Submitted by Dinosaur David B on Tue, 06/17/2008 - 20:27
Alder Stratocasters have a full bodied sound. They usually have a bump in the midrange with an otherwise flat response from the lows through the highs. The warmer of the two common Stratocaster body woods. Excellent for the three pickup / single in the bridge position models as they tend to rein in the brightness. A great choice for the player in a Dino three or four piece / one guitarist band as they provide an excellent full range guitar tonality and enough high end to pull front and center over keyboards, bass, or drums. Alder Strats excel in smoothness.
From Guitar Player Magazine Online
From John Suhr
Alder (Alnus rubra):
From USA Custom Guitars
ALDER - The "tastes like chicken" of wood. It has a nice even response all the way around the tone spectrum! Mostly known for its great Blues and Rock tones. It's the one body wood you can go play a Death Metal Gig one night, country the next night, Blues the next night and it's sounds fine for all of them. It is normally lightweight and has a closed grain which is a finishers dream. We carry hand selected Alder that is suitable for clear finishes as well as bursts and solid colors.
From the Frank Falbo DRG Tonewoods article
Alder is light in weight with soft tight pores like Basswood. But there is a large swirling grain pattern to it with harder rings and sections. So imagine a Basswood type texture but with harder rings peppered throughout. That adds to the stiffness, and the complexity of the tones. It retains more of the highs that Basswood softens, but also gives some room to the lows. You have a broader spectrum of tones, which leads to the perception of a little less mids than Basswood.
Note the Fender Artist series and customshop* series of guitars. The following models use Alder for the bodywood.
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