Fender and Alder question

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by billengelman, Aug 24, 2003.

  1. The Squier Affinity and the American P-Bass both have bodies made of Alder. Is there any significant difference between them besides the finish?
  2. The squire is probably made up of several pieces of alder glued together to be big enough to produce an entire body. This wood will be cheaper for two reasons, 1: using smaller pieces will be cheaper and more cost effective and 2: the wood will not be as high quality or as well sourced.
    The quality of wood thing is a hard one to some up in words, but it will be selected for it's suitability for bass construction. You can clearly hear this difference IMO. But this does mean that you get different qualities of wood on models like the Squire. Some of these can sound great, others crap. Which is why you should always try a bass before you buy it.
  3. I used to have a '64 L series Fender jazz bass. This model is pretty well the holy grail of classic jazz basses. The body was made of 3 pieces of alder glued together.

    I once missed a superb 75 P bass that was made of six pieces of ash glued together....

    Anyway, the significant differences are - build quality, wood quality, component quality and a better headstock decal!
  4. mangle


    Dec 17, 2001
    Guayaquil, ECUADOR
    I read mim's fender jazz bass bodies are made of poplar... there are significant tone differencies compared to alder?
    ...what if I remove the finish on one of these jazz basses? it'll look cool?
  5. mangle


    Dec 17, 2001
    Guayaquil, ECUADOR
    anyone? come on! ;)
  6. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    I don't think that poplar is quite as "warm" and bouncy as the alder.

    I would suspect that the sound of a glued up piece of alder would be affected more by the quality and tap tones of the pieces rather than the fact that it was glued up (if done properly).

    Both alder and poplar are fairly "unspectacular" woods in their plain form. Very little if any grain. Poplar can also have mineral streaks in it that can be greenish from time to time, therefore neither really lends itself to clear or stain finishes, unless you prefer a plain wood with little grain to something more "striking".

    Also, alder can be a bit soft now and then, and care should be taken (as with any wood) when handling an unfinished piece.