1] The single most important factor in determining the sound of an electric guitar is the pickups. Wood type, neck thru or bold-on mean little to nothing. This has been confirmed in discussions with several luthiers. Basically if you are comfortable playing it, the rest is window dressing [and marketing bs].
So a gibson es-335 is gonna sound the same as a Les paul? and the SG too? damn it I can save some bucks by going for the SG then
(sorry for the guitar example anyone, but it was the first example that sprang to mind...)
I hear distinct differences in different basses with the same electronics package... particularly when fretboard materials are changed... setups also vary the tone very much, string type, construction type (in fact bass gear mag made a review of to almost identical Marleaux basses where only construction type was a difference, and no. that reviewer didn't think they sounded the same). And also... science says wrong. there is interference between the strings and the wood, which reflects in the strings having a different overtone content in one type of wood than in another, and as pickups read the string they will, as well, reflect this difference. it may not be as audible as some marketing folks would have you believe (laminate maple tops do for example not change the tone ... an inch wide... probably), but the effect is there... and it's not a subjective thing. it's a thing that can be measured. sorry for the grief but I hate it when people lay out things they believe as incredibly scientific when they're not.