Jul 29, 2014

Science Experiment idea - Tonewoods

This is a (long) comment I left on YouTube discussing a good idea I had regarding the everlasting debate about tonewoods on electric guitars.

Everyone is talking about variable control.  Electronics and even tiny differences in pickup winding do make a small difference to the tone, making this test, as others have said, NOT the "definitive proof".

Personally I think that on one hand, there is definitely an audible difference in tone in this video, and that tone wood has at least "some" influence on the sound.  I'd say more of an influence if you have crappy pickups that are microphonic, but still at least a little change.  Building guitars out of foam, as Chappers mentioned in another video, is not a great idea.

So here it is - Make a guitar with a very small body, something kind of like this:

But with a large hole/bolt-on section or something that allows another piece of wood, in my mind a simple cylinder of mahogany/basswood/ash/lignum vitae/whatever a few inches in diameter to be swapped out easily and quickly.

You could conceivably have dozens or more rods of tonewood to interchange, without affecting any other variables, nothing with strings, pickups, electronics, player, etc. to mess with things.

Preferably the tonewood would be at least as large/heavy as a normal guitar body, though likely the more wood, the more audible any differences would be.

If that ain't science, I don't know what is.  Congratulations if you read all that, and looking forward to seeing it for real ;)

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