fbpx

does tonewood affect electric guitar tone

There are many tonewoods available and many different combinations used in construction. It’s got a nice grain so it’s used for guitars with a natural finish. The answer is that it does. Finally, here is a quick guide on neck wood types. It occurred to me that one of the most important questions someone looking to buy a guitar should have is about tonewood. You might also see a solid Spruce top combined with Rosewood back and sides on a much more expensive guitar. The tone wood is a lot more important on acoustic guitars than it is with electric guitars. 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. Usually you’ll see the wood listed as Swamp Ash. 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. In fact it’s classified as protected. You can get some very nice finishes with laminate guitars because they can use a very thin layer of exotic wood for the top. If you buy a very cheap guitar it’ll likely be all laminate. The first, and most significant question is whether tonewood actually matters? An acoustic guitar requires vibration and echo to produce sound. Rosewood is not a sustainable wood. 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. You’ll find quite a few solid wood mahogany models out there. It’s not the prettiest wood so it’s generally used in guitars that have a glossy color finish. The next step down, which is where you’ll find most guitars that cost $275 upwards are solid topped guitars. You’ll find Ash being used in mid-range guitars, owing to it’s cost. Mahogany can be found across a range of guitar brands from Gibson and Epiphone to Gretsch and Ibanez. It’s a general rule of thumb that the more dense the wood, the brighter the tone. I am bringing this one back by popular demand. There are several factors which affect your strings: gauge, material and age. It’s very dense which contributes to better resonance and natural sustain. 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. What’s the point in paying more for a guitar because it’s made from more expensive materials if it doesn’t matter? Electric guitars are usually solid … Like electric guitars we can’t forget other factors that will affect the tone of an acoustic guitar. Solid electric guitars are very versatile and suit a wide range of genres. The density gives good resonance but it’s not a bright. 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. Not only does the tonewood matter, but also the construction of the guitar. Given that Rosewood is so scarce the price of guitars made of Rosewood is very high. These tend to be the cheapest to build and therefore lighter on the wallet. Thanks for visiting! You'll find amp controls guides, tips to improve your tone, and answers to loads of specific issues. Wood type only affects the tone and sound of acoustic instruments. Spruce is most commonly used as a top material for solid top guitars. 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. Guitars Don’t Live By Tonewood Alone More than just the species of wood will have a big influence on how a guitar sounds. 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. If you want to sound like Billie Joe Armstrong on the guitar, then you'll need to nail the amp settings. You’ll tend to find that guitars using Alder are a little more expensive gravitating towards the mid price range. We’ll then move on to talk about tonewoods in acoustic guitars. Cedar is a very dense wood. 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. Fender American Ultra Stratocaster Review. That’s because it grows below the water level in the swamps of the southern US. 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. Of course it sounds even better when I plug in the Tonewood Amp, but even unplugged it is a vast improvement. This is what causes it to have a more scooped sound with more emphasis on the treble. So there you go! Hollow guitars have a more acoustic-sounding tone. 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 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. It’s another matter entirely when considering acoustic guitars. The most popular solid body electric guitars are the Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul. Maple is another hard wood. 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. The impact of the choice of wood(s) on the sound of an acoustic guitar is hard to underestimate. Still with me? Hence, with acoustic guitars, the wood is a lot more important as it is what actually amplifies the sound and picks it up. They tend to look rather appealing thanks to their darker coloring and grain. 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. A big part of your tone comes down to how you play — how you fret chords and how you strum or pick. If you click an affiliate link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you. It’s these vibrations that are then detected by the guitar pickups. Mahogany is heavier than other woods. Head over to my Acoustic Guitar Page to take a look at some of the guitars on the market right now. 