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Thread: Pickups for walnut / Walnut tonewood opinions

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    Showmasterologist Robert Delahunt's Avatar
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    Default Pickups for walnut / Walnut tonewood opinions

    I was wanting some advice. I read a website that thinks, for electric guitar, Walnut is the "holy grail" of tone woods. I don't necessarily believe it, but ok.

    Anyways, can anyone verify this for me? Does anyone use walnut? What pickups would you use with walnut if you were to build a guitar from it?
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    BigDaddy
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    Default Re: Pickups for walnut / Walnut tonewood opinions

    The Gibson Reverse Firebird of the 60's are made from pieces of Walnut and Mahogany sandwiched together.

    Great sounding guitar.

    Is walnut the best wood for tone.......no F'in' way.

    It can be used as some type of laminate but as a body or neck, forget it.

    It can ADD certain frequencies or maybe help mute others to make a guitar sound a certain way.

    But that can be said of almost any wood.

    The best body woods are Swamp ash, Limba(white better than black IMHO), Alder and mahogany. If you want to add something, than a top of some other wood thick enough to make a difference or laminate a piece or two between the other woods. In that case Walnut would be an interesting addition tonally like the Firebird.

    As far as I know walnut will add highs and bite, that's something needed with an all mahogany guitar. That's why they put maple caps on Les Pauls. So it makes sense to add walnut if you don't use maple or at least an Ebony board. Thinner lighter mahogany guitars don't need this, only the thicker heavier one's do.

    The Firebird is a big heavy guitar that requires a lot of mahogany when not laminated with the walnut. The later reverse firebirds did not use walnut and did not sound as good. They were missing the bite and the highs were not as smooth. The necks were thinner also and that changed the sound a lot too. The original reversed firebirds had fat necks.

    So as far as pickups go, if the guitar is made completely out of walnut I could begin to guess what type of pickups would sound good.
    Last edited by BigDaddy; 06-27-2007 at 05:50 PM. Reason: Forgot to add something

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    Tone Member aloha's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickups for walnut / Walnut tonewood opinions

    There was a Carvin guy, Van, who had a shredder axe out of solid claro walnut. He said it sounded exactly like an all maple axe.

    Having said that, though, I don't know whether or not that means anything to you or how well he knew (or knows) how maple sounds.

    YMMV

    Some people love maple, others hate it.

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    Showmasterologist Robert Delahunt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickups for walnut / Walnut tonewood opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by aloha View Post
    There was a Carvin guy, Van, who had a shredder axe out of solid claro walnut. He said it sounded exactly like an all maple axe.

    Having said that, though, I don't know whether or not that means anything to you or how well he knew (or knows) how maple sounds.

    YMMV

    Some people love maple, others hate it.
    Wow, well I had an Ibanez RX240 all maple, and hated it, so I guess I'd better stay away from walnut lol
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    Tone Member aloha's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickups for walnut / Walnut tonewood opinions

    There you go.

    What kind of sound are you looking for...?

    Maybe we can help.
    Z

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    Saucy Plebe Aceman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickups for walnut / Walnut tonewood opinions

    I'm always shopping for a "The Paul" I'd love to know what pups a recommended...I've played a few - but too far and few between to have any feel for the sound, other than the standard thin = more high mids on an lp.
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    Tone Member pixelpusher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickups for walnut / Walnut tonewood opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by Aceman View Post
    I'm always shopping for a "The Paul" I'd love to know what pups a recommended...I've played a few - but too far and few between to have any feel for the sound, other than the standard thin = more high mids on an lp.
    I have one (walnut '79 "the paul") that sounds pretty good with a harmonic design z-90 in the neck and a custom in the bridge. It's definitely got a tone of its own and it kind of likes darker pickups. I am going to swap out the custom for a distortion that just lost its old home this weekend. I think the distortion will turn it into a pretty beefy fuzz factory.. the z-90 is pretty hairy too so it might be a more fun gtr after the swap.
    Last edited by pixelpusher; 06-27-2007 at 09:04 PM.
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    Showmasterologist Robert Delahunt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickups for walnut / Walnut tonewood opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by aloha View Post
    There you go.

    What kind of sound are you looking for...?

    Maybe we can help.
    Z
    A wood that sounds clear and open.
    A wood that does not dampen any of the range of the instrument.
    A wood with good sustain in a thick LP-like body.
    A wood with good overtones (not too much but not too little).
    I'd pick a classical guitar, but I want an electric guitar
    Last edited by Robert Delahunt; 06-28-2007 at 03:43 AM.
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    Ultimate Tone Slacker SFW's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickups for walnut / Walnut tonewood opinions



    Here's my Carvin DC127c. It has a maple neck-thru with walnut sides. According to most sites that I've read wood descriptions from, walnut should be a brite wood. However, the guitar is extremely thick sounding. Much more so than my Les Paul. It has a tonal quality that I have not heard in any other guitar. The tone is rich and full, with just the right amount of bite. I currently have the guitar loaded with an APH in the neck and a JB in the bridge, and am quite happy with the tone. Although I may put a 59 in the neck eventually... if I get a wild hair.
    2001 Les Paul Classic (59 Set)
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    Mojo's Minions dr.barlo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickups for walnut / Walnut tonewood opinions

    I love walnut. Mine (seen in my sig - Warmoth parts, hardtail, with a maple/rosewood neck) is not that bright, but has tons of screaming uppermids (that is why PG's sound too uppermiddy in that guitar, and I don't wanna hear a JB in that guitar).

    I have a brobucker in the bridge, alnico 4 59 in the neck, and a gibson melody maker single coil in the middle.

    I love that guitar.

    B

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    Tone Member aloha's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickups for walnut / Walnut tonewood opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by TwinReverb View Post
    A wood that sounds clear and open.
    A wood that does not dampen any of the range of the instrument.
    A wood with good sustain in a thick LP-like body.
    A wood with good overtones (not too much but not too little).
    I'd pick a classical guitar, but I want an electric guitar
    I like your taste. I started on a classical as well. I still only play with my fingers.

    I don't touch classical anymore, but I have a couple of guitars that "feel" a little like one. For definitive information, I would check out this website:

    www.solowayguitars.com

    He builds some awesome guitars that bridge the gap between classical and electric, while still being primarily electric.

    Having said that, though, I have a Carvin Fatboy HF2. (www.carvin.com) It has an ebony fingerboard with no inlays and very little radius. Also, its fingerboard is wide like a classical. I can get my fingers "in there" if you know what I mean. Mine only has a fancy top (quilted maple). Perhaps, the stock wood (birch) would've sounded even more acoustic. I also really like spruce on top of semi or hollow body electric guitars.

    The combinations you're talking about wanting are not the kinds of things you'll see in everyday stock guitars for the most part. I encourage you to try the Fatboy or a Soloway or something like that.

    FWIW, the Fatboy feels and plays a lot different from run-of-the-mill semi hollow 335 knockoffs. It is totally hollow inside. It feels mostly like an electric that has a lot of classical DNA.

    Oh, and I changed the pickups in mine because I didn't really like them. I have a Jazz in the front and a BB pro in the bridge...

    It does overdriven and gain sounds fine now. It wasn't as articulate with the original switch and pickups though.

    Sorry...I'm rambling.
    Good luck.
    Z

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