Originally Posted by JoeWPgh
This always amuses me. There are so many hard battled positions on a topic that basically boils down to voodoo. Yes, for all of our science and understanding, you sometimes just don't know til you get there. There are no certainties to how a piece of wood responds when asked to become a musical instrument, but there are valid probabilities. Ash with a maple board will likely sound noticeably brighter than alder with a rosewood. Likely, but not a certainly, because it won't be true in all cases - just most.
A one piece neck on a one piece body might sing to the heavens, or the neck might twist like a licorice and the body might might cup so bad you'd think it was trying to turn into a bowl. You won't know til you get there.
Then you have to ask who is making the judgement on the impact of these small differences. If it's ear bleed loud run through a maze of pedals, what's left to hear of nuance? I'm not dissing that, because indeed some instruments will respond better to that environment. But, the opinion of a metal guy is going to be of little use to a jazz guy on these subtle differences - and vice versa.
This is true, however
within the parameters of a certain wood, you are 90% there. You can make two identical instruments out of mahogany, and they probably wont sound exactly alike. But they will sound like mahogany, and very different from the exact same design made from maple.
I've never heard a case where a maple fingerboard didn't sound like a maple fingerboard, or rosewood or ebony, etc. But the differences can be more subtle depending on the rest of the instrument.
The voodoo part is when people insist a one piece neck sounds better. A three piece maple neck sounds exactly like a one piece neck, but is less prone to twisting.
Having said that, I find that a large part of the tone comes from the neck, since it's a very long unsupported structure. Making the neck very stiff, while not very heavy, helps to prevent dead notes. You can get a very nice resonant tone from using fairly light weight wood for the neck, like poplar, and then reinforcing it with something like carbon graphite.
My friend made this back when we built together. It's all alternate woods; white limba body with quilted maple center, figured oak top with purple heart lamination, and a poplar neck with EI Rosewood fingerboard. The guitar has a very vocal quality to it. A lot of purists think you have to stick to the same woods as on vintage guitars.