Body Base Wood   ⓘ

Body, Carve, and Lam Top Woods

Many different woods are used in building electric guitars. We discuss what you need to know here. When you’re studying the specs of an electric guitar or bass, you will almost certainly see the kind of body wood, neck wood, and fingerboard wood used. With some very notable exceptions, just a few mainstay woods have been used for fashioning electric instruments: for bodies, primarily alder and ash in the Fender world, and mahogany and maple in the Gibson world; for necks, primarily maple necks with maple or rosewood fingerboards (in the Fender world), and mahogany necks with rosewood fingerboards (in the Gibson world). We will discuss these woods in depth.

ALDER

Alder wood is used in more guitar bodies than any other species. Alder is a common name for genus Alnus, which is part of the birch family Betulaceae family. Alder is a fast-growing hardwood. It grows throughout the northern hemisphere in the temperate zone. There are many varieties. For our purposes, Alnus rubra, or red alder, is the variety of interest. Red alder grows on the US west coast and is the dominant species used for electric guitar bodies. Like ash, alder is often used on its own as a body wood (that is, it is not usually topped/capped with another wood as often happens with mahogany). Guitar bodies made from alder typically consist of two to four pieces glued together (though there are single piece alder bodies – at Alloy Guitars we offer them!). Alder is easy to work with and it glues well. Alder takes finishes well. It has a light brown color and a tight grain that is not terribly prominent, making it ideal for solid colors rather than the transparent finishes that look so good on some ash bodies. Alder’s grain might not be particularly interesting, but it is generally straight and clean looking. It is typically used under opaque finishes, but some examples can look good under darker translucent finishes. Alder is a medium weight, closed pore wood. Weight does vary, however, and some alder used for guitar bodies may weigh less than denser cuts of ash. Due to its widespread popularity, it produces a familiar tone. Alder bodies are resonant, and have a strong, clear, full-bodied sound, with beefy mid-range sounds and excellent lows. These bodies are very full in the low midrange yet produce clear and articulate higher frequencies. Alder bodies offer a fair amount of sustain. As with ash, it’s impossible to discuss the use of alder in guitars without talking about Fender. Fender has used alder since the 1950s. This wood was readily available and less expensive than ash (particularly the swamp ash that produces the best instruments). It is now the body wood for many of Fender guitars and bases.

Scientific Name: Alnus rubra
Location: Coastal Western North America
Average Dried Weight: 28 lbs/ft3
Used as Body Base
Used as Lam Top
Used as Carved Top

SWAMP ASH

Like alder, swamp ash is a classic solid body guitar wood. There are many kinds of ash trees. For use in electric guitar bodies, the American ash species - Fraxinus Americana - is the one in prominent use. American Ash is a native North American hardwood found on the eastern half of the continent. The wood is strong, dense, straight-grained and light in color. In addition to guitar bodies, ash is used for flooring, furniture, baseball bats, and many other items. For guitar bodies, two sub species are used: northern ash and southern or “swamp” ash. Northern ash is harder and heavier. As a guitar body, it produces more treble and sustain, with less warmth than other guitar woods. In some cases, it makes for bodies that are quite heavy! These bodies have a brighter sound that might be more useful when sharper tones are desired. Swamp ash is lighter in weight. Typically, the wood is taken from the lower portions of wetland trees that have root systems below water level. The wood has beautiful grain that is perfect for transparent or lightly colored finishes that let the wood grain show through. The wood is light in color, highlighted by brown grain patterns. This wood looks awesome with natural finishes and transparent colors. Swamp ash wood has large open pores, making it resonant and sweet sounding, with great highs, solid well-defined midrange, and a strong low end. Swamp ash sound is articulate, with a great balance between brightness and warmth. In contrast to alder’s even and consistent tonal properties due to its tight, consistent grain, the open grain and varied grain structure of swamp ash means that two swamp ash bodies may differ from one another tonally. Swamp ash is often used for guitar bodies for its sonic characteristics and for its light weight. For these reasons, it is more commonly used than any other ash species. Often, two or three pieces are glued together to make an instrument body, although there are single-piece bodies (we offer them at Alloy Guitars!).

Scientific Name: Fraxinus americana
Location: Eastern North America
Average Dried Weight: 42lbs/ft3
Used as Body Base
Used as Lam Top
Used as Carved Top

BASSWOOD

Basswood is affordable and abundant. It has become particularly associated with mid- or budget-level guitars. Basswood was particularly popular in the 1980s. Basswood is a good tonewood and many guitar makers have had excellent results using it. It is a very light and soft wood, and it is light in color. It has minimal grain. Solid basswood bodies have a fat, well-balanced tone. There’s a muscular midrange. On a well-made guitar, basswood can yield good tone and dynamics, with good definition. It may be less expensive than its big brothers (alder and ash), but that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t see more use!

Scientific Name: Tilia americana
Location: Eastern North America
Average Dried Weight: 26 lbs/ft3
 
Used as Body Base
Used as Lam Top
Used as Carved Top

MAHOGANY

Mahogany is a wood that became popular primarily in the electric guitar world due to being used on Gibson guitars since the 1950s. (It is also used heavily in acoustic instruments.) There are many species of tree that are called “mahogany” (some accurately, some not so much). Typically, in guitar construction, mahogany means Central American Honduran mahogany or African mahogany. Here at Alloy Guitars, we sell both of these varieties.

