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Help Choosing Wood


Aharon
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I have a strat style guitar,love the neck but the body is crap.The bridge is a surface mount Kahler (the one with the wheel saddles) and might be the cause of the guitar being a little dark sounding.I'd like to keep the bridge cause it never goes out of tune but I'd like the new body to be,tonewise, a little brighter .

What's my best choice of wood here?

Thanks for any help.

Aharon

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I would try swamp ash.  I love the sound of strats with swamp ash :D 

Or mabye alder with a nice flame maple cap.

Thanks Godin. The flame maple cap sounds good since I want a natural finish on this one with a rear route,no more pickguard.Hope this wood combo counters the darkish tone that I blame on the Kahler bridge.

Aharon

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Hope this wood combo counters the darkish tone that I blame on the Kahler bridge.

B) Not sure I find any logic in this comment. I understand the sound of a guitar to be colored by lots of factors....all woods, type of pups, scale length, etc....and even type of bridge can create it's specific character...........

but a Kahler bridge creating a darker sound...... :D:D

Are you sure you're magic laminate body isnt creating that sound???

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Hope this wood combo counters the darkish tone that I blame on the Kahler bridge.

B) Not sure I find any logic in this comment. I understand the sound of a guitar to be colored by lots of factors....all woods, type of pups, scale length, etc....and even type of bridge can create it's specific character...........

but a Kahler bridge creating a darker sound...... :D:D

Are you sure you're magic laminate body isnt creating that sound???

Hi RGGR

There might very well be no logic to my statement that's why I seek enlightment from you guys.....

The laminate could be the problem that's one of the reasons I want a new bod (besides....laminate....come on...hahaha).I've heard comments about that type of bridge killing highs but I have to admit it could be bunk.I just want to make sure I get a bright sounding guitar when I'm done.

If you have any other tips or advice please...let me know

Thanks and take care.

Aharon :DB)

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Here's my opinion.

1.If your body is made of plywood or other crap laminate, build a new body with any of the tonewoods and you'll get a much better sound.

2. If you still don't like the sound after that then the electronics is what needs changing.

I'm sure there's nothing wrong with your bridge.

Thanks for your input Phil.Here's a picture of the bridge.Stays in tune alright so I want to keep it.

http://www.putfile.com/aharon

Aharon

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FYI, I had a cheap laminate body Strat and the thing sounded really terrible compared to a friend's solid wood strat.

So... I made a new body. Wow what an improvement (I used Swamp Ash, which to my ears is the best. I like the livelyness of it better than Alder or Mahogany)! But, I wasn't completely satisfied.

So... I made a new neck. Wow what an improvement (Rosewood and Maple neck) ! But, I wasn't completely satisfied.

So... I got a set of new pickups. Wow what an improvement! But I wasn't completely satisfied.

So... I did the star grounding/sheilding trick with all new wiring/pots/jack. Wow what an improvement!

Moral of the story... Save yourself the trouble and just make a guitar from scratch. Usually EVERYTHING cheap on a cheap guitar conspires to make it sound CHEAP. In the end I improved my cheap guitar by replacing EVERYTHING!

If you make your own neck, you will spend about $350 on all the materials, including good pickups and a good bridge, and have a guitar you couldn't buy for $1500. If you buy a Warmoth neck (the best pre-made necks I know of) your parts still only cost about $450. Either way you will have the best guitar suited just for your style. Donate the cheap guitar to your local school and take a tax deduction.

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FYI, I had a cheap laminate body Strat and the thing sounded really terrible compared to a friend's solid wood strat.

So... I made a new body.  Wow what an improvement (I used Swamp Ash, which to my ears is the best.  I like the livelyness of it better than Alder or Mahogany)! But, I wasn't completely satisfied.

So... I made a new neck. Wow what an improvement (Rosewood and Maple neck) ! But, I wasn't completely satisfied.

So... I got a set of new pickups.  Wow what an improvement! But I wasn't completely satisfied.

So... I did the star grounding/sheilding trick with all new wiring/pots/jack.  Wow what an improvement!

Moral of the story... Save yourself the trouble and just make a guitar from scratch.  Usually EVERYTHING cheap on a cheap guitar conspires to make it sound CHEAP.  In the end I improved my cheap guitar by replacing EVERYTHING!

If you make your own neck, you will spend about $350 on all the materials, including good pickups and a good bridge, and have a guitar you couldn't buy for $1500.  If you buy a Warmoth neck (the best pre-made necks I know of) your parts still only cost about $450.  Either way you will have the best guitar suited just for your style.  Donate the cheap guitar to your local school and take a tax deduction.

i did the same with a cheap bronze series warloc, ply wood body, sounded terrible, even with a seymour duncan distortion, and i changed it's body for a mahogany one and glued the neck to the body, the only thing original was the bridge and the neck, the rest all replaced, and it sounds just brutal :D

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i'm thinking the cause of your darkness problem could be.. hm.. i dunno, the freaking dimarzio X2N maybe?!?!?!?

Really?...........let me do some research then.....thanks for the tip.

Aharon

Well,acording to DiMArzio(as well as other less reputable sources)the X2N is rather trebbly.......

Aharon

but they have like 450mv output(your standard strat pickup has 1\10th of that i think) which means if you use any more then 4 gain on your amp it's going to sound very dark and muddy :D , so that's probably whats causing the "dark" sound

Edited by Ghwar
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I don't know if adding a maple top (1/4" or thinner) will brighten the tone all that much. It's hard to say without hearing your guitar now and knowing exactly what you are after.

For lead guitar, I really love all maple guitars (hard maple body, hard maple neck and fretboard). I have used EMG 81's and SD Dimebuckers with these and they really sound great to me. I don't think they make great "all around" guitars though - if that's what you are after - they make excellent lead guitars for heavier rock/80's metal in my opinion.

What type of music do you play?

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I don't know if adding a maple top (1/4" or thinner) will brighten the tone all that much. It's hard to say without hearing your guitar now and knowing exactly what you are after.

For lead guitar, I really love all maple guitars (hard maple body, hard maple neck and fretboard). I have used EMG 81's and SD Dimebuckers with these and they really sound great to me. I don't think they make great "all around" guitars though - if that's what you are after - they make excellent lead guitars for heavier rock/80's metal in my opinion.

What type of music do you play?

I have an LP for classic rock stuff but for shred (as if I could) I have this LADO strat.

Aharon

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I have an LP for classic rock stuff but for shred (as if I could) I have this LADO strat.

OK, for "shred" (if I understand what this term means nowadays) - I still think a hard maple body would be great. I play a lot of high-gain stuff and love the clarity that the hard maple seems to provide. To me, there's nothing worse than chugging away on that low E and hearing a muddy, muffled, obscure blug, blug, blug,... when you should be hearing chug, chug, chug!! :D

It's very difficult to explain these sounds in words but I do believe strongly that high gain playing needs something with clarity and brightness. That doesn't mean you can't get that scooped sound though - just use the EQ after the preamp stage and you've got a very articulate, yet brutal sound. In fact, even when using hard maple, I still like to boost 2KHz just a bit before the premap to give a little more clarity and give a helping hand to the preamp. Of course, this is all just one person's opinion.

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