Tone woods include cherry?


New member
I am new here, and read part of a thread about a dude who cut a limb off his cherry tree and wanted to make a body from it. I love cherry, and as a furniture builder, I usually have some left over from a project. I recently glued up a strat body out of solid cherry. The tone is good, and I personally feel that most any wood will have particular characteristics related to tone. The strat turned out great, and it is really beautiful as well. But here is my question for you all:
I have been experimenting with one wood type on the face and another on the back. (two 3/4 thicknesses glued up together) I am hope to capture the tone qualities of the combination while making the face side of some exotic wood, like lacewood or other figure-grained woods for appearance. Has anyone done this already and what results have you had with tone?


Senior member
Welcome to the forum! We have a lotta fun here, and look forward to your participation! Keep in mind we love pictures!

When it comes to body woods, species has a lot less to do with an electric guitar's sound than it's commonly given credit for. Most of the characteristics of "tone woods" are lost when the wood is in such large, heavy chunks. It's not like acoustic guitars, where the wood is very thin and allowed/encouraged to vibrate. That's not to say it has no effect, just that it's way down the list of things you'd ever notice.

Then, if you glue two pieces together face-to-face as you describe, you make things worse. It will deaden it substantially. Imagine taking a strip of brass and strip of steel, such as you might hang on a wind chime. Each will ring a particular way. Glue them together, and they won't ring at all. Probably sound like a strip of lead.

FoMoCo actually used to do this on their high-end vehicles for sound deadening at the firewall. Just laminating two pieces of steel instead of one thick piece or one regular piece covered in sound-deadening material worked dramatically better at insulating the interior from exterior noise.

Necks are a different story. Species has quite an impact on sound character. A hard rock Maple neck will sound dramatically different from an identically crafted Mahogany neck. Pickups have the greatest effect. Bridge style/construction/material and neck joint are also higher on the list than the body.

Decorative laminates and bindings on the tops/sides have little or no effect, good or bad.