Originally Posted by Paul Secondino
Any guitar can dent unless it is made out of aluminum or steel. Basswood simply is a soft wood with properties similar to poplar.
well you could dent aluminium if you used something hard enough, but i see your point...
It sounds very neutral. that is neither good nor bad. But it doesn't have the depth and warmth of mahogony and it lacks the punch of alder and it lacks the extended treble of ash.
on the plus side, it's got better treble than mahogany, less honk than alder making low notes more pronounced, and better bottom end than ash.
And lastly, Ibanez doesn't have professionals picking out the best basswood. Ibanez will use pretty much anything and in the 80's had a reputation for using lots of wood that wasn't even true basswood.
yes and no, they use American Tilia for the Jems for example;
There are pictures floating around (even on this site IIRC) of the wood grading and selection at the Fujigen factory; This may have been for the maple, but I doubt that they would just buy any wood. They also carefully inspect properties, such as moisture content.
I have never heard of them not using basswood. But they did pass off a Japanese Ash ('Sen') as Korina, but that was in the 70s! Using fake basswood kinda defeats the purpose, it's already a cheap wood, with good sound properties, that's easy to work with, what more do you want? (much like Alder btw)
And what could you pass off as basswood? - Poplar? too heavy, but populair with Jackson and others. - Swamp Ash? Same density, but more expensive! - Alder? That just doesn't make any sense.
There is, however, a very simple way to cut cost: use multiple smaller pieces to build a body. Like [email protected]
, Jems and RGs can be 2, 3 even 5 or 6 pieces of smaller basswood glued together. That is much more efficient. The opaque finish, necessary as basswood looks rather bland, with nasty mineral streaks (green & blue) covers up the joints. Basswood by itself is also very smooth, and remains so. This is why the -Alder- Jem7VWH uses basswood veneer, to prevent the paint from setting in the alder, which would give a figured appearance.
Anyway, buy whatever sounds best to your ears. But don't worry about denting the guitar because it's finished in super hard urethane
This is what makes dents so unfortunate, the PolyUrethane finish is a hard shell, relatively brittle, when you dent the guitar the finish cracks. On a harder wood this woudn't happen.
I still feel the most important factor is weight: a Jem or RG is relatively large and thick, so you need a low density wood to make it work as a gigging guitar.