Hi, everyone, kind of new around here.
There's something I've always been very curious to know, which is how wood type affects the final guitar tone. We all know that almost every pickup discussion in guitar forums will bring the issue of combining a certain pickup with the wood type used in the body, neck and fretboard.
Although I have no personal experience on this subject, I've always found it odd, because as far as I can think of it, a pickup will generate an electric signal based on variations on its magnetic field caused by moving metal parts (the strings). So, there's no real audio coming from the guitar to an amp. I would believe that the overall construction type and quality on a guitar would affect more the final tone as a result of absorbing more or less string vibrations, which is what generate audio in an amplifier. I've seen other people thinking this way, but clearly a minority.
But I have an open mind and believe most of the times is very likely that I'm wrong. Since nowadays is getting easier to have quality tests done by amateurs comparing pickups like the ones by Ola and Keith, but you'll find many others around the web, I would find very interesting to see the same concept applied to wood tones: pick some wood type "standards" (mahogany, alder, ash...) and using the same pickup and the same signal chain, and record a few samples of clean, crunch and high gain tones.
Is there such a thing around the web? Probably not the case, but sometimes things get said so many times, mostly because "it's what they say", that you'll take it as a fact.
Basically, the wood choices, construction (neck-through, set neck, bolt-on etc), scale length, bridge type and string choice all affect the way the string vibrates and resonates with the guitar. Yes, the pickup itself is an electronic device and only outputs the signal it receives, but it's all the bits around it that affect the signal.
As for a tone guide:
Warmoth Custom Guitar Parts - Wood Descriptions