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Hey guys. I'm not really into the whole tone wood debate, people have varying opinions which go from one extreme end of the spectrum to the other.

I've been on a bit of a nut/frets OCD binge lately, trying to absorb and learn all I can so I can start doing my own nut and fret work.

So before I go and gooch up an American or MIM which actually has some value, I started thinking about picking up a used Squier and having my way with it, to learn the process. The body being a bit thin, 1/4 inch thinner than a MIM or American isn't a huge issue to me.

All I really want to know is agathis a real soft wood like people claim? I've heard people mention that it isn't the best wood for things like pickguard screws, or the screws for the trem claw in the back. I had an Ibanez RG550 made out of baswood, and that thing was a pile of junk in my opinion, for that very reason. I dig light and resonant woods, but only if they can properly handle guitar hardware and screws.

If anyone has some Squiers they hate or love let me know what you think! Thanks
 

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Agathis is a type of basswood.

RG550's are great guitars, just the stock pickups leave a little to be desired.

Most ibanez RG's are basswood. You'll notice they sell well and have legions of fans.

You talk about nut and fret work whixh is the neck, what is the concern for body material in that case?
 

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I've owned a few agathis guitars and never had any of the issues you mention. It's a cheap wood, but cheap doesn't equal inferior. Most squiers are fine instruments after some fret and nut work.

If you can find a strat in good condition in the $50-$70 range, I'd be surprised if you don't find yourself enjoying the guitar after a few hours of work.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Agathis is a type of basswood.

RG550's are great guitars, just the stock pickups leave a little to be desired.

Most ibanez RG's are basswood. You'll notice they sell well and have legions of fans.

You talk about nut and fret work whixh is the neck, what is the concern for body material in that case?
Agathis and basswood are not the same at all. They don't even grow in the same hemisphere man.

The RG550 had PAF Pro, Dimarzio HS2, Tone Zone. Metal nut felt awful at the first position of neck. The thin piece of metal they call a bridge block, I don't know, so you can get a wide range of pitch change on the tremolo? It's thinner than the zinc blocks on Squiers. The bar on the original Edge, it just swung around like crazy and the place you could order washers to "tighten" it up was always out of stock, I never did get to try new washers on it lol. Paper thin Wizard neck, for people that never play chords or blues licks just neo-classical shredding or whatever. Yeah they have legions of fans; teenagers and people who play "metal" Not sure if it was a 15" or 17" radius but man that neck sucked.

The concern was if I spent time making a neck playable, if the body would hold mods properly or I'd have to fill holes after 2 pickguard changes, or if I decided to take the bridge off to replace it, that type of thing, do you understand?
 

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Guitar work is pretty forgiving and pretty hard to ruin your guitar unless you try to do fret work with a belt sander.
 

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My tele is a Squier made of Agathis and its one of my favourite guitars in the world, the combination with the maple neck let it resonate just right with my playing. I've been recording a lot with it lately.
 

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It also just occurred to me that some of the squier lineup have or had alder bodies; My standard has an alder body, I know some of the affinity series instruments had alder bodies, though they were likely 7+ pieces of scrap material. Just food for thought.

I'm not sure which models in the squier lineup are agathis, but they've used lots of different body woods: soft maple, pine, alder, basswood, plywood, and I'm sure there are others I'm forgetting. The point is, I'm sure none of these species are problematic. Music man makes some of the highest quality mass produced instruments in the game, and they religiously use basswood bodies on their high end instruments.

Happy hunting!
 
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