Tone wood on hollows and semi hollows.

Discussion in 'Technical Side of Things' started by dlew919, Oct 1, 2021.

  1. gretsch-to-go

    gretsch-to-go Gretschie

    188
    Oct 2, 2019
    Palm Coast, FL
    Since the only hollow/semi-hollow I own is an acoustic, Sitka Spruce is the only deck that matters to me really. It's an Ovation Applause so the bowl is the Lyrichord composite. For an electric, I don't think I'd be too concerned with the tone wood for the deck & body as long as it was better than construction grade lumber. But there's also a point where too exotic is just a price gouge.
     
    dlew919 and drmilktruck like this.
  2. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Friend of Fred

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    I think it matters to some degree, but it certainly don’t matter to me!
     
    dlew919 likes this.
  3. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    I’m not dissing basswood. I am actually quite fond of it!
     
    petecarlton and Rusty Chops like this.
  4. bigjohnbates

    bigjohnbates Gretschie

    170
    Jun 15, 2011
    Vancouver
    There are people who believe that the colour of a solid body guitar can change its tone - perhaps what you see affects your ears. However the type of wood definitely resonates with the pickups as does how they are mounted, what else is bolted to the top, bracing etc etc - it's a delicate balance at the high end of builds. But that being said brains are wonderful thing and at this point I don't know nothing.
     
  5. j.s.c

    j.s.c Country Gent

    Aug 19, 2008
    france
    I may disagree with that. Me & one of my friends took out the strats collection of 5 units, isolate the better and the worst sounding instruments. Then swap the whole pickups plate from one to the other with the expectation of reversing the race. But no, the better was still the better (no noticable change actually) and worst with the best pickups still a mule.

    On solid bodies, wood made a large part on your tone, a bigger part than pickups. Then we swapped the part and the 1 factor was mainly the neck, then the body and pickup for the same weight.
     
    new6659 and BuddyHollywood like this.
  6. mrcoffee23

    mrcoffee23 Gretschie

    387
    Sep 23, 2009
    Virginia, USA
    Not all guitars are made the same. Not all ears are either. Some people wear glasses, we all accept that.

    Some people, despite knowing how to play guitar, don't have the ability to hear as well as others (as fully, as accurately--I'm not talking deafness here). It's not a crime, just like needing glasses isn't. Doesn't mean you can't play guitar.

    If you can't hear a difference, fine. But don't tell me I can't.

    To the OP's point, I think a mahogany laminate sounds warmer in lower mids and maple laminates give a crisper attack.
     
  7. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    But how do you know that better sounding wood was due to the general species or type of wood, or the specific piece of wood you have. imo there is a difference between "does the quality of wood affect tone?" Vs "does the species of wood affect tone?" I am guessing the former is much more relevant but don't really have a strong opinion other than that most people's experiences are not statistically significant or scientifically tested enough to be worth anything. Including mine. :confused:
     
    dlew919 likes this.
  8. Rusty Chops

    Rusty Chops Electromatic

    33
    Sep 8, 2021
    Redding, CA
    Poly vs lacquer!

    Laminated doesn’t matter, as long as the finish can breathe (inserts tongue in cheek)…
     
  9. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck I Bleed Orange

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    Try a blind listening. If you know what guitar and wood it is, then your bias takes over and you insist you can hear a difference. You might be the exception but even most expert players can't tell the difference when blinded. Lots of violinists choose other violins than Stradivarius when they don't know what violin is being played.
     
    Henry, Duo Slinger and Rusty Chops like this.
  10. Rusty Chops

    Rusty Chops Electromatic

    33
    Sep 8, 2021
    Redding, CA
    I’ve had Morgan Plus 4 owners tell me that in running over a cigarette butt on a paved road, they could tell if it was filter or plain tipped, and how long it had been there.

    If you doubt it, take a ride in a Morgan sports car. Be sure to bring a small container along, for your fillings.
     
    capnhiho and dlew919 like this.
  11. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck I Bleed Orange

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    Eric Johnson has said the myth about him being able to tell what type of battery a pedal used is a joke.
     
    dlew919 and Rusty Chops like this.
  12. Rusty Chops

    Rusty Chops Electromatic

    33
    Sep 8, 2021
    Redding, CA
    A fellow truck driver said he could tell by hearing what kind of truck was approaching.
    His back was to traffic in a restaurant we were in.
    He guessed right at least 25 times. Never missed.
    As we left I noticed there was a big window pane he could see their reflection in as they approached!
     
  13. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
     
  14. englishman

    englishman Gretschified

    Age:
    64
    Apr 5, 2014
    Detroit
    Wood can be very inconsistent from one piece to the next. Two body blanks from the same tree can be quite different in weight and 'resonance'.
    With a hollow or semi hollow body, the wood selection pretty much only makes a difference to the acoustic sound, which has nothing to do with the amplified sound.
    The difference in sound between a solid and a hollowbody when amplified comes from the sound from the amplifier re-enters the guitar body via the F holes and tends to vibrate at certain frequencies from a little all the way to straight feedback.
    As always, bias confirmation plays a role in this.
     
    Bertotti and dlew919 like this.
  15. BuddyHollywood

    BuddyHollywood Gretschie

    248
    Sep 11, 2009
    Venice, CA
    Nothing to do with the amplified sound? The acoustic sound of an electric guitar has everything to do with how it will sound amplified. Why would you choose one guitar over another if it didn't? The acoustic sound is the foundation of the amplified sound. When I plug in my Duo Jet it sounds like my Duo Jet unplugged but louder and fuller with full tone shaping and volume control. I have P90s in solid body guitars and those guitars sound nothing like my Casino with P90s. My Casino amplified sounds like a louder and fuller version of my Casino acoustically. If I put a pickup in my acoustic it sounds like my acoustic guitar but louder. Pickups and pots affect tone but they don't produce it. The strings vibrating against the wood or whatever material they are anchored to produce the sound that is amplified.
     
    dlew919 likes this.
  16. SAguitar

    SAguitar Synchromatic

    859
    Jan 17, 2020
    Jack Plate, Oregon
    I'm making a not-so-solid body guitar out of Jello.
     
    dlew919 likes this.
  17. englishman

    englishman Gretschified

    Age:
    64
    Apr 5, 2014
    Detroit
    Afraid not, the strings disturb the electromagnetic field above the pickup and THAT is what goes to the amplifier. The wood does not affect the EM field whatsoever. What it can affect is sustain, a guitar that is TOO resonant will sap energy from vibrating strings.
    The pickups and pots are 99% of the sound. As mentioned before, confirmation bias plays a big part in this.
     
    Rock Lajoint and dlew919 like this.
  18. BuddyHollywood

    BuddyHollywood Gretschie

    248
    Sep 11, 2009
    Venice, CA
    What are the strings anchored to? If what you say is true every guitar with the same pickups would sound exactly the same. Two of the same exact model guitar don't ever sound the same let alone two completely different models with the same pickups.
     
    dlew919 and slickfaster like this.
  19. englishman

    englishman Gretschified

    Age:
    64
    Apr 5, 2014
    Detroit
    “Same” pickups are rarely the same. The variance in actual resistance in pots can be all over the place.
    As long as it’s sturdy, it doesn’t matter what the strings are anchored to.

    We will not agree here, so let’s agree to disagree
     
    dlew919 likes this.
  20. BuddyHollywood

    BuddyHollywood Gretschie

    248
    Sep 11, 2009
    Venice, CA
    Yes. I feel the same. I wear glasses.
     
    dlew919 and mrcoffee23 like this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.