and from guitar to guitar. Some guitars are top heavy, without much else going on. A fuller toned guitar that also happens to have nice broad highs will be inclined to sound better through every amp in every situation. If you have an overly bright tele, without much else going on tonally within that guitars signature ( typical cheap n nasty) , rolling off the treble will indeed make it sound pretty dull on most amps...ESPECIALLY those that reduce gain as you reduce treble IE some mesa/old fenders.
 




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