Wood and it's tonal character for custom Jem - Jemsite
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-06-2012, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: US
Posts: 69
Wood and it's tonal character for custom Jem

I am thinking of building a custom Jem.

Here are my wood choices.

Padauk
Alder
Ash
Swamp Ash
Mahogany
Maple

The Jem will have no monkey grip.
The Jem will be 22 frets.
The Jem will not have HSH, but instead SSS.
I am undecided on a hard tail or not.
I am debating on paint or nitro finish, hey if I am getting premium wood, why sacrifice tone by drowning it in paint.

PLEASE let me know what you think about what these premium woods may yield in tone.

I mean, really, should the body be one piece or two etc.

I just want to hear your experiences and advice.

Thanks
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-06-2012, 01:13 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: The FTL, Florida
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Re: Wood and it's tonal character for custom Jem

Quote:
Originally Posted by TremoJem View Post

The Jem will have no monkey grip.
The Jem will be 22 frets.
The Jem will not have HSH, but instead SSS.
I am undecided on a hard tail or not.
I am debating on paint or nitro finish, hey if I am getting premium wood, why sacrifice tone by drowning it in paint.
So it'll be a Stratocaster then?
Pick alder.
mike570 is offline  
post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-07-2012, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: US
Posts: 69
Re: Wood and it's tonal character for custom Jem

It is funny you should say that.

In fact I put some thought into it today again, and thought I should look to see what wood Fender used in some of the Stratocasters that I really like.

Here is the reason.

I love the sound of the Jem7VWH...and I have one.

I also love the sound of a Stratocaster, but I don't have one. The reason being I do not like the necks on them...at all!

So I thought to myself, if I made a custom guitar I would model it after the best of both of those guitars.

When deciding on the pickups I would select them based on output and properties that would give me the best of both models, being single coil and humbuckers. This may allow me to get the qualities associated with both the Jem and Strat. Of course there would be some sacrifices made as I expected when taking on this project.

I want the best of both worlds...cake and eat it too. I must be crazy...right?

My thoughts are to use a nitros finish that starts at the extreme edges of the body with a solid pearl white, much like my Jem. Then, I would quickly fade to clear when moving towards the center of the body where the pick ups are.

I have not decided on a pick guard, but if so it would be clear...of course.

So now I think the choice of wood would be either Alder or some species of Ash, but I need to do some research to see what Cray, Yngwie, Clapton, Beck, Johnson, use.

Just checked...the internet is amazing...Alder it is.

O.K. now here is a big one that totally threw me for a loop.

Is it true that the neck material makes a big difference in tone.

I have never had anything but Rosewood and I read on another forum that the difference in tone from Rosewood to Maple is huge.

Is that really true. I have never heard such a thing.

Let me know and thanks.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-25-2012, 07:30 AM
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: LR, AR
Posts: 1,982
Re: Wood and it's tonal character for custom Jem

on my jem project i did a few years ago, i went with ash. i see that a lot of the same things you are concerned about, i had the same concerns. i wanted a jem, but i didn't want a jem, too. my 2 favorite jems were the root beer and EVO. i also loved the grain of the RB and ash has that and so off i went in the vintage strat direction... 70's in particular. so i went with duncans: a stag mag in the neck, vintage single in the mid, and custom in the bridge. it turned out amazing. maybe i'll post pics if i get a chance.

rich
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-25-2012, 09:04 AM
 
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Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Posts: 653
Re: Wood and it's tonal character for custom Jem

Quote:
Originally Posted by TremoJem View Post
Just checked...the internet is amazing...Alder it is.

O.K. now here is a big one that totally threw me for a loop.

Is it true that the neck material makes a big difference in tone.

I have never had anything but Rosewood and I read on another forum that the difference in tone from Rosewood to Maple is huge.

Is that really true. I have never heard such a thing.

Let me know and thanks.
As mentioned in the post above, you could also take a look at using Swamp Ash for the project. Both Ash and Alder are used to make Stratocasters. Alder has a bit more mid range to the sound, while Swamp Ash is very balanced and works well with all frequencies. Can't go wrong with either of them. If you are looking at a transparent finish, Swamp Ash has much nicer looking grain.

The wood for the neck, you might want to go Maple. Rosewood can be used, but it's a much darker wood, in terms of tone, than Maple. And if you are making a Jem Strat, you don't want it sounding dark, obviously. And yeah, the neck wood does make a difference. Basically almost everything makes a difference, one way or the other.

BTW, this sound like a nice project. Hope you'll post progress once it does start
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-28-2012, 01:47 AM
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Chicago
Posts: 789
Re: Wood and it's tonal character for custom Jem

Are you going to scallop the neck? Jems have the last 4 scalloped (so that would be the last 2 on yours) and Malmsteen has them all scalloped
ironfistx is offline  
post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 11:03 PM
rgr
 
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Location: Longmont, Colorado
Posts: 1,882
Re: Wood and it's tonal character for custom Jem

I have, or have had, all of the above, if you want a staty sound go with Alder, Swamp Ash, or plain Ash. Alder has slightly more mids, ash is a little brighter and more scooped in the mids.

Paduak and Mahogany are too warm and maple is at the other end of the spectrum, very bright.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 07:30 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: US
Posts: 69
Re: Wood and it's tonal character for custom Jem

Thanks Brother that is very good information.
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