Alder is what Leo Fender used on
his first bolt on guitars and so did PRS before he decided to go mass
production. Alder is a great tone wood and it costs very little. Some of the
drawbacks are it is harder to work with than say poplar or basswood.
companies who used Alder have switched to Poplar or Basswood for economic
reasons. Basswood is not a favored tonewood but Poplar sounds quite good.
Poplar requires a lot of filler and I don't recommend it unless you can find it
in a good quality. (Rare)
The only company that I ever saw use Poplar effectively was
Parker on their very first models.
Poplar doesn't sound good on all
guitars and neither does Alder. They work well with bolt on type guitars that
utilize hard maple necks.
Call if you want to discuss the
properties and tonalities of these woods.
Black Alder (Alnus Glutinosa).
Alder is a fast growing deciduous
tree adapted to swampy areas and self sufficient in nitrogen uptake. Itís
distribution area is Europe, Russia and north-west of Africa. In Sweden itís
distributed up to the middle part and along the Norrland coast. There is one
more alder species, Grey alder (Alnus Incana), with itís major
distribution in northern Sweden. Grey Alder has similar wood properties as Black
Alder but is somewhat softer.