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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Guitar Tone?

As part of my learning curve (it's a long and steep curve, with no end in sight!) about building guitars, I've been reading a lot of "stuff" about how different woods affect the tone of a guitar.

And I'm sure that they're right - each piece of wood has its own unique characteristics, some of which will affect its tonal properties.

But - and this is my problem - there are so many other factors which affect how a guitar sounds, that I wonder how much the qualities of a piece of wood can really affect the sound that is eventually heard out of the amp's speakers?

I don't question that the acoustic sound of the guitar (and the sound of an acoustic guitar) will be affected by the quality of the wood, but the sound of an electric guitar is affected by so many other factors (such as the amp, speakers, pickups, etc, etc, etc) that I wonder whether the basic material is that critical?

And if not, does it really matter - purely from an outputted sound perspective - whether the guitarist is playing an original 57 Goldtop or an 09 Chinese Epi replica? Could they both be made to sound the same by tweaking the settings on the amp or fx boxes?

I started a discussion here (, but I'm not sure that there's an answer ...

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