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Light Weight Alder


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Im thinking of ordering a new Strat body.

I want Alder for the body. Theres an option. For $100 more, I can get light weight Alder.


My question to you fellas is...whats the advantages of light weight?

Is it purely a "fatigue" issue, the heavier the guitar the sooner ill tire, or is there a sonic reason?

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I've got three Strats, each one is made from a different wood, alder, ash and basswood. That's also the order of the weight, heavy to light. The ash and basswood guitars have exactly the same custom electronics package. There is a major difference in the way each one sounds as compared to the others.


My favorite one to be seen with - the figured ash (very heavy).

The one that sounds best to my ear - the basswood (light as a feather).


There IS a large difference in sound/resonance/sustain according to the weight/density of the body wood. Then it comes down to the subjectivity of personal taste.


Back in the seventies the school of thought was solid body guitars should be as heavy as possible, swamp ash or mahogany bodies, all the brass hardware we could find, and that would increase our tone and sustain. Fender was building Strats and Teles that weighed a ton, as well as the extremely heavy Les Pauls of that same era. After the engineering science caught up with the massive production increases needed to meet the demand of the 70's, it all turned out to be false.


There is a point of diminishing returns on weight/density ratio as applied to resonance. At some point the weight/density will suck all the tone and sustain out of the instrument, what became known as "tone sink". This is the reason for "weight relieved" LP's and lightweight weird wood Strats and Teles.


Oh, but did I say, It all comes down to what you personally expect to (or want to) hear from the instrument.

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