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Old 19th August 2019
Lives for gear
kennybro's Avatar
Originally Posted by Pindrive View Post
To some exent. I've built quite a few solid body guitars, as well. Many of the same principles apply. You can't just throw a maple slab on top of something & think its going to sound good. Maple is a dense wood & can create a bright tone. Not the ideal guitar top, if attention isn't paid. it's all balance, with careful consideration.
I think the massive difference is that in solid body guitars, it's not the wood vibrations creating the main tone. In true archtop guitars, it is.

Also, some of the brightest guitars ever made are Fenders with swamp ash bodies, no maple top at all. Les Pauls with maple tops are generally darker sounding guitars. Pickups rule the day. There are just too many exceptions to these "rules," and trying to use formulas to create guitars that sound this way or that way just doesn't work with any level of reliability. People generally say that all mahogany body Les Paul Customs are darker sounding guitars, but I just have not found this to be a reliable paradigm.

I'll agree that different woods can affect the overall vibe and feel of a SB guitar, but I have failed to find formulas that create consistently repeatable outcomes.

With acoustic guitars, I can easily control the overall character (volume, brightness, darkness, projection, etc...) of any given guitar by choosing body size & shape, woods, bracing patterns carve, top thickness, even glues, among other things. Each element offers fairly predictable results within the whole system.