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I know that each piece of wood is different and two similar pieces of a same essence will have different weight.

But in general, for the same body shape and size which wood essence will tend to give a lighter body ? Mahogany or alder ?

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Mahogany guitars are generally heavier, with alder being quite light. Because of this, alder gives a light bright sound, and Mahogany gives a deeper Les-Paulier sound.

Of course it depends what sort of guitar the wood is used in. Semi-hollowbodies and semi-acoustics are generally a bit lighter than solid-body guitars.

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I have an Ibanez SAS36FM, which is a Strat style guitar on a mahogany body. The combo is really nice because the wood gives it a very solid low end and the single-coils keep the fidelity and harmonics very alive. –  Anonymous Jan 21 '11 at 22:35
    
I love mahogany strats! They take the boring out of them :D. –  Jduv Jan 21 '11 at 23:45
    
That it does. Mine has a low-end similar to John Entwistle's bass sound - it rings like tapping on a low-E piano string. –  Anonymous Jan 22 '11 at 22:01
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Warmoth has pretty great description of different woods' characteristics.

Go to: http://www.warmoth.com:80/Guitar/Bodies/BodyBlank.aspx and click on "body woods" on the left. There's a ton of info about tone, weight and color.

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