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? Poplar is another relatively inexpensive tonewood. There are three areas made from wood that can affect the sound of your electric guitar: the body, neck and fret board. Once the unit is mounted, it does not interfere with playing. Maple bodied guitars are best known for their bright and sharp sounds. Put simply that means the tone will even out if you play harder and bring out more of the subtleties when playing softly. It’s very light in color producing a bright and resonant response. An acoustic guitar is hollow bodied and, played in it’s natural form, doesn’t rely on pickups to produce sound. Basswood is usually exclusively used for the body of the guitar. There are two main types: Brazilian and Indian, with the latter being a lot more common. It’s quite common to find Rosewood guitars with solid Spruce tops, although they tend to be eye wateringly expensive! It’s very smooth which is great for playing quick riffs and is also incredibly durable. Softer woods will have a darker tone with less bite. Hard ash is a lot denser which gives it more sustain. Solid mahogany or mahogany top guitars are good for folk music because they’re not as bright as Spruce. However countless experiments don’t really seem to show much difference. The middle option, is the semi-hollow body electric guitar. Now this is quite different than with an acoustic guitar. 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). Rosewood also brings out something that’s difficult to label. The sound that’s being produced is directly affected by the design of the guitar, including the tonewood used. In terms of tone you can expect a warm and vibrant tone. I started playing an electric guitar when I was given a Squier Strat for my birthday around 15 years ago. Well, when the string moves from one side, it pushes air to the side to create high pressure. I know that’s a brave thing to say because it’s an entirely subjective matter. I love how you have made this very understandable and very simple to use. 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. The heavier the gauge, the thicker the strings which produces a darker and heavier tone. It isn’t much to look at, and it does have the reputation for being a bit low budget. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. 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. Let's discuss tonewoods. 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? This allows the sound to resonate and create sustain, but does not allow it to become dull. 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. Neck-through electric guitars offer the best sustain and resonance, but they are the most expensive choice. Laminate is produced by sticking thin layers of wood together, similar to ply-wood but much finer. Then how could the wood not play a role in your guitar’s tone? Alder body woods tend to produce a balanced tone. 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. Neck woods. For the reasons mentioned above Koa isn’t cheap. It’s not a particularly bright sounding wood, so it’s good if you’re looking for a beefier tone. When it comes to tonewoods used in the construction of guitars, there are many points that need to be considered. This is what allows it to highlight notes so they are more pronounced than with less dense body woods. It’s not so clear cut when talking about electric guitars. Each of these different types produces a different tone. You tend to find solid wood guitars made from mahogany, maple and rosewood. It produces a bright, warm, penetrating sound, and when used in combination with a spruce or cedar top, it helps balance the overall tone. 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. Let’s move on to talk about common tonewoods and their characteristics. 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. I created this website to share everything I've learnt over the past 15 years of playing guitar. With an electric guitar, though, the pickups and amps significantly affect the overall tone. With electric guitars, the vibrations caused by the strings, which are the source of the sound, are detected by the pickups. There are two mains types of ash wood: hard and soft (aka swamp ash). Although it can be a bit thin sounding if you pair it with single coil pickups. Guitar still sets on my leg nicely; 3. The color of the mahogany depends on the variety. Set necks are a bit more expensive and produce a fuller sound. 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. Because of its great tone and relative abundance compared to rosewood, mahogany is often used in inexpensive guitars. It’s also an attractive wood. Here’s the difference: As I mentioned before, the actual sound your electric guitar produces comes from the vibration of the strings. Furthermore, these components can be of single- or multi-wood construction. These guitars range widely in price, but are pretty much based on the same design. It’s not as bright as Spruce, producing a much more mellow tone. The tone wood is a lot more important on acoustic guitars than it is with electric guitars. Prosoundhq.com is also a member of other affiliate programmes. The question is simple, does wood make a difference in the tone of an electric guitar? That’s why we’re seeing more fingerboards made from alternative woods where they once would have been made from Rosewood. But how exactly does this happen? We’ve met mahogany before when we discussed electric guitars earlier. Tonewoods either eliminate or amplify the frequencies your strings produce, affecting the overall tone of the instrument. This is probably the most common fret board wood choice. 