Help with 7 String Tone Woods - Jemsite
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-08-2003, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
 
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Help with 7 String Tone Woods

Hey guys. I'm currently denying myself various worldy pleasures in order to save enough money to order a custom made seven string. I think I have an idea of what woods I want to use, but I'm not entirely sure. I've been leaning toward limba (korina) for the body wood, as I have heard that it is very rich and resonant. However, I read something somewhere the other day that mentioned mahogany being too muddy or something for extremely low tunings. I would be tuning the 7th string to a low F#. Is korina similar enough to mahogany that it too would have problems with excessive bass? Anyway, I was thinking about a bubinga or a maple top, with a maple neck and Brazilian rosewood fretboard. Do you guys think that this is a good combination of woods for a thick, cutting tone? Thanks.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-08-2003, 04:16 PM
 
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When you're severely downtuning, it's better to start with a strong, clear fundamental. Those low strings will have tons of overtones for you to work with, but to get clarity, you need to focus on getting a tight fundamental for the notes to be clearly defined.

If you're going down to F#, you might consider exotic woods that are more commonly used in bass construction, like wenge, bubinga, zebrano or walnut (or combinations thereof). You might also consider alder or swamp ash for a snappier tone. Woods that have more 'warmth' to them like mahogany or rosewood might soak up too much fundamental and leave you with nothing but mushy overtones to work with. Stick with hardwoods if you can, which tend to have stronger fundamentals.

As for electronics, either go with more vintage-voiced, medium output passive pickups to keep clarity and articulation on those ultra-low notes, or put in a set of EMG 707s. You can always add more gain to get more crunch, but if you've got an excessively loud and muddy signal coming from the strings and pickups, you'll have a much harder time getting good tone and articulation at the amp.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-08-2003, 04:27 PM
 
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Yeah, mahogany is WAY too "middy" for even a 7 in standard tuning, IMO. the low string just doesn't have as clear an attack as you need for the low notes to ring clearly...

My USA strat, alder with gold lace sensors, sounds MASSIVE in B. So, alder coupled with medium-low output pickups definately works down to that point... Walnut sounds like it might be interesting, and a good figured top would be an added plus. I need to get my hands on a walnut guitar and do some detuning, to see what i think. I too am hoping to go the custom 7 route one day- currently i'm thinking alder with maybe a quilt on top, but I'm open to suggestions, and that might be a good one...

-Drew
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-08-2003, 05:31 PM
 
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I pretty much agree with what's been said so far. I would also add maple as a neck wood and ebony for a fingerboard.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-08-2003, 05:54 PM
 
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Jim, you seem to have done some more thinking about the neck wood of choice for a 7 than i have- i was thinking maple with a maple fingerboard, more for the cosmetics (maple with abalone inlays) than for the added brightness it might give. What makes you lean towards ebony? Thanks,

-Drew
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-08-2003, 06:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew
Jim, you seem to have done some more thinking about the neck wood of choice for a 7 than i have- i was thinking maple with a maple fingerboard, more for the cosmetics (maple with abalone inlays) than for the added brightness it might give. What makes you lean towards ebony? Thanks,

-Drew
Same idea really. Ebony is also a very hard, bright wood and I personally think it feels more comfortable than maple, but I also think that maple/maple would work well.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-08-2003, 06:56 PM
 
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ok, good to know we're on the same wavelength, and just differing on issues of personal taste. I'll try to spend some more time on a guitar with an ebony board before i commit either way, but i definately dig the look of abalone on maple...

-Drew
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-08-2003, 07:21 PM
 
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my suggestion for you would be to construct the body from koa with a bubinga laminate top. Dont go carved top with the bubinga because its an extremely heavy wood and I definately wouldnt make an entire body from it for that reason. Koa is medium weight and shares many common characteristics of mahogany but less sludgy in the midrange. Basically koa is a cross between maple and mahogany in tonal characteristics. You'll get brightness and articulation but you will still get a smooth warm tone. As for the neck, definately go with bubinga with the rosewood board. bubinga is common in bass necks and I can just imagine you will be stringing that sucker up with hefty strungs for that tuning. You are looking at big time stress on that neck and just straight maple may not be up for the task as far as stability is concerned. For a bridge pickup, slap in an evolution. That pickup has monster clarity in the lower strings when heavily distorted. I hope this helped.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-08-2003, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
 
