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#1
I've kinda been through the forums lately and have noticed that many of you say that agathis for a crap wood, but is it really?

Think about it, agathis, yes it maybe cheap, but don't you think that for a beginner it is good enough? I mean, don't you think that many beginners won't be able to tell the difference between agathis and say, alder when they listen to 2 guitars that are made from it?

I'm gonna be gettin a Squier standard fat strat for my first guitar, and yes it is made of agathis, but then again, why is it rated higher and more expensive than the affinity when the affinity is made of alder? Is it primarily because of the hardware?

So if anyone could explain to me as a beginner, why the in world is agathis supposedly such a bad wood?
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#2
Agathis hasnt got a very nice tone to it unless you stick sh*t loads of gain onto it, i suggest for a beginner guitar get something not so standard, explore a bit, it might help you, everyone seems to get squier strats, but my dad bought me mine and i got rid of it within a month, i've got a dean baby V now, this has lasted me about 9 months, 2 months i had the squier, test around if you can play anything jus feel how they are to hold, maybe you'll like ibanez thin necks, maybe you'll like LP chunky ones
#3
yep definately look around. i mean my first guitar was the stagg in my signature, a good £80 it cost me (about 160 us$) but at least it's made of alder and when i started upgrading it it wasn't half bad. sure it's no mahog guitar but i mean it was my first and it's serving me very now right now as a second guitar.

If you buy a guitar with a good body and some crappy hardware (most guitars in a lower price range will have quite poor hardware anyawy) you can always replace the hardware - and indeed by doing that make your guitar yours - ie get the pickups that suit you, the bridge that you like, the tuners (whether locking or standard) that you need and the nut that you want, but it's very hard to customize the actual body (apart from replacing the neck).
Marty
#4
Its not bad at all, most people here just bash it mindlessly.
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#5
Quote by ScottishAngus
Its not bad at all, most people here just bash it mindlessly.


that's true too, i have played an LTD M200 which was agathis and it wasn't terrible even with the emg passives when it was plugged into an SS amp, but as soon as it was plugged into a powerball it just soudned so lifeless compared to a mahog guitar that i plugged in right before.
Marty
#6
Quote by suicidalmoose
that's true too, i have played an LTD M200 which was agathis and it wasn't terrible even with the emg passives when it was plugged into an SS amp, but as soon as it was plugged into a powerball it just soudned so lifeless compared to a mahog guitar that i plugged in right before.

that would be the emgs
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#7
no i can tell the difference between mahogany and agathis same Pick ups same amp with the same settings you can hear the difference. Agathis is weak and thin and just IMO doesnt sound nearly as good as guitars made from Mahogany or Alder
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#8
for an absolute beginner thought it's ok, as long as your wililng to go "you know what, this is my beginner guitar and when i become bigger and better i'm going to buy a better gtar". I think once you do get a mahog guitar you'd really be able to tell the diff and stop playing your beginners gtar, but for the first year or 2 of playing i can't imagine why Agathis wouldn't treat you right.
Marty
#9
May i point out though, there is like 12 variations/breeds of the wood and they're will be higher grades of agathis just like any other wood, so i wouldnt bash it completely. Its just like any other wood if you bought another guitar at the same price as an agathis one you'd be getting a low grade of mahogany or alder anyway so those guitars may not sound so good as higher end ones made out of the same wood anyway. IMO just try out the guitars and buy what feels best and dont really bother about the woods etc, and on another note i have heard from various sources that the squier standard series is a step above the affinitys parts and quality wise .
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#10
Well im 16 (for about the last month) and i live in Australia. I have tested out Epiphone Les Pauls, Yamahas and finally the Standard fat strat. This will be my first guitar (never really had a family history of playing guitars, i guess i'm goin to start it)

Many of my friends have been playing guitars for years and they don't even know what agathis is, many just go for the guitar that sounds the best, and in my case i found that the fat strat was "the one" for the price range and the comfort of the nice contour body (the epi i found too heavy, the yamaha i found too blocky, the strat was just right.) and for the nice sound, since i didnt know how to play, the guy at the store did a simple test run on it, i found that the sound was really nice as well! I even tested out the yamaha pac112, i found that the clarity of it just wasn't the same as the fat strat (all 3 guitars tested with a microcube).

so i guess its up to you guitar pros to decide, but whereas for me, i find that the fat strat made of agathis was actually quite nice and the standard series should deserve a little more recognition!
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#11
Agathis burns really well and that's pretty much it.