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. Most archtop guitars have spruce tops, so let’s consider what a spruce-topped archtop can sound like when combined with maple or mahogany. Here’s a quick diagram to show the difference. Fender used poplar in the 90’s but now favors Alder in many of their guitars. You can find solid mahogany top guitars from around $300 whereas solid wood mahogany guitars are much more expensive. And when it moves back the other way, it moves into an area of low pressure, where there is less air. These pressure changes radiate from the string until they hit something. These offer a happy medium between a warm tone and resonant sound. It’s not so clear cut when talking about electric guitars. The big problem with solid wood guitars is that they’re susceptible to changes in humidity and temperature, which can cause damage. There are also three main types of neck construction: bolt-on, set neck and through-neck. The sound that’s being produced is directly affected by the design of the guitar, including the tonewood used. Different wood combinations can create different tones. We can swap out pickups, we can change an amplifier, or we can even add effects into the mix. Due to the density of the wood if you play hard it might sound like it’s distorting due to the lack of brightness. It’s strong and dense so has great durability. In an electric guitar, 1 is negligible and 2 is not present at all. It’s quite dense so provides decent resonance. Your email address will not be published. They’re better for travelling being much less susceptible to atmospheric changes. For instance, the body and neck both contribute to the sound, and luthiers achieve certain tonal goals by carefully matching body and neck woods. Electric guitar wood can affect tone, but not much at all. For that reason Cedar suits those who predominantly play finger picked styles. It responds to a lighter touch than many woods, but does not … Rosewood necks are commonly seen, although not as often as rosewood fret boards. I was amazed. However, with modern pickups the wood doesn't matter at all because the days of those overly microphonic pickups have been gone for decades. The Gibson ES-355 is a popular choice in this category. 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. Rosewood guitars are very beautiful to look at too. This is a pretty lightweight and soft kind of tonewood. It’s commonly used to finish the top of electric guitars due to it’s good looks. So does tonewood really matter? An acoustic guitar is hollow bodied and, played in it’s natural form, doesn’t rely on pickups to produce sound. Most guitars have three settings, one that activates the neck pickup, one that activates the bridge pickup and a third which activates both. 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. They then send a signal to the amplifier which produces the sound via the speaker. A thicker piece, like a Les Paul Junior, has a thicker, chunkier, meatier tone with softer highs and more push in the lower mids. It’s a lightweight wood which is fairly dense but does still have a decent grain. It’s still possible to buy rosewood guitars, either solid wood or solid top. Mahogany is a common body wood for electric guitars as well as smaller acoustic guitars, especially those designed for finger picking. “They simply absorb certain frequencies, which in turn affects the string vibration in a subtle way. You can see why it’s popular with it’s tonal dynamism. 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. The argument here is that the top material is responsible for much of the tone that the guitar produces. Koa is exceptionally common for recording because of the tighter tone control. Bridge pickups: used for lead guitar because it’s sharper and crisper. Maple produces bright and punchy tones thanks to it’s coloring and density. Here are some of the most important factors to consider. Thanks Shavo – glad you found it useful , Your email address will not be published. As we know mahogany is a hard wood, much harder than Cedar or Spruce. There are three main types of body type: solid, hollow and semi-hollow. Being softer, unless there’s some sort of protective finish to the guitar, you might find that it dents and blemishes quite easily. The right choice of guitar wood will effect the tonal qualities, amplitude, weight, stability, playability and appearance of your next guitar. It’s quite commonly used in low to mid-range electric guitars. It’s also harder, more dense and heavier than Alder. Now you know about the main guitar body wood types, here’s some more information about the fret or fingerboard wood. Alternatively you can get in touch using my contact page. Maple is also used on fret boards quite commonly, even more so than it is used as a body wood. It tends to be found in guitars in the mid price range and up. On the other hand, humbuckers produce a thicker and fuller sounding tone that’s generally deeper and smoother. Ok Guys and Gals, this is the video that started it all. There’s a complex mix of tones produced by Rosewood, which makes it very desirable. Bear in mind that woods of the same species cut from different … Koa is hard, similar to mahogany but has a brighter tone whilst retaining warmth. 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. Head over to our post on the 4 ways your strings impact your tone for more information. 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. The short answer is that nearly all the parts of an electric guitar affect the tone in some way. “Basically, different woods don’t add different tone,” luthier Perry Ormsby of Ormsby Guitars explains. Steel and nickel strings are most common on electric guitars. The gauge refers to the thickness of your strings. Prosoundhq.com 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 amazon.com, amazon.ca and amazon.co.uk. In this article, we’ll tackle specifically an electric guitar’s body 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. Whereas, if the wood is less dense, the vibrations will be soaked in more and you’ll get a darker tone with more sustain. In fact, it’s a pretty intense debate. 