Alright, so I play a lot of Death Metal. Like A LOT. I was wondering what type of wood would be best to use. I'm thinking that for the fretboard I would use just standard Rosewood and that for the body I might use Ash. Maybe maple for the Neck? I'm not really sure if these are the best choices for what I do, so if anyone knows anything that would work better than what I've suggested then I'm very happy to take suggestions. Thanks everyone!
Mahogany, Basswood, or Korina (among others) make good body woods for metal guitars. Ash is better suited for bright guitars (like strats). Definitely Rosewood for the fretboard (or ebony) as they are tonally darker than say, maple, which gives a chimey and treble heavy tone. The neck is not as important, maple is a logical choice. I say this because the neck can have a big impact on sustain, but with metal you have enough gain from the amp/pedals that this shouldn't be an issue. You can also save a chunk of change here by going with maple, which is relatively cheap compared to the commonly used alternatives.

Good luck with the build!
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Opeth's Tone. Mahogany. Enough Said.

Seriously though, it really depends on what type of tone you want, as there isn't one Death Metal tone to rule them all...nice huh?

Mahogany is great for low end and mids and if you put a maple top on, it makes the highs sing through...

Alder or Basswood are good for the mids and highs but you'll have to rely on your pups to get much bass out of it.

Maple is really bright, so similar to the alder, but with slightly more bass to it...

You may want to try incorporating several woods into the body; i.e. - Petrucci's signature guitar utilizes a mahogany tone block under the pups and alder around that with a maple neck - best of all the worlds...

Hope that helps, good luck.

Depends on your rig somewhat... What do you need to get the sound you want out of the gear you've got or plan on buying someday?
A good death metal sound for me includes a LOT of midrange. Even if you want a bass-heavy sound, those mids are still really important to make sure your sound cuts through all the distortion... even more so if you tune down.

So maybe walnut would be a good starting place?

Cherry and walnut are sort of overlooked but they both sound great, and are convenient-- you can basically go down to any lumber yard and pick out pieces you like-- everyone stocks them because of their use in furniture and more mainstream woodworking.
Well, at least in the US. Dunno where you live-- I've heard from guys in Central America who can go to lumber yards and pick up weird rainforest hardwoods I've never heard of, or Australians who get a great deal on lacewood or blackwood but pay out the ass for American species.

But about what I said before-- if you do change tunings a lot, make sure you pony up the extra couple bucks for a double-action truss rod.

Tell me more about what you're planning on doing here and maybe I can help a little more.
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Last edited by Rebelw/outaCord at Feb 10, 2009,
you wont find much good walnut, unless you are lucky. its all warped cracked and bent to hell at lumber yards.

anyways, this thread was pretty much done by the time it was redirected to the ONLY tonewood thread.