does tonewood affect electric guitar tone

Everything including the pickups, size, and weight of the guitar, wood, construction and overall setup of the guitar can potentially affect the tone of the guitar. The softer form has more gaps and pours which looks great. It’s very heavy and dense so is known for producing a bright tone with a lot of clarity. Neck pickup: used for rhythm guitar because it’s fuller and smoother. It occurred to me that one of the most important questions someone looking to buy a guitar should have is about tonewood. Now it hopefully makes a bit more sense why the wood the guitar is made of affects electric guitars less than it does with acoustic guitars. There are several factors which affect your strings: gauge, material and age. It’s still possible to buy rosewood guitars, either solid wood or solid top. It’s a lightweight wood which is fairly dense but does still have a decent grain. On top of that we have to consider the bridge, the nut, whether the neck is bolted on or glued in and the selected pickup configuration. It doesn’t have a huge amount of character but does produce a warm and balanced sound. You’ll often find solid Cedar topped guitars combined with other woods on the back and sides. This is because the wood itself is mimicking the string’s vibration at two separate points: Mechanical energy transferred from direct contact with the string (at the bridge and nut). This leads to a sharp sound. If we’re talking about acoustic guitars then the answer is that it definitely matters. The density of the wood means is provides a decent resonance and, dependent on the design of the guitar, the density may also contribute to improved natural sustain. And don’t forget feel. However, with modern pickups the wood doesn't matter at all because the days of those overly microphonic pickups have been gone for decades. Maple bodied guitars are best known for their bright and sharp sounds. Hard ash is a lot denser which gives it more sustain. Thanks for reading, I hope you found this post helpful. Usually you’ll see the wood listed as Swamp Ash. Due to the density of the wood if you play hard it might sound like it’s distorting due to the lack of brightness. Spruce is most commonly used as a top material for solid top guitars. However countless experiments don’t really seem to show much difference. A thinner piece, like an SG, has a warm growly tone with lots of bite and presence. In terms of tone you can expect a warm and vibrant tone. Wood is not completely uniform, it has grains and gaps which affects the vibrations produced by the strings. Then you have different varieties, a single coil sounds much different to a humbucker. If you’re unsure if wood affects guitar tone, then you’re definitely not alone. Cedar is a very dense wood. For example, if you have a very dense wood, which has very few gaps, then there is less space for the vibrations to move around in. The guitar body wood and the guitar neck wood, also known as tonewood, can range in look, feel, and more importantly, sound. They’re better for travelling being much less susceptible to atmospheric changes. That amazing guide you just provided there is extremely appreciated. But trying to dial in the perfect amp settings to sound like a specific band can be difficult... Hey, welcome Pro Sound HQ. There are actually two answers to that question. The first, and most significant question is whether tonewood actually matters? It’s quite light in  colour so compliments a lot of guitar colours, however, it can show wear a bit more easily than other wood types. If you click an affiliate link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you. If you wish to nitpick, even the paint or laquer will affect the tone in an minor way, but no one's ears are going to hear it. Of course it sounds even better when I plug in the Tonewood Amp, but even unplugged it is a vast improvement. Koa is exceptionally common for recording because of the tighter tone control. Let's discuss tonewoods. Furthermore, these components can be of single- or multi-wood construction. It’s completely subjective with an electric guitar and you may be adamant that you hear a difference between a cheaper material like basswood and something more expensive such as mahogany. It’s safe to say that this isn’t one for beginners! Dense, strong, and beautiful it's used as a top, sides, back, neck, and for headstocks. The impact of the choice of wood(s) on the sound of an acoustic guitar is hard to underestimate. The argument here is that the top material is responsible for much of the tone that the guitar produces. Solid wood guitars tend to have a richer tone, which improves with age. Therefore it’s commonly found in cheaper guitars. A big part of your tone comes down to how you play — how you fret chords and how you strum or pick. It’s also an attractive wood. It does affect it, anyone who says that it flat out doesn't is a fool, however the differences are minute between most wood used in guitars. Similar to the way the