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 ?

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

3 Answers 3


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.

  • 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
    Commented Jan 21, 2011 at 22:35
  • I love mahogany strats! They take the boring out of them :D.
    – Jduv
    Commented 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
    Commented 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. Commented 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. Commented Oct 5, 2021 at 7:25

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.


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.

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