Tele Woods: Does it Matter?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by atquinn, Apr 30, 2015.

  1. atquinn

    atquinn Supporting Member

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    I love my Suhr Classic Pro so much that I'm thinking about picking up a Classic T Pro in the future (http://www.suhr.com/Classic-T-Pro/).

    They come in 2 formats:
    50's style: Ash body, maple fretboard
    60's style: Alder body, rosewood freboard

    I like the available finishes on the ash bodies more but I like rosewood fingerboards more because they are more comfortable to play on than shiny-finished maple fingerboards. The fingerboard thing might not be an issue in this case, because Suhr uses the same matte finish that is on the back of my Classic Pro neck for their maple fingerboards.

    At any rate, is there any reason for me to take any sort of tone-wood type considerations into account here or is there nothing that can't be dealt with by turning the (virtual) knobs on my (virtual) amp?
    -
    Austin
     
  2. baiff

    baiff Member

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    I have both ash and alder telecasters. IMO, unless you are playing an acoustic guitar it does not matter. Pickups, amp, strings and of course the player mean a whole lot more.
     
  3. stucker

    stucker Member

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    The ash/maple guitar will be more scooped in the midrange and have more snap to the picked notes.

    The alder/rosewood guitar will be stronger in the low-mids and have a little softer attack to the picked notes.
     
  4. s2y

    s2y Member

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    After the various pickups, strings, setups, and amps, it can be hard to tell. I know I had to go with alder on my B-Bender because the builder thought light ash might splinter and crack.

    On the flip side, I have 2 guitars with the exact specs other than one being strung a gauge higher and tuned down a 1/2 step. One is made with a lighter mahogany that sings and sustains for days. It also happens to have the lowest action I've ever seen. The other one is more normal in weight and action. Still sounds good, but not the perfection of the lighter guitar.
     
  5. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    John Suhr might build one for you with an ash body/rosewood fretboard. Some like that combination of woods, some don't. From reading his posts here (IIRC) he doesn't.

    But he can't say no if you don't ask. Also, there are other builders here with very strong reputations who would gladly build an ash/rosewood Tele. Chris at K-Line is the first one who comes to mind.
     
  6. gigs

    gigs Member

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    I would say keep an open mind about "tone" woods. Don't limit yourself to the standard woods. I have a 1 piece pine body tele that sounds fantastic (with a 1 piece maple neck).
     
  7. SPROING!

    SPROING! Member

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    I've made several from walnut. Some with maple necks and some with walnut necks.
    They all sound like teles. I think it probably has some effect but there are other factors that play as well. I seem to get more changes by swapping pickups than anything else. The bridge is probably the #2 agent.
     
  8. kenoflife

    kenoflife Supporting Member

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    I would agree - I accented this by using a more middy pickup in my alder/rosewood (Ellis broadcaster), and a more snappy pikcup in my ash/maple (Ellis 52)
     
  9. swiveltung

    swiveltung Member

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    Ash and Alder are just a touch different but not a big change really.
     
  10. dazco

    dazco Member

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    When someone says a ash/maple sounds the same as alder/rosewood, i could not possibly be more puzzled as to how they could not hear it ! Like night and day to me, but i love them both each for it's different tone. And no, you cannot make one sound like the other with amp settings. Now if you happen to be one of those who doesn't hear it, grab the one you feel best playing. I can't tell you anything about what to get, you just have to play them and see. By the way, the thing that contributes most by far to the difference is the neck. Ash vs alder isn't a huge difference. Alder/rosewood is my fav, but aash maple sounds much more like what i associate with telecaster tone.
     
  11. atquinn

    atquinn Supporting Member

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    I'm talking Pro series guitars here. The options I listed are the only ones there are, which is fine by me.
    -
    Austin
     
  12. big mike

    big mike Moderator - EL34 Emeritas Staff Member

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    Makes a big difference for me. I much prefer ash with either fretboard.
    I had an ash/RW esquire from RS Guitarworks that was the balls!
    Alder's not bad, but I gotta have ash,
     
  13. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    In that case it really doesn't matter, does it?
     
  14. habanaerosmith

    habanaerosmith Member

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    Funny, I feel the exact opposite. I actually want to like the sound of ash, because I love the look of an ash tele with a clear finish a la the cover of Born to Run, but I've always found the sound of ash too 'airy' and scooped in the mids. Alder has more balls.

    I really like maple with alder. it's got the balls and the snap.
     
  15. dusty tolex

    dusty tolex Member

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    Just don't get paulonia
     
  16. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    I'm curious why you say that.
     
  17. splatt

    splatt david torn / splattercell Gold Supporting Member

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    alder's all lippy, nose & throat, upper intestine & chest; it gets barrel-chested w/maple & RW, turns into a post-WWI AFL Union organiser w/mahogany & RW, but just gets snippy & snide w/only maple.

    ash has more ass, thighs, knees, calves & bigger..... feet.
    ash drinks belgian dark ales, eats fried potatoes, fried bread & a side or two of beef, and then has port & a cuban for dessert, followed by the peatiest damned scotch you ever did smell; that, or something more simple, like spirytus.
    introducing it to maple is like introducing bonnie to clyde:
    the whole is more like a freaking combustible weapon than any of its stupid parts are.

    of course, this depends completely upon the woods, the build, the builder, the amp, the player, the phase of the moon & whether or not the g-ds are with or against.

    but no, it doesn't matter.
     
  18. scott

    scott Supporting Member

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    This post is equal parts confusing , interesting and hilarious
     
  19. TresGatos

    TresGatos Member

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    I respectfully and truthfully get far more difference from the pick I choose than the wood I use.

    I use 1pc Swamp Ash or 1pc Mahogany only because of the easier access to lightweight blanks and their attractiveness using translucent finishes.
     
  20. SPSurgeon

    SPSurgeon Member

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    Splatt's post is sort of correct. Ash/ maple neck is nasty/ snappy and appeals to a certain type of player. Alder R/W is all big city smooth an appeals to a diff player - or maybe mood.
     

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