Electric Guitar Body Guide
Choosing an electric guitar body for your project is pretty easy once you know what to look for. The stratocaster body to the left is made of swamp ash, and is set up for a fixed bridge. For most American Strats and Teles, Swamp ash and alder is the wood of choice with alder actually being the most used by Fender.Guitars made in Japan use a lot of Basswood because it's just easier to source due to the fact that it's a local material.
For a natural finished guitar I like the swamp ash because of it's wild grain. It's a pain to finish because it's so grainy, but the end result to me is fantastic. There is much chatter on the net about tonewood, and the resultant sound you'll get depending on the particular wood used. Not being an expert, I'm certainly not going to make any bold statements that this isn't true. I will say that we're dealing with an electric guitar here folks. If the tone isn't as bright as you'd like, turn up the treble on your amp.
I accidentally built a Strat with an extremely light electric guitar body, it weighed 2.9 pounds on my digital scale. The folks at B.Heffner company sent it to me with no extra charge, and I didn't ask. The guitar seemed, and I mean seemed, to have a brighter sound with more sustain. Now would I bet my kids life on it, no, absolutely not.
Choosing the right body has as much to do with what you're looking for, and what your tastes are, than anything.
If you would like an electric guitar body with a natural finish, try and find a two piece rather than a three piece. The body shown above is a two piece body. You can almost not tell it's two pieces because the folks at B.Heffner Company do a great job at matching up the grain. But unavoidably, you will find the seam on the edge, so one seam is better than two. If the body is going to be finished with a paint, then I'd go with the least expensive three piece alder body. Alder is less grainy, and much easier to smooth out and finish. Warmoth sells one piece bodies, but you'll pay a premium.
I paid $119.00 plus $18.00 shipping for the body shown. You can spend a fortune on an electric guitar body. This is the second B.Heffner Company body I've purchased and have been pleased with the quality. Warmoth also makes great bodies, and they come in a wide range of woods including Maple, Mahogany, Koa, Basswood, etc. They also have a great selection of styles from a Les Paul, to Flying J, to a Tele, to an SG.
I've purchased a dozen or so bodies on ebay with no problem. From genuine American Fender bodies to the generic body shown. Be careful when on ebay, most people are honest, but make sure of what you're buying. I purchased this body to the right with the intention of stripping it, and refinishing. It was being sold as a one piece, swamp ash body. I emailed the gentleman, and he insisted it was one piece. Well, as you can see, the body is a laminated number found on cheaper Fender guitars. The man gave me my money back, apologized, and didn't want the item back, so all was fine. The point is make sure you know what you're getting. By the way, there is nothing wrong with a laminated electric guitar body, if you're tight on cash spend extra on the neck. One of my favorite players is a mongrel squire bullet with a thin, laminated body. Thanks all for reading.
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