Don't do it, the difference is so damn obvious, you will regret it, well you might want one if you are going for the guitarsmash
#12
Come again? guitarmash? I will be planning to change my guitar after a year or two of playing, so if thats what your trying to say...
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#13
No, doesn't matter, after a two months or so you will gain tone knowledge.

I did at least..but I have 8 years of musical experience..
#14
nah plywood is better for burning. Yes it's on the bottom of the list...I'm suprised Peavey has a plywood guitar...ACtually more suprised companies use plywood.
#15
[quote="'[Guitar-Noob"]']Well im 16 (for about the last month) and i live in Australia. I have tested out Epiphone Les Pauls, Yamahas and finally the Standard fat strat. This will be my first guitar (never really had a family history of playing guitars, i guess i'm goin to start it)

Many of my friends have been playing guitars for years and they don't even know what agathis is, many just go for the guitar that sounds the best, and in my case i found that the fat strat was "the one" for the price range and the comfort of the nice contour body (the epi i found too heavy, the yamaha i found too blocky, the strat was just right.) and for the nice sound, since i didnt know how to play, the guy at the store did a simple test run on it, i found that the sound was really nice as well! I even tested out the yamaha pac112, i found that the clarity of it just wasn't the same as the fat strat (all 3 guitars tested with a microcube).

so i guess its up to you guitar pros to decide, but whereas for me, i find that the fat strat made of agathis was actually quite nice and the standard series should deserve a little more recognition!
The squier standard series if very underrated and most people here just say "agathis o thats just used on cheap guitars therefore it must be crap" which isnt always the case. If you like the squier standard series go for it imho.
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#16
well the problem with agathis is that generally no matter what you do to it to change it, (pickups etc) it will generally sound like ****. Unless of course you plug several distorion pedals, turn them (along with your amp) to full, then it will sound the same as every other guitar, but still, ****.

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#19
But you gotta take in mind that standard strat hardware is better than affinity hardware, this explains the price difference, so wouldn't this somewhat make the fat strat a little bit better when combined with agathis?
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#21
I prefer the Affinity squiers over there standards.. they have the classic start tone
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#22
yer i guess agathis isn't really regarded as a tone wood seeing as it's not used on anything $300+/professional guitars. sorry didn't realise that.
Marty
#23
for beginners, sure it works...cuz you are just learning how to play the guitar, doesn't matter what it's tone is like.

but once you get past figuring out how to play the instrument and start getting into how you sound...then you get picky about wood, and amps and such.
#24
I don't see why people get quier affinities and standards, yeah good for the first year or so but you might as well get something that you'll keep for a few years, i had a squier and within 2 months i changed to a dean so it'd be better to get something else rather than a squier
#25
^
Well the person may just give up on guitar for a while or have to give it up for another reason (commitments etc), and if you start with a rubbish guitar, you will appreciate any other, better, buitar you get even more because of the gulf between quality.

I have a Squier affinity strat made of alder and plan on keeping it forever pretty much, I will probably upgrade it with Noiseless pickups and re-paint it, and fit new hardware (neck etc) and you probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference from a 'proper' fender once decals are on it.
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#26
agathis is still a wood. so its not crap like "hardwood" or plywood.

But, its not bright like alder.
its a little dead sounding.

basswood, is also a nice wood, between alder and mahogany. a little soft. so sometimes not the best choice for a knock around guitar. but still very nice.


WHY I DONT LIKE AGATHIS. becuae you rarely find a good guitar in agathis. ive played a bunch, some low end ibanez, some squiers, esp and others.
if i found a quality low end guitar made of agathis id plug it. but, if they are offering others at the same price in alder. im going to take it every time.

also, i usaully say, pick the affinity over the standard strat. because the wood is better on the affinity, the rest can be upgraded. so start with a better wood.
Jenneh

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#27
ALL THAT MATTERS: if you really like that guitar, then get it.. what's more important right now is that you get a guitar that you just have to pick up and play when you look at it. later, as you become more refined in your playing and tonal-awareness, if you become unhappy with it, then you can either trade it in or get an EQ pedal to tweak your tone.
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#28
Quote by ScottishAngus
Its not bad at all, most people here just bash it mindlessly.

