#1
Im just wondering this, and Ive googled it, and I wanted to ask a few questions.

1.Why are most guitars made of mahogany?

MY Answers, Because it has a good medium between Treble and bass tones.

2.Would making a guitar out of a heavier wood, such as Mesquite, or Black Ironwood Make a tonal Difference? A Denser wood makes it more Bass, and Less Dense Wood makes it more Treble.

3.Why is rose wood used so Often as a finger Board?
Looks good, and doesn't show wear. Anything could really do.

4.If I used a "Better" Wood, if one existed (If so, what wood) what would it really change? Bass or treble, Depending.

How much wood Could a Wood Chuck Chuck if a Wood Chuck could Chuck Wood?


Thanks guys, I might have to experiment with different woods one day, like checking the Differences Between Balsa and Mequite...
Last edited by Life Is Brutal at Sep 13, 2009,
#2
Woods just have a different tonal shape. And maybe its used more because its abundant??
#3
1.Most aren't. Basswood and alder are among several different wood types used. Mahogany is used a part of the time, but not most.

2.Heavier, not really. Denser, yes. I know the two sort of go hand in hand, but not quite. A denser wood will increase the sustain.

3.Rosewood is commonly used because it was easy to get, it looks good, and it doesn't require a finish on it, so its easier and cheaper to manufacture.

4.It would change the tone, weight, and aesthetics. Better is subjective. I personally think that mahogany or korina with a maple top is pretty much supreme, but others will say bubinga, or all maple, or ziricote or something.
#4
1.Why are most guitars made of mahogany?
Guitars have been made for many many many many years, and there has been plenty of experimentation of wood types. Originally used on acoustic guitars, mahogany is a wood that is porous and has a high oil content. Generally, more dense woods yield a brighter tone, but mahogany yields a pleasantly warm, smooth sort of tone.

2.Would making a guitar out of a heavier wood, such as Mesquite, or Black Ironwood Make a tonal Difference?
Yes

3.Why is rose wood used so Often as a finger Board?
It's hard, dense, it looks nice, it's cheaper than Ebony, and because the string doesn't actually touch the fingerboard you don't need a fingerboard as dense as ebony, plus because it's dark it doesn't show wear as obviously as, say, maple.

Although you can make a fingerboard out of virtually anything that's dense enough to hold the frets in.

4.If I used a "Better" Wood, if one existed (If so, what wood) what would it really change?
It would change the tone. "Better" is subjective to an extent, but there's also a reason why certain woods are used more often than others in guitar building. These reasons are stability, availability and tonal characteristics.
#5
Not really on topic but how does Nato compare to Mahagony?
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#6
honestly there shouldn't be any reason or difference cos Les Paul sought specifically to make the solid body guitar so there would be purely an amplification of the strings, with out the wood, he even made guitars of metal to prove his point, he made the solid body guitar specifically to cancel out the effect of the wood and size and shape of the guitar in the sound.
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#7
Quote by bananahammock
honestly there shouldn't be any reason or difference cos Les Paul sought specifically to make the solid body guitar so there would be purely an amplification of the strings, with out the wood, he even made guitars of metal to prove his point, he made the solid body guitar specifically to cancel out the effect of the wood and size and shape of the guitar in the sound.

Though your right to an extent its not really what he asked..

BUT, Because your screen name is Banana Hammock, Its all good.
#9
Quote by bananahammock
honestly there shouldn't be any reason or difference cos Les Paul sought specifically to make the solid body guitar so there would be purely an amplification of the strings, with out the wood, he even made guitars of metal to prove his point, he made the solid body guitar specifically to cancel out the effect of the wood and size and shape of the guitar in the sound.



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#10
The woods have an effect on the bass/ treble of the guitar- heavier/ denser the wood the bassier it feels, so it's a balance of the right weight depending on the density of the wood to get the 'best'/ most balanced tone. It's very interesting to see what luhiers like John Suhr have to say on this.
#11
i didnt say he managed it. i said thats what he was trying to do ya fool, dont u facepalm me u self righteous twat. he failed miserably, and a wood makes a huge difference in tone, mahongany gives a nice bassy tone, maple more trebley
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.
#12
Quote by bananahammock
i didnt say he managed it. i said thats what he was trying to do ya fool, dont u facepalm me u self righteous twat. he failed miserably, and a wood makes a huge difference in tone, mahongany gives a nice bassy tone, maple more trebley

If that is what you believe then why didn't you post this intead of something completely unhelpful and incorrect. Oh, and your name calling is cute
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#14
Quote by bananahammock
honestly there shouldn't be any reason or difference cos Les Paul sought specifically to make the solid body guitar so there would be purely an amplification of the strings, with out the wood, he even made guitars of metal to prove his point, he made the solid body guitar specifically to cancel out the effect of the wood and size and shape of the guitar in the sound.


wat


on topic: mohagany and rosewood are very common and pleasing to the eye, over the years of using people got used to the tone this woods produced and keep on using... but its not a standard of any kind...hell, Brian May made the red special out of a table i think

EDIT: watch it bananahamock or you'll get warned for flaming in the future
Last edited by just17n8 at Sep 13, 2009,
#15
Quote by just17n8
hell Brian May made the red special out of a table i think

Yeah

But what a table that was. My god, I wish I had a table like that.

Brian May's guitar is made mostly of oak, which is an unusual wood for guitar building, but it's the semi-hollow design that lends a lot to the unique tone of his guitar.