Mahogany is a dense, medium weight wood that yields a wide range of guitar body weights, depending upon the source of the wood. Medium brown in color with a red or orange hue, this mid weight wood has a mild grain pattern that looks great with many transparent finishes. Mahogany’s tone is warm and a bit soft, but overall is well balanced. There is usually good depth to the sound, with full but not especially tight lows, and appealing if unpronounced highs. Its tone is thick and concentrated with a forceful midrange. Mahogany is a classic ingredient in slab, carved top, and laminated bodies. It is also a common neck wood (see below). Mahogany is used in single-wood bodies, too. Gibson Les Paul Jr., Les Paul Special, and SG were made of solid mahogany, and guitar builders have used the wood in many solid and semi-solid designs over the years. Mahogany with Maple. This is the most popular laminated or carved-top body type. Adding a maple top to a solid mahogany back yields a guitar body that exhibits many of the best tonal properties of both woods. The mahogany and maple body is rich, warm, and resonant with mahogany’s lows and good sustain, augmented by the maple top’s clarity and definition.

African Mahogany
Scientific Name: Khaya spp. (Khaya anthotheca, K. grandifoliola, K. ivorensis, K. senegalensis)
Location: West tropical Africa
Average Dried Weight: 40 lbs/ft3
 
True Honduran Mahogany
Scientific Name: Swietenia macrophylla
Location: Southern Mexico to central South America
Average Dried Weight: 37 lbs/ft3
Used as Body Base
Used as Lam Top
Used as Carved Top

PINE

Pine, particularly knotty pine, can make for dramatic looking guitars. Fender has made knotty pine Telecasters on occasion and they are striking.

Scientific Name:
Location: North America
Average Dried Weight: lbs/ft3
 
Used as Body Base
Used as Lam Top
Used as Carved Top

CEDAR

Cedar can make for some very beautiful bodies! These are not used regularly, however.

Scientific Name:
Location: North America
Average Dried Weight: lbs/ft3
Used as Body Base
Used as Lam Top
Used as Carved Top

REDWOOD

Redwood can make for some very beautiful bodies! These are not used regularly, however.

Scientific Name:
Location: North America
Average Dried Weight: lbs/ft3
 
Used as Body Base
Used as Lam Top
Used as Carved Top

Black Korina / Black Limba.

Black Korina, or Black Limba has been used successfully as a base body wood in many guitars. Most notably, Gibson has used this wood in various models.>/p>

Scientific Name: Terminalia superba
Location: Tropical western Africa
Average Dried Weight: 35 lbs/ft3
Used as Body Base
Used as Lam Top
Used as Carved Top

Walnut

Walnut is becoming a more popular choice for fingerboards and finds its way into the guitar body world too. Walnut range from a lighter pale brown to a dark chocolate brown with darker brown streaks. Color can sometimes have a grey, purple, or reddish cast.

Walnut is used for both neck shaft and fingerboards.

Scientific Name: Juglans nigra
Location: Eastern United States
Average Dried Weight: 38 lbs/ft3
Used as Body Base
Used as Lam Top
Used as Carved Top

Poplar

Poplar is light cream to yellowish brown, with occasional streaks of gray or green. It is lightweight and makes good guitar bodies. The grain patterns and colors are not generally amenable to clear finishes, but they make fine painted bodies!

Scientific Name: Liriodendron tulipifera
Location: Eastern United States
Average Dried Weight: 29 lbs/ft3
 
Used as Body Base
Used as Lam Top
Used as Carved Top

Zebrawood

Also known as Zebrano, Zebrawood is a light brown or cream color with dark blackish brown streaks vaguely resembling a zebra’s stripes. The stripes can be either chaotic and wavy when flatsawn, or somewhat uniform when quartersawn.

Scientific Name: Microberlinia brazzavillensis
Location: West Africa
Average Dried Weight: 50 lbs/ft3
Used as Body Base
Used as Lam Top
Used as Carved Top
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Body Pieces   ⓘ

Number of Wood Pieces in Body

Our custom body builder pages allow you to configure your body using a variety of wood for both the base wood and laminate top woods (if you desire). One of the choices that you must make is how many pieces of wood we use for your body. Normally, bodies are made from 2 pieces of wood, which are well matched.

Single piece bodies are great for clear coating! You are guaranteed that the finish will be uniform across the width of the body and there is no distracting seam! We normally have only some species available as 1 piece bodies:

Swamp Ash Usually available $25
African Mahogany Often available $25
True Honduran Mahogany Usually available $25
Alder Usually available $25
Others Occasionally available $varies
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Base Wood Grade   ⓘ

Body, Carve and Lam Top Wood Grading

We follow a 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A grading model for our body, lam/carve top, and neck woods. We show examples in the table below. For necks in particular, the relevant examples are those for flame and Birdseye maple. Click on each image for a larger version!