strings excite the top of the guitar to produce sound, ToneWoodAmp excites the back of the instrument, producing sound waves of effects such as reverb, echo, delay, tremolo and more, which interact with the natural sound of the guitar itself. That’s why we’re seeing more fingerboards made from alternative woods where they once would have been made from Rosewood. It’s quite dense so provides decent resonance. You’ll find Ash being used in mid-range guitars, owing to it’s cost. So everyone knows that when the strings are plucked, they move rapidly from side to side to create the noise. You can see why it’s popular with it’s tonal dynamism. Broadly there are three types of construction that we need to be concerned with: At the very expensive end of acoustic guitars you’ll find solid wood. Generally, soft ash works better for blues, jazz and light rock, and hard ash is the better option for hard rock and metal. Here are some of the most important factors to consider. Rosewood is not a sustainable wood. We’ll talk about neck wood and fretboard wood on other articles. The Impact of Tonewoods on Electric Guitar Tone. The heavier the gauge, the thicker the strings which produces a darker and heavier tone. The most obvious thing that affects tone in an electric guitar is the pickups. It can be plentiful and therefore reasonably cheap. That’s because it grows below the water level in the swamps of the southern US. Like electric guitars we can’t forget other factors that will affect the tone of an acoustic guitar. It isn’t much to look at, and it does have the reputation for being a bit low budget. With electric guitars, the vibrations caused by the strings, which are the source of the sound, are detected by the pickups. Tonewoods either eliminate or amplify the frequencies your strings produce, affecting the overall tone of the instrument. It produced good resonance and balances high ends well producing a reasonable bass. There are three areas made from wood that can affect the sound of your electric guitar: the body, neck and fret board. Alder is still quite a lightweight wood. So there you go! Different combinations can yield different results, and while pickups, hardware and other components can be changed in time, electric guitar tonewoods stay put once assembled. This is what allows it to highlight notes so they are more pronounced than with less dense body woods. What’s the point in paying more for a guitar because it’s made from more expensive materials if it doesn’t matter? Wood type only affects the tone and sound of acoustic instruments. Maple is another hard wood. Electric guitars are usually solid bodied, relying on pickups to produce the sound. The next step down, which is where you’ll find most guitars that cost $275 upwards are solid topped guitars. Many players ask: shouldn’t a solidbody electric guitar be immune to the acoustical properties of its materials? There are a ton of pickups on the market all of which have a distinct tone. It’s also a very durable choice. We’ve met mahogany before when we discussed electric guitars earlier. It’s quite common to find Rosewood guitars with solid Spruce tops, although they tend to be eye wateringly expensive! Solid body guitars produce a longer sustain and usually have less feedback issues than hollow or semi-hollow guitars. The first is that it depends on whether or not you’re looking at an acoustic or an electric guitar. With that said though, most people believe that wood does still have some impact. Hence, with acoustic guitars, the wood is a lot more important as it is what actually amplifies the sound and picks it up. There are three main types of body type: solid, hollow and semi-hollow. I was amazed. It’s quite lightweight and soft. However, acoustic models gain most of their sound from the wood choice. This causes whatever is hit to vibrate as well. But how exactly does this happen? I now own an acoustic guitar and several electric guitars including my personal favourite, a PRS SE Custom 24. Set necks are a bit more expensive and produce a fuller sound. Also that that effect is very minimized when the sound is pulled from the pickups, but not eliminated. No, the wood doesn’t affect the tone in the slightest. As we know mahogany is a hard wood, much harder than Cedar or Spruce. They offer a balanced sound with a lot of sustain and it gives you plenty of versatility in terms of the different genres its suited to. They then send a signal to the amplifier which produces the sound via the speaker. Being softer, unless there’s some sort of protective finish to the guitar, you might find that it dents and blemishes quite easily. Each of these different types produces a different tone. Finally you have all laminate guitars. If you want to achieve the classic Arctic Monkey's tone, then you'll need to nail the amp settings. You could argue that making a guitar out of an old door is no worse than using Mahogany or Alder. This is one of the heaviest types of guitar body woods. Most archtop guitars have spruce