Difference between alder and ash?

Guitar Tricks Forum > Tone and Effects > Difference between alder and ash?

Vegas Wierdo

Registered User

Joined: 01/27/06

Posts: 239

Never had the opportunity to hear or play a guitar with an ash body. I'll have to snoop around the nearby Guitar Center.

How would y'all describe the difference?

Are their music genres that ash wouldn't be suited for (unless you wanted to be non-traditional)?

#1

Never had the opportunity to hear or play a guitar with an ash body. I'll have to snoop around the nearby Guitar Center.

How would y'all describe the difference?

Are their music genres that ash wouldn't be suited for (unless you wanted to be non-traditional)?

Blues_Man

Registered User

Joined: 07/08/05

Posts: 600

Sound wise, ash really doesn't sound all that much different from alder. The big difference is that ash is so much lighter thatn alder. That's what makes it favorable for a guitar body. It is a tad bitter more expensive than alder, that's why you never see it on low end guitars.
I am Comfortably Numb... Big Grin

Oh yeah...STICK IT TO THE MAN!

#2

Sound wise, ash really doesn't sound all that much different from alder. The big difference is that ash is so much lighter thatn alder. That's what makes it favorable for a guitar body. It is a tad bitter more expensive than alder, that's why you never see it on low end guitars.
I am Comfortably Numb... Big Grin

Oh yeah...STICK IT TO THE MAN!

pure

Registered User

Joined: 11/01/05

Posts: 1304

(When mention bright or dark in this case, its referring to the tone)

Low to entry Level Woods (found on budget guitars)

Agathis - Known as "commercial grade mahogany." it has tonal properties of mahogany but definitely inferior to mahogany.
Hardwood- or just plywood. Found on low-level squier strats. Inferior to Agathis as a tonewood.
Basswood- A fragile, light wood, damaged easily. Can also be considered as a mid-level wood. It has a warm bassy tone as implied in its name. Used mainly for rock/metal guitars.


Mid level Woods

Alder- Produces a full sound, commonly found on strats, lightweight. (similar woods: Poplar.)
Ash- There is swamp ash and Hard Ash. Swamp ash is a very light wood, commonly found on strats, some say its like a balance between Maple and Mahogany. (one very bright and the other warm.)
Hard ash has a bright tone and good sustain.
Maple- Maple has a very bright tone, comes in quilted and flamed versions.
Mahogany- The sound is warm and full with good sustain.


High-End woods
Walnut- It is a very attractive wood and has a similar sound to maple but not as bright. It is quite a heavy wood.
Rosewood- More commonly found on Fretboards than guitar bodies. Rosewood is an extremely heavy wood and Rosewood bodied guitars are very rare. Not as bright as maple and possess a very dark color.

#3

(When mention bright or dark in this case, its referring to the tone)

Low to entry Level Woods (found on budget guitars)

Agathis - Known as "commercial grade mahogany." it has tonal properties of mahogany but definitely inferior to mahogany.
Hardwood- or just plywood. Found on low-level squier strats. Inferior to Agathis as a tonewood.
Basswood- A fragile, light wood, damaged easily. Can also be considered as a mid-level wood. It has a warm bassy tone as implied in its name. Used mainly for rock/metal guitars.


Mid level Woods

Alder- Produces a full sound, commonly found on strats, lightweight. (similar woods: Poplar.)
Ash- There is swamp ash and Hard Ash. Swamp ash is a very light wood, commonly found on strats, some say its like a balance between Maple and Mahogany. (one very bright and the other warm.)
Hard ash has a bright tone and good sustain.
Maple- Maple has a very bright tone, comes in quilted and flamed versions.
Mahogany- The sound is warm and full with good sustain.


High-End woods
Walnut- It is a very attractive wood and has a similar sound to maple but not as bright. It is quite a heavy wood.
Rosewood- More commonly found on Fretboards than guitar bodies. Rosewood is an extremely heavy wood and Rosewood bodied guitars are very rare. Not as bright as maple and possess a very dark color.

PRSplaya

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Joined: 09/19/02

Posts: 3941

Warmoth has pretty good descriptions of different woods. Check it out >here<.
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>HERE'S WHERE I AM NOW<

#4

Warmoth has pretty good descriptions of different woods. Check it out >here<.
Tonja Renee's personal instructor

>HERE'S WHERE I AM NOW<

z0s0_jp

Riffologist

Joined: 07/08/05

Posts: 1584

Originally Posted by: PRSplaya
Warmoth has pretty good descriptions of different woods. Check it out >here<.

if i was rich.........oh my......will they build the entire guitar???
"Dammit Jim!! I'm a guitarist not a roadie...so haul my gear"

#5

Originally Posted by: PRSplaya
Warmoth has pretty good descriptions of different woods. Check it out >here<.

if i was rich.........oh my......will they build the entire guitar???
"Dammit Jim!! I'm a guitarist not a roadie...so haul my gear"