why aren't the same tone woods used for acoustics and solidbodies?? Just curious. Would a spruce or cedar solid body sound bad? would a mohogany or alder acoustic sound bad? I hope this turns into an interesting discussion.
Originally posted by Mark C
Hard to find spruce or cedar thick enough to make a solid body. I have a spruce body strat, sounds really good and it's very light.
Originally posted by Mark C
Some answers on my spruce strat.
The body was made by a local luthier who is no longer doing guitars. A friend of mine had a guitar shop and we knew about the story that Virginia (Eric's 54) was possibly made out of spruce, so this guy asked our luthier friend about the possibility. He hunted around and found enough spruce to make three two piece bodies and one butcher block body. I have one and Pedro 58 has one. Since then, Pedro found some more spruce, although not as pretty as the first strat bodies, it seems to be light and fairly resonant (it taps nicely), and I've cut out a Tele body for myself that is currently drying and awaiting clear coat over the color coat. I don't know where he got the wood, but if you hunt around I'm sure it can be found - usually most luthier suppliers cut spruce down to a thickness for guitar tops. USA Custom guitars will cut a body out of wood supplied by the customer, so that's an option.
As for what spruce does for a guitar:
My strat is very light, like a lightweight 50's strat. Very acoustically alive as well and I'd say mine sounds a lot like a swamp ash bodied strat, yet the highs seem to be a little smoother. Maybe like a cross between the tone of alder and ash. I don't think most players would be disappointed by the tone of a spruce bodied guitar to say the least. As for softness, yes it is softer and more susceptible to dings than alder or ash and the finish likes to sink in showing grain lines. Haven't had any structural problems, and I've been playing the guitar for almost ten years.
Originally posted by Shades
Some of the woods used for acoustics work well on electrics others don't. The physical working principles between a solidbody and an acoustic are different. That said I make both spruce and cedar solidbodies. Matched up properly to both the right design and the right neck woods and electronics they have a great open chime to them.
Rosewoods are the most common example. One of the most common acoustic woods, is has a highly reflective function in acoustics. It can be used to make nice (but very different sounding) electrics but isn't used much for electric as it is much easier to get a bad result than a good one by just grabbing a piece of rosewood for a solidbody. Walnut and ebony are other back and side woods that work well on acoustic but don't work (IMO) for electric solid. Also Tops are chosen with a strength to weight ratio and elasticity to density ratio for acoustics, where it will need to funtion as a moving plate (basically a direct coupled wood speaker cone, braced to control frequency and withstand string tension) this is an entirely different approach to sound production than in a solidbody.Originally posted by bobbystroker
Can you elaborate a little on this? Besides the spruce and cedar, what other woods are commonly used for acoustics but not commonly used for solid bodies and vice versa. And what about makes a wood more suited to one application than the other?
I use quite a bit of Spanish Cedar and love it. It is a bit hard to work with but that doesn't bug me much......The taste however..../Yuck!!!! that sawdust gets in your nose and drains down into your throat and it has to be one of the most Bitter tastes on earth.Originally posted by Denyle_Guitars
I've used spanish cedar in the past and really like the end product (very light, excellent tone) but it's very difficult to work with.