Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
Originally Posted by Notes_Norton
Thanks Kuru,

So that leads me to think, does the wood and other non magnetic factors of the build of the guitar affect the tone, the sustain, or both?

Sure - density of the wood, amount of wood, tailpiece, bridge, nut, even the tuning pegs.

And if I had identical strats, with everything adjusted the same except one made out basswood and one made out of swamp ash, would the average listener be able to hear a difference?

Are they really identical? You could have two made out of the same wood and they'll sound different because it's a different piece of wood.

What's an average listener? Some might be able to hear a difference. An average listener wouldn't care.

Yeah, the vibration of the strings is definitely what is translated into the tiny electric current via the pickups - but - the string vibrations are not just caused by the pick or finger action. The wood vibrations (which vary tremendously between hollow/semi-hollow/ and solid body guitars) are fed back into the strings via the nut and the bridge. The pickups themselves are vibrating a tiny amount from being attached to the wood body.

It's all one big system, and even what seem like tiny factors of construction can translate into very audible tone differences once amplified. That's why guitarists are so fussy with their instruments!