Alder vs. Basswood - Jemsite
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-20-2004, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Posts: 56
Alder vs. Basswood

Does anyone have any opinions on Alder as a body wood for 7 strings, especially compared with the standard Basswood found in RGs & UVs??
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-20-2004, 08:33 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Portland, Or
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My three favorite woods for a 7 string are in descending order: swamp ash; alder; and basswood. There is some similarity between the three in that they all have very clear highs and a crisp low end. I think basswood is a little more neutral than alder or ash and that makes it a little better for use with a high gain rig or a lot of pedals, but all three work well.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-20-2004, 11:26 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Va Beach, VA
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I've found that with the guitars that I have owned, basswood can vary quite a bit. My UVPWH is really really fat and meaty, but an old 7620 I had was really super bright. My JPM and RG Art (also basswood) are both right down the center, super balanced between lows, mids and highs; simply awesome sounding guitars.

When inquiring with Darren about a body and swirl job at ATD, he explained that the J-custom, signature and UV bodies that are basswood are constructed of American Basswood, while the standard RG line were Asian Basswood...can't verify as fact, but my experience, as scientifically insignificant as it may be, seems to support that there is a difference...but again, each piece of wood is different, no matter what.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-22-2004, 02:24 AM
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
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i think most basswood ive played can tend to sound transparent-ish, that is, unless the guitar is loaded with some kinda middy pickup, ie. Blaze Custom & Tone Zone perhaps
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-22-2004, 04:27 PM
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Somerville, MA
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I happen to love alder- it handles depth well, a great, clear attack, and has a nice upper mid curve to it that kills for lead lines, as well. That said, basswood isn't half bad- it's very "balanced" tonally, and lends itself well to the extended register, to my ears.

So, I'm lusting after an alder custom job, but that hasn't stopped me from enjoying my 7620.

-D
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-29-2004, 05:26 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Soloway
My three favorite woods for a 7 string are in descending order: swamp ash; alder; and basswood. There is some similarity between the three in that they all have very clear highs and a crisp low end. I think basswood is a little more neutral than alder or ash and that makes it a little better for use with a high gain rig or a lot of pedals, but all three work well.
What have you found to be the difference between swamp ash and alder?
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-01-2004, 12:47 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Portland, Or
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbjammin
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Soloway
My three favorite woods for a 7 string are in descending order: swamp ash; alder; and basswood. There is some similarity between the three in that they all have very clear highs and a crisp low end. I think basswood is a little more neutral than alder or ash and that makes it a little better for use with a high gain rig or a lot of pedals, but all three work well.
What have you found to be the difference between swamp ash and alder?
The most obvious issue is cosmetics. Alder is quite plain while Swamp Ash can be really spectacularly beautiful. The tone can be quite similar although ash can be VERY inconsistent depending a lot on the density. Given a moderately light piece of ash, I find the highs to be just a little more pronounced than alder while alder is slightly smoother.
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