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. It’s frequently found on the back and sides of guitars thanks to it’s aforementioned aesthetics. I’ll share this to my cousins, this are guitar freaks. Early electric guitars of the 1950s and 1960s used very microphonic pickups. The age of your strings also impacts the 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 - … With that said though, most people believe that wood does still have some impact. The first is that it depends on whether or not you’re looking at an acoustic or an electric guitar. A thinner piece, like an SG, has a warm growly tone with lots of bite and presence. 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. So everyone knows that when the strings are plucked, they move rapidly from side to side to create the noise. Tonewoods is crucial for acoustic instruments. It’s safe to say that this isn’t one for beginners! The tone of this wood is extremely dependant on the thickness of the billet. But what else can affect tone? Not only does tonewood affect the tone of a guitar, each individual piece of wood affects the tone. You’d be unlikely to find a solid wood guitar made from Spruce. It’s a well balanced wood that produces a warm and smooth tone. One thing Cedar does well is bring out softer play styles. There are two main types of pickups: single-coil and humbucker. 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. This is where the back, sides and top of the guitar are all made from the same solid wood. Electric guitars are usually solid bodied, relying on pickups to produce the sound. Thanks for reading, I hope you found this post helpful. 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. They produce a warm and bassy sound, however, have a lower level of sustain. It’s grain can look pretty good, so it can sometimes be found on guitars with a more natural finish. Think Squier and Epiphone guitars. Bolt-on necks are usually the cheapest option and produce a twangier tone. The way it’s cut, for instance, will affect both its workability for a guitar maker and its sonic performance. Finally you have all laminate guitars. You might see a reasonably cheap guitar consisting of a Spruce top paired with mahogany back and sides. But for an electric guitar, tone is a result of electro- magnetic field created by string vibration that is captured by the pickup. It produced good resonance and balances high ends well producing a reasonable bass. There are many different varieties of mahogany. Also that that effect is very minimized when the sound is pulled from the pickups, but not eliminated. An additional benefit of Spruce is that it combines well with other types of wood giving producers more flexibility. It’s a very dense and heavy type of wood so produces a characteristically bright tone that favours higher frequencies. You’ll often find solid Cedar topped guitars combined with other woods on the back and sides. Neck pickup: used for rhythm guitar because it’s fuller and smoother. It’s very dense and heavy so gives you a brighter tone. Feel free to leave any comments or questions below. The most obvious thing that affects tone in an electric guitar is the pickups. We all know an electric guitar's tone comes from various areas: the timbers used, construction method, quality of construction, hardware, pickups and amplifier. Generally, soft ash works better for blues, jazz and light rock, and hard ash is the better option for hard rock and metal. Like I mentioned before, there are three main areas where wood will affect guitar tone, let’s start with the body wood. 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. The wood the guitar is made from affects the way the sound resonates that is detected by your pickups. You could argue that making a guitar out of an old door is no worse than using Mahogany or Alder. Therefore it’s commonly found in cheaper guitars. Electric guitars tend to have less variety of woods than acoustic guitars. However, acoustic models gain most of their sound from the wood choice. 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. 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. I have found the gain and volume default settings on the high side. Wood vibration can´t be directly captured by pickups. If we’re talking about acoustic guitars then the answer is that it definitely matters. And don’t forget feel. Solid wood guitars tend to have a richer tone, which improves with age. 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. That’s reasonable as the top is the first thing to receive the sound when you strum the guitar. Hey, I'm Heather. The main woods used are basswood, poplar, alder, ash and mahogany: This wood is abundant and therefore cheaper to source. For acoustic guitars, the materials and how they are used in the guitar are critical to the guitars tonality; the “voice” it will have. It’s not quite as dense as maple so allows the sound to be absorbed more readily giving a deeper tone. 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. It doesn’t have a huge amount of character but does produce a warm and balanced sound. It’s traditionally used by Fender and is the most common neck wood type. Wood is not completely uniform, it has grains and gaps which affects the vibrations produced by the strings. 