#1
Me and a drummer friend of mine have a debate going. Would birch make a good tone wood? they use it in drums and speaker cabinets all the time, but you never really see it in guitars. Is it a good idea?
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#2
yes it would, better tan basswood or half the shit u see nowadays but not as good as maple and mahogany, there's a few birch guitars out there, usually acoustic, which makes the wood all the more important to the tone.
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#3
yea iv heard of it being used a few times.its supposed to be pretty bright sounding
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#4
The new Gibson SG Zoot Suit is made of Birch wood laminate and I have played several because I never thought they would be very good but boy was I surprised the guitars might be pretty ugly but they sound amazing. I have a custom hand made guitar that I need to finish that is made of Birch laminate I got it unfinished from a luthier that worked for EU Wurlizter he said the first one they made was amazing but the store closed it's doors before the second was finished.


John
#6
Quote by the_perdestrian
If its so amazing why does no one ever use it?

Because Gibson and Fenders are made of alder and mahogany and those set the standard for electric guitars. It's kinda sad actually.
#7
It's a brilliant tonewood. It's not used for the same reason that you never see oak or cherry (Both of which has been used, as has birch).
#8
I built a few guitars from Oak. It's very heavy as hell and a bitch to finish but it has a great tone and sustain. I still have a few blanks left over and I started cutting a new body.


John
#10
Birch is used in drums and speakers as a laminate, not as a solid wood.
You know which guitars are made of laminate baltic birch? That's right. The mighty Squier Bullet.

Oak is rarely used because it has a very strong grain, which makes it hard to work with and cut straight. Plus, it might be prone to warping.

Oh, and not every guitar follows Gibson and Fender's wood choices. Basswood is an example. Neither Fender nor Gibson used basswood historically. At least, I don't think they did. Don't know who started the trend.
Last edited by sashki at Oct 27, 2009,
#11
I just cut down this monstrous 30-40 feet high birch tree(white birch, to be precise), about 17 inches diameter at the base, and i want to know; for a first time guitar builder, is it worth making blanks out of, or even a guitar(solid body/electric that is)? I've had this idea for a custom body, and i really want to make it, but the only wood i have resource of is birch. I'm probably going to buy a cheap yamaha electric guitar and leech the parts off of that, because all i want is a custom body. I also want to know, regardless of the crappy pick-ups it will host, would birch have a good tone for metal? I play a lot of Metallica, and, i mean, i wouldn't mind if it doesn't sound metal, at least i would've made my own guitar, but I'm just curious. I've heard and read a lot of things about birch, but its all in all very confusing, so if i could have a clear answer, I'd appreciate it.
#12
Quote by bananahammock
yes it would, better tan basswood or half the shit u see nowadays but not as good as maple and mahogany, there's a few birch guitars out there, usually acoustic, which makes the wood all the more important to the tone.


Basswood is an excellent tonewood.

I used to work in a builders suppliers, from what I could gather, birch was similar in grain to maple, though much lighter. I'd imagine it would be a perfectly adequate tonewood.

Spruce and poplar (poplar, though a hardwood, is very soft) are also excellent tonewoods.

Laminate birch is used in drums to prevent warping. Most modern drums use laminates, regardless of what wood is being used.
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#13
Framus Nashville electrics were made using Birch and sound great. Mine is big and loud even unplugged.
#14
Quote by sashki
Birch is used in drums and speakers as a laminate, not as a solid wood.
You know which guitars are made of laminate baltic birch? That's right. The mighty Squier Bullet.

Oak is rarely used because it has a very strong grain, which makes it hard to work with and cut straight. Plus, it might be prone to warping.

Oh, and not every guitar follows Gibson and Fender's wood choices. Basswood is an example. Neither Fender nor Gibson used basswood historically. At least, I don't think they did. Don't know who started the trend.


Squier Bullet is made out of Basswood. It would be a good sounding guitar with better electronics.

Basswood, historically, is drumset wood. It's the industry standard that Basswood is the best for drumsets.

Basswood, Mahogany, and Alder are the most popular for electric guitars. (Check Fender, Epiphone, Les Paul, Ibanez)


Now,

Baltic Birch is among the most sought after wood in the manufacture of speaker cabinets. Birch has a natural resonance that peaks in the high and low frequencies, which are also the hardest for speakers to reproduce. This resonance compensates for the roll-off of low and high frequencies in the speakers, and evens the tone. Birch is known for having "natural EQ."

Drums are often made from Birch. Prior to the 1970s, Birch was one of the most popular drum woods. Because of the need for greater volume and midrange clarity, drums were made almost entirely from maple until recently, when advancements in live sound reinforcement and drum microphones have allowed the use of Birch in high volume situations. Birch drums have a natural boost in the high and low frequencies, which allow the drums to sound fuller.

Birch wood is sometimes used as a tonewood for semi-acoustic and acoustic guitar bodies and occasionally used for solid-body guitar bodies. Birch wood is also a common material used in mallets for keyboard percussion.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birch#Tonewood