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General Wood Weight Question

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I have made a mahogany body from locally bought mahogany.

I made an almost exact body as the first with mahogany bought from a specialty hardwood place as opposed to my local cabinet maker.

The second body is almost a third heavier and much tighter grain.If I were to keep the necks,electronics,etc..the same on both,what would be the difference in sound with the heavier body?

Edited by ibreakemineedtobuildem
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I don't associate brightness with basswood.

To me, using a Floyd adds quite a bit of brightness. I don't think you are hearing the wood as much as you are hearing the Floyd. Again, that is just my personal opinion from playing floyd equipped guitars way back in my Metalhead days (16 years ago). My basswood Japanese Strat wasn't especially bright, in fact, it was a little on the muddy side.

Regarding the heavier wood issue, there are other factors besides density that I believe alter tone. Generally, I would agree with the above statement concerning heavier density=brighter tone. However, this is just my personal opinion based on a relatively small amount of experience. (I've been playing for 16 years, but until I've handled a significantly large number of samples of a majority of the different types of wood, I wouldn't consider my guess to be anything other than a shot in the dark, but I'm sure self appointed experts who've handled a whopping couple hundred pieces of wood will disagree). YMMV. :D

Edited by javacody
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Another discussion on wieght and tone ratios. I dont buy it. mahogany is heavy as all hell, and is dark. Maple is bright and heavy. Cherry is brighter than maple and medium weight.

Read this and you will have better understanding of tone wood. It's one of the better articles on tonewood.

Tone wood

Edited by RGGR
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Thanks guys, I was trying to be as objective as possible. I tried to make it clear that Alder "beats" Basswood in most respects, but I tried to be subtle. If you have a lead guitarist with a locking trem and a hot Dimarzio bridge pickup, Basswood might very well be his favorite. And it's not for me to "enlighten" him to Alder, especially if he's already tried it, and finds the clearer attack and deeper lows actually detract from the smooth, round solo sound he's come to love from Basswood. It's like the things some of us consider to be negative about Basswood could be exactly the things that guy loves about it. So I try not to denegrate any wood type because it's all about preferences.

As for weight, we haven't discussed moisture content. It sounds like both pieces were relatively dry, but I wanted to point out that a higher moisture content dampens the outer frequencies, but mostly the highs. It also reduces sustain. So you might pick up a guitar that's real heavy expecting it to be bright sounding, but really it's just a dead fish.

As for weight/tone there's no direct correllation, because there are so many other factors. An oversimplification would be to break it down to three categories: heavy vs. light, soft vs. hard, and stiff vs. flexible. Different pieces and species can have any combination of those three variables. Like really good Swamp Ash is light, medium-soft, but stiff. And the huge pores increase the acoustic resonance. Mahogany is more heavy, medium-soft, stiff, but I've gotten plenty of really light Mahogany over the years, and it's not dark sounding at all. Its more open like Swamp Ash. Maple is heavy, hard, and stiff. Basswood is light, soft, and flexible, but that doesn't give it warm lows necessarily. So there's no hard rule for dense=bright or whatever. Only very broad generalizations.

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