Does the type of wood of an electric guitar have an effect on its tone?

This video shows two Les Pauls using the same pickups. One is an original number 59. Decide for yourself:

Yes, the wood type and the particular set of woods used to make a guitar’s tone will affect its sound, both plugged in and unplugged. 35 years ago, I believed that wood was not a part of electric guitar sound. I thought it was the pickups. The electric guitar is not a synthesizer. Pickups have their sound, and they can color the sound, but they still pick up what you give them. They act like any other transducer.

To avoid feedback, the solid-body electric guitar is less resonant that an acoustic guitar. It doesn’t vibrate just because it lacks a resonance chamber. Although it has very low acoustic volume, it interacts with string vibrations changing their patterns. It dampens certain frequencies and boosts others. It can absorb more or less energy. If you attach a string and a piece soft rubber to it, the string will vibrate differently and for a shorter period of time than if you used a plank made of steel. Ebony and maple sound bright, while mahogany and swamp ash have a warm tone, while alder has a balanced midrange.

Every piece of wood will differ in its structure and acoustic characteristics. Two very important acoustic parameters are found in wood pieces. You can hear them by tapping it with your fingernail: the primary frequency and the duration of the sound.

The neck is the most flexible portion of a solid-body guitar. It resonates a lot, and I believe it has a strong influence on the tone of the guitar. This is a result of the fact that I have been playing the strat since the eighties.

The neck of the Fender 57 reissue guitar from the late eighties had a warped. I used an ESPStrat replacement neck that I had from another strat to get the best sound. Plugged and unplugged, the guitar sounded larger and more warm, and it sounded even better than before. It was quite amazing. The ESP neck truss rod eventually broke, and the neck vibrated. I used a Burns neck, which was a cheaper Marquee model. The sound was lively but not as large and warm. I ordered a Rockinger Strato neck because I wanted a standard strat headstock with six tuners. Although the sound was lively, it was also the least sounding of the necks. The guitar’s voice was small and harsh, with no bass.

These five necks, from lowest to most, produce a primary resonant frequency. It is the pitch that the neck produces when it is tapped. This is a large pitch interval. All are made from maple with Indian rosewood fretboards, except for the Burns, which has a maple fretboard. There were also variations in the length of each tapped tone. The ESP neck is the lowest pitch, and has the shortest note. The Burns neck is the next in pitch, but it has a more tapped tone. The Rockinger neck has both the longest note as well as the highest pitch.

It is not difficult to hear the tapping tone of a neck, and then attach it to the same body.

I prefer strat necks with a low pitch and a long sustain of the tapped ton.

Guitar builders claim that bolt-on neck guitars have consonant intervals between the neck and body. This is a common feature found in their most beloved guitars. Steve Vai’s favorite guitar is the number one. It has a perfect fifth between the neck and the body. This feature may explain why the guitar sounds better to him than his other Jems, he says.

Edit: I would love for guitar pickup builders to comment, if they are available on Quora or if they know of a pickup manufacturer, I would love to hear their opinions. These guys are most interested in the pickups as the main element of guitar sound. They will most likely say that the same pickup sounds different on different models of guitars.

Edit 2: SEYMOUR DUNCAN is having a word with you. You can see that he believes pickups only part of a larger system.

IS THERE A “MAGIC FORMULA” THAT WILL DIRECT ME TOWARD THE RIGHT PICKUPS? There might actually be one! It is important to choose a pickup that compliments the natural characteristics of your guitar or bass. You might choose bright-sounding pickups to highlight the instrument’s natural brightness due to maple and ash woods. Warmer pickups can counterbalance this effect. Warm-sounding pickups can be used to emphasize the guitar’s natural warmth due to materials such as mahogany or rosewood. A guitar with an alder body, and a maple fingerboard will have a brighter sound. Warm-sounding Alnico 2 magnets will balance this quality while brighter Alnico 5 magnets will emphasize it. A brighter, punchier pickup with Alnico 5 magnets would be a good choice for a guitar with a mahogany neck and rosewood fingerboard. You might also benefit from a ceramic one if you are playing more aggressive music. To maximize the instrument’s warmth, you can choose an Alnico 2 pickup. This blog article provides a deeper exploration into choosing the right pickups for matching wood types. In any case, it is a good idea to pay attention to the sound of your guitar unplugged. Are there any aspects of your acoustic sound that you dislike? You can then choose a pickup that emphasizes this quality.

 

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