When a buyer requests a certain combination guitar which

Everything on a guitar effects tone, from the glue used to a tone switch that isn’t even being used. When it comes to woods, the denser the wood, the brighter the tone. The softer the wood, the warmer the tone. When I speak of “bright or warm”, I mean that a bright guitar usually delivers less bass end while delivering more high end and string “twang”. Warm design can deliver bass in a signal much easier while the highs and twang is rolled off a bit. Midrange is usually there for both wood choices but can also be effected by pickups.

Below is a list of details which affect guitar tone:

  • Single Cutaway
  • Dual cutaway
  • Body Design
  • Holes or No Holes
  • Channeled or Solid
  • Body wood Type
  • Hard wood Topped vs Non-topped
  • Neck through, bolt on, set neck
  • Neck Wood Type
  • Fingerboard Material
  • Fingerboard Scale
  • Headstock Design
  • Headstock Veneer
  • Pickup Types (active, passive, single coil, dual coil, etc.)
  • Tone switch, No tone switch (guitar is slightly louder without a tone sw. installed)
  • Top nut Material
  • Top Nut Mount Type
  • Bridge Type, Material and Anchor Points
  • Strings
  • Glue amount
  • Glue Type
  • Preamp, no preamp

As you can see virtually everything can effect the tone of a guitar. Most of these details change tone slightly but when combined change tone greatly. Not for better or worse, but brighter, louder, warmer, ‘twangier’, cutting, etc. These differences can be heard much more with the type of guitar player that plugs directly into the amp processing signal later down the line. Players that process signal before the amp will have notice these differences less.


A guitar player needs to decide what they want their guitar for. Studio? Stage? Both? Looks? Tone? It is difficult to get it all in one guitar but much of the time it happens. I have seen time and time again musicians taking gear designed for stage into the studio and vice versa. When looking to design a hot guitar go with what you like to see a little more than what you like to hear. We can tailor the axe by changing pickups (i.e. add bright pickups to a soft wood guitar or add warm pickups to a bright guitar) so it's entirely up to you.

Please contact me with questions. I don’t always have the answer but I’ll try my best.