Does Guitar Tonewood Matter?

A new tonewood video is making it’s rounds and this is a topic that everyone has an opinion on.  There are clearly two separate camps that get rabid with each other almost to the point of flat earthers vs round earthers. (Except for the clear visual evidence of the round earth)  There was that one scientific study that one time that said there is virtually no sonic difference see HERE!!!!   And then there are bunches of not as scientific studies.  That’s what I like!

People spend a ton of money chasing that “tone” i’m mainly going to focus on electric guitar as acoustic (IMO) is an instrument more critical of it’s construction and materials.  And being that’s it’s acoustic it really only has a few things to shape it’s sound.  Unlike the electric that has the “electric” components that are changing the the way the instrument sounds which can create many variables.

For me personally I don’t spend a lot of time researching tone woods for my guitars.  I look more into finish I am trying to achieve, as well as neck and fret board.  I’m personally a firm believer that if you want to significantly change the guitar sound the easiest and most drastic way to do that is with a pickup swap.  Being that pickups are voiced to accomplish different types of sounds that seems to be the component that would make the most sense.  Next of course being the amp you’re playing with.  For me, my guitars of choice are usually Ibanez RG 550 or similar style, many of my guitars have the electronics attached to the pick guard not even touching the wood directly which to some degree lessens the wood argument.  There have also been various acrylic guitar that sound basically indiscernible from their earthy counterparts.  With all these things considered is it worth your money to go out of your way with a bunch of wood combinations?  Well, no answers here.  But my opinion…..  No.

While I do agree that different woods make sonic differences I believe they’re subtle.  And those subtle differences are going to become less noticeable once time comes to dial your desired tone in with your amp or your choice in pickups.

 

But, here is an interesting demonstration of difference in woods.  While this video is gaining popularity, I do wish this was done in a bit more controlled situation.   Maybe with equipment better than an iPhone and maybe with a mic on a speaker to give some consistency.  But meh, it’s a solid enough indicator of wood impacting tone.

 

 

 

 

 

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About the author

GearZombiee

What up!!! I am a musician. I try to be a musicians musician at that. I consider myself fairly knowledgeable as a guitar/bass player, drummer and fairly decent in the studio. I also work very hard on my song writing skills. I'm not claiming to be an expert by any means and in my opinion few people really are. What I am however is a guy that has learned a lot from trial and error and watching others follow the same process. What this site is designed to do is help others along the way. Maybe you're looking for a piece of gear and want a users perspective on it rather than the manufacturers sales pitch or the paid for sales pitch by most of today's biased publications. Or, maybe you're trying to accomplish something sound wise and just can't hit the nail on the head. My goal is this page is going to provide a resource for all things in today's guitar, drum, studio... bla bla bla.... You get the point. If you see a video or article you like please comment, if you don't like it comment too. But whatever you do be respectful of everyone involved. All I want is a cool place to discuss all things rock!! Later, Gearzombiee


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