Concerning tone wood in solid bodies: - Jemsite
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-13-2010, 02:43 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Michigan
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Concerning tone wood in solid bodies:

What are some of your favorite combinations concerning a solid body guitar?

I am thinking of building a new guitar, having a alder body with a figured walnut top. Has anyone tried this, any words of wisdom? Suggestions for another type of wood (I want to stay with the figured walnut on top) to go under the walnut?

Playing pop, blues, jazz, classic rock, and hard rock.

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-15-2010, 04:41 PM
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Re: Concerning tone wood in solid bodies:

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-15-2010, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Concerning tone wood in solid bodies:

Korina is the "super" mahogany, isn't it? Do you have any experience with it, whats does it sound like to you?

I have also been thinking of going Koa body, 5 piece Koa neck thru, with Claro Walnut top. Any insight on Koa?
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-18-2010, 04:55 PM
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Re: Concerning tone wood in solid bodies:

I think Mahogany and Koa ( no direct experience with Korina but probably very good to great as well) will be great choices .

I've had a lot of experience with Koa on 3 different guitars.

It's like Mahogany with a wider bandwidth - so it's fat and a little livelier than Mahogany with humbuckers but with single coils it gets a bit twangy and almost as bright as Alder with a bit more bottom end.

Years ago I had a factory passive H-S-H Koa Mockingbird that looked like a Metal Machine but it was actually with a Duncan 59 a stack and a JB in the bridge a warm almost vintage sounding guitar. The neck 59 sounded pretty close to Carlton's lead tone and still was warm in single coil. My current Carvin Koa Bolt is like a very fat and resonant warm Strat very loud unplugged, lots of sustain- does the FATTER sides of Strat very well and beyond( NOT the clucky thin stuff so well).With vintage Strat Pickups would still be fat but very Stratlike then.

So think of Koa as Mahogany on the bottom end and almost Alder on top end or like a fat but clearer Mahogany.

If the Walnut top is more than 1/8 " thick I'd use Mahogany for the bottom piece.

If you use Koa or Korina ( which I've heard great things about, like a combination of Mahogany and Ash-maybe livelier than Koa) - I'd think about NOT using the Walnut top 'cause you'll get more of the cool resonance of the woods without the top. And Korina and Koa are clearer than Mahogany and don't need a top for clarity and focus like Mahogany sometimes does.

These are are my opinions NOT fact, so feel free to disagree and I'd like to hear from Korina owners, but I know from experience that Koa is usually very resonant and I've heard Korina is also- so why put a top on it ?

Either way( top or not ) I think Mahogany ,Koa or Korina( maybe black Korina ) will give you more tone to work with than Alder, and a fuller unplugged sound- always a good sign.

There are people who say the wood doesn't matter- that it's 99% pickups- but most guys who make pickups say the wood DOES MATTER.

Last edited by robertkoa; 04-18-2010 at 05:11 PM.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-18-2010, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Michigan
Posts: 12
Re: Concerning tone wood in solid bodies:

Hmm, at this point I am thinking of just switching my walnut top to a Koa top. That Koa tone you are explaining sounds right up my alley. I love guitars the resonate well unplugged. It's such a good feeling, I had that experience at a local music store with guitar, and I sounded so good through a Twin Reverb I almost sold my guitar for it.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-18-2010, 11:20 PM
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Re: Concerning tone wood in solid bodies:

i currently have guitars made of korina and mahogany. the mahogany body has a maple cap. a little warmer than the korina, but not worlds apart. the korina is noticeably lighter in weight. so take that into consideration on the size of the guitar if weight is a concern. still being much warmer than alder or basswood, the kornia i feel carries the warm qualites of the mahogany while not drowning out the mids.

i like the kornia better for for my hard rock/heavy metal application based on teh dark sounding amp i have.
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alder , mahogony , maple , swamp ash , walnut

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