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Pretty telling difference to my ears. The combination of which pickups were used and which effects were added brought out certain nuances in lows, mids, and highs for each. I have to remain slightly vague because I have a difficult time translating what I hear in the frequency spectrum into terms that everyone understands. That's on me, not the people reading this.
 

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I think the descriptions, in the video, of the differences were an accurate reflection of what I was hearing.

Of course, ALL the acoustic properties of an electric guitar will affect the amplified sound. Does anyone still doubt this? We may have to revoke "the licence to play" on some folks!
 

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I’d like to hear the original recordings. I heard differences but they weren’t consistent. One of the better videos to address this topic.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I listened through the little speakers in my desktop monitor. Although I heard little difference between ash and alder, I did hear a more "vocal" tone to the mahogany, with more lower mids coming through. Kudos to Warmoth for doing the hard work to try and rule out all factors apart from wood. Of course, we are still dealing with individual differences between specific pieces of each wood, which may well disappear if different pieces of ash, alder or mahogany had been used. But that's about as unconfounded a test as one is likely to find.
 

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For a while this thread was about 34 views and no reply's. Nobody wants to weigh in on this one.
I listened through Bose headphones, and my 60 year old, badly abused ears seemed to favor the mahogany. So many variables, so much time elapsed between each take. The difference I heard could easily be picking force/angle/or who knows what.

Also, something I've never heard mentioned in wood density. You can have a piece of Swamp Ash that's 2.4 lbs per board foot (very light) or you can have a piece of Swamp Ash that's 3.8 lbs per board foot (very heavy). Are they going to sound the same just because they are both Swamp Ash? Same goes for both Alder and Mahogany. They can be light or heavy. Knowing what effect density has on tone, you could easily fudge the hell out of a test like this.
Very pretty video, but I don't think it put anything to rest.
 

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Re density, yes there is variance within a species, but that species will be limited to a range, which is not the same range as another species - I dare you to find a piece of balsa the same density as a piece of ebony (sure the most extreme example possible, but to make the point). Wood will be different but it is fair to select some random samples. I am not sure how he got all those Tele bodies the same weight - either they matched wood density (alder and ash are in the same range, so not too hard but maho generally a bit lower, but probably overlaps) or they removed wood on some bodies which, to me, would be a bad idea - differing weight is part of being a different species and not a seperate variable; maple will always be heavier than maho for example, and removing wood could throw things off by introducing a second variable.

I agree it is the best vid on this topic I have seen to date and I was surprised at the differences I could hear just over the TV speaker (generally pretty shit). Ash and alder were close and only stood apart in some takes vs others, but the maho was always noticeably different. Distortion masked the differences considerably - again these speakers suck.
 

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On my laptop speakers Ash sounded more open. Alder sounded a little choked compared to Ash. Mahogany sounded very similar to Alder. Maybe a little brasher.

I liked the Swamp Ash.
 

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He's wearing 3 different shirts on the tests. I take that to mean the testing took 3 days. I find it hard to believe that he can play exactly the same for 3 days, or even remember by day 3 how he played it on day 1. I missed the part about them all weighing the same the first time I watched it. Must have skipped too much of the bla, bla, bla. Someone like Warmoth could easily find 3 bodies in their stock that weigh the same. Probably hundreds to choose from.
Nice video, but it didn't make me a believer.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Perhaps the bodies selected DID weigh the same. We weren't provided with the info to know if they did or didn't. I will say that Warmoth certainly has no vested interest in selling one body over another. They're happy to sell you any of those three woods.

That said, I am a regular complainer that people too often make too much out of different pedal issues, based on only one example of a given issue, ignoring component tolerances. The same way that claims of intrinsic characteristics of a pedal issue would be easier to swallow if they were apparent in multiple pedals of the same issue, the more convincing demonstration of wood differences would have used multiple bodies of the same wood type. But, all things considered, I thought Warmoth did a decent job.
 

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Two very important videos proving that the wood matters.

1) Pretty straight forward, no explanations needed:

2)Notice how the PAF is only slightly better than the DiMarzio? Notice how the PAF is nothing special until it's put into a really great guitar? The 50's Special is what makes that PAF come alive. A pickup is only as good as the guitar it's in. If the guitar has no character to pick up, then there's no character for the pickup to pick up. Say that 3 times fast.
 

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this vid was on TGP a while ago and the guy who made it chimed in with a bit more detail and answered some questions, worth checking out if this debate is close to your heart
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Two very important videos proving that the wood matters.

1) Pretty straight forward, no explanations needed:
I'm not so sure that this first video accomplishes what it needs to or intends to. The problem is that guitar tone will be a function of mass and especially mass distribution. Mass has a special relationship to bridge location, insomuch as the mass surrounding the bridge determines the manner in which the guitar conserves or absorbs energy in different parts of the spectrum. If you want a clear demonstration, compare semi-acoustics with and without center-blocks. As well, I find that guitars whose bridge is closer to the "waist" than the "hips" of the body tend to lack deep bass

The "bodies" used in the video are certainly of comparable dimensions and such, and given how small they are, they are unlikely to vary much in terms of weight. So, kudos in that regard. Like the Warmoth video, he has tried to rule out as many extraneous variables as he could. But the very small weight differences are likely to be magnified once one scales up from that size to a full-body guitar.

As I have argued to statistician-buddies over the years, the "sin" is never the measurement method used, but rather the extent to which the inferences drawn are supported or justified by the measurement methodology used. Personally, I think wood does matter. But so does drying, chambering, finish, bridge mass, fingerboard material, and how/where the neck is attached to the body. I would hate for anyone to think that a given tone can be achieved simply by choice of wood. Not many are that naive, I suppose, but perhaps I underestimate.

None of that is to lambaste those who try to demonstrate wood properties. It is one VERY tough row to hoe, as they say.
 

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I’m gonna bow out after I say this...

Almost anything can sound good (cardboard, particleboard, etc...) with quality hardware and electronics. But good and great are very different. Great and exceptional are different as well. A lot of that comes down to the particular pieces of wood the guitars are made from.
 

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As I have argued to statistician-buddies over the years, the "sin" is never the measurement method used, but rather the extent to which the inferences drawn are supported or justified by the measurement methodology used. Personally, I think wood does matter. But so does drying, chambering, finish, bridge mass, fingerboard material, and how/where the neck is attached to the body. I would hate for anyone to think that a given tone can be achieved simply by choice of wood. Not many are that naive, I suppose, but perhaps I underestimate.

None of that is to lambaste those who try to demonstrate wood properties. It is one VERY tough row to hoe, as they say.
Completely agree with this portion of your statement.

Guitars are a sum of many many parts. Some adding to sound, some taking away from the sound. It's some serious alchemy.
 

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The "bodies" used in the video are certainly of comparable dimensions and such, and given how small they are, they are unlikely to vary much in terms of weight. So, kudos in that regard. Like the Warmoth video, he has tried to rule out as many extraneous variables as he could. But the very small weight differences are likely to be magnified once one scales up from that size to a full-body guitar.
To me that is not a separate variable as I explained above. Part of the difference of one species to another is density, which means for the same body shape/size there will be a weight differences. Mahogany will be lighter than maple most often - that's a valid comparison to me and part of the package because guitar builders do not select for density/weight, but for species and aesthetics within that (sometimes).

The way to improve the tests is either to , as you say, try multiple bodies of each species to get an average of sorts OR, to select a piece of each species that is the most plain, with the most consistant and typical (for that species) grain - like no knots etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The way to improve the tests is either to , as you say, try multiple bodies of each species to get an average of sorts OR, to select a piece of each species that is the most plain, with the most consistant and typical (for that species) grain - like no knots etc.
Which is why we will likely have to wait a while for any sort of definitive answer. Bring a lunch and a change of clothes. Maybe some pajamas.
 
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