It sounds really fat, despite having single coils and a tremolo, all thanks to the body.
#16
Quote by sashki
Yeah

But what a table that was. My god, I wish I had a table like that.

Brian May's guitar is made mostly of oak, which is an unusual wood for guitar building, but it's the semi-hollow design that lends a lot to the unique tone of his guitar.

It sounds really fat, despite having single coils and a tremolo, all thanks to the body.


exactly... my point was: any type of wood can be used for a guitar... maybe the tone will change but that doesnt mean one is better than the other
#17
Quote by sashki
Are you planning on buying a BC rich?

I might get flamed for that but yes.
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#18
why flamed?... as long as its not a Bronce series (thats really money down the toilet) most BC Rich's are ok
#19
It depends on the guitar. Mahogany is used in guitar where the manufacture want's to get a Les Paul tone it's not the most popular choice by far. I really think there are more guitars built with basswood.

Here is a link that might help you understand the tonal qualities of different woods. They leave some choices out because the use for them is rare.

http://www.jemsite.com/jem/wood.htm

John
#20
Mahogany is a term used to cover a family of woods. Included in that family is Luan, which is the type of Mahogany Epiphone use.
The reasons Mahogany family is so popular are that it has fine rather dark tonal properties and machines very well.
Rosewood is used for fretboards as it counters the brightness of Maple, Poplar, Alder and Basswood. Ebony is often used to counter the bassiness in Mahogany bodied guitars but is not often used with the brighter sounding body woods.

Talk of 'better' woods is probably not appropriate as many woods could be considered best for a particular task. More expensive woods are costly because they are scarce, not because they are universally better. There's a great tonewood thread on here which you should check out.
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#21
Quote by just17n8
why flamed?... as long as its not a Bronce series (thats really money down the toilet) most BC Rich's are ok

It would be a Mockingbird ST. I just can't find a better guitar in that pricerange with neckthrough construction or set-in neck and OFR.
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#22
Quote by JesusCrisp
It would be a Mockingbird ST. I just can't find a better guitar in that pricerange with neckthrough construction or set-in neck and OFR.


thats one of my dream guitars man!
#23
Quote by just17n8
thats one of my dream guitars man!

Cool, but I want to know how much Nato instead of Mahagony would effect the tone. Otherwise it looks like a great guitar for its price.
Fender American Special HSS Stratocaster
Ibanez 1987 Roadstar II Deluxe
Yamaha THR10X
Marshall JCM900 SL-X
Ibanez WD-7 Weeping Demon Wah
TC Electronic Polytune
Seymour Duncan Tweakfuzz
#24
1. Mahogany has a long history in guitar making. It was used in the accoustic and hollowbody world first which may be why it carried over into solid bodies later on. It is a tone wood that has a warm sound and resonates nicely. Most guitars are not made of it as it is an exotic wood and decent mahogany grows in certain climates. Maple is far too heavy but make a beautiful addition (cap) to bodies (great for necks though) Alder and Ash are also good for solidbodies. Basswood is a unstellar tone wood and is more cost effective and is generally found in less expensive guitars but has been seen in higher models as well.
2. Other wood may be chosen but weight, resonance, imperfections (knots), natural oils are all a consideration.
3. Ebony and rosewood for fingerboards are no doubt a carryover (again) from earlier wooden instruments (Cello, Violin etc) where the woods performed well. Maple was a Leo invention for guitars and required a finish to protect it.
Moving on.....
Last edited by KenG at Sep 13, 2009,
#25
Quote by bananahammock
i didnt say he managed it. i said thats what he was trying to do ya fool, dont u facepalm me u self righteous twat. he failed miserably, and a wood makes a huge difference in tone, mahongany gives a nice bassy tone, maple more trebley


you fail, im posting this on the dumbest thing ever said about guitars u said it wouldnt make a difference stop covering up your fail
#26
Quote by KenG

Maple was a Leo invention for guitars and required a finish to protect it.

Violins had maple necks long before guitars. Not sure about fretboards, but it's a pretty dense wood with a closed grain, so why not?
Quote by JesusCrisp
Cool, but I want to know how much Nato instead of Mahagony would effect the tone. Otherwise it looks like a great guitar for its price.

They say Nato is actually related to mahogany and has similar tonal properties. I've never had a chance to compare the two.

Nato is generally used in cheap guitars, but that doesn't mean it's bad. BC Rich guitars are the most expensive guitars I've seen that use Nato, which I find unusual, cos most manufacturers offer mahogany for the same price (or less).

Maybe they need to use Nato so they can have other cool features like Rockfield pickups, OFRs and neck-through construction while keeping it cheap.
I'd say try it out. It certainly won't be bad. Wood does make a difference, but not as much a difference as most people think. The guitar is electric, after all.
Last edited by sashki at Sep 13, 2009,
#27
Quote by JesusCrisp
It would be a Mockingbird ST. I just can't find a better guitar in that pricerange with neckthrough construction or set-in neck and OFR.


Nato is related to Mahogany in tone.

Quote by sashki

Nato is generally used in cheap guitars, but that doesn't mean it's bad.


Aren't you talking about Agathis there?
ಠ_ಠ
#28
Quote by DespisedIcon
Aren't you talking about Agathis there?


Nope you'll find nato being used in cheap acoustic guitars some times, don't know if they still do nowadays but they used to.
#29
Quote by sashki
Violins had maple necks long before guitars. Not sure about fretboards, but it's a pretty dense wood with a closed grain, so why not?
.......


I was talking about fretboards actually as the TS referred to Rosewood for that purpose.
Moving on.....