Need suggestions on body wood for VW project


Hey gang,
I'm hoping to start piecing together a VW project guitar within the next few weeks. I'm planning on going with a birdseye maple neck/fingerboard. However,  I need some help in deciding what body wood to go with. I'm planning on applying some sort of transparent finish, so basswood is out. Plus, I can't really afford something like koa. So, I guess that leaves either alder or ash.

Optimally, I'd like something with a good balanced sound: not too trebly or  muddy.

I'd love any comments or suggestions.

GoKartMozart said:
I can't really afford something like koa. So, I guess that leaves either alder or ash.

Hey man!
You can go to Ash or Mahogany with a Koa 1/4" top... For a extra special look you can try a Flamed Walnut, Flamed Koa, Spalted Maple to the top, they're extra cost top woods but it's not much more... the Flamed Koa (the most expensive) you gotta add only US$100 to price of the body...

Birdseye Maple Neck / Fretboard

Burl Maple Book matched Top

Walnut or Wenge for a Tonewood :blob7:

I thought 'chambering' was something that Warmoth had CNC data available for on most of their guitars > Extra Cost > ?
I don't know about all bodies, but the VW is definitely available as a hollow/chambered body.  The official site says actual weight loss is 15%.  Cost-zero dollars.
Thanks for all the suggestions, guys.
I'm leaning toward swamp ash right now. However, I'm starting to wonder whether or not a guitar with an ash body and a birdseye maple neck would be too trebly. I'm going for versatility more than anything with this project. Would something like mahogany be a better choice to offset some of the high-end?

Just curious.
A Maple neck, Birdseye or other coupled with a Swamp Ash body is a Telecaster.

The sound will be 'softened' somewhat since you won't be using the Telecaster Bridge Plate,
which transfers a 'focus' of input directly into the body - Read on Callaham Telecaster Parts:
but not by much.  By chambering the Swamp Ash - more vibration will be allowed bringing out a greater 'color' of the
Tone wood and a tad better response.  One Tad = half a Grin.

I'd say Walnut is a better choice than Mahogany, there's more definition with Walnut. :sign13:

I will conjecture that the body of standard Les Paul Guitars would have been traditionally Walnut, except for costs.

They still weigh a ton regardless. 

I had an Original '54 Black Standard that Gibson had created by pulling a Gold Top off the line - that left me walking fifteen degrees off desired

I believe that the Original Les Paul Studio Les Paul designed - with the lo impedance pick_ups is of Walnut construct.

Historically, Lutes carry up to 11 courses of strings - that's 21 strings - and carried the full Bass compliment as well.

Walnut has always been the choice Tone wood for Lute necks / peg boxes.

Stanley Clarke, Bassist for Chick Corea and stand alone Artist in the past has had his instruments crafted with Walnut
as the core Tonewood.

I'm planning a build using the Bass 'Custom T' Telecaster body & the 28" scale Baritone 7 string 24 fret neck.

Top will be Swamp Ash - chambered body will be Wenge or Walnut - weight is my concern with Wenge.

Looking at the Warmoth Neck Wood 'Tone-0-Meter', both Walnut and Wenge are on the same position of '11'.

Here is where the 'Hardness' and what I term the woods 'strands' comes into play.

Wenge has a good reputation for lo Mids / Mids and Attack - coupled with the Ash Top it might be pretty incredible.

I'd like to get a Tone Block of each wood to beat on for awhile before I take the plunge.
I ordered me a nice vw carved top body too!
it should be ready in the next one or two weeks and i am very excited about it!

i chose black korina as the tonewood (very versatile, said to be tonally very close to mahogany (say *oomph*) but less muddy and a little more highs) and i also chose the (cost-less) hollow option!
my topwood is flamed maple..

maybe black korina could be your wood of choice too, if you don't want an overly bright sound and versatility.

cheers!  :eek:ccasion14: