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Ash vs Alder bodies?


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Originally posted by Fosse Fox



What's the rationale behind this?

 

 

Conventional wisdom. And is swamp ash a different subspecies? Can ash and swamp ash come from the same tree? The reason poplar is not popular is because of u.

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Originally posted by syrinx




Conventional wisdom. And is swamp ash a different subspecies? Can ash and swamp ash come from the same tree? The reason poplar is not popular is because of u.

 

Swamp ash is Fraxinus nigra, there are plenty of others but in US Fraxinus americana the white ash is commonly used.

Don't know what conventional wisdom you mean dude, basswood isn't really that comaparable to ash or alder apart from a slightly similar midrange, but is rarely if ever used on it's own, usually topped with maple and almost always with HBs.

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Originally posted by syrinx




Conventional wisdom. And is swamp ash a different subspecies? Can ash and swamp ash come from the same tree? The reason poplar is not popular is because of u.

 

I am not a tonewood expert but I don't believe what you are saying is conventional wisdom (i.e. a widely accepted opinion). Ash and swamp ash are purported to have a "tone characteristic". Basswood on the other hand supposedly is "tone neutral" meaning it does not color the guitar's tone.

 

Swamp ash is simply ash that has grown in a swampy/marshy area. The rapid growth of the tree and high water content throughout its life translates into an airy porous (sp?) wood when cured/dried. Hence its light weight.

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I have an ash Warmoth strat built like a '57 reissue and a Squier pro-tone strat made from alder. I very much prefer the ash strat instead of the Squier. The Squier has an almost boomy low end and doesn't have the bell-like high end that the ash strat does. It's not a bad guitar, in fact it's great for what I paid for it (about $200 used) but it doesn't compare to the ash strat. The ash strat is a bit heavier, although I imagine the neck is heavier too because it has the thick Fender '57 RI neck on it. The weight is the only downside I know of, and I think if you want that classic strat sparkle an ash body and low output pickups is the easiest way to get it.

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Originally posted by dimmypage

Arent most music man's made of basswood? they dont seem too toneless to me .
:confused:

 

Only the Axis and Petrucci models, and as we said basswood is perfectly decent for shreddy fast guitars where little sustain is required. Basswood isn't tonless anyway, the point is that as someone said above its relatively tone neutral

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Originally posted by EADGBE

It used to be (and may still be) that all painted Fenders were alder and all see through finishes were ash. So if your favorite guitarists use see through finish Fenders, chances are they're playing ash.

 

 

unless it was sunburst, that was the standard color (read- no extra cost) from 1954 to the 80's when the BASTARDS made you pay more for it

 

 

it was only the white blonde that got the ash after 56

 

I suggest everyone go out and buy The Stratocaster Chronicles, by Tom Wheeler

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Originally posted by dimmypage

Arent most music man's made of basswood? they dont seem too toneless to me .
:confused:

 

If you are refering to my statement about basswood being "tone neutral", that's not to say that it is tone-less. Think of a graphic EQ for a moment...basswood would have a flat curve (all frequencies set at 0), ash a scooped curve, etc. From what I gather listening to many people (too many frankly), some builders and players value basswood because it does not accentuate any portion of the sound spectrum. As a bonus it is also lightweight, soft (workable), and takes finish well.

 

When one guy said ash and basswood are very similar tonewise I would let it go as one guy's opinion. When he goes on to say that it is conventional wisdom, well that's different.

 

Personally, I think you need to have some pretty damned well trained ears to hear the difference between wood types on a solid body guitar. Some guys around here probably have the ability, but I'd bet that there are a lot who think they have it and simply don't. Hell I might have it, but I sure as hell aint claiming I do.

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Originally posted by axegrinder



If you are refering to my statement about basswood being "tone neutral", that's not to say that it is tone-less. Think of a graphic EQ for a moment...basswood would have a flat curve (all frequencies set at 0), ash a scooped curve, etc. From what I gather listening to many people (too many frankly), some builders and players value basswood because it does not accentuate any portion of the sound spectrum. As a bonus it is also lightweight, soft (workable), and takes finish well.


When one guy said ash and basswood are very similar tonewise I would let it go as one guy's opinion. When he goes on to say that it is conventional wisdom, well that's different.


Personally, I think you need to have some pretty damned well trained ears to hear the difference between wood types on a solid body guitar. Some guys around here probably have the ability, but I'd bet that there are a lot who think they have it and simply don't. Hell I might have it, but I sure as hell aint claiming I do.

 

Sorry dude, but i think that this is one of the most sensible posts about wood and tone on here. I think theres probbaly a similar thread on may hi-fi forums about subtleties in tone between different equipment/materials. I think it IS conventional wisdom that as you age beyond about 19 or 20 your hearing range diminishes, so those that could recognise such tonal subtleties are too inexperienced to, and those tht are experienced enough can't hear them.

Although no doubt most people who say they can, can tell when Dave Gilmour is playing an alder strat or a mahogany Gretsch.....cant't you??:(

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  • 13 years later...
1 hour ago, James Kostan said:

Question;I  have 62reissued limited edition, Fender Stratocaster, is it made of alder,its painted,sonic blue,I believe.Thats the color .

I'm not sure I understand your question... are you asking if your guitar is made of alder? If it's made in the USA, it's probably alder. Fender USA usually only uses ash on the semi-opaque white finishes, and most of those are 50s reissues and not 62 reissues.

 

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All  my Strats are made of alder. I have  a buddy that has a natural finish strat that has an ash body. It's pretty weighty.

I have  a Fender American Jazz Deluxe bass that has a white see through body that is made of ash. 

Translucent White Finish they called it

It's an amazing bass.

Looks like this, but mine is a  4 string with a rose wood fretboard.

rqmkt0wzgvdmwenx0ofv.jpg

 

They came in a case like this.

o3i7o0nkerfcbaxig3p8.jpg

 

Here's another one. I think mine has a 4 bolt neck. Can't remember.

lfkbpqmorbxby975pfsa.jpg

 

 

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That really is sad - there's a definite difference between the sound of an ash and a alder Strat IMHO. I've owned and like both... but I sold my ash-bodied '57 AVRI to the original owner a few years back because he really regretted selling it and I felt bad for him, and now I'm going to have a really hard time trying to get another one. :( 

 

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