[SOLVED!] Alder Vs. Ash Telecaster: Outlines


Similar to their contemporaries, guitars in the Telecaster series of Fender feature a wide range of materials including alder and ash. Since different materials have different pluses and minuses, there is no unanimous