Is "Tonewood" bullshit? This guy says it is...

kevin65

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If a guitar looks good, feels good and plays good, what is there to worry about, except the price of course.
 

Bluesky

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I just built a guitar from a $45 redwood Pine second body. It was a second becuase it had a ton of cool Knots. And a $99 neck from All Parts.

I did NOT skimp on the Pick ups and the hardware. Tom Short electronics, barden Bridge and sperzels. I specnt approximately $400. The Guitar Kills!

Still need to dial in the set up but it sounds amazing. :wave:
 

River

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Tone is in the luthier. That's how I read the article, and I agree.
 

old mark

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I just built a guitar from a $45 redwood Pine second body. It was a second becuase it had a ton of cool Knots. And a $99 neck from All Parts.

I did NOT skimp on the Pick ups and the hardware. Tom Short electronics, barden Bridge and sperzels. I specnt approximately $400. The Guitar Kills!

Still need to dial in the set up but it sounds amazing. :wave:
I'm putting a Tele together now using the body from a $60 import made of some very light wood I can't recall the name of...some sort of oriental swamp wood. I'm using Fender vintage standard Tele pups and controls and a heavy bridge plate.

It's funny - I think 8 pages should be about right, so I'm leaving this discussion lone till Wednesday...:shock:
Think there will be other opinions on this?


mark
 

lunchbox

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Tone is in the luthier. That's how I read the article, and I agree.
Definitely, but different woods of varying densities vibrate at differing rates, which affects the vibration of the strings as well, thereby giving the different types of wood different 'tone'. I'm sure someone has or can measure this definitively by measuring the vibration of a guitar neck/body when a chord is strummed.

I had a '78 Maple RD Standard and a '76 Mahogany Explorer ('58 RI) with the same strings and pups (SD Antiquity) on both. Under the exact same conditions (changing guitars in the middle of a set w/o changing the amp settings), they sounded completely different, tonewise. The Maple was 'bright' and 'crunchy', the Mahogany was 'dark' and 'warm'.

There is a difference, and I've heard it.
 

SKATTERBRANE

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So why do the Gibson acoustic guitars I have owned, some made of mahogany, some of spruce, some of maple, some of rosewood, all sound SOOOO differently?

I think the Maple guitars sound bright, the spuce topped ones sound fuller than the mahogany topped ones, which sound thin. My favorites are the rosewood bodies with spruce tops.

To say the wood choice does not affect tone is silly.
 

BillB1960

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Definitely, but different woods of varying densities vibrate at differing rates, which affects the vibration of the strings as well, thereby giving the different types of wood different 'tone'. I'm sure someone has or can measure this definitively by measuring the vibration of a guitar neck/body when a chord is strummed.

I had a '78 Maple RD Standard and a '76 Mahogany Explorer ('58 RI) with the same strings and pups (SD Antiquity) on both. Under the exact same conditions (changing guitars in the middle of a set w/o changing the amp settings), they sounded completely different, tonewise. The Maple was 'bright' and 'crunchy', the Mahogany was 'dark' and 'warm'.

There is a difference, and I've heard it.
2 different guitars sounding different...imagine that!
 

AngryHatter

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So why do the Gibson acoustic guitars I have owned, some made of mahogany, some of spruce, some of maple, some of rosewood, all sound SOOOO different?

I think the Maple guitars sound bright, the spuce topped ones sound fuller than the mahogany topped ones, which sound thin. My favorites are the rosewood bodies with spruce tops.

To say the wood choice does not affect tone is silly.
Comparing an acoustic to an electric is silly.
One depends on wood for tone, the other electronics.

But I have noticed a bridge making a difference? Gawd help me.
 

rxbandit

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They matter, but NOWHERE near as much as internet forums filled with bored guitarists would suggest
 

River

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The article's about acoustic guitars...

Lunchbox, for every experience like yours there's one like mine - two electric guitars made from entirely different materials that sound the same.

Back to acoustics: while I'm sure this'd be quite a dust-up on an acoustic forum or amongst luthiers, I've heard Gator, Roman, and several others here preach what boils down to the same message. "Bullshit" is certainly too strong a word, but the "wrong" woods in the right hands can produce remarkable results.
 

cynic79

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Jol Dantzig has an interesting take on the formula for putting together a guitar in the most recent issue of Premier Guitar.

Building Blocks of Sound - Premier Guitar

Based on his previous columns, he seems to be of the belief that while wood has an impact on the sound, it is only one element in the overall equation, and its tonal effect can be offset through other measures. That's not entirely at odds with the article in the original post. Wood is a factor in making a guitar, but it is only one part of a much larger equation.
 

BillB1960

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First of all the article is focused on acoustic instruments not electric. Whole different kettle of fish. Second, the article is addressing the contention that a fine acoustic instrument can't be made of anything but the best tonewoods which has already been proven wrong by Bob Taylor with his pallet guitar. The article doesn't say anything about different woods not sounding different in acoustic instruments. A spruce top acoustic will sound different from a cedar top but then 2 different spruce tops will sound different as well.
 


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