#1
Hello. I'm a happy owner of Gibson Explorer (Mahogany Body, hard-tail bridge, 22 frets), but i feel like getting a second guitar that would be quite the opposite. After seeing the SL2H, i immediately fell in love with it, plus i've always wanted to have a Jackson in my collection. The SL2H has 24 frets, Floyd Rose and alder body, but there's also a "MAH" version featuring mahogany body+neck. I've never had a chance to take a closer look at a guitar made of alder, not mentioning playing one. I play mainly heavy/thrash metal: megadeth, old metallica, some slayer and pantera, testament, exodus, SOAD and also some lighter things like Offspring, GnR, Led Zeppelin (gibson for the last 2 though).

My main question is pretty obvious: should i go for the alder body or maybe try with the MAH version? i know that there is no good anwser to that, i'm rather counting on some opinions/experiences to help me choose. My main concern here is that alder body would lack the kind of heavy, solid kick in the ass that my mahogany gibson can provide. What are your opinions?

Thx a lot
#2
I have a DBZ Cavallo; it's a flying V made from mahogany, also with a Floyd. I don't know that much about wood, but if you want something with a heavier tone it seems to me like you would want a denser wood. Isn't mahogany denser than alder?

Yeah, go with the mahogany. In my experience having a Floyd makes a guitar seem that much lighter anyway, or at least it seems that way to me.
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#3
I've got 2 guitars w/similar pups but different wood.

a. Schecter Avenger w/SD SH-8 Invader and mahogany
b. Squier Affinity w/DD SB-108 Detonator (cheap version of the SH-8) and alder

The Squier doesn't have quite the tone of the Schecter, but a big part of that might be the cheap pup. It sounds great by itself and gets lots of compliments at shows for it's tone; people can't believe it when they see what it is, but I recorded the 2 and the Schecter just sounds more impressive when you a/b it. It's still better for hard rock than the SSS MIA Strat, though.

Maybe some day I'll get another real SH-8 and figure out the real difference.
#4
if you're looking for a warm tone, go with mahogany
if you're looking for a bright tone, go for alder
i personally would go for mahogany simply because if sounds excellent. however, gibson explorers are made from mahogany and if you want to get something opposite, go for the alder

it all comes down to personal choices, which one do you like the most
#5
Quote by JimDawson

Yeah, go with the mahogany. In my experience having a Floyd makes a guitar seem that much lighter anyway, or at least it seems that way to me.


Well, Floyd needs some space itself, you need to cut out quite a piece of wood to install it.

As far as i know absolute most of Jackson guitars have alder body, including the high-end ones like KV2 or RR1. They both sound really great. Dave Mustaine used to hav a signature Jackson Y2KV which had floyd and mahogany body, and Marty Friedman used to hav a sig Jackson KE1T with Poplar body, and both guitars still sounded really amazing (marty's solos = eargasm).

My main concern here is whether the body material makes THAT BIG difference. I'm pretty aware of the fact that 70% of the tone comes from amp.

any1 else got an opinion / or maybe played a mah jackson? (would be awesome)
#6
Quote by megadethrow
Hello. I'm a happy owner of Gibson Explorer (Mahogany Body, hard-tail bridge, 22 frets), but i feel like getting a second guitar that would be quite the opposite. After seeing the SL2H, i immediately fell in love with it, plus i've always wanted to have a Jackson in my collection. The SL2H has 24 frets, Floyd Rose and alder body, but there's also a "MAH" version featuring mahogany body+neck. I've never had a chance to take a closer look at a guitar made of alder, not mentioning playing one. I play mainly heavy/thrash metal: megadeth, old metallica, some slayer and pantera, testament, exodus, SOAD and also some lighter things like Offspring, GnR, Led Zeppelin (gibson for the last 2 though).

My main question is pretty obvious: should i go for the alder body or maybe try with the MAH version? i know that there is no good anwser to that, i'm rather counting on some opinions/experiences to help me choose. My main concern here is that alder body would lack the kind of heavy, solid kick in the ass that my mahogany gibson can provide. What are your opinions?

Thx a lot


Slight point of confusion, do you want something that can do the opposite or not?

My vote would be for the alder bodied Jackson. I had an alder bodied Jackson (a DXMG) and I loved it, played and sounded amazing - I had swapped out the EMG Hz for a D-Sonic/Air Norton combo. I think alder is quite a tonally balanced wood, from what I know, so with that you could shape your tone anyway you want, and it should provide you with the potential for variety away from your LP.

