Commonly used body woods for electric guitars and their timbre characteristics
In addition to the pickups, the body and neck of an electric guitar will affect the tone. The same kind of wood from different trees, as well as different weights, densities, etc., will sound slightly different. Tone variation is not just about wood, to a small extent, guitars from the same wood sound different, and it’s amazing to find the ideal guitar among many guitars of the same style.
At a high level, here we discuss the body woods commonly used in electric guitars, and the tones they produce when applied to guitars.
Talking about alder can’t fail to mention Fender, they were famous for their use of alder in the 50’s and 60’s, alder is medium in weight and lighter than ash in terms of body build quality, alder has a solid, bright and thick sound , as well as a full midrange and excellent bass, with a slight highlight but not abrupt, and provides a decent sustain, a little tan in the natural dry state, the alder texture is not unsightly, but also Not particularly interesting, usually made in flat lacquer, but some look good in glossy lacquer, alder itself is most often used as the body wood compared to ash.
Well-known for its classic Fender guitars in the 1950s, swamp ash is the most famous and suitable. The wood is taken from the lower section of wetland wood that grows in the south. The roots of swamp wood grow under water. A good swamp ash is not only bright and harmonious. Often with a broad grain and looking good with a glossy finish, the swamp ash is resonant, airy and sweet, offering firm bass, nice highs, a little deep midrange, and sustain.
It is taken from the upper part of the hard ash wood in the north. It is often heavier and tighter, and has a bright and stable sound. It is often used in cut and broken tones. Ash wood is generally used on full veneer and top veneer guitars. However, it is sometimes used on plywood bodies by modern designers, most commonly on tiger maple tops, or guitars with semi-hollow tops.
Affordable and high quality, basswood is especially suitable for mid-range or lower guitars. Basswood is not only above standard, but also a good wood used by many excellent piano masters. It is very light and quite soft, and has a light color. With a fine grain, solid basswood has a larger body but has a well-proportioned tone, a strong midrange but some softness and breathiness, and in a well-done guitar, the basswood can produce excellent dynamics and band There’s quite an amazing sonic clarity.
In the late 1950s, Colina wood was used on the most well-known Gibson Modernistic line of guitars, the Flying V and Explorer, and many guitars today follow their pattern. Colina wood is warm, resonant, and balanced. It also Produces great clarity, definition and sustain, well known in this category is limba, an African wood that is a close relative of mahogany, but imported under the name Korina, it is light, has good grain, and is often enhanced For the performance of the finishing stage, the long and thin stripes are arranged very nicely. Gibson and Hamer used White limba, which has a light-colored appearance in its natural state, and black limba, which has a clear texture.
Today’s issue we will introduce here, the next issue we will discuss the body wood and tone characteristics, see you next time.