Best wood for rg421 replacement body - Jemsite
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-04-2004, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
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Best wood for rg421 replacement body

Instead of selling my rg421, I've decided to make it into a project guitar. First off, I'm going to have EKG or someone make me a new body because I'm not so thrilled with the sound of the basswood it has now. It seems very sterile and, well, 'blah'. It has a Duncan JB in the bridge now, which sounds much much better than the stock V8.

I play fairly heavy music, and tune to 'drop-C'. I'm looking for something with a thick and powerful sound that cuts through the mix, with good mids, but I don't want it to be too muddy or too shrill. Our music also has a fair share of clean parts, so it has to sound good clean .

I'm thinking mahogany with a maple cap like the rg3120 should do the trick, but I've also heard great things about Alder, although I'm afraid that with the JB pickup, it will be a little too bright. With all factors considered, what do you guys think would be my best bet? Any comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Chris
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-04-2004, 03:46 PM
 
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A Swamp Ash or Alder back on the maple top should be better for cleans than Mahogany. I'm doing a "wood guide" that should be done in a few days, maybe it will help you decide. If you drop tune and play heavy you need a body that won't mush out in the low end. It's not that the Mahogany back will mush out, but that makes a body that's less open and dynamic in the mids and upper mids, so its perceived as a lack of definition. If you're thinking of solid wood with no cap, I think Swamp Ash is your best choice. I agree with you on the Basswood. Solid Alder would not be too bright with the JB, but it could be too mushy in the low end for a drop tuned guitar.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-05-2004, 02:07 AM
 
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Location: Medford OR
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Black Limba (Korina) is the stuff if you want the ultimate in tone. It's a bit more expensive and many makers don't work with it but it's the best sounding (IMO) wood for solid body guitars around. It'll go really well with your JB too. Some of the old Gibson Explorers and Flying V's that were made from Korina (late 50's) are selling for nearly $100,000 to collectors and are regarded as some of the sweetest sounding guitars Gibson ever made. You should check it out.

Gilmer Woods in Portland OR will sell the blanks for the Body for around $60 (for non presentation grain) and more if you want really nicely figured grain. It's a toxic wood so pull any slivers you get!
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-05-2004, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the response guys.

I've been looking at some pics of the PRS Swamp Ash special, and really dig the look. I'm thinking something like this would look really unique on an RG.

http://www.korgonline.com/page135.html

Now as far as the tone, from what I've read, it can be a little scooped in the midrange. Will it still stand out OK in the context of a full band with another guitarist?
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-05-2004, 03:56 PM
 
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Re: Best wood for rg421 replacement body

Quote:
Originally Posted by failsafe306
Best wood for rg421 replacement body
good wood

seriously, it comes down to preference. Try out different guitars with different woods. Lots of people like a brighter wood for tuning down (like a good many of the guys here), and lots of people like mahogony for tuning down (not the least of which is zakk wylde).
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-06-2004, 02:06 AM
 
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Re: Best wood for rg421 replacement body

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Madness Here
Quote:
Originally Posted by failsafe306
Best wood for rg421 replacement body
good wood

seriously, it comes down to preference. Try out different guitars with different woods. Lots of people like a brighter wood for tuning down (like a good many of the guys here), and lots of people like mahogony for tuning down (not the least of which is zakk wylde).
Keeping in mind Zakk uses an EMG-81, a very bright pickup.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-06-2004, 05:53 AM
 
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Re: Best wood for rg421 replacement body

Quote:
Originally Posted by Two hands31

Keeping in mind Zakk uses an EMG-81, a very bright pickup.
And a JB isn't???

I see your point though.

IMO Mahogany doesn't work that well with dropped tunings. IT seems to mush as other people have said.

My favourite wood (that I know of) for a solid bodied guitar is Walnut. It is similar to maple, but doesn't have as harsh highs and is overall more balanced. It is also one of the most beautiful woods I have ever seen especially the figured variety. It is also the perfect weight for me not too heavy but heavy enough to feel 'right' on the shoulder.

Sorry for the bad description I think when Frank finshes his wood guide it will be good for yo to look at it and compare all the wooods you want!
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-06-2004, 01:23 PM
 
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Walnut is good for drop tuning. One of the sections I haven't finished yet is "Extended range notes" where I'll qualify the wood descriptions for the lower register. A low E is about as low as you can go with the 25 1/2" scale. So when you're drop tuning or on a 7 string, you have to go into a "compensation" mode. You have to offset certain limitations of the scale length with body woods and such. So where someone might consider walnut or maple to be too bright for a 6, it might be the best trade-off for the tighter low end on a 7.

I'll need your help too, once it's up, to tell me what you'd like to see that I left out, like some fancy wood or something. Or if I didn't address in enough detail how a certain wood is different with a Floyd or a hardtail.
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sounding guitar , swamp ash , swamp ash special , zakk wylde

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