Alder vs Ash – Difference and Comparison

What is Alder?

Since 1956, alder has been linked with Fender Solid Body Guitars, particularly Strats and Telecasters. Although Alder is not a standard Gibson guitar wood, it is nonetheless widely used by bolt-on neck producers.

Fender first used alder in 1956. CLF (Clarence Leo Fender, folks, c’mon!) did not wish to modify the guitar’s tone. It was just more readily accessible and inexpensive than Swamp Ash. As a result, he made the move, and now Alder is used in the most of Fender guitars.

Because of its richer, more rounded tone, alder is by far the most popular wood for Stratocasters, Jaguars, and Jazzmasters, and also the Jazz Bass.
Guitarists who want to describe a broad range of tones with only one instrument might benefit from an alder guitar.

Alder creates a resonant and harmonic tone, with a strong upper treble, long sustain, and additional attack. It takes finishes well because of its tight pores and tight texture, and it is frequently treated in neutral tones.

What is Ash?

The tone wood of preference for most (if not all) of Leo Fender’s guitars during his early years, notably from 1950 to 1956, was ash. Ash may be used for a variety of purposes, and there have been notable differences in the sorts of ash used on guitars over time. Southern “swamp ash” is more frequent for Fender. Although single-piece structures have been created from marsh ash, most are made up of two or three parts cemented altogether. Ash is a tough, thick hardwood with a light color and linear grain.

The majority of ash trees are small to medium-sized, although some of the bigger timber-producing species can reach heights of 18–34 meters (60–120 ft). Ash trees have opposing leaves that are evergreen and petiolate complex with an arbitrary amount of leaflets, generally five to nine. The samaras, or slender fruits, are and one wing. Flower clusters are generally tiny and spectacular, and some varieties have petaled flowers.

Ash wood guitars have an useful utility for musicians who want to generate lovely tones. Furthermore, it is best adapted to translucent colors than solid colors. Finally, ash wood guitars are known for their beautiful finish instead of their other characteristics.

Difference Between Alder and Ash

  1. Alder is a twigs wood that is light and easy to work with. On the other hand, Ash is a light wood from the birch family.
  2. Fender guitars have a special application for red alder. Sharp assaults are elicited, and the sustain is outstanding. Swamp ash, on either hand, is often used in the production of guitars. It has a lovely, resonant tone to it.
  3. Solid colors, rather than translucent ones, work nicely with alder wood. However, ash wood is more suited to translucent colours than solid colors.
  4. The onslaught of the alder sound is silky and modest. As a result, it is well tone with distinct highs and lows. Ash wood guitars, on the other hand, feature deep lows, powerful mids, and ring clear high notes.
  5. Electric guitars are made from alder, which has a functional function. For Jazz Bass, Jaguars, Jazz Masters, and Stratocasters, it is a popular choice. On the other hand, ash is only used in a small percentage of guitars. It’s also used in the production of presenters, telecasters, and equalizers.

Comparison Between Alder and Ash

Parameters of ComparisonAlderAsh
DefinitionAlder is a twigs timber that is compact and easy to work with.Ash is a permeable wood that is light and easy to work with.
Practical applicationsElectric guitars are made from alder, which has a practical purpose. For Jazz Bass, Jaguars, Jazzmasters, and Stratocasters, it is the most interesting choice.It has a limited practical applicability in the production of guitars. It’s also used in producing presenters, telecasters, and equalisers.
Characteristic of sound producedThe onset of the alder sound is rather modest and decays pleasantly. As a result, it has a very well tone with distinct highs and lows.Strong lows, powerful mids, and ring clear highs characterize ash wood guitars.
Ideal colorSolid colors, instead of translucent ones, work nicely with alder wood.Rather than solid colors, ash wood is better adapted for translucent ones.
Type of the wood used in guitarsFender guitars have a special application for red alder. It boasts a razor-sharp edge and superb durability.Swamp ash is widely used in the construction of guitars. It has a lovely, powerful tone to it.

References

  1. https://brill.com/view/journals/iawa/aop/article-10.1163-22941932-40190218.xml
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=cvRhKfXfiqkC&oi=fnd&pg=PP9&dq=alder+wood+guitars&ots=1EWAsdYPZn&sig=XEzTrbTTYdpe18uAJDjXXVIEtQA