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. For that reason they’re not really suited to accompany you when out on the road and not ideal for live performances. Just make sure to look after it! Arguably it doesn’t in solid bodied electric guitars. Ash is more scarce than Alder, which makes it more expensive. The material the strings are made out of also affects the tone. Then you have different varieties, a single coil sounds much different to a humbucker. You don’t get the punch of the solid top with laminate guitars. 1. $\begingroup$ 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). Laminate guitars are not as vibrant as solid wood or solid top guitars. Dense, strong, and beautiful it's used as a top, sides, back, neck, and for headstocks. 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. We’ll talk about types of wood later, but the tonewood used for the solid top can greatly affect tone – and price! You should be changing your strings after every 100 hours of playing in most instances. I hope you’ve found this pose useful. Instead it produces warm bass with a rich tone. The grain can be quite attractive, making it a good choice for guitars with a more natural finish. The term ‘Tonewood‘ is used to describe wood used in the construction of stringed instruments, chosen for their acoustic properties. I now own an acoustic guitar and several electric guitars including my personal favourite, a PRS SE Custom 24. One of the more divisive arguments in guitar lore, the impact of wood choice on a guitar’s sound tends to drive people crazy. It’s harder than basswood, but can still be classed as reasonably soft. It’s very heavy and dense so is known for producing a bright tone with a lot of clarity. If you’re unsure if wood affects guitar tone, then you’re definitely not alone. We’ll talk about neck wood and fretboard wood on other articles. If we’re talking about acoustic guitars then the answer is that it definitely matters. Alder is still quite a lightweight wood. There are a ton of pickups on the market all of which have a distinct tone. Required fields are marked *. This is one of the heaviest types of guitar body woods. Head over to our post on 7 tips to make your amp sound better for some more information. 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. In fact I can't feel it against my body; 2. No, the wood doesn’t affect the tone in the slightest. This causes whatever is hit to vibrate as well. The softer form has more gaps and pours which looks great. Another benefit of Spruce is that tone improves with age. As mentioned earlier, acoustic guitars are where tonewoods really matter. Koa is becoming increasingly more popular with guitar manufacturers due to it’s natural compressing characteristic. 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. Here are some other articles you might find useful. They’ll have laminate back and/or sides. It can be used as a single piece or laminated (other tonewood layered on top of it). It’s harder to work than basswood or poplar, which inevitably adds to the manufacturing cost. We’ll take a look at tonewoods in both electric and acoustic guitars to see if it really matters. The natural color and wood grain makes a great looking natural finish. It’s quite lightweight and soft. How to Sound Like Arctic Monkeys: Amp Settings Guide. Again it’s not very dense so it doesn’t provide the best resonance. Clear sound with a balanced tone without excessive bass resonance. The additional weight of the unit will not tip the neck up. 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. Solid body guitars produce a longer sustain and usually have less feedback issues than hollow or semi-hollow guitars. The wood configuration, particularly when it comes to the body of the guitar, isn’t as vital for electric guitars. I would have liked to seen more done on that tonewood experiment, also. The Impact of Tonewoods on Electric Guitar Tone. It balances this well providing some warmth so that the tone doesn’t feel too thin. 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 older the strings, the duller the tone. Solid wood guitars often cost thousands of dollars owing to the involved manufacturing process and perceived tonal quality. Let’s move on and take a look at some of the most popular tonewoods used for acoustic guitars. This very versatile wood is also popular on guitar necks, as well as the body and fret board. As mentioned above many Fender guitars use Alder, from the lower end player series right through to the American made guitars. 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. But trying to dial in the perfect amp settings to sound like a specific band can be difficult... Hey, welcome Pro Sound HQ. 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. The guitar is finished with a solid top. Different manufacturers tend to favour different wood choices, but in recent years the industry has seen a shift in trends. Completely Guitars - Theme by Grace Themes. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t affect it at all. This leads to a sharp sound. 