Originally Posted by: matonanjin2This is a topic I have been studying somewhat seriously lately as I am considering having a Custom Shop Strat built by Fender. I am also very sensitive to weight having had 3 spinal surgeries. I was first considering a swamp ash body as they are the lightest.[/quote]
Basswood is very light. I have a project strat made from basswood that is extremely light & sounds great. And although it's considered a cheaper wood, agathis is used in a lot of the 2000s Indonisian Squiers, it's very light & resonant. I have 3 of them & 2 of them are really amazing machines. The 3rd is okay, too, just not as great.
I've always read that alder is lighter (on average) & more consistent sounding than ash. I own a couple of alder strats & an ash strat. I definitely prefer the alder for weight & tone. My 2 primary strats are alder & I love them.
But you need to try for yourself. Wood is inconsistent. Any given piece of alder, ash, basswood, etc. might be better or worse than another piece of the same wood.
[quote=matonanjin2]Of course there was because there is always someone dissing everything in a forum. But there were claims of some swamp ash being a little duller. I want a real Texas bluesy growl.
Haha! :) Yes, forums seem to attract that sort of action.
In my experience ash is brighter or favoring treble tones more. And this can run to a harshness that I don't like. I can tame it or fix it with EQ, effects & amp settings. But it always feels like I'm fighting it. Alder, on the other hand, seems to work more naturally for my preferences.
That Texas growl comes more from gear & playing style I think. If you are talking about SRV & Johnny Winter type stuff. The SRV strats had alder bodies with high output pickups. And SRV cranked it through one (or 2!) Tubescreamers (mostly for boosting, not distortion) into loud Fender & Marshall amps.
Check out this demo.
This is a very personal thing, so I encourage you to try a bunch of guitars & ask questions! Have fun gear shopping!
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