Species 2A 3A 4A+
Alder N/A
Swamp Ash N/A
True Honduran Mahogany N/A
Flame Maple
Roasted Flame Maple
Birdseye Maple
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Laminate Top Wood   ⓘ

Body, Carve, and Lam Top Woods

Many different woods are used in building electric guitars. We discuss what you need to know here. When you’re studying the specs of an electric guitar or bass, you will almost certainly see the kind of body wood, neck wood, and fingerboard wood used. With some very notable exceptions, just a few mainstay woods have been used for fashioning electric instruments: for bodies, primarily alder and ash in the Fender world, and mahogany and maple in the Gibson world; for necks, primarily maple necks with maple or rosewood fingerboards (in the Fender world), and mahogany necks with rosewood fingerboards (in the Gibson world). We will discuss these woods in depth.

ALDER

Alder wood is used in more guitar bodies than any other species. Alder is a common name for genus Alnus, which is part of the birch family Betulaceae family. Alder is a fast-growing hardwood. It grows throughout the northern hemisphere in the temperate zone. There are many varieties. For our purposes, Alnus rubra, or red alder, is the variety of interest. Red alder grows on the US west coast and is the dominant species used for electric guitar bodies. Like ash, alder is often used on its own as a body wood (that is, it is not usually topped/capped with another wood as often happens with mahogany). Guitar bodies made from alder typically consist of two to four pieces glued together (though there are single piece alder bodies – at Alloy Guitars we offer them!). Alder is easy to work with and it glues well. Alder takes finishes well. It has a light brown color and a tight grain that is not terribly prominent, making it ideal for solid colors rather than the transparent finishes that look so good on some ash bodies. Alder’s grain might not be particularly interesting, but it is generally straight and clean looking. It is typically used under opaque finishes, but some examples can look good under darker translucent finishes. Alder is a medium weight, closed pore wood. Weight does vary, however, and some alder used for guitar bodies may weigh less than denser cuts of ash. Due to its widespread popularity, it produces a familiar tone. Alder bodies are resonant, and have a strong, clear, full-bodied sound, with beefy mid-range sounds and excellent lows. These bodies are very full in the low midrange yet produce clear and articulate higher frequencies. Alder bodies offer a fair amount of sustain. As with ash, it’s impossible to discuss the use of alder in guitars without talking about Fender. Fender has used alder since the 1950s. This wood was readily available and less expensive than ash (particularly the swamp ash that produces the best instruments). It is now the body wood for many of Fender guitars and bases.

Scientific Name: Alnus rubra
Location: Coastal Western North America
Average Dried Weight: 28 lbs/ft3
Used as Body Base
Used as Lam Top
Used as Carved Top

SWAMP ASH

Like alder, swamp ash is a classic solid body guitar wood. There are many kinds of ash trees. For use in electric guitar bodies, the American ash species - Fraxinus Americana - is the one in prominent use. American Ash is a native North American hardwood found on the eastern half of the continent. The wood is strong, dense, straight-grained and light in color. In addition to guitar bodies, ash is used for flooring, furniture, baseball bats, and many other items. For guitar bodies, two sub species are used: northern ash and southern or “swamp” ash. Northern ash is harder and heavier. As a guitar body, it produces more treble and sustain, with less warmth than other guitar woods. In some cases, it makes for bodies that are quite heavy! These bodies have a brighter sound that might be more useful when sharper tones are desired. Swamp ash is lighter in weight. Typically, the wood is taken from the lower portions of wetland trees that have root systems below water level. The wood has beautiful grain that is perfect for transparent or lightly colored finishes that let the wood grain show through. The wood is light in color, highlighted by brown grain patterns. This wood looks awesome with natural finishes and transparent colors. Swamp ash wood has large open pores, making it resonant and sweet sounding, with great highs, solid well-defined midrange, and a strong low end. Swamp ash sound is articulate, with a great balance between brightness and warmth. In contrast to alder’s even and consistent tonal properties due to its tight, consistent grain, the open grain and varied grain structure of swamp ash means that two swamp ash bodies may differ from one another tonally. Swamp ash is often used for guitar bodies for its sonic characteristics and for its light weight. For these reasons, it is more commonly used than any other ash species. Often, two or three pieces are glued together to make an instrument body, although there are single-piece bodies (we offer them at Alloy Guitars!).

Scientific Name: Fraxinus americana
Location: Eastern North America
Average Dried Weight: 42lbs/ft3
Used as Body Base
Used as Lam Top
Used as Carved Top

BASSWOOD

Basswood is affordable and abundant. It has become particularly associated with mid- or budget-level guitars. Basswood was particularly popular in the 1980s. Basswood is a good tonewood and many guitar makers have had excellent results using it. It is a very light and soft wood, and it is light in color. It has minimal grain. Solid basswood bodies have a fat, well-balanced tone. There’s a muscular midrange. On a well-made guitar, basswood can yield good tone and dynamics, with good definition. It may be less expensive than its big brothers (alder and ash), but that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t see more use!

Scientific Name: Tilia americana
Location: Eastern North America
Average Dried Weight: 26 lbs/ft3
 
Used as Body Base
Used as Lam Top
Used as Carved Top

MAHOGANY

Mahogany is a wood that became popular primarily in the electric guitar world due to being used on Gibson guitars since the 1950s. (It is also used heavily in acoustic instruments.) There are many species of tree that are called “mahogany” (some accurately, some not so much). Typically, in guitar construction, mahogany means Central American Honduran mahogany or African mahogany. Here at Alloy Guitars, we sell both of these varieties.

Mahogany is a dense, medium weight wood that yields a wide range of guitar body weights, depending upon the source of the wood. Medium brown in color with a red or orange hue, this mid weight wood has a mild grain pattern that looks great with many transparent finishes. Mahogany’s tone is warm and a bit soft, but overall is well balanced. There is usually good depth to the sound, with full but not especially tight lows, and appealing if unpronounced highs. Its tone is thick and concentrated with a forceful midrange. Mahogany is a classic ingredient in slab, carved top, and laminated bodies. It is also a common neck wood (see below). Mahogany is used in single-wood bodies, too. Gibson Les Paul Jr., Les Paul Special, and SG were made of solid mahogany, and guitar builders have used the wood in many solid and semi-solid designs over the years. Mahogany with Maple. This is the most popular laminated or carved-top body type. Adding a maple top to a solid mahogany back yields a guitar body that exhibits many of the best tonal properties of both woods. The mahogany and maple body is rich, warm, and resonant with mahogany’s lows and good sustain, augmented by the maple top’s clarity and definition.

African Mahogany
Scientific Name: Khaya spp. (Khaya anthotheca, K. grandifoliola, K. ivorensis, K. senegalensis)
Location: West tropical Africa
Average Dried Weight: 40 lbs/ft3
 
True Honduran Mahogany
Scientific Name: Swietenia macrophylla
Location: Southern Mexico to central South America
Average Dried Weight: 37 lbs/ft3
Used as Body Base
Used as Lam Top
Used as Carved Top

PINE

Pine, particularly knotty pine, can make for dramatic looking guitars. Fender has made knotty pine Telecasters on occasion and they are striking.

Scientific Name:
Location: North America
Average Dried Weight: lbs/ft3
 
Used as Body Base
Used as Lam Top
Used as Carved Top

CEDAR

Cedar can make for some very beautiful bodies! These are not used regularly, however.

Scientific Name:
Location: North America
Average Dried Weight: lbs/ft3
Used as Body Base
Used as Lam Top
Used as Carved Top

REDWOOD

Redwood can make for some very beautiful bodies! These are not used regularly, however.

Scientific Name:
Location: North America
Average Dried Weight: lbs/ft3
 
Used as Body Base
Used as Lam Top
Used as Carved Top

Black Korina / Black Limba.

Black Korina, or Black Limba has been used successfully as a base body wood in many guitars. Most notably, Gibson has used this wood in various models.>/p>

Scientific Name: Terminalia superba
Location: Tropical western Africa
Average Dried Weight: 35 lbs/ft3
Used as Body Base
Used as Lam Top
Used as Carved Top

Walnut

Walnut is becoming a more popular choice for fingerboards and finds its way into the guitar body world too. Walnut range from a lighter pale brown to a dark chocolate brown with darker brown streaks. Color can sometimes have a grey, purple, or reddish cast.

Walnut is used for both neck shaft and fingerboards.

Scientific Name: Juglans nigra
Location: Eastern United States
Average Dried Weight: 38 lbs/ft3
Used as Body Base
Used as Lam Top
Used as Carved Top

Poplar

Poplar is light cream to yellowish brown, with occasional streaks of gray or green. It is lightweight and makes good guitar bodies. The grain patterns and colors are not generally amenable to clear finishes, but they make fine painted bodies!

Scientific Name: Liriodendron tulipifera
Location: Eastern United States
Average Dried Weight: 29 lbs/ft3
 
Used as Body Base
Used as Lam Top
Used as Carved Top

Zebrawood

Also known as Zebrano, Zebrawood is a light brown or cream color with dark blackish brown streaks vaguely resembling a zebra’s stripes. The stripes can be either chaotic and wavy when flatsawn, or somewhat uniform when quartersawn.

Scientific Name: Microberlinia brazzavillensis
Location: West Africa
Average Dried Weight: 50 lbs/ft3
Used as Body Base
Used as Lam Top
Used as Carved Top
none
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Laminate Top Wood Grade   ⓘ

Body, Carve and Lam Top Wood Grading

We follow a 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A grading model for our body, lam/carve top, and neck woods. We show examples in the table below. For necks in particular, the relevant examples are those for flame and Birdseye maple. Click on each image for a larger version!

Species 2A 3A 4A+
Alder N/A
Swamp Ash N/A
True Honduran Mahogany N/A
Flame Maple
Roasted Flame Maple
Birdseye Maple
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Chambered?   ⓘ

Chambered and Weight Relieved Bodies

On our T-, S-, LP, P- and J-style bodies, we can reduce the weight or fully chamber the bodies if you have a laminate top on S-, T-, J- or P-style bodies, or on LP-style carve tops.

S-Style Photos coming soon!
T-Style Photos coming soon!
LP-Style Photos coming soon!
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With Elbow Carve?   ⓘ

Comfort Contours

T-style, S-style, P-style, and J-style bodies can have tummy and elbow carves.

Photos coming soon!

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With Belly Carve?   ⓘ

Comfort Contours

T-style, S-style, P-style, and J-style bodies can have tummy and elbow carves.

Photos coming soon!

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With F Hole none ...
Control Routing   ⓘ

Control Cavity and Control Hole Routing Options

Control Routing Options

T- and S-style bodies may be routed with either top- or rear-routed control cavities. For rear-routed cavities, you have a choice of T- or S-style controls. The following table shows these options.
Top-routed control cavities
T-Style Top Routed Control Cavity. This is the traditional control route for this style guitar. With top routed control cavities, the pots and switches are mounted to a control plate.
S-Style Top Routed Control Cavity. This route is intended to be used with a standard pickguard. The picture shows this route on a body routed for three single coil pickups. With top routed control cavities, the pots and switches are mounted to a pickguard.
 
Rear-routed control cavities
Rear Routed Control Cavities. There are three cavity shapes, depending on the body style and your choices They are shown below, along with the corresponding control holes. When you order a custom body, you get to choose which of these holes we drill/route. Or you can drill your own if these locations aren't what you want.
S-Style Control Holes
S-style controls may include the following: switch slot, and three volume/tone control holes. These holes  are shown in the picture to the right.
 
T-Style Control Holes
T-style controls may include the following: switch slot and two volume/tone control holes. These holes  are shown in the picture to the right.
 
LP-Style Control Holes
LP-style controls may include the following: switch, two volume and two tone control holes. These holes  are shown in the picture to the right.
 Other routes and drilling patterns are possible. If you have another control route in mind, please contact us to discuss.
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Rear Route Control Style   ⓘ

Control Cavity and Control Hole Routing Options

Control Routing Options

T- and S-style bodies may be routed with either top- or rear-routed control cavities. For rear-routed cavities, you have a choice of T- or S-style controls. The following table shows these options.
Top-routed control cavities
T-Style Top Routed Control Cavity. This is the traditional control route for this style guitar. With top routed control cavities, the pots and switches are mounted to a control plate.
S-Style Top Routed Control Cavity. This route is intended to be used with a standard pickguard. The picture shows this route on a body routed for three single coil pickups. With top routed control cavities, the pots and switches are mounted to a pickguard.
 
Rear-routed control cavities
Rear Routed Control Cavities. There are three cavity shapes, depending on the body style and your choices They are shown below, along with the corresponding control holes. When you order a custom body, you get to choose which of these holes we drill/route. Or you can drill your own if these locations aren't what you want.
S-Style Control Holes
S-style controls may include the following: switch slot, and three volume/tone control holes. These holes  are shown in the picture to the right.
 
T-Style Control Holes
T-style controls may include the following: switch slot and two volume/tone control holes. These holes  are shown in the picture to the right.
 
LP-Style Control Holes
LP-style controls may include the following: switch, two volume and two tone control holes. These holes  are shown in the picture to the right.
 Other routes and drilling patterns are possible. If you have another control route in mind, please contact us to discuss.
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Pickup Routing   ⓘ

Pickup Routing

The choices of pickup routes are determined by the body chosen and the choice of top- or bottom- control routing.

Standard T-Style Single Coil

These are the classic T-style pickup routes. The neck and bridge pickup routes are shown here.

Depth: 0.75"

Standard S-Style Single Coil

This is a route for a standard S-style single coil pickup for rear control route bodies. It is intended that the pickup be mounted to the body using a pickup ring (i.e., without a pickguard). The image at right shows two such routes: for the bridge (slanted) and middle pickups. Screw holes for mounting the pickup rings are shown as well.

Depth: 0.75"

Humbucker

This option includes deeper pockets to accommodate the depth of the pickup height adjustment screws.

Depth: main pocket: 0.75", screw pockets 1.25"

Note that if a humbucker is used in the bridge position of a T-style body, either a humbucker bridge (e.g., Gotoh) or a hardtail bridge is required.

Humbucker with Wood Mounting

This is the same shape route as the normal humbucker route, above, but does not include the added depth in the screw area. The intention is to mount the pickup by screwing directly into the guitar body.

Depth: 0.75"

Note that if a humbucker is used in the bridge position of a T-style body, either a humbucker bridge (e.g., Gotoh) or a hardtail bridge is required.

P90

Depth: 0.75"

Note that if P90 is used as a bridge pickup of a T-style body, then the bridge must be a hardtail.

Top Routed Control S-Style Pickup Options

With a top-routed control cavity on S-style guitar bodies, the following pickup routing options are available:

SSS - Three Standard Single Coil

These are the classic S-style pickup routes. The neck, middle and bridge pickup routes are shown here.

Depth: 0.75"

SSH - Two Single Coils with Humbucker in Bridge Position

This is the standard S-style pickup route for a humbucker pickup in the bridge position with single coil pickups in the middle and neck positions, loaded into a pickguard.

Depth: main pocket: 0.75", screw pockets 1.25"

HSH - Humbucker in Neck and Bridge, Single Coil in Middle

This is the S-style pickup route for two humbuckers with a single coil pickup in the middle position, loaded into a pickguard.

Depth: 0.75" with 1.25" screw slots

Bathtub/Universal Route

This route allows for any combination of single coil or humbucker pickups in conjunction with a pickguard on the S-style body.

Depth: 0.75" with 1.25" screw slots

P- and J- bass Body Pickup Options

The following bass pickup routing options are available:

P-style Pickup

These are the classic P-style pickup routes.

Depth: 0.75"

J-style Pickup

These are the classic J-style pickup routes.

Depth: 0.75"

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Neck Pickup Route   ⓘ

Pickup Routing

The choices of pickup routes are determined by the body chosen and the choice of top- or bottom- control routing.

Standard T-Style Single Coil

These are the classic T-style pickup routes. The neck and bridge pickup routes are shown here.

Depth: 0.75"

Standard S-Style Single Coil

This is a route for a standard S-style single coil pickup for rear control route bodies. It is intended that the pickup be mounted to the body using a pickup ring (i.e., without a pickguard). The image at right shows two such routes: for the bridge (slanted) and middle pickups. Screw holes for mounting the pickup rings are shown as well.

Depth: 0.75"

Humbucker

This option includes deeper pockets to accommodate the depth of the pickup height adjustment screws.

Depth: main pocket: 0.75", screw pockets 1.25"

Note that if a humbucker is used in the bridge position of a T-style body, either a humbucker bridge (e.g., Gotoh) or a hardtail bridge is required.

Humbucker with Wood Mounting

This is the same shape route as the normal humbucker route, above, but does not include the added depth in the screw area. The intention is to mount the pickup by screwing directly into the guitar body.

Depth: 0.75"

Note that if a humbucker is used in the bridge position of a T-style body, either a humbucker bridge (e.g., Gotoh) or a hardtail bridge is required.

P90

Depth: 0.75"

Note that if P90 is used as a bridge pickup of a T-style body, then the bridge must be a hardtail.

Top Routed Control S-Style Pickup Options

With a top-routed control cavity on S-style guitar bodies, the following pickup routing options are available:

SSS - Three Standard Single Coil

These are the classic S-style pickup routes. The neck, middle and bridge pickup routes are shown here.

Depth: 0.75"

SSH - Two Single Coils with Humbucker in Bridge Position

This is the standard S-style pickup route for a humbucker pickup in the bridge position with single coil pickups in the middle and neck positions, loaded into a pickguard.

Depth: main pocket: 0.75", screw pockets 1.25"

HSH - Humbucker in Neck and Bridge, Single Coil in Middle

This is the S-style pickup route for two humbuckers with a single coil pickup in the middle position, loaded into a pickguard.

Depth: 0.75" with 1.25" screw slots

Bathtub/Universal Route

This route allows for any combination of single coil or humbucker pickups in conjunction with a pickguard on the S-style body.

Depth: 0.75" with 1.25" screw slots

P- and J- bass Body Pickup Options

The following bass pickup routing options are available:

P-style Pickup

These are the classic P-style pickup routes.

Depth: 0.75"

J-style Pickup

These are the classic J-style pickup routes.

Depth: 0.75"

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Middle Pickup Route   ⓘ

Pickup Routing

The choices of pickup routes are determined by the body chosen and the choice of top- or bottom- control routing.

Standard T-Style Single Coil

These are the classic T-style pickup routes. The neck and bridge pickup routes are shown here.

Depth: 0.75"

Standard S-Style Single Coil

This is a route for a standard S-style single coil pickup for rear control route bodies. It is intended that the pickup be mounted to the body using a pickup ring (i.e., without a pickguard). The image at right shows two such routes: for the bridge (slanted) and middle pickups. Screw holes for mounting the pickup rings are shown as well.

Depth: 0.75"

Humbucker

This option includes deeper pockets to accommodate the depth of the pickup height adjustment screws.

Depth: main pocket: 0.75", screw pockets 1.25"

Note that if a humbucker is used in the bridge position of a T-style body, either a humbucker bridge (e.g., Gotoh) or a hardtail bridge is required.

Humbucker with Wood Mounting

This is the same shape route as the normal humbucker route, above, but does not include the added depth in the screw area. The intention is to mount the pickup by screwing directly into the guitar body.

Depth: 0.75"

Note that if a humbucker is used in the bridge position of a T-style body, either a humbucker bridge (e.g., Gotoh) or a hardtail bridge is required.

P90

Depth: 0.75"

Note that if P90 is used as a bridge pickup of a T-style body, then the bridge must be a hardtail.

Top Routed Control S-Style Pickup Options

With a top-routed control cavity on S-style guitar bodies, the following pickup routing options are available:

SSS - Three Standard Single Coil

These are the classic S-style pickup routes. The neck, middle and bridge pickup routes are shown here.

Depth: 0.75"

SSH - Two Single Coils with Humbucker in Bridge Position

This is the standard S-style pickup route for a humbucker pickup in the bridge position with single coil pickups in the middle and neck positions, loaded into a pickguard.

Depth: main pocket: 0.75", screw pockets 1.25"

HSH - Humbucker in Neck and Bridge, Single Coil in Middle

This is the S-style pickup route for two humbuckers with a single coil pickup in the middle position, loaded into a pickguard.

Depth: 0.75" with 1.25" screw slots

Bathtub/Universal Route

This route allows for any combination of single coil or humbucker pickups in conjunction with a pickguard on the S-style body.

Depth: 0.75" with 1.25" screw slots

P- and J- bass Body Pickup Options

The following bass pickup routing options are available:

P-style Pickup

These are the classic P-style pickup routes.

Depth: 0.75"

J-style Pickup

These are the classic J-style pickup routes.

Depth: 0.75"

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Bridge Pickup Route   ⓘ

Pickup Routing

The choices of pickup routes are determined by the body chosen and the choice of top- or bottom- control routing.

Standard T-Style Single Coil

These are the classic T-style pickup routes. The neck and bridge pickup routes are shown here.

Depth: 0.75"

Standard S-Style Single Coil

This is a route for a standard S-style single coil pickup for rear control route bodies. It is intended that the pickup be mounted to the body using a pickup ring (i.e., without a pickguard). The image at right shows two such routes: for the bridge (slanted) and middle pickups. Screw holes for mounting the pickup rings are shown as well.

Depth: 0.75"

Humbucker

This option includes deeper pockets to accommodate the depth of the pickup height adjustment screws.

Depth: main pocket: 0.75", screw pockets 1.25"

Note that if a humbucker is used in the bridge position of a T-style body, either a humbucker bridge (e.g., Gotoh) or a hardtail bridge is required.

Humbucker with Wood Mounting

This is the same shape route as the normal humbucker route, above, but does not include the added depth in the screw area. The intention is to mount the pickup by screwing directly into the guitar body.

Depth: 0.75"

Note that if a humbucker is used in the bridge position of a T-style body, either a humbucker bridge (e.g., Gotoh) or a hardtail bridge is required.

P90

Depth: 0.75"

Note that if P90 is used as a bridge pickup of a T-style body, then the bridge must be a hardtail.

Top Routed Control S-Style Pickup Options

With a top-routed control cavity on S-style guitar bodies, the following pickup routing options are available:

SSS - Three Standard Single Coil

These are the classic S-style pickup routes. The neck, middle and bridge pickup routes are shown here.

Depth: 0.75"

SSH - Two Single Coils with Humbucker in Bridge Position

This is the standard S-style pickup route for a humbucker pickup in the bridge position with single coil pickups in the middle and neck positions, loaded into a pickguard.

Depth: main pocket: 0.75", screw pockets 1.25"

HSH - Humbucker in Neck and Bridge, Single Coil in Middle

This is the S-style pickup route for two humbuckers with a single coil pickup in the middle position, loaded into a pickguard.

Depth: 0.75" with 1.25" screw slots

Bathtub/Universal Route

This route allows for any combination of single coil or humbucker pickups in conjunction with a pickguard on the S-style body.

Depth: 0.75" with 1.25" screw slots

P- and J- bass Body Pickup Options

The following bass pickup routing options are available:

P-style Pickup

These are the classic P-style pickup routes.

Depth: 0.75"

J-style Pickup

These are the classic J-style pickup routes.

Depth: 0.75"

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T-Style Controls   ⓘ

Control Cavity and Control Hole Routing Options

Control Routing Options

T- and S-style bodies may be routed with either top- or rear-routed control cavities. For rear-routed cavities, you have a choice of T- or S-style controls. The following table shows these options.
Top-routed control cavities
T-Style Top Routed Control Cavity. This is the traditional control route for this style guitar. With top routed control cavities, the pots and switches are mounted to a control plate.
S-Style Top Routed Control Cavity. This route is intended to be used with a standard pickguard. The picture shows this route on a body routed for three single coil pickups. With top routed control cavities, the pots and switches are mounted to a pickguard.
 
Rear-routed control cavities
Rear Routed Control Cavities. There are three cavity shapes, depending on the body style and your choices They are shown below, along with the corresponding control holes. When you order a custom body, you get to choose which of these holes we drill/route. Or you can drill your own if these locations aren't what you want.
S-Style Control Holes
S-style controls may include the following: switch slot, and three volume/tone control holes. These holes  are shown in the picture to the right.
 
T-Style Control Holes
T-style controls may include the following: switch slot and two volume/tone control holes. These holes  are shown in the picture to the right.
 
LP-Style Control Holes
LP-style controls may include the following: switch, two volume and two tone control holes. These holes  are shown in the picture to the right.
 Other routes and drilling patterns are possible. If you have another control route in mind, please contact us to discuss.
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LP-Style Controls   ⓘ

Control Cavity and Control Hole Routing Options

Control Routing Options

T- and S-style bodies may be routed with either top- or rear-routed control cavities. For rear-routed cavities, you have a choice of T- or S-style controls. The following table shows these options.
Top-routed control cavities
T-Style Top Routed Control Cavity. This is the traditional control route for this style guitar. With top routed control cavities, the pots and switches are mounted to a control plate.
S-Style Top Routed Control Cavity. This route is intended to be used with a standard pickguard. The picture shows this route on a body routed for three single coil pickups. With top routed control cavities, the pots and switches are mounted to a pickguard.
 
Rear-routed control cavities
Rear Routed Control Cavities. There are three cavity shapes, depending on the body style and your choices They are shown below, along with the corresponding control holes. When you order a custom body, you get to choose which of these holes we drill/route. Or you can drill your own if these locations aren't what you want.
S-Style Control Holes
S-style controls may include the following: switch slot, and three volume/tone control holes. These holes  are shown in the picture to the right.
 
T-Style Control Holes
T-style controls may include the following: switch slot and two volume/tone control holes. These holes  are shown in the picture to the right.
 
LP-Style Control Holes
LP-style controls may include the following: switch, two volume and two tone control holes. These holes  are shown in the picture to the right.
 Other routes and drilling patterns are possible. If you have another control route in mind, please contact us to discuss.
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S-Style Controls   ⓘ

Control Cavity and Control Hole Routing Options

Control Routing Options

T- and S-style bodies may be routed with either top- or rear-routed control cavities. For rear-routed cavities, you have a choice of T- or S-style controls. The following table shows these options.
Top-routed control cavities
T-Style Top Routed Control Cavity. This is the traditional control route for this style guitar. With top routed control cavities, the pots and switches are mounted to a control plate.
S-Style Top Routed Control Cavity. This route is intended to be used with a standard pickguard. The picture shows this route on a body routed for three single coil pickups. With top routed control cavities, the pots and switches are mounted to a pickguard.
 
Rear-routed control cavities
Rear Routed Control Cavities. There are three cavity shapes, depending on the body style and your choices They are shown below, along with the corresponding control holes. When you order a custom body, you get to choose which of these holes we drill/route. Or you can drill your own if these locations aren't what you want.
S-Style Control Holes
S-style controls may include the following: switch slot, and three volume/tone control holes. These holes  are shown in the picture to the right.
 
T-Style Control Holes
T-style controls may include the following: switch slot and two volume/tone control holes. These holes  are shown in the picture to the right.
 
LP-Style Control Holes
LP-style controls may include the following: switch, two volume and two tone control holes. These holes  are shown in the picture to the right.
 Other routes and drilling patterns are possible. If you have another control route in mind, please contact us to discuss.
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Bridge Route   ⓘ

Bridge Routing and Drilling

T-Style Bridge Route Options

Vintage T-style Bridge

  • 10.8mm string spacing
  • 4 mounting screws
  • 21.6mm spacing

Vintage ashtray-style bridges for standard T-style single coil pickups. This route also fits many aftermarket bridges such as the Wilkinson WT3 and half bridges like the Wilkinson "Half Bridge" WTBS.

American Standard T-style Bridge

  • 10.5mm string spacing
  • 3 mounting screws
  • 32.4mm screw spacing

Fits American Standard bridges only. We do not sell these bridges, but we are happy to prepare your body for their use.

This bridge only works with a standard single coil pickup. You will not be able to choose a different bridge pickup route.

Humbucker Pickup T-style Bridge

  • 10.5mm string spacing
  • 4 mounting screws
  • 21.6mm screw spacing

This is the routing for the Gotoh Humbucker Bridge.

This bridge only works with a humbucker pickup in the bridge position. You will not be able to choose a different bridge pickup route.

Hardtail Bridge Route Options

Vintage Hardtail Bridge

  • 11.3mm string spacing
  • 3 mounting screws
  • 22.5mm screw spacing

This bridge works with any bridge pickup route. You will be able to choose any pickup route for the bridge position.

This bridge works on either T-style or S-style bodies.

American Standard Hardtail Bridge

  • 10.5mm string spacing
  • 3 mounting screws
  • 21mm screw spacing

This bridge works with any bridge pickup route. You will be able to choose any pickup route for the bridge position.

This bridge works on either T-style or S-style bodies.

Tremolo Bridge Route Options

Vintage 6 Screw Tremolo Bridge

 
  • 6 mounting screws
  • 11.3mm string spacing

Vintage tremolo bridges. Also fits many aftermarket bridges such as the Wilkinson VSVG and Wilkinson WV6.

American Standard 2 Post Tremolo Bridge

  • 2 mounting posts
  • 56.4mm post spacing
  • 0.375" post diameter

Fits American Standard tremolo bridges only. We do not sell these bridges, but we are happy to prepare your body for their use.

Wilkinson/Gotoh VS100N Tremolo Bridge

 
  • 2 mounting posts
  • 56.4mm post spacing
  • 10mm post diameter

This is the routing for the Wilkinson/Gotoh VS100N Bridge. This requires larger post routes, as well as a larger slot into the body.

LP-Style Bridge Route Options

Standard TOM/ Stop Tailpiece

Vintage

Tonepros Wraparound Bridge/Tailpiece

Other bridges are possible. If you have another bridge, please contact us to discuss.
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Input Jack   ⓘ

Input Jack Routing

Many of our bodies have a number of options for how the input jack is configured:

Top Mount through Pickguard

Top-routed S-style bodies

Top-routed P-style bodies

Top-routed J-style bodies

<S route>
Side

Rear-routed S-style bodies,

T-style guitar bodies,

LP-style bodies,

Rear-routed P-style bass bodies

Rear-routed J-style bass bodies

1/2”

3/4”

7/8”

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Total:
Wood tones and grain patterns will differ from this representation.