Tonal Difference between Woods? Ash, Maple, Alder

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Rocksully, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. Rocksully

    Rocksully Member

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    Im curious, as Ive never really researched this. What is the tone to wood?
    Darkest to Brightest sounding?
     
  2. uOpt

    uOpt Member

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  3. MartinC

    MartinC Member

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    Good information here too ... with descriptions of various wood combinations:

    http://www.suhrguitars.com/wood.aspx

    Just by the by, I think the tried and tested formulae work best. Exotic wood might not always mean better tone:

    Strat - Alder body, maple neck, rosewood 'board
    Solidbody twin humbucker - Mahogany body with maple top, mahogany neck, rosewood 'board
     
  4. EADGBE

    EADGBE Member

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    Ok in general alder would be the warmest sounding. Followed by ash, then maple.
     
  5. uOpt

    uOpt Member

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    Ash can vary greatly, but the good pieces (usually not too heavy), come out more scooped and with more attack than alder. Alder is more middy and has a more even tone development.

    Personally I like Ash for hardtails and Alder for tremoloed Fender-style instruments.
     
  6. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    what he said! Ash varies a ton. A good piece is amazing, and a bad piece is a heap o'crap. One thing it always has a more scooped tone than alder. That seems to be very consistent. It's when the piece doesn't have a good bottom end frequencies, then all you have it treble freq. Can sound like a banjo.
     
  7. Rotten

    Rotten Silver Supporting Member

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    Light ash to me is a very springy, bell type sound. A lot of ash (I believe more Northern Ash) can be very heavy and emphasize the fundamental more. Alder is right in the middle, softer on the lows and highs.
     
  8. Bobby

    Bobby Member

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  9. guitardr

    guitardr Silver Supporting Member

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  10. MartinC

    MartinC Member

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  11. Griz

    Griz Member

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    +1 :agree
    I have two MIM RI '72 Teles: a Deluxe and a Thinline, both with the same pickups, both with maple necks. The Deluxe has an alder body, and the Thinline is ash. You can quite clearly hear the difference that uOpt describes.
     

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