tops, so let’s consider what a spruce-topped archtop can sound like when combined with maple or mahogany. It’s very dense which contributes to better resonance and natural sustain. For acoustic guitars, the materials and how they are used in the guitar are critical to the guitars tonality; the “voice” it will have. An acoustic guitar requires vibration and echo to produce sound. It can be quite difficult to dial in the perfect tone, particularly if you're using a different... How to Sound Like Green Day: Amp Settings Guide. Bolt-on necks are usually the cheapest option and produce a twangier tone. But what else can affect tone? An acoustic guitar is hollow bodied and, played in it’s natural form, doesn’t rely on pickups to produce sound. It’s very light in color producing a bright and resonant response. Bridge pickups: used for lead guitar because it’s sharper and crisper. I created this website to share everything I've learnt over the past 15 years of playing guitar. For instance, the body and neck both contribute to the sound, and luthiers achieve certain tonal goals by carefully matching body and neck woods. The density gives good resonance but it’s not a bright. Head over to my Acoustic Guitar Page to take a look at some of the guitars on the market right now. Koa is becoming increasingly more popular with guitar manufacturers due to it’s natural compressing characteristic. On the other hand, humbuckers produce a thicker and fuller sounding tone that’s generally deeper and smoother. It balances this well providing some warmth so that the tone doesn’t feel too thin. Steel and nickel strings are most common on electric guitars. Through eliminating or amplifying different frequencies produced by the strings, these tonewoods can have a considerable effect on the overall tone generated by any given guitar. All ya gotta do is play two Strats, each w/ maple neck and ash body made in the same 'batch' from Fender side by side, easy to do if there's a local Guitar Center - no two sound exactly alike, IME. I love how you have made this very understandable and very simple to use. It’s harder than basswood, but can still be classed as reasonably soft. If there’s any truth that the tonewood matters in an electric guitar then lighter and less dense woods won’t provide as much resonance. It’s another matter entirely when considering acoustic guitars. So does tonewood really matter? Okay, so now you know more about body, neck and fret board wood and how it affects the tone of your guitar. There are two main types: Brazilian and Indian, with the latter being a lot more common. Solid wood guitars often cost thousands of dollars owing to the involved manufacturing process and perceived tonal quality. Whereas with electric guitars, this is done by the pickups. Ash is more scarce than Alder, which makes it more expensive. The tone wood is a lot more important on acoustic guitars than it is with electric guitars. There’s no question, the choice of tonewoods used in acoustic guitar construction plays a major role with regard to tone, but when it comes to electric guitars, it becomes far less clear. You tend to find solid wood guitars made from mahogany, maple and rosewood. The color of the mahogany depends on the variety. We’ll then move on to talk about tonewoods in acoustic guitars. Maple produces bright and punchy tones thanks to it’s coloring and density. Then how could the wood not play a role in your guitar’s tone? Well, there isn’t a definitive answer to this of course, but here’s a quick guide to guitar tone woods to give you some more information. An acoustic guitar is hollow bodied and, played in it’s natural form, doesn’t rely on pickups to produce sound. There are plenty of electric guitar body woods to choose from. The most popular hollow electric guitars are the Ibanez AF55 and Gretsch G2420 and they tend to be more used by jazz and blues players. Laminate guitars are not as vibrant as solid wood or solid top guitars. It’s a well balanced wood that produces a warm and smooth tone. Electric guitar wood can affect tone, but not much at all. Generally, heavier woods like mahogany resonate differently than a medium-bodied wood like alder and a lighter wood like basswood. Neck woods. One thing Cedar does well is bring out softer play styles. It’s strong and dense so has great durability. Just make sure to look after it! Arguably it doesn’t in solid bodied electric guitars. With acoustic guitars the vibrations produce sound when they are transmitted to the saddle, then the soundboard and body and then the sound comes through the sound hole. Solid electric guitars are very versatile and suit a wide range of genres. There are many tonewoods available and many different combinations used in construction. Laminate guitars can be good for beginners due to their low price, however I’d advise getting a solid top if you can stretch the budget a little. It can be used as a single piece or laminated (other tonewood layered on top of it). “They simply absorb certain frequencies, which