ideal tonal wood

vtpcnk

Senior member
Messages
743
for both humbuckers and single coils?

gibson seems to prefer mahogany for many of its humbucker guitars.

fender seems to prefer alder for single coil strats.

yea i know gibson also have some single coil models and fender has humbuckers on some of its guitars.

but is there a wood which tonewise would be equally good with single coils and humbuckers?
 

exalted

Senior member
Messages
723
'Ideal' sounds like cost doesn't matter. Remember that Fender and Gibson only use alder and mahogany because they're relatively cheap.

There are many more choices available to you if you're looking at a Warmoth (but hey, I still went mahogany).
 
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ztevie

Guest
The muddiest guitar I owned was mahogany... Nice sustain and fat tone though. Basswod a little bit boring, ok but nothing special.
Had an alder Peavey with H-S, very nice... Had both bite and fatness to it. So in my limited experience I'd say alder, seems like a nice compromise between bassy/trebley... Haven't tried any "exotic" woods.
 

m4rk0

Senior member
Messages
5,383
I have great sounding guitars made out of:

Korina
Swamp Ash
Alder
Basswood
Mahogany

if you want something versatile or generic, go for Basswood or Alder.... Tastes Like Chicken!
 

SkuttleFunk

Senior member
Messages
1,156
the ideal wood is whatever is suitable to mount your pickups, bridge, and neck to and is also able to hold-up under regular playing. this rules out woods like Balsa, but opens the door to many different species that may not be appropriate for the "Leo did it this way for a sonic reason" crowd ;)

(fwiw - Leo chose Alder and reject lightweight Ash because ... in his day, it was cheap)

all the best,

R
 

Vol. Knob

Senior member
Messages
601
It all depends on what you're wanting.  Tone, style, etc...  And neck or body?

Single coils...
I've had a few Ash bodied/maple necked strats and loved the bright spanking sparkle. 

I have a mahogany bodied thinline that had a maple neck until recently.  With the maple neck it sounded bright yet round.  It currently has a Goncalo Alves Neck, that still needs a little more setup, and it now sounds less bright (not a bad thing) but much much more... HUGE. 

Humbuckers....
I have an Epiphone Les Paul Custom that sounds DARK, Mahogany neck, Mahogany body...  But she's sustainy and smoooooth.  My only gripe is its painted black and not a natural finish.

I recomend
 

Orpheo

Senior member
Messages
2,738
I'm sold on walnut. for singlecoils, its GREAT! nice shimmering tone, transparant... with a singlecoil in the bridge (preferebly slightly overwound, alnico5, but still on the bright side) it roars and crunches like a horny elephant. 2 singlecoils parallel, slightly UNDERwound with alnico5's or a bit overwound with alnico2 for neck and underwound+A5 in middle, is GREAT for stratty tones, so to say.

but if you have it overwound, singlecoil, and you can coilTAP it for the aforementioned tones, thats cool, cause when you have it full whack, damn, thats sweet. the p90 sound I needed. raunchy, dirty, sweet, 'sticky', pressing, raw. me like!!

but with humbuckers, you have a nice punchy tone, fatty, pushing, great pinches, and very accurate. its a bit 'brighter' and more focussed than korina, but thats why I like it with humbuckers. if I want a mellow sweet sound with my humbucker, I'll roll down tone and volume.


Walnut all the way.
 

imminentG

Senior member
Messages
248
Black Korina is the cosmetic and functional christ of a company that could ONLY BE called Warmoth  :laughing3:
 
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callaway

Guest
imminentG said:
Black Korina is the cosmetic and functional christ of a company that could ONLY BE called Warmoth  :laughing3:

I don't understand...
 

theklanch

Senior member
Messages
209
Ok so here is what will settle this.  Order two warmoth bodies that are identical to each other.  Use the same pickups wiring hardware and THE SAME NECK on both guitars and see if there is a difference in 'tone'

You are gonna have to record your experiment, and take it to people who don't play any musical instruments and see if they can tell the difference.

Your brain will 'hear' a difference if you tell it to......
 

SkuttleFunk

Senior member
Messages
1,156
this can work so long as the two bodies are allowed accountance for the variance within the wood species used ... the specs quoted on most sites are the average properties within the given tolerance range. and it is precisely for this reason that it is absolutely impossible to create a cookbook that will allow you to precisely formulate the tonality of an instrument body prior to it being fully manufactured, assembled, and plugged in

in all reality, adjusting your pickup heights with a high quality set of pickups will impact the tone far greater than swapping from Alder to Ash to Mahogany

edited to add: adjusting pickup height is relative to my bass building and set-up experience. I do not speak of thin string geetars, as I have not built any of these to date - the results could be different or the same

all the best,

R
 

imminentG

Senior member
Messages
248
I meant black korina would be nuts and is incredibly cool to be offered by such a company as warmoth
 

dbw

Senior member
Messages
4,531
You're still not making much sense to me imminentG... :-\

But I do think korina is a great wood overall.  I have a very nice light hollow strat made of korina.
 
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callaway

Guest
dbw said:
You're still not making much sense to me imminentG... :-\

But I do think korina is a great wood overall.  I have a very nice light hollow strat made of korina.

I agree... I still don't get it. I mean, Korina is a great wood, but many, many builders offer it. Every once in a while Gibson even has Korina guitars (although they sometimes call it Limba).

Generally though, the vast consensus is that Korina is the "better Mahogany". By that I mean that lots of people substitute it instead of Mahogany in order to get a bit more of a focused and brilliant sound, yet still retaining the warmth of Mahogany. Everyone I've talked to says it gives you everything you want from a Mahogany guitar, just way better.
 

exalted

Senior member
Messages
723
callaway said:
Generally though, the vast consensus is that Korina is the "better Mahogany". By that I mean that lots of people substitute it instead of Mahogany in order to get a bit more of a focused and brilliant sound, yet still retaining the warmth of Mahogany. Everyone I've talked to says it gives you everything you want from a Mahogany guitar, just way better.

I wish I would have known that before I ordered my mahogany JM.  :sad1:
 

imminentG

Senior member
Messages
248
yes, that is mostly what I meant

only thing IS, besides old Vs with white limba and whatnot, I'd never really seen much of it

DEFINITELY what I'm going for  :guitaristgif:
 

Orpheo

Senior member
Messages
2,738
I just want to reconfirm the status which walnut has in my book. I have an all walnut guitar, with an ebony board...damn, thats great. the versatility of alder, the smoothness and warmth of mahogany, the midrange grit and grind of korina, the bite tightness and punch of maple. walnut for the win!
 
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