Does body wood have an effect on the tone of an electric guitar? You tell me! Not a scientific test, you say? Use a spectrum analyzer, you say? What do you think I'm trying to do here...put a space shuttle into orbit? :) This isn't a test for facts...it's a test for your *perception*. Because when it comes to evaluating sound, what's true for you may not be true for me, regardless of what a spectrum analyzer might say. Different people will perceive the same sound source slightly differently, either because their ears are different (older/younger, more/less sensitive, more/less trained), or because they listened at a different volume (the whole Fletcher-Munson thing). Some will hear a difference and others won't. My intention here wasn't to prove a hypothesis. It was to do a fun - and pretty legit - comparison, and offer up the results without bias, so others could listen and offer their take. So don't be shy...let's discuss! 00:00 Intro 00:17 Test parameters 01:23 Test #1 Clean bridge pickup 01:52 Test #2 Clean middle pickup 02:33 Test #3 Clean neck pickup 03:07 Test #4 Gain bridge pickup 04:00 Test #5 Gain neck pickup 04:35 Unfinished bodies are creepy 04:59 Why I used a Tele-style body 05:17 What I heard 06:07 Signal chain and wrap-up
Love your positivity! New sub here. Liked the vid and thanks for doing this video! Very informative! 🍻☮
85% of a strings reflective surface on an electric guitar is the fretboard/neck.
i know the video is 4 years old, however the differences in tone probably come from varying distances between string and pickup and not from the wood
Ash moderately bright , alder softer even tone , mahogany was cleaner brighter tone
Really appreciate the lengths you went to create this video! Definitely found my findings between the woods to be similar to yours
Swamp ash-quick attack, in your face immediately. Mids and highs most extreme out of the 3.
Alder-almost scooped sounding, a bit thinner but not in a bad way. Seemed the quieter of the 3.
Mahogany- for sure the fattest tone. Most rich in the Mids & lows. Maybe lacked a bit in highs compared to swamp ash but probably the best otherwise.
How do you think Maple would sound for a Bass body?
Thank you - I learned something today.
To me it was 99% the same, but Alder sounded a tiny bit more dulled, and mahogany sounded a tiny bit deeper and richer.
Mahogany takes 1st place. Swamp Ash gets 2nd and Alder 3rd.
Mahogany was louder in all tests.
Swamp Ash and Alder were pretty close but the Alder sounded dead compared to the Swamp Ash. The Alder finally sounded okay with distortion on the bridge, but still comes in last.
Should have thrown Basswood in there as well
This was a fun and well done comparison, but the points made about people's individual perceptions are right on the mark. Without a blindfold test of a statistically adequate number of test subjects, the perceptions of this vid's individual watchers are meaningless. People "hear" with their eyes and their preconceptions, and with their own psychophysical differences in perception (volume effects etc). The other approach would be to yes, use a spectrum analyzer - it's not rocket science. Do we honestly believe that a multimillion dollar business like PRS could not demonstrate their tone-wood claims using a spectral analyzer? LOL.
I didn't hear any difference between any of them. I don't think the wood makes any difference.
Damn, I'm impressed! I'm a believer! And I was a skeptical :)
Even on my crappy monitor speakers I can hear differences between each of the three when you're playing clean. On the distorted clips, I definitely hear the mahogany body differently - not so much the first two.
Now, I'm not convinced that a skillful manipulation of the equalizer couldn't somehow compensate if you had the swamp ash body but you wanted a sound like the mahogany....
But the wood definitely makes a difference... maybe a surmountable one, but still a difference.
P.S. Do you still have that mahogany body for sale? I love the sound!
I didn't watch the video. Just listened to it. This reminds me of a similar test of classical guitars conducted as both a blind test and a visual test. In the visual test (where the panel could see the instrument) rosewood guitars consistently "sounded" better than the guitars with "inferior" woods. In the blind test (where the panel couldn't see the guitars) many of
the inferior woods were actually preferred over the rosewood guitars.
Maybe the speakers on my audio aren't the best, but as much as I believe wood variety should make a difference, I didn't hear that difference.
Perhaps running a soundwave graph of the test would really convince me.
The ash had the best highs and lows the mahogany had a nice wholesome sound all over. The Alder was good but not as impressive. But beauty is in the ears of the beholder and even the same body woods have their own personality just as acoustics do, but subtle. All great. Thanks Just have to play a few to hear them differences if at all possible. Good thing that they all weighed the same... mass as density makes a difference too, maybe even sound tone exposure (or age)??? I found a less expensive acoustic that I prefer to play over the price of one nearly 3x its cost, but it's not as loud. Almost like a woman, pick and play the one that suits you and fall in love.
The expected: in electric instruments, the sound changes a little, but not enough to worry about it. I think there are things that we give less importance to, and yet they make bigger differences, such as the strings, the adjustment of the guitar, the way of playing, the pot levels, etc ...
Thx for the video, only thing I think I noticed was that the mahogany is just a tad more zingy.
Swamp Ash was airier bigger more resonant. Alder was more even and articulate less resonant. Mahogany was deeper and fuller tone.