+1395935460045724574.3

The only problem I have with agathis is that it's inconsistent, but to be honest you should try out guitars before you buy them anyway. So if you find one that plays nice then hunt around for one that sounds nice unplugged... Tis as simple as that.

I have the feeling most people just bash agathis based on the fact that most people use it when they're starting and blame them sounding crap on the guitar... At least that's been my experience.


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#29
For a beginner, agathis is fine. It will play just as well as any other wood. A noob wouldn't really know what to listen for in terms of tone anyway, so it's not like they'll know the difference. A starter guitar is meant as that - a first instrument on which to learn the basics.

Whether a noob has a $99 agathis Squier guitar or a $1000 + alder or ash Fender, it won't make a lick of difference in learning basic technique, chords, and scales. In the end, as long as the guitar stays in tune and has good action, it's good enough for any beginner.

Quote by ScottishAngus
May i point out though, there is like 12 variations/breeds of the wood and they're will be higher grades of agathis just like any other wood, so i wouldnt bash it completely.


No guitar other than a beginner instrument is EVER made of agathis. That's how bad agathis is. Unlike basswood, which is a nice tone wood found in many high end guitars (namely Ibanez, and their high end stuff rocks), you can't get high grade agathis. There is high grade basswood that sounds excellent, and there's cheap stuff that sounds like crap. Even high grade agathis is not regarded as a good tone wood.
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#30
I agree with PF and his quote.

Also, if it was the guy at the store playing it, it is more than likely that it only sounded good becuase of a couple of things, but mainly being able to tweak and technique also comes into play with the sound.
#31
Quote by suicidalmoose
that's true too, i have played an LTD M200 which was agathis and it wasn't terrible even with the emg passives when it was plugged into an SS amp, but as soon as it was plugged into a powerball it just soudned so lifeless compared to a mahog guitar that i plugged in right before.


The M-200 also have maple neck thru construction, so at least the center of the body (about 1/3 of it's entire volume and mass) is actually maple, and not agathis. That's actually quite a redeeming feature. The bridge and pickups are mounted in a solid piece of maple, which is what will give the guitar the biggest part of its tone. The agathis body wings are mostly coloring the sound of the maple rather than being the main source of the tone.

But still, the guitar will sound dull and lifeless thru a good amp, which you've already experienced.
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#32
Agathis is also a cheaper wood, hence most guitar makers use it on thier lower end guitars which are made poorly and have bad hardware and pickups anyways.
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#35
Is all mahogany guiatars better then all alder? And are all Alder better than all Agathis or basswood?
#36
i like alder for my strats. they are lighter, and sound brighter.
i like how mahogany sounds in an HH heavy guitar.

basswood is a nice between, not too heavy. but depends on the guitar. its all preference.
Jenneh

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#37
Quote by AustBeginnerAxe
Are all mahogany guitars better then all alder? And are all Alder better than all Agathis or basswood?


Hehe.

Mahogany=Better heavier sound, nice thick and lasting sustain depending on the weight.
Alder=Great lighter, brighter sounds. Nice and crisp. Ringing even.
Agathis=Overall, poor. Uncomparable to all your woods mentioned.
Basswood=Equally good heavies and lights, great for anything really. I think a Fat Strat would do tremendous things if it were basswood. Japanese Strats are some of these. Great sounding guitars.
#38
So are you guys recommending me to get a affinity? for the long term, it has nice decent alder, however on the standard, the harware is supposedly better than the affinitys, that explains the price difference...
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#40
Yeh i know, i know, oh yeh and one more question, is a HSS setup on a fat strat adequate ( i listen to RHCP, some foo fighters, a bit of yellowcard, a bit of Vai every now and then, and bit of dragonforce here and there, but mainly RHCP), i wanted a HSS setup so i could try both rock and metal if i wanted then decide for myself what style i would stick to therefore what my second guitar would be more suited to in the future...
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