I'm also biased in that I haven't really played a mahogany bodied guitar that I've liked* yet, but it could just be my particular experience/luck with the guitars that I've played so I don't want to sound to harsh about it. And yeah, I'm of the opinion that most of the tone comes from amp, pickups, playing, etc. Not so much from the wood, although it definitely has some effect. Point is, I think you should go for the alder one!


*In re-reading this I've just remembered that my "main" guitar at the moment is an Ibanez S series which has a mahogany body. Feeling like a moron, but whatever. I think the S is a bit of an exception since there's hardly any body wood to it anyway!
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#7
Quote by VVolverin3
Slight point of confusion, do you want something that can do the opposite or not?


I have a gibson with 22frets and hard-tail bridge, so now i wanted to have a guitar with 24 frets and floyd rose (dive bombs yayyy!), i'm just not sure about the wood ^^
#8
The SL2H isn't really alder. It's neck-through so most of the wood is maple, which is very different. The alder parts are just the sides fo the body which have little impact on tone or weight.

Mahogany and maple are the exact opposites of each other tone-wise. They both weigh a lot and have huge sustain. If anything maple does sustain a little better but it does tend to weigh a tiny bit more too. But mahogany robs treble for a warm tone while maple brings all the treble through for the brightest tone possible. They both have full mids and bass.

Alder is the most balanced of all woods tone-wise and is one of the lightest too, when you're talking about good quality alder. But like I said the SL2H is a neck-through guitar so the alder body wings mean very little. We're looking at mahogany vs maple here.
#9
Quote by grohl1987
The SL2H isn't really alder. It's neck-through so most of the wood is maple, which is very different. The alder parts are just the sides fo the body which have little impact on tone or weight.

Mahogany and maple are the exact opposites of each other tone-wise. They both weigh a lot and have huge sustain. If anything maple does sustain a little better but it does tend to weigh a tiny bit more too. But mahogany robs treble for a warm tone while maple brings all the treble through for the brightest tone possible. They both have full mids and bass.

Alder is the most balanced of all woods tone-wise and is one of the lightest too, when you're talking about good quality alder. But like I said the SL2H is a neck-through guitar so the alder body wings mean very little. We're looking at mahogany vs maple here.


so it's pretty much a choice between bright tone + a lot of treble from maple/alder and warmth given by mahogany?
#10
Quote by megadethrow
Well, Floyd needs some space itself, you need to cut out quite a piece of wood to install it.

As far as i know absolute most of Jackson guitars have alder body, including the high-end ones like KV2 or RR1. They both sound really great. Dave Mustaine used to hav a signature Jackson Y2KV which had floyd and mahogany body, and Marty Friedman used to hav a sig Jackson KE1T with Poplar body, and both guitars still sounded really amazing (marty's solos = eargasm).

My main concern here is whether the body material makes THAT BIG difference. I'm pretty aware of the fact that 70% of the tone comes from amp.

any1 else got an opinion / or maybe played a mah jackson? (would be awesome)


The Y2KV was a fairly limited time thing, remember. For most of his career with Jackson, Mustaine was playing his KV1s, which like Marty's Kellys were usually maple and poplar.

Over the years Jackson seem to have used Alder and Poplar interchangeably, and as far as I know you get a very similar tone from both. And, like grohl1987 said, they won't have a huge impact there when the whole central section is a nice dense chunk of quartersawn rock maple.

Whichever way you go will be a great sounding guitar, and there won't be a massive difference.

Quote by JimDawson
I don't know that much about wood, but if you want something with a heavier tone it seems to me like you would want a denser wood.


Typically, the denser a wood is, the brighter its tone. Hence maple and the like being very bright sounding woods.
#12
Just remember not to adjust the action while the strings are under tension. That will shorten the life of your knife edges. Probably better to do the setup yourself if you can beat the store to it because so many techs and even luthiers either don't know about that or do it anyway since their time is their money and if they damage your FR theres a good change you wouldn't know it was them and they can get repeat business. The better techs will remove the claw springs to relieve the tension before adjusting the posts.

Also, if you have no experience with the FR, it ins't really that much of a pain when you know what you're doing. Just know that it's crucial to stretch the strings completely before locking down the nut and it helps to block the trem when tuning, then adjust the claw until the bridge stays put at that tuning.

Here's a neat mod for your future Floyd Rose: http://www.prorockgear.com/schalleradjustableclaw.aspx