in turn affects the string vibration in a subtle way. $\begingroup$ In an acoustic guitar, violin, etc., the body does two main things: (1) it efficiently couples the instrument to the air, and (2) it has a Helmholtz resonance of the air "breathing" in and out through the hole(s). Mahogany can be found across a range of guitar brands from Gibson and Epiphone to Gretsch and Ibanez. The older the strings, the duller the tone. Maple is also used on fret boards quite commonly, even more so than it is used as a body wood. Put simply that means the tone will even out if you play harder and bring out more of the subtleties when playing softly. It is usually the choice of body wood for guitarists looking or a lot of sustain, and a warm tone that has a lot of low-end frequency giving a thick sound. This is a pretty lightweight and soft kind of tonewood. link to How to Sound Like Arctic Monkeys: Amp Settings Guide, link to How to Sound Like Green Day: Amp Settings Guide, 8 Ways to Get the Perfect Lead Guitar Tone. Electric guitars are usually solid … Feel free to leave any comments or questions below. I’ll share this to my cousins, this are guitar freaks. You should be changing your strings after every 100 hours of playing in most instances. Finally, here is a quick guide on neck wood types. It’s a very dense and heavy type of wood so produces a characteristically bright tone that favours higher frequencies. It’s grain can look pretty good, so it can sometimes be found on guitars with a more natural finish. There are many different varieties of mahogany. Mahogany is heavier than other woods. Hollow guitars have a more acoustic-sounding tone. Rosewood also brings out something that’s difficult to label. So now you know a bit more about guitar wood and how it affects the tone, you’re probably wondering what wood is the best? Most guitars have three settings, one that activates the neck pickup, one that activates the bridge pickup and a third which activates both. Mahogany is a common body wood for electric guitars as well as smaller acoustic guitars, especially those designed for finger picking. When it comes to tonewoods used in the construction of guitars, there are many points that need to be considered. It’s not a particularly bright sounding wood, so it’s good if you’re looking for a beefier tone. You can find a solid top maple guitar from around $350 upwards, so you tend to find them in the mid-price range. Solid mahogany or mahogany top guitars are good for folk music because they’re not as bright as Spruce. For that reason they’re not really suited to accompany you when out on the road and not ideal for live performances. Intuitively, it would seem strange if it didn’t; but, there are many factors that are going to affect the sound produced from a guitar; isolating them is as difficult as creating a study that will convince anyone of an idea they already are clinging to. Before we go into the different types of wood, and how they affect guitar tone, it’s good to get an idea of exactly how guitars produce their sound. is also a member of other affiliate programmes. There are two mains types of ash wood: hard and soft (aka swamp ash). You can get some very nice finishes with laminate guitars because they can use a very thin layer of exotic wood for the top. Yes, but not for the reasons you would think. As mentioned above many Fender guitars use Alder, from the lower end player series right through to the American made guitars. “Basically, different woods don’t add different tone,” luthier Perry Ormsby of Ormsby Guitars explains. You can find solid mahogany top guitars from around $300 whereas solid wood mahogany guitars are much more expensive. I hope you’ve found this pose useful. The answer is that it does. How to Sound Like Arctic Monkeys: Amp Settings Guide. This is a striking choice of fret board wood. It’s very dense and heavy so gives you a brighter tone. Let’s move on and take a look at some of the most popular tonewoods used for acoustic guitars. If you buy a very cheap guitar it’ll likely be all laminate. If we’re talking about acoustic guitars then the answer is that it definitely matters. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t affect it at all. In this article, we’ll tackle specifically an electric guitar’s body wood. It’s very smooth which is great for playing quick riffs and is also incredibly durable. A thicker piece, like a Les Paul Junior, has a thicker, chunkier, meatier tone with softer highs and more push in the lower mids. This very versatile wood is also popular on guitar necks, as well as the body and fret board. You might see a reasonably cheap guitar consisting of a Spruce top paired with mahogany back and sides. This is what causes it to have a more scooped sound with more emphasis on the treble. The term ‘Tonewood‘ is used to describe wood used in the construction of stringed instruments, chosen for their acoustic properties. 