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Unread 07-30-2010, 04:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Best wood for stratocaster?

Hi, I got a kind of crappy stratocaster-copy guitar and I have been playing with the idea of making a new body for it.

I'm planning on using the same electronics,neck, pickups and that stuff, but building a new body.
I have no idea what body shape I will choose, but maybe a explorer or V?

Anyway... My question is what type of wood would be the best for a single coil-guitar?
I'm guessing it depends on what sound I want and what music I'm playing, but I just want your views on the different types of wood.

Thanks... Håkon
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Unread 07-30-2010, 05:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Best wood for stratocaster?

My vote--swamp ash...

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Unread 07-30-2010, 05:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Best wood for stratocaster?

I like normal ash!
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Unread 07-30-2010, 05:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Best wood for stratocaster?

I really like the way the Fender-style single coils go with my Alder Tele. And it's by far my best sounding solid body unplugged.
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Unread 07-30-2010, 05:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Best wood for stratocaster?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jokun View Post

Anyway... My question is what type of wood would be the best for a single coil-guitar?
Poplar
Alder
Ash

They all sound good.

Warmoth do a lot of other body woods - if you didn't know. And then there's Drop-tops. The world is your Oyster.
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Unread 07-30-2010, 05:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Best wood for stratocaster?

If it's really crappy, why bother? Spend the money towards a nicer guitar, as a nice body won't make a truly 'crappy' guitar any better.
good luck.
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Unread 07-30-2010, 05:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Best wood for stratocaster?

dont listen to Dennis..have fun learning and build out of:
ASH
ASH
ASH
forget swamp ash..its a budget project..you can get ash cheap enough and maybe you can be clever and try some weight relieving under the pickguard.....but please..no swimming pools like this load of shit:
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Unread 07-30-2010, 06:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Best wood for stratocaster?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shtdaprdtr View Post
dont listen to Dennis..have fun learning
That's why I bought this guitar!

Seems like ash is the way to go...

But why not have a swimmingpool? Does it affect the tone in a bad way?
With its current body it has one and I thought it was awesome 'cause it was a lot easier to sheild, plus it will be easier if I decide to fit a humbucker in it(Which I'm considering doing...).

Thanks for your quick replies!
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Unread 07-30-2010, 06:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Best wood for stratocaster?

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Originally Posted by '59_Standard View Post
Poplar
Alder
Ash
What are the differences between the woods? (tonewise)
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Unread 07-30-2010, 09:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Best wood for stratocaster?

Disregarding a crappy parts-weakest link in the chain guitar scenario,I'd do swamp/Light ash or Alder. If I was going to build the BEST Strat I could muster without going overboard with figured woods and retaining the desireable characteristics of a Strat,I would go for Alder. Preferably 2 piece just for mental reasons.
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Unread 07-31-2010, 01:28 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Best wood for stratocaster?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jokun View Post
What are the differences between the woods? (tonewise)
$$$$$$$ price, usually...

Imho - I don't buy into the "Species Name" given to a piece of wood as giving you X as a sound, because it is that. e.g. Change the pick-ups on an Electric and you change the sound - I don't see it all about the wood giving you the "Tone." Why do two Identical guitars with the same wood/etc, off a Production line, NOT sound the same. Why does one sound Thinner/Fatter when played, Unamplified?

I agree with what John Suhr wrote at the beginning of his webpage, here - "its in the hands."

Thats not to say Woods don't sound different - each piece is never the same, granted. But how much difference in sound would there be with a 5lb in weight Poplar/Alder/Ash body for an Electric? YMMV


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Unread 07-31-2010, 01:49 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Best wood for stratocaster?

I don't know, the body wood doesn't seem to affect Stratocasters as it does on many other guitars which are set neck and have another Pickup mounting.

My theory is that most of the sound comes from the fretboard wood and the, laugh at me, pickguard in which the pickups are mounted.
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Unread 07-31-2010, 02:00 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Best wood for stratocaster?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jokun View Post
That's why I bought this guitar!

Seems like ash is the way to go...

But why not have a swimmingpool? Does it affect the tone in a bad way?
With its current body it has one and I thought it was awesome 'cause it was a lot easier to sheild, plus it will be easier if I decide to fit a humbucker in it(Which I'm considering doing...).

Thanks for your quick replies!
ash will be way more responsive and percussive...a little more sensitive to your pick attack..not to mention it will be louder and resonate...remember..the harder wood will resonate and not dampen the tone. The only reason why Leo Fender changed from Ash to alder is because the finish would soak into the ash grains when it would settle and therefore had to really be sealed before you painted it..it was all about cost effectiveness with Leo Fender. As far as the swimming pool route...it is said that a lot of 80's Fender bodies would distort over time due to the weak area between the neck and bridge..plus each pickup having its own cavity has tonal advantages...if you want humbuckers then do it as Fender does it today..have some wood in between like this
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Unread 07-31-2010, 02:55 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Best wood for stratocaster?

I'm down with the Ash....that's a great wood for a Strat!
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Unread 07-31-2010, 03:04 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Best wood for stratocaster?

I'm a Telecaster player from way the hell back (I mean way the hell...).

My take on it:

Ash... Like a Louisville Slugger ball bat...The harder and tighter grain the better.
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Unread 07-31-2010, 04:27 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Best wood for stratocaster?

Ash if its a nice piece preferably lighter. I don't have any experience with "swamp ash" Strats.

Anyway I've had a '78 and '79 strat with Ash...they were dead pigs and weighed a ton.Sold one and took one apart. I still have all the pieces to put one together-with some work.

I had an 83ish strat which I think the wood might have been poplar or a very very light Alder,it was a good Strat.
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Unread 07-31-2010, 06:12 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Best wood for stratocaster?

Dude, just use oak
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Unread 07-31-2010, 07:05 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Best wood for stratocaster?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRF View Post
preferably lighter
Being a les paul guy, I have always thought that when it comes to body weight it is "the heavier, the better", but it seems strats are different...

Remember, it wont be a strat body... It will be an explorer or V with strat electronics and pickups!
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