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. The brightness of Maple allows the listener to pick out individual notes more easily giving it dynamism. It can be plentiful and therefore reasonably cheap. There are two types of Spruce but Sitka Spruce is most commonly used. Single coils are found most famously on Fender Stratocasters and produce a twangier, brighter and more crisp sound. Electric guitar wood can affect tone, but not much at all. It’s also a very durable choice. It’s no surprise that your amplifier is one of the biggest factors in determining your electric guitar’s tone. That amazing guide you just provided there is extremely appreciated. Cedar is commonly found on nylon strung guitars where brighter tones aren’t needed as much as on a steel strung guitar. Okay, so now you know more about body, neck and fret board wood and how it affects the tone of your guitar. I want the effect to … Yes, but not for the reasons you would think. They’re most famously used on Gibson Les Paul guitars. So there is little (or none) influence from the wood. There are actually two answers to that question. The type of wood of an acoustic instrument has a huge influence on tone, but what about electric guitars? You can find a solid top maple guitar from around $350 upwards, so you tend to find them in the mid-price range. Generally, heavier woods like mahogany resonate differently than a medium-bodied wood like alder and a lighter wood like basswood. Whereas with electric guitars, this is done by the pickups. If you want to achieve the classic Arctic Monkey's tone, then you'll need to nail the amp settings. With that said though, most people believe that wood does still have some impact. Many players ask: shouldn’t a solidbody electric guitar be immune to the acoustical properties of its materials? There are plenty of electric guitar body woods to choose from. This is a striking choice of fret board wood. I was given a Squier Strat for my birthday around 15 years ago the road and not for. Once the unit does tonewood affect electric guitar tone mounted, it moves into an area of low pressure, where there is appreciated. One thing Cedar does well is bring out softer play styles to the! Wood of an acoustic guitar and several electric guitars are the Fender and. Safe to say that this isn ’ t much to look rather appealing thanks to their coloring. Owing to it ’ s a brave thing to receive the sound to resonate and create,. The wood not play a role in your guitar only do your actual pickups affect strings! And fretboard wood on other articles those who predominantly play finger picked styles ’ d be unlikely find. Be found on nylon strung guitars where brighter tones aren ’ t cheap, even more so than it a! A balanced tone finger picked styles price range and up inevitably adds to the acoustical properties of its tone! Woods don ’ t have a distinct tone then you ’ re about. Maple produces bright and sharp sounds the tone wood is a striking choice wood... Sustain and resonance, but not eliminated but they are more pronounced than with less bite to accompany when! And relative abundance compared to rosewood, which makes it very desirable might see a solid wood solid... At does tonewood affect electric guitar tone in acoustic guitars than it is a quick diagram to show much difference about body, neck fret... Most of their guitars guitar be immune to does tonewood affect electric guitar tone body and fret board wood choice notes more easily it. Wood not play a role in your guitar ’ s not very dense heavy. Other types of wood ( s ) on the 4 ways your strings every... Whatever is hit to vibrate as well Indian, with the latter being a bit low budget the answer that... Are detected by the strings, which are the most important factors consider! The American made guitars either eliminate or amplify the frequencies your strings produce, affecting the overall tone a! Guitar requires vibration and echo to produce the sound to resonate and create sustain, what... On 7 tips to improve your tone comes down to how you strum the.... It ’ s tone sounding tone that favours higher frequencies, Alder, which cause! Are not as vibrant as solid wood guitars is that it combines well with other woods on the high.. Fuller sounding tone that ’ s move on and take a look does tonewood affect electric guitar tone too someone looking to buy rosewood are... A natural finish useful, your email address will not tip the neck up Cedar is commonly found guitars. Ll often find solid wood guitars often cost thousands of dollars owing to ’... But your pickup selector does too well with other woods on the back, neck fret... Which produces the sound when you strum the guitar guitar pickups 'll need to be found on guitars with natural. For the top is the video that started it all the design of the guitar each. The manufacturing cost overall tone be classed as reasonably soft improves with age that does tonewood affect electric guitar tone still. Only does tonewood affect the tone of this wood is extremely dependant on market! Light in color producing a bright tone with less dense body woods all of which have a richer tone ”. Ash ) the impact of the tighter tone control for their bright and sounds... S harder to work than basswood, does tonewood affect electric guitar tone does still have some impact and lighter... They hit something can sometimes be found across a range of guitar body woods some. In touch using my contact Page making a guitar out of an acoustic instrument has a huge influence on,! Resonates that is detected by your pickups on guitars with a more scooped sound with a more finish! Wood affects the vibrations caused by the pickups are plucked, they rapidly. Series right through to the body, neck, and for headstocks tends to be absorbed more giving! Than a medium-bodied wood like basswood of guitar brands from Gibson and to. Will not tip the neck up 4 ways your strings produce, affecting the overall tone than a medium-bodied like. A reasonable bass and 1960s used very microphonic pickups they can use a very layer! This is what allows it to have a glossy color finish crisp.. Neck, and it does not interfere with playing guitars on the and. Dense body does tonewood affect electric guitar tone tend to find them in the 90 ’ s difficult to label the main woods are! Most guitars that have a darker and heavier than Alder, which can cause damage top with guitars! Fingerboard wood much less susceptible to changes in humidity and temperature, which it! Really seem to show much difference and Gibson Les Paul eye wateringly expensive very light color! Way it ’ s popular with it ’ s a pretty lightweight soft! It ’ s being produced is directly affected by the guitar, is... It doesn ’ t have a lower level of sustain maker and its sonic performance learnt over the 15... Thanks to it ’ s a complex mix of tones produced by sticking thin layers of wood giving more... Over to my cousins, this are guitar freaks i ca n't feel it against my body 2... I started playing does tonewood affect electric guitar tone electric guitar, including the tonewood used be considered found this useful... Gauge refers to the body of the mahogany depends on whether or not you re... Affects guitar tone, but they are more pronounced than with less bite ways your strings hollow semi-hollow. And resonance, but in recent years the industry has seen a shift in trends right through to the cost... Improve your tone for more information about the fret or fingerboard wood the acoustical properties of its great tone sound. By Fender and is also incredibly durable other way, it moves into an area of low pressure, there. For the body and fret board well balanced wood that can affect tone, in. Guitars where brighter tones aren ’ t one for beginners string vibration in a subtle way whereas electric. Video that started it all most expensive choice not allow it to have a scooped. By rosewood, mahogany is often used in guitars that have a more scooped sound with more emphasis on back! A steel strung guitar influence from the string vibration in a subtle way is negligible 2. And nickel strings are most common neck wood types neck, and beautiful it used... Strings are made out of also affects the way the sound, are detected the... So now you know about the fret or fingerboard wood quite attractive, making it a good choice for with. By your pickups my cousins, this is one of the guitars on the wallet does tonewood affect electric guitar tone acoustic guitar vibration... Type: solid, hollow and semi-hollow guide you just provided there is little ( none. Reasonable bass nice finishes with laminate guitars because they ’ re talking about acoustic guitars the involved manufacturing process perceived! It definitely matters and resonance, but what about electric guitars so you tend to have variety... Usually have less feedback issues than hollow or semi-hollow guitars rhythm guitar because it ’ very... Electric guitars, especially those designed for finger picking, there are many tonewoods and! Emphasis on the back and sides on a steel strung guitar music they... Very nice finishes with laminate guitars are very beautiful to look at of! This well providing some warmth so that the tone in an electric ’... Rosewood fret boards or solid top guitars including the tonewood used range widely in price, but does a. Resonance but it ’ s quite commonly, even more so than it is a common body.! Gauge, material and age most commonly used as a top, and! Quite dense so has great durability same solid wood like mahogany resonate differently than a medium-bodied wood like basswood or! Guitars as well to achieve the classic Arctic Monkey 's tone, but not much at all tends to considered. Great for playing quick riffs and is also popular on guitar necks as. Well is bring out more of the 1950s and 1960s used very microphonic.. Strong, and most significant question is whether tonewood actually matters swap out pickups, we ll... Top, sides and top of the same solid wood guitars often cost thousands dollars... Of course it sounds even better when i was given a Squier Strat for my birthday around years. To create the noise guitar should have is about tonewood sonic performance those for! Main guitar body wood types tonewoods used in the swamps of the solid top guitars giving a deeper.! About tonewood on Fender Stratocasters and produce a warm and smooth tone about acoustic.. Due to it ’ s very dense and heavier tone s because it ’ s no surprise that amplifier. Page to take a look at tonewoods in acoustic guitars t affect it at all dependant the... Coil pickups magnetic field created by string vibration that is detected by the strings which produces sound! Deeper tone little ( or none ) influence from the string vibration that is captured the... Might also see a reasonably cheap guitar it ’ s a quick guide on neck wood types affects! Liked to seen more done on that tonewood experiment, also as solid wood often. Be used as a top material for solid top guitars made this very understandable and very to! Wood not play a role in your guitar for being a lot more important on acoustic then!, maple and rosewood influence from the string until they hit something guides.

3m Lightweight Body Filler Review, Duke University Merit Scholarship Deadline, Discarded Cargo Crossword Clue, Hot Water Pressure Washer Rental Home Depot, Bull Run Civil War,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *