What is the difference between one piece guitar bodies, two-piece bodies, and chambered guitar bodies?

Im having a custom guitar body built, and I was wondering what the difference between one-piece electric guitar bodies, two-piece guitar bodies, and chambered electric guitar bodies tone-wise. Also, I was wondering what wood the original vintage fender stratocasters were made of?

Chosen Answer:

Fender’s are known for having Alder bodied guitars.

Alder is used extensively for bodies because of its lighter weight and its full sound. Its closed grain makes this wood easy to finish. Alder’s natural color is a light tan with little or no distinct grain lines. It looks good with a sunburst or a solid color finish. The tone is reputed to be most balanced with equal doses of lows, mids and highs.

A one piece body is a body that’s been made from a single piece of wood. This means that there are no glue sections that kill sound and sustain as well as tone from the guitar. A single piece is probably the most desirable for clean tones. They will generally give the better sustain and tone.

A two piece body is a body thats been made from 2 different pieces of wood (usually same type though. IE alder glued to alder.) They are glued together and then carved to make the guitar. This is desirable because it is cheaper and easier to find smaller pieces of wood.

the difference between two piece and one piece bodies really isn’t that significant. Because its better to have a two piece body with good tone wood then a one piece body with bad wood.
And keep in mind that after going through overdrive, EQ’ing, different amps, different settings, etc, Body sound between a one and two piece really isn’t that different.

Chambered guitars are guitars that have small holes drilled in them to keep the weight lighter. Gibson does this on there newer Les Pauls because of the amount of complaints they get about how heavy they are. Gibson states that they tone tap and chamber they’re guitars so that they sound exactly the same. I can’t really vouch for this b/c I’ve think the newer Les Pauls are generally worse than the old ones, chambered or not.

So basically the advantages are…
One Piece – Better tone
– better sustain
– better body resonance

Two Piece – Cheaper
– Not noticeably different from One piece
– Actually is more structurally sound from Warping and Glue joint is usually stronger than wood.

Chambered – Less weight
– supposedly same sound
by: Andrew Y
on: 20th December 08

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One Response to What is the difference between one piece guitar bodies, two-piece bodies, and chambered guitar bodies?

  1. Andrew Y says:

    Fender’s are known for having Alder bodied guitars.

    Alder is used extensively for bodies because of its lighter weight and its full sound. Its closed grain makes this wood easy to finish. Alder’s natural color is a light tan with little or no distinct grain lines. It looks good with a sunburst or a solid color finish. The tone is reputed to be most balanced with equal doses of lows, mids and highs.

    A one piece body is a body that’s been made from a single piece of wood. This means that there are no glue sections that kill sound and sustain as well as tone from the guitar. A single piece is probably the most desirable for clean tones. They will generally give the better sustain and tone.

    A two piece body is a body thats been made from 2 different pieces of wood (usually same type though. IE alder glued to alder.) They are glued together and then carved to make the guitar. This is desirable because it is cheaper and easier to find smaller pieces of wood.

    the difference between two piece and one piece bodies really isn’t that significant. Because its better to have a two piece body with good tone wood then a one piece body with bad wood.
    And keep in mind that after going through overdrive, EQ’ing, different amps, different settings, etc, Body sound between a one and two piece really isn’t that different.

    Chambered guitars are guitars that have small holes drilled in them to keep the weight lighter. Gibson does this on there newer Les Pauls because of the amount of complaints they get about how heavy they are. Gibson states that they tone tap and chamber they’re guitars so that they sound exactly the same. I can’t really vouch for this b/c I’ve think the newer Les Pauls are generally worse than the old ones, chambered or not.

    So basically the advantages are…
    One Piece – Better tone
    – better sustain
    – better body resonance

    Two Piece – Cheaper
    – Not noticeably different from One piece
    – Actually is more structurally sound from Warping and Glue joint is usually stronger than wood.

    Chambered – Less weight
    – supposedly same sound

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