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Swamp Ash or Alder?
Poll ended at Mon May 31, 2010 6:00 pm
Swamp Ash 100%  100%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 2
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 Post subject: Swamp Ash vs. Alder--differences?
PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 6:00 pm 
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I am beginning to put together my dream partsCaster TELE. I have all of my hardware, electronics, neck and color picked out but I am trying to decide on a Swamp Ash body or an Alder body.

I've always heard that Swamp Ash provided a better tone? Is this true or just speculation? If I go with the Alder body the entire package will end up being about $70 less than the Swamp Ash, and the money isn't the problem but with the extra $60 I could pocket it or upgrade a few parts.

Any thoughts on Swamp Ash vs. Alder?

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Last edited by BlackCatBone on Fri May 28, 2010 7:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 6:13 pm 
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I personally like Alder for my Strats. Nice warm sound........JMO....... 8) Mike

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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 7:24 pm 
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Ginger and Mary-Anne.........I cant choose.

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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 7:49 pm 
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Nevin1985 wrote:
Ash was on early Stratocasters.... although I think most will pick Alder nowzadays. I would go with the Ash.


was ash used for early telecasters as well?

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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 8:03 pm 
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Ash is harder and should be more resonate which equates to a brighter sound…tele’s are twang-ee already. That may or may not be what your looking for….For me I like ash cuz the wood grain is much better looking. With the right stain and finish it turns a guitar into a piece of ART…..

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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 8:03 pm 
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Nevin1985 wrote:
Here are some early ash stratocasters.

http://home.provide.net/~cfh/54strat.html


Quote:
Body Wood.
Exceptions to the below data: the Rosewood Telecaster, the Walnut strat, Thinline Telecasters, etc.

* October 1950 to mid 1956: All models used Ash as the body wood. Most ash bodies are two or even three pieces, but sometimes a one-piece body was used.

* Mid 1956 to current: All models used Alder as the body wood. The ONLY exception to this is if the model had a "blond" finish. In that case, the body would was ALWAYS Ash. For example, since the stock finish on a Telecaster is "blond" (a translucent white color), all blond Telecasters are made of Ash. If a post-1956 Stratocaster was ordered in blond, it too would be Ash. To summarize, if the Fender instrument is later than mid-1956, and was originally not blond in color, the body wood should be Alder! Most alder bodies are 2 to 4 pieces. Alder trees do not grow "big", so multiple pieces were used for Fender guitar bodies. The number of pieces has little effect on sound or value.
* 1963-1964: a few models made with Mahogany bodies.
* 1990-current: Most Japanese Fenders (and some US made models) use a Basswood body.
* 1992-current: Some Mexican made models use Poplar bodies.


http://home.provide.net/~cfh/fender.html

Although there are exceptions to the above data obviously.... I am going for more of the vintage specs anyways.


hey Nevin thanks for the info, i was leaning towards the ash myself but the alder is a bit cheaper and it wont be a translucent finish so I am now thinking I will go with the alder body and use the extra cash for some Tonepros/Kluson tuners.

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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 8:20 pm 
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Here are a couple of examples of how good Swamp Ash can look if finished right….Sorry there not fenders but you get the point..


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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 8:26 pm 
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that blue looks super!

i am going with a Firemist Gold nitro finish

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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 6:26 am 
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Mike Eldred just talked about this in another post....
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Mike Eldred - Fender
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Ash has many types. It is very inconsistant in hardness, density, and weight.
Fraxinus caroliniana is southern Ash and referred to as "swamp Ash". It's soft, lightweight, and what we use when people ask for "lightweight" bodies.

Fraxinus americana is northern Ash and it is what is used for baseball bats, furniture, bows, frames, etc. It's hard and we use it as well.

It all depends on what YOU like. Light = more bass, less sustain and cut.


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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 6:50 am 
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tyronne wrote:
Mike Eldred just talked about this in another post....
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mike Eldred - Fender
Fender Staff

Ash has many types. It is very inconsistant in hardness, density, and weight.
Fraxinus caroliniana is southern Ash and referred to as "swamp Ash". It's soft, lightweight, and what we use when people ask for "lightweight" bodies.

Fraxinus americana is northern Ash and it is what is used for baseball bats, furniture, bows, frames, etc. It's hard and we use it as well.

It all depends on what YOU like. Light = more bass, less sustain and cut.


Oh yeah....I had a '73 Northern Ash Tele that was heavy, but sustain was great!

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