How does an ash body compare in tone to the traditional alder body in a strat? Any pros or cons? which do you prefer and why?
Alder seems to be a bit warmer in tone than Ash. It's a matter of preference. I don't have a favorite.
Alder has more midrange 'warmth', and ash more high frequency 'bite' with tighter bass response, to my ears. I love the combo of ash + Joe Bardens in my Strat! Vintage twang, but with killer output.
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My ears always gravitate toward alder, rather than ash. I guess I prefer alder strats, and would go with ash on tele's. I like my swamp ash tele, but anytime I've had an ash strat, I think of it as my worst sounding strat. For strats, I love the tone of sunburst alder with a rosewood fretboard. I just watched the Eric Clapton Crossroads DVD, where I got to see practically every Fender model side by side, and the tones coming from the sunburst alder rosewood strats were the best, in my opinion. That was John Mayer and Robert Cray.
Of course, this probably also has to do with the fact that Clapton uses that horrific active boost in his Strat. I think his tone has been awful since he started using that, during the Journeyman album. IMO, batteries do not belong in guitars (don't get offended, you're entitled to your opinion).Originally Posted by Gearjoneser
Depends which is heavier, IMO. Ash can be heavier than alder and alder can be heavier than ash. The heavier guitar will probably sound brighter. My alder Tele is heavier than either of my ash Teles and my alder Tele is just a touch brighter. Lew
I like alder...
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Overall I prefer alder for strats. My main gigging strat is lightweight alder 57ri, and I find it has a nice, balanced tone with just the right amount of warmth and brightness.
In comparison, my '76 strat, which has a very light swamp ash body, has a bigger bottom end and a more aggressive upper mid/treble response. This is great for single note leads, but it can get a bit fatiguing to listen to over a whole gig of clean rhythm work.
Alder is warmer, yet at the same time brighter. Maybe not bright per se, but the high-highs are more prominant than with swamp ash. Maybe it's that swamp ash has more upper mids and treble?
If you do a search of the forum, Doc Barlo has some clips of an alder vs. a swamp ash strat. Same amp, same amp settings, same hardware, same pickups, and same neck. Only the bodies differ.
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Besides the fact Clapton's strat looks like a box of Krayolas melted all over it, that midboost has GOT to go. Funny you should mention it, because I noticed that he uses it for his lead tone, rather than an OD pedal.Originally Posted by MikeRocker
Clapton has owned an infinite number of guitars and amps, yet John Mayer and Jonny Lang, who are young enough to be his grandkids, come out onstage with better tone, and I hate to say it, practically stole Eric's show. And speaking of the Crossroads DVD, I've never seen Eric Johnson play that poorly....just an off night, I guess. And I thought he was perfect....what happened! he he
ash weighs a ton
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that was the first time I have heard him play after all the hype and I didn't get it.Originally Posted by Gearjoneser
Same thing with Jimmy Vaughn, I thought maybe he started out sketchy but then would come back and really hit home but he just kept the sketch going and it was just...not good, same thing with his singing
I've never played an ash Strat, but it is my favorite Tele wood, and second favortie tone wood overall. It could have its uses in a Strat, but alder would be more versatile I think. Some say ash is bright, but My ash Axis has a fair amount of bass coming form the wood.
The only ash strats I've played are the Lite Ash Strats... I personally prefer alder.
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