I know wood affects guitar but by how much, i only have one guitar so i cant really do a test right now so i need thoughts. thanks
You've just opened a can of worms, but I'll give you my thoughts:

I think it's a very subjective thing to a degree. There maybe scientific proof one way or another though. There are so many variables it's very hard to give you a definite answer on it as setup, pickup height, playing strength, where you play and what pickup you are using makes a change in some way and that isn't going into the amp, cab, speaker choice, tube choice and pickup choice available. However I do think wood does change the tone ever so slightly, in regards to the weight of a guitar or what specific plank of wood that was used on the guitar itself.

For reference (I need to video this) I own two Dean Eric Peterson series guitars. Same model, same specs, same setup/pickup height, everything played the same way and they also have active electronics, so I bought the same type of battery (Durecell 9V, if anyone's interested) and you know what? They sound different. Personally, I'm not sure if it's the wood itself or if it's one of the other many variables which come with owning an electric instrument, but the sound was different. Aside from being a different year of production to each other, one of them is heavier in terms of the weight. Maybe they changed production methods, maybe they didn't. Who knows?
Last edited by Fisheth24 at Nov 5, 2014,
Quote by Mephaphil
No one knows. Now delete this thread and use the search, for your own sanity.

+3.1415. seriously research yourself, there are probably hundred of threads here.

This is going to be a shit storm and a half, but I'll give my bit to the discussion. The way I see it, there is no reason for it to NOT make a difference. We all know for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, so let's look at it like this: When you strike the strings, the vibrating strings give off energy, this energy hits the neck and body of the guitar, and depending on the density of the wood, less or more energy is absorbed, while the rest is reflected (mahogany is softer, so it absorbs more, maple is very dense, so it reflects more), eventually reaching back to the strings, which affects the vibration of the strings, which affects the tone.

So unless electric guitars don't abide by the laws of physics, wood will in some way make a difference. HOWEVER, with pickups, strings, amps, cabs, pots and picks making up the majority of your tone, whether or not you can hear a difference in woods is entirely based on the individual, and even then is arguably the least important factor in the tone of a guitar. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going into my shitstorm bunker.
Nobody really knows, although there is evidence towards it not making a difference, although some people swear they can hear a difference.

There will be a camp of people one side who swear blind it does, and some who swear it doesn't. You won't change either sides thoughts. You just need to decide if it makes a difference for yourself. Sorry I couldn't be more help than that.
My advice is, don't pick a guitar because it is/isn't made of certain wood. Try it and if it sounds/feels good, it is good no matter what wood is used. Of course wood can be about something else than just tone. I mean, it affects the way the guitar feels in your hands and the way the guitar looks. It also affects the weight of the guitar.

I have seen videos about this stuff and in the (properly done) videos I haven't been able to tell any difference. And the videos need to be properly done. Comparing two different guitars (even if they are the same model) doesn't prove anything - and the Rob Chappers demo wasn't properly done. You need to keep everything else the same, just change the body or neck wood. Electronics and all the hardware need to be exactly the same. Strings need to be exactly the same.

So maybe wood doesn't have a clear effect on the tone but it does matter if you care about the feel, looks and weight.
I'm definitely in the camp of it not making a difference whatsoever. However I respect the opinions of the other side as well as no proper studies have been made on it. I am not looking to get into an argument but I think at the end of the day, even if it does make a difference it would have to be minute otherwise we wouldn't be arguing about it. If it really was a big difference it would be obvious and therefore no argument.

Unless we are talking about acoustic guitars. You will definitely hear the difference there. The main difference being that an acoustic actually makes it's sound from the vibrating wood, not the strings themselves.
Well folks, no reason to wonder any longer. Here is all of the "scientific proof" you need. He does make some valid points, but completely disregards some important factors. I've built a number of guitars from scratch using a variety of woods (basswood, maple, walnut, mahogany, alder, ash...), and while I know that wood does influence tone, there are so many other factors, and variability within wood species, that I've never been able to predict how a guitar will sound based on the woods used.


Last edited by stormin1155 at Nov 5, 2014,
That video by chappers is not proof. He would need to use exactly the same pickups, electronics, then have the guitar set up exactly the same, then strum exactly the same.

He would need to swap the electronics from one to the other, and have some sort of machine to strum correctly.
I don't know and while it an interesting subject in reality, it doesn't really matter. You pick up a guitar and play it. If it sounds good what it is made of doesn't matter. I had an Ampeg guitar in the 70's made of clear acrylic ("Keef" Richards had one) and it sounded like a decent guitar. Jimmy Page used his Danelectro/Silvertone guitar on many Led Zep recording and in concert and that thing is made of some kind of cheap composite board. Somehow logic tells me that a metal string vibrating over a pickup/coil that sends a signal to a volume pot and through a tone pot with a capacitor would be unaffected by the type of wood used as far as tone. I do think it has something to do with sustain of the instrument but not the actual tone. Just my humble 2 cents.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Nov 5, 2014,
I don't get why people respond to these threads time and time again.
Last edited by Mephaphil at Nov 5, 2014,
Quote by Mephaphil
I don't get why people respond to these threads time and time again.

Because they want to express their views on the subject.
Quote by Mephaphil
I don't get why people respond to these threads time and time again.

See the image in the post above yours?

Beating dead horses is not only fun, but it's also a good cardio workout.