1. Hey, I'm Heather. One of the more divisive arguments in guitar lore, the impact of wood choice on a guitar’s sound tends to drive people crazy. The wood the guitar is made from affects the way the sound resonates that is detected by your pickups. These guitars range widely in price, but are pretty much based on the same design. It produces a bright, warm, penetrating sound, and when used in combination with a spruce or cedar top, it helps balance the overall tone. The wood used to form the back and sides of an acoustic guitar sound chamber does a lot more than simply look good and create an enclosure. Now this is quite different than with an acoustic guitar. In this guitar tonewoods guide we’re going to take a look at some of the tonewoods available, their characteristics and what affect they have on tone. Fender used poplar in the 90’s but now favors Alder in many of their guitars. We all know an electric guitar's tone comes from various areas: the timbers used, construction method, quality of construction, hardware, pickups and amplifier. Single coils are found most famously on Fender Stratocasters and produce a twangier, brighter and more crisp sound. And when it moves back the other way, it moves into an area of low pressure, where there is less air. This is probably the most common fret board wood choice. In the following article we’re going to explore the world of acoustic guitar tonewoods, and explain how different characteristics of timber such as density, moisture, strength and flexibility influence how an acoustic guitar sounds. In fact I can't feel it against my body; 2. I am bringing this one back by popular demand. They’ll have laminate back and/or sides. It’s not so clear cut when talking about electric guitars. Although tonewood leads you down a certain tonal path, things like the body shape, pickups, nut and bridge material will also have a bearing on tone. The most popular solid body electric guitars are the Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul. The type of wood of an acoustic instrument has a huge influence on tone, but what about electric guitars? That’s reasonable as the top is the first thing to receive the sound when you strum the guitar. Early electric guitars of the 1950s and 1960s used very microphonic pickups. The grain can be quite attractive, making it a good choice for guitars with a more natural finish. Like I mentioned before, there are three main areas where wood will affect guitar tone, let’s start with the body wood. Think Squier and Epiphone guitars. They were so microphonic that they would even pick up the sounds coming from underthe pick guard, so when an electric guitar's body had a wood that vibrated more when strings were played, this did in fact affect the tone. We can swap out pickups, we can change an amplifier, or we can even add effects into the mix. Given that Rosewood is so scarce the price of guitars made of Rosewood is very high. While there is some basis for the conclusion, what it really indicates is that the ambient sound of a solid body electric does sound different with different woods. It’s these vibrations that are then detected by the guitar pickups. It responds to a lighter touch than many woods, but does not … Although it can be a bit thin sounding if you pair it with single coil pickups. It’s harder to work than basswood or poplar, which inevitably adds to the manufacturing cost. You’ll find quite a few solid wood mahogany models out there. The sound that’s being produced is directly affected by the design of the guitar, including the tonewood used. I started playing an electric guitar when I was given a Squier Strat for my birthday around 15 years ago. Some people will swear that they can tell the difference between tonewoods in electric guitars, but it seems to be subjective based on each person’s ear. Rosewood necks are commonly seen, although not as often as rosewood fret boards. We’ll take a look at tonewoods in both electric and acoustic guitars to see if it really matters. It’s a general rule of thumb that the more dense the wood, the brighter the tone. They tend to look rather appealing thanks to their darker coloring and grain. There are two main types of pickups: single-coil and humbucker. Head over to our post on 7 tips to make your amp sound better for some more information. It’s not as bright as Spruce, producing a much more mellow tone. Different manufacturers tend to favour different wood choices, but in recent years the industry has seen a shift in trends. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'prosoundhq_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_5',152,'0','0']));Okay, so now you know how electric guitars produce their sound, where does the wood come into play? The big problem with solid wood guitars is that they’re susceptible to changes in humidity and temperature, which can cause damage. Neck-through electric guitars offer the best sustain and resonance, but they are the most expensive choice. The gauge refers to the thickness of your strings. It’s traditionally used by Fender and is the most common neck wood type. But for an electric guitar, tone is a result of electro- magnetic field created by string vibration that is captured by the pickup. Tonewoods on the back and sides of a guitar can act as an equalizer, boosting or scooping certain frequencies, or like a reverb unit that adds depth and sustain to the overall sound of the instrument. There are also three main types of neck construction: bolt-on, set neck and through-neck. Here’s the difference: As I mentioned before, the actual sound your electric guitar produces comes from the vibration of the strings. The material the strings are made out of also affects the tone. Still with me? In an electric guitar, 1 is negligible and 2 is not present at all. It’s got a nice grain so it’s used for guitars with a natural finish. It’s quite commonly used in low to mid-range electric guitars. Required fields are marked *. With an electric guitar, though, the pickups and amps significantly affect the overall tone. They’re most famously used on Gibson Les Paul guitars. Thinner or lighter gauge strings produce a brighter sound, but they have less sustain and volume and are also much more prone to snapping. The tone of this wood is extremely dependant on the thickness of the billet. Head over to our post on the 4 ways your strings impact your tone for more information. You’d be unlikely to find a solid wood guitar made from Spruce. Thanks for sharing this article, it has a lot of good stuffs to teach to people and this will help a lot of guitarist understand better how to make advantage use of their tonewoods. The middle option, is the semi-hollow body electric guitar. Wood vibration can´t be directly captured by pickups. We’ll talk about types of wood later, but the tonewood used for the solid top can greatly affect tone – and price! There’s a complex mix of tones produced by Rosewood, which makes it very desirable. In fact it’s classified as protected. The age of your strings also impacts the tone. Alternatively you can get in touch using my contact page. I would have liked to seen more done on that tonewood experiment, also. Not only does tonewood affect the tone of a guitar, each individual piece of wood affects the tone. The natural color and wood grain makes a great looking natural finish. Basswood is usually exclusively used for the body of the guitar. Different wood combinations can create different tones. The way it’s cut, for instance, will affect both its workability for a guitar maker and its sonic performance. Once the unit is mounted, it does not interfere with playing. Electric guitar wood can affect tone, but not much at all. Fender American Ultra Stratocaster Review. You'll find amp controls guides, tips to improve your tone, and answers to loads of specific issues. Not only do your actual pickups affect your tone, but your pickup selector does too. There are so many factors affecting the tone produced by an electric guitar it’d be difficult to isolate whether or not tonewood actually makes a difference. I know that’s a brave thing to say because it’s an entirely subjective matter. The guitar is finished with a solid top. The sound that’s being produced is directly affected by the design of the guitar, including the tonewood used. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The additional weight of the unit will not tip the neck up. The wood configuration, particularly when it comes to the body of the guitar, isn’t as vital for electric guitars. Well, when the string moves from one side, it pushes air to the side to create high pressure. The question is simple, does wood make a difference in the tone of an electric guitar? Here are some other articles you might find useful. The Gibson ES-355 is a popular choice in this category. I want the effect to … Probably the best all round option is a solid topped guitar, but the choice of materials is something that each guitarist needs to decide on based on their preferences. Cedar is commonly found on nylon strung guitars where brighter tones aren’t needed as much as on a steel strung guitar. The right choice of guitar wood will effect the tonal qualities, amplitude, weight, stability, playability and appearance of your next guitar. As such, I am glad to have come across this guide, because this will help me know what to consider when buying him the guitar and to know which is best to buy for him. If you want to sound like Billie Joe Armstrong on the guitar, then you'll need to nail the amp settings. Here’s a quick diagram to show the difference. You don’t get the punch of the solid top with laminate guitars. The brightness of Maple allows the listener to pick out individual notes more easily giving it dynamism. Whereas, if the wood is less dense, the vibrations will be soaked in more and you’ll get a darker tone with more sustain. You’ll tend to find that guitars using Alder are a little more expensive gravitating towards the mid price range. In fact, it’s a pretty intense debate. Clear sound with a balanced tone without excessive bass resonance. These tend to be the cheapest to build and therefore lighter on the wallet. This is where the back, sides and top of the guitar are all made from the same solid wood. A Laminate Koa guitar will set you back around $350 with a solid top creeping up beyond $800 and solid wood comfortably into the thousands of dollars. These offer a happy medium between a warm tone and resonant sound. The main woods used are basswood, poplar, alder, ash and mahogany: This wood is abundant and therefore cheaper to source. Although, I do not have the interest of buying a guitar for myself soon or later because I am yet to learn how to play it but I have actually promised my brother on getting him a guitar for his next birthday. Let’s move on to talk about common tonewoods and their characteristics. Tonewoods is crucial for acoustic instruments. Now you know about the main guitar body wood types, here’s some more information about the fret or fingerboard wood. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to, and Softer woods will have a darker tone with less bite. The heavy and solid nature of mahogany makes it a great choice as a neck wood as it’s very resistant to wear and warping over time. These pressure changes radiate from the string until they hit something. For the reasons mentioned above Koa isn’t cheap. Poplar is another relatively inexpensive tonewood. Completely Guitars - Theme by Grace Themes. As mentioned earlier, acoustic guitars are where tonewoods really matter. The short answer is that nearly all the parts of an electric guitar affect the tone in some way. Koa is hard, similar to mahogany but has a brighter tone whilst retaining warmth. There are two types of Spruce but Sitka Spruce is most commonly used. Alder body woods tend to produce a balanced tone. They allow you to make alterations using the controls so you can change the volume, gain, bass, mids and treble which gives you the customisation options so you can get the tone you’re after. It’s also harder, more dense and heavier than Alder. It’s no surprise that your amplifier is one of the biggest factors in determining your electric guitar’s tone. Again it’s not very dense so it doesn’t provide the best resonance. There are a ton of videos where people have experimented with different tonewoods in electric guitars and the conclusion is always that there doesn’t seem to be an objective difference between each wood used. I installed the magnetic X-brace into my 2017 Taylor GS Mini-e Koa (which does not have any factory bracing at all on the back), and it vastly improved the sound of the guitar -- in terms of resonance, sustain, and tone. Some of the finest tonewood comes from the US Pacific NW and our guitar wood is hand-selected to be highly resonant, beautifully colored and figured - … Another benefit of Spruce is that tone improves with age. So there is little (or none) influence from the wood. An additional benefit of Spruce is that it combines well with other types of wood giving producers more flexibility. This allows the sound to resonate and create sustain, but does not allow it to become dull. Laminate is produced by sticking thin layers of wood together, similar to ply-wood but much finer. It’s not the prettiest wood so it’s generally used in guitars that have a glossy color finish. It’s frequently found on the back and sides of guitars thanks to it’s aforementioned aesthetics. Instead it produces warm bass with a rich tone. With that said though, most people believe that wood does still have some impact. Thanks for visiting! I have found the gain and volume default settings on the high side. For that reason Cedar suits those who predominantly play finger picked styles. It’s not quite as dense as maple so allows the sound to be absorbed more readily giving a deeper tone. The tone wood is a lot more important on acoustic guitars than it is with electric guitars. Guitar still sets on my leg nicely; 3. It’s commonly used to finish the top of electric guitars due to it’s good looks. Ok Guys and Gals, this is the video that started it all. Your email address will not be published. It’s not so clear cut when talking about electric guitars. Electric guitars tend to have less variety of woods than acoustic guitars. You might also see a solid Spruce top combined with Rosewood back and sides on a much more expensive guitar. Because of its great tone and relative abundance compared to rosewood, mahogany is often used in inexpensive guitars. They produce a warm and bassy sound, however, have a lower level of sustain. Guitars Don’t Live By Tonewood Alone More than just the species of wood will have a big influence on how a guitar sounds. It tends to be found in guitars in the mid price range and up. Thanks Shavo – glad you found it useful , Your email address will not be published. Rosewood guitars are very beautiful to look at too. Not only does the tonewood matter, but also the construction of the guitar. Bear in mind that woods of the same species cut from different …

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