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What about korina w/ a bubinga top? I've heard tha bubinga really enhances the fundamental, and I'd really like the resonance of korina. How about a reinforced maple neck with an ebony fingerboard? I like maple necks, and I think that they look great with hardwood reinforcement. Also, couldn't you stick some graphite reinforcement in in addition to the "skunk stripe"? By the way, I was on Ed Roman's site, and I was reading his article on the deep neck tennon style of neck construction, and it really piqued my interest. Is it possible to use this form of construction with a Floyd style recessed bridge? I'm interested in it, but I ain't giving up my Edge for no one. Also, (sorry for all the questions, but I'm just really getting interested in the different methods used to build guitars) it is possible to have a guitar be directly coupled with a Floyd, isn't it? Once again, I'm keeping my Edge. I really appreciate all the help, guys.
P.S. I plan to put in EMG 707s. I thought I put that in the first post, but evidently I forgot.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-08-2003, 10:16 PM
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He stole it from DTM and claimed it as his own of course, read it on the DTM site where you get it firsthand
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-09-2003, 11:49 AM
 
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Well, if korina is what you want, then do it... but you won't have problems with "exessive bass," if it's as much like mahogany as i hear, rather, you'll have an excessively muddy midrange, with indistinct lows and highs, and when you're tuning that low, lows and highs are the things you want the most of (in my opinion, anyway). The top may help some, but i don't know if it'd help enough... and if you're not going with korina for cosmetic reasons, and feel the need to mask it over anyway, why not go with something else?

Also, are the 707's the coil-splittable EMG's? If not, i'd spring the extra cash for the others- i think you're going to be really suprised how well the single coil sound can pick up those lowest notes- CRAZY definition.

-Drew
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-09-2003, 12:58 PM
 
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EMG doesn't make anything but the 707 for seven-strings... and they're not splittable.

By the way, maple is among the hardest woods you can get. A solid maple neck would be plenty stable, though laminating it will make it stronger. (I think multi-wood laminate necks are usually done for tonal or aesthetic reasons, as a multi-lam neck is inherently stronger than a 1-piece neck.) Graphite rods would enhance the stability of course, and eliminate dead spots if you epoxy them into channels under the fretboard.

Here's a nutty idea i've had for a while: I've always thought that a 3-piece flame maple neck would look really pretty with thin laminates of carbon fibre in between the maple, so you get two thin black lines going down the middle of the neck. If you continued the sheets of carbon fibre out between the neck and the fretboard, i think the epoxy and carbon fibre in that "L" configuration would make for a VERY stable neck, like having carbon fibre angle-iron down the middle of the neck.
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-09-2003, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
 
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Neck Construction

Wow, Darren, I actually did have a laminated flame maple neck in mind. I think it would look good with a striped ebony reinforcement strip, and maybe strips of birdseye maple on either side of the ebony.
Moving on, would somebody post a list of body woods (besides the bubinga top) that emphasize lows and highs, and keep the mids clear? I don't think the low tuning will cause too much of a problem, because I don't use that low string a lot. Just occasionally, so it doesn't get old. For most of my songs, I just go to B. Also, does anyone know if it's possible to utilize set-thru neck construction with a Floyd? Thanks for everything guys.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-09-2003, 02:07 PM
 
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Good tone wood reference can be found at Tom Anderson's site, and Warmoth also has good body wood and neck wood description pages. These pages have been referenced many, many times here.

How the neck is attached to the body has no bearing on what hardware you can use. Personally, i think, "Why bother?" If you're doing a deep set neck like that, you might as well go neck-thru. What are the purported advantages of the "set-thru" design?
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-09-2003, 02:30 PM
 
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Just get a neck through. The deep set neck is a Ed Roman thing, doesn't sound all that great to me. I read the article he wrote on it. If you want an archtop style guitar with a beautiful maple back and top, the deep set neck might be a good option, if you can find someone to do it. Don't buy from Roman!
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abalone inlays , bass amp , boss metal zone , bridge pickup , ebony board , ebony fingerboard , flame maple , flame maple neck , gold lace sensors , ibanez guitars , lace sensor , lace sensors , low strings , lower strings , maple fingerboard , maple neck , maple necks , output pickup , rivera amps , rosewood board , rosewood fretboard , string bass , swamp ash

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