8

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 ?

1
  • Mahagony is a heavy wood.
    – Neil Meyer
    Oct 4, 2021 at 11:41

3 Answers 3

8

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.

6
  • 1
    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, 2011 at 22:35
  • I love mahogany strats! They take the boring out of them :D.
    – Jduv
    Jan 21, 2011 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, 2011 at 22:01
  • -1 for completely unfounded tonewood speculations. The wood of the guitar body has no measurable influence on the amplified sound of the guitar. Oct 4, 2021 at 11:32
  • 1
    @JasonPSallinger : "Physics of the Electric Guitar" by Prof. Manfred Zollner goes into a lot of detail (and some snarky diatribes about ignorant journalists and snake oil salesmen) on the issue in chapters 7.8 and 7.9. Oct 5, 2021 at 7:25
6

Warmoth has pretty great description of different woods' characteristics.

Go to: https://warmoth.com/guitar-body-woods. There's a ton of info about tone, weight and color.

2

It doesn't much matter whether you're talking about guitars, xylophones, or coffee tables. Here is a chart of densities of hardwoods: Wood Density Chart | Workshop

Alder is listed at 400 - 700 kg/m³ (26 - 42 lb/ft³)

The various species of Mahogany range from 500 - 850 kg/m³ (31 – 53 lb/ft³)

There is substantial overlap between 500 - 700 kg/m³ (31 - 42 lb/ft³), so it's quite possible to have a particular piece of alder that's more dense than a particular piece of mahogany, but alder is on average less dense than mahogany.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.