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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Tone wood test

Contributing Member

San Diego, CA USA

Jun 29th, 2019 11:40 AM   Edit   Profile  

I stumbled across this video of pretty systematized way of comparing tone woods. I found it very interesting, and am wondering what others think of this. There are also some follow up videos that the author identifies/links to at the end of this video.

Interesting comparison of wood tones

Contributing Member

If irritation occurs

contact your physician
Jun 30th, 2019 09:16 AM   Edit   Profile  

One of the better approaches to comparing wood types I've seen.

However, there's a huge variable he introduced by manually strumming the chord.

The variability comes from how the pick is held, how hard into the strings each strum is, how fast each strum is, where on the guitar the strings are strummed, and the angle of the strum. All this introduces changes in volume, sustain, and harmonic content.

He should build a small weighted arm onto the common component that holds the pick, and drop the weighted arm from a preset stop above the strings with the guitar body at 90 degrees to horizontal.

Contributing Member

San Diego, CA USA

Jun 30th, 2019 11:59 AM   Edit   Profile  

Hi Peegoo, my hearing is not great, and am limited in my playing and playing experience, so I don't have a lot of confidence in my tone sense. I could hear the slight difference- brighter, in the poplar that he talked about, but the rest of the woods sounded so similar to me. I would imagine that in a band situation, such subtle differences would get lost in the mix, but I'm very curious how his results and his interpretations about the results, line up for you, and the other very experienced players and builders on the forum?

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Jun 30th, 2019 12:32 PM   Edit   Profile  

It's a valid test for that type of construction, with a very large bolted/press fit joint between the neck/pickup/bridge assembly and the rest of the body, but that's not how a regular solid body guitar is built. So, difficult to draw any firm conclusions, IMO.

Contributing Member

If irritation occurs

contact your physician
Jun 30th, 2019 02:26 PM   Edit   Profile  

It's really impossible to tell through the Internet and speakers. You need to be in the same room, hearing the guitar sound coming from the original speakers, to realistically make comparisons.

To be truly scientific about it, the test would include analysis of the waveform of each wood type, at the bit level, to compare frequency response, volume, and duration.

But in practical terms/reality, we do not listen to music by looking at numerical data; we hear something and decide fairly quickly if we like it or we don't. All the sound samples had the same general tone and response.

I've said this here before many times too: if a certain wood was THE best wood for electric guitars, we'd already have a consensus and most makers would be using that wood.

Heck, Ibanez uses basswood (cheap and available) to make many of their high-end guitars, and guys like Satch and Vai are driving pretty nice cars these days due to using this non-"tonewood" :o)

My contention is if you want to make the most perceptible difference in your guitar tone, practice.

By practice, I mean *work*. Practice should not be fun, because it should be hard work. Nothing really is gained by playing Sweet Home Alabama over and over for years because you simply go on autopilot after a while. If you're having fun practicing, you're doing it wrong. Ya gotta push yourself in order to improve.

Practice hard 20 minutes per day, and THEN play the fun stuff to cool off.

(This message was last edited by Peegoo at 04:30 PM, Jun 30th, 2019)


New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Jul 1st, 2019 09:07 AM   Edit   Profile  

Tone happens

Contributing Member

North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Jul 1st, 2019 10:21 AM   Edit   Profile  

Interesting. Pretty much what I would expect. Humidity probably has as much affect. “o)

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Tone wood test

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