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Chinese Alder Vs American Alder?

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I have seen some Chinese strat copies with really nice looking natural finishes that are cheap.

However someone told me they use Chinese alder which doesn't have a grain as visible as the American alder. Would the 2 Alders be pretty similar in tone? Just wondering since I could buy one of these guitars for the same price as a Chinese alder body replacement and much cheaper than an American strat body. I could even reuse some of the parts or just sell them off cheap. Any thoughts?

This is my first strat project. Someone suggested building a strat from parts first before making a body and neck from scratch which I will try later. I face the delemma of not wanting to spend too much for the strat parts without having to compromise the tone!

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Alder isn't usually used for its grain --since there's not usually anything special about it. Although one of the Chinese guitars I bought for modifying turned out to be really nice when I sanded it down : th_carvecasterfront.jpg

Usually alder is painted though...I'm sure finding good looking stuff is hit and miss. When a Fender has a natural finish, it's ash.

Here's an example of what I'm guessing is European alder (bought from a seller in Germany): th_unicorncavitysanding1Large.jpg

Nothing special about the wood here, it's going to be painted.

As for your project idea...well, that's how I started. I quickly moved onto building though. The big problem with these cheapo guitars is...well...they're cheap. Nothing on them is of any decent quality. That goes for every part of the guitar --sure, on the outside they look really good. When you open them up and really start measuring things, you'll find all kinds of problems.

Another problem -- fitting parts together from various guitars is really difficult, because things never quite fit the way you want them to. There are many different specs out there --even Fender has different specs for its MIA guitars versus MIM etc.

So it ends up being just as easy if not easier to make the body so that it fits with the neck and other hardware you want to use.

Besides, buying a wood blank is actually cheaper than buying a cheap guitar. Selling off the parts is possible, but you won't likely get all that much for them --have a look on ebay, there are tons of people (including pro sellers) selling the same parts.

Chances are, the replacement parts you'll buy will end up being the EXACT SAME parts you're taking off your guitar, unless you're laying out for higher-end name brand parts.

Just things to consider and watch out for. Building a parts guitar is a still a great way to get started.

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