TONEWOODS EXPLAINED
Bass Player|Holiday 2021
Do woods really determine tones?

Welcome to the end of this issue! Now, this month, we’re talking about wood. Good wood? Bad wood? Tonewood!

Okay then, Veall. What’s a tonewood, exactly? A wood chosen for its tonal characteristics in instrument manufacture. It’s one of those phrases that gets thrown around, but beware—a wood type may present itself as an ideal selection for one instrument function and not another. For example, a resonant top softwood like sitka or cedar is excellent for an acoustic guitar, versus a wood choice like maple, which is required to withstand the pull of five strings on a bass neck, 24/7.

Do they really sound different? Be honest with us now. I’m always honest! It’s quite obvious that different wood types can and do make acoustic instruments sound different. When it comes to electric instruments, there’s more influence to be had in the sum of the other design elements, pickups and electronics especially.

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