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woods vs tone

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by fenderx55, Jun 15, 2005.

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  1. fenderx55


    Jan 15, 2005
    this has got to have been asked before...but scientifically, if the pickups translate string vibration into an electrical signal, what impact does the wood have on the sound? i mean, i know it has to; i hear the difference between my rosewood fingerboard and my maple fingerboard, but i don't really get it.

    edit: btw i did pretty well in physics, which is frustrating cause i should have asked this in class
  2. eldave777


    May 24, 2005
    Differen't woods resonate differently. Your pickups pick that up too. As you said you can hear the difference even in your fretboards. I'm sure the luthiers in the forum will have super detailed info for you on this stuff. I just know maple usually equals bright tone.
  3. mark beem

    mark beem I'm alive and well. Where am I? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    Yes, this topic has been discussed at length here. Might want to try a search..
  4. Keith Guitars

    Keith Guitars Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2004
    Woodstock, NY
    Builder: Martin Keith Guitars, Veillette Guitars
    The topic has been discussed at length, but here's the short answer:

    True, the pickups only sense the movement of the string.
    The body wood doesn't interact with the pickups at all.

    However, that movement of the string is affected by such factors as neck rigidity, body mass, and internal resonances of the instrument.

    So, the string is affected by the wood, and the pickup reveals that.

    If the string were the only tonal element, then a 2x4 with a pickup would sound as good as a '61 Jazz or a Fodera. Obviously, they don't! (Though it might sound great...who knows?)

  5. fenderx55


    Jan 15, 2005
    thanks guys :bassist:
  6. Tfunked


    Dec 30, 2003

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