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> Body Wood Type Does Not Contribute Significantly To The Sound Of The Amplified Instrument., ... at least thats what this study says
Mudbone
post Sep 13 2010, 10:30 PM
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According to this study, body wood really doesn't make a difference once a guitar is amplified. Thoughts?

Edit: I suggest you read the whole article before you condemn/support it. Its very short and the authors do explain their findings.


http://www.stormriders.com/guitar/telecaster/guitar_wood.pdf

This post has been edited by Mudbone: Sep 14 2010, 04:44 AM


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MickeM
post Sep 13 2010, 10:44 PM
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QUOTE (Mudbone @ Sep 13 2010, 11:30 PM) *
According to this study, body wood really doesn't make a difference once a guitar is amplified. Thoughts?

Without reading it closely, just browing through (it's late) I think he could have chosen something different than comparing Ash with Alder. That's comparing a juicy green apple with a dry red one. (Ehrm...?)

From own experience body (and neck) wood makes a difference. A telecaster with maple neck is so very bright in tone. An all Mahogany or Mahogany with Maple top has a darker tone.

That'd have been more to the point, compaing Alder with Mahogany. Pick an apple and a pear. smile.gif


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ZakkWylde
post Sep 13 2010, 10:45 PM
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Totally not true! The wood makes 10 times more diffrence than strings or pickups or anything else.

This post has been edited by ZakkWylde: Sep 16 2010, 02:34 AM


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SirJamsalot
post Sep 13 2010, 11:40 PM
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Interesting study. Thanks for sharing that.
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jafomatic
post Sep 14 2010, 03:17 AM
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QUOTE (ZakkWylde @ Sep 13 2010, 04:45 PM) *
10 more diffrence than strings or pickups or anything else.


"90 more" of statistics are made up, too wink.gif

It could be that I'm reading my spectro incorrectly, but I have two guitars here that happen to have different wood and yet same SD pickups (same or similar year of manufacture, I'm not going to pop them open hunting out serial numbers), same cable, same brand of strings (different packs from same lot), same signal chain, same pick, same player, same monitors, same ears.

Playing the tracks through spectrometer yields results that are, unsurprisingly, extremely similar. Not "10 more" different, but extremely similar when playing the same note through both guitars, despite their wood and (partial, I assume) wiring differences. The amplitude of the signal overall seems to vary --different pots in each guitar?-- but the frequency response on the spectro and oscillo both appear (again *appear*) to so strikingly similar as to be considered "the same."

Now, I haven't researched the study or even the variance in actually measuring these properties but I think we can agree on the following:
- these differences are essentially just numbers (amplitude, frequency, voltage, resistance, impedance, whatever)
- these differences can therefor be quantified
- since you can quantify it, you can perform comparisons on it
- IF real scientists performed the above-mentioned "study" then they will have also published their numbers and their math

If we really want to argue with them, the way to start is by asking to see their figures. If these figures exist at all, that's more likely to be correct than the "wood superstition" that we perpetuate here.



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OrganisedConfusi...
post Sep 14 2010, 03:35 AM
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Wood makes a huge difference. Obviously other things matter but the sound is greatly changed. Ash and Alder aren't great comparisons. Compare Ash and Koa say and you'll notice the difference as Koa gives a much darker, deeper tone. I think the people who did this research didn't have a large enough test sample to get accurate results.


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jafomatic
post Sep 14 2010, 03:43 AM
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QUOTE (OrganisedConfusion @ Sep 13 2010, 09:35 PM) *
I think the people who did this research didn't have a large enough test sample to get accurate results.


Have to agree with this, mostly. I'd phrase it that they don't have a large enough sample to defend their results which would otherwise be fairly compelling. I wish they'd had the budget to test more bodies of same wood to establish a baseline as well as far more types of wood.

The logic within is otherwise pretty solid.


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OrganisedConfusi...
post Sep 14 2010, 03:55 AM
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I've got two Parker Nitefly's that sound profoundly different. A Mahogany one and a Swamp Ash one. These two guitars have very different sounds. I use the Ash one for funky jazz stuff and the Mahogany for Rock and Metal music. Completely different sounds. So where there may be some truth in their results they only tried one shape/one thickness/two woods. They haven't seen how much impact shape and thickness have and how different woods have different sounds if cut into different shapes.


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Adrian Figallo
post Sep 14 2010, 05:21 AM
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this is not true, from experience, i had two strats, the white one is ash i guess, but the other one i'm sure it was mahogany, both on choppers, 10 strings, same electric set up, running into a jcm 2000, i can tell you, the mahogany sounded like a SG, warm, the ash, my favorite smile.gif, sounds so twangy even with the chopper, 100% from experience not true.


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Bear Rose
post Sep 14 2010, 06:12 PM
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I have to say that the wood of the guitar bodies (and necks) make a big difference in tone. If they didn't, guitar companies should save lots of money and start building all their guitars out of poplar and pine


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Sep 15 2010, 10:02 AM
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QUOTE (jafomatic @ Sep 14 2010, 02:17 AM) *
"90 more" of statistics are made up, too wink.gif

It could be that I'm reading my spectro incorrectly, ...


If you can try null testing at equal gain as that would be easier to see any differences on than trying to visually compare two spectra smile.gif


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Azzaboi
post Sep 15 2010, 06:49 PM
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196% of statistics are made up, statistically saying. wink.gif

It's a University Student trying to get an A and said does not contribute significantly.
I believe the body wood would makes a huge difference on the pickup sound!
A good AMP and Effects over the top of that could make that change to be something minimum or not noticable.

It's a nicely written paper however...
Each string was plucked with a pick between the neck and bridge pickup areas. This will throw out any statistic results due to the change of location each time and picking angle, rotation, speed, etc. The string vibration will change each time! You have a better chance of winning lotto.

This post has been edited by Azzaboi: Sep 15 2010, 06:51 PM


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Mudbone
post Sep 17 2010, 07:24 PM
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QUOTE (Bear Rose @ Sep 14 2010, 01:12 PM) *
I have to say that the wood of the guitar bodies (and necks) make a big difference in tone. If they didn't, guitar companies should save lots of money and start building all their guitars out of poplar and pine


Actually poplar isn't a bad tonewood, its not used by the major manufacturers because it has nasty green streaks in it, and cannot be used on the sunburst guitars. To my ears, poplar is a superior tonewood than basswood, which is very common, and even used on some very expensive guitars.

Fender has used poplar as a substitute on their American series guitars in the early 90's when alder was difficult to obtain, and the main reason they use it now is because traditional customers want alder. I've heard that some of the very first Fenders were made of poplar, but Leo Fender decided to go with alder because the furniture industry at the time was putting a strain on the poplar supply and driving up prices.

Even today, if you look at the price of lumber, poplar and alder cost almost the same. Just now a tradition has been established with alder and that will continue into the foreseeable future. I like alder, its probably my favorite tonewood, especially for clean stuff.


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Bear Rose
post Sep 23 2010, 10:34 PM
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Yeah, I was checking out warmoth's website a while back and you can get some poplar bodies there and they are actually cheaper than alder and ash most of the time.

I'm looking at getting a new body for my telecaster, because its a cheap SX guitar. I don't even know if its made out of real wood at all, haha! ohmy.gif


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fkalich
post Sep 24 2010, 02:16 AM
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Two things I am pretty positive about...

1) My Mahogany Les Paul and Maple Top Les Paul with identical pickups, sound quite different through an amp.

2) That paper was done as class work by a college student, it is not a professional study. Probably pretty good for a class project, but I would not put too much weight on it.
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emirb
post Sep 24 2010, 08:59 AM
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many people are trying to sell (successfully?!) different versions of popular tube screamer IC's on eBay stating that 'this one is the REAL one etc.etc' makes sound so better fuller, richer blah blah. that is just as this, really interesting discussion. I have around ~30 different IC's that could fit in TS and I can tell you that (from my experience) there is absolutely no difference! This is just plain logic, an opAmp just multiplies the amplitude of your signal and makes it stronger by some factor. Tone, on the other hand, can be DRASTICALLY changed simply by fiddling with single capacitor value! Same thing can be applied to guitars. There might be some difference in using different woods, but I would say that tone, sustain etc. is more dependable on overall finish details on the guitar, and by that I don't mean lacquer smile.gif If the tension springs are in different position, this changes the sustain. If the frets are not properly installed logical part of my brain tells me: that has to change the way vibrations are transferred (or dulled?) by that etc.

Change wiring, cap values in a guitar and you'll get totally different tone. I reserve some space for the 'mojo' every guitar has (and I want it to have!:) ). Don't hand me for this; just some of my points of view:)
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stratman79
post Sep 24 2010, 11:05 AM
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interesting read but I don't go for it, the experiment is too narrow.

I wasn't even aware fender use mahogany!!

Another great tonewood is basewood, jusgt a shame it looks so dull!
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Mudbone
post Sep 26 2010, 06:04 PM
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QUOTE (stratman79 @ Sep 24 2010, 06:05 AM) *
interesting read but I don't go for it, the experiment is too narrow.

I wasn't even aware fender use mahogany!!

Another great tonewood is basewood, jusgt a shame it looks so dull!


Hey Stratman, I think its really interesting you like basswood, because from my experience with that tonewood it has a somewhat muffled tone. Is there any particular tonal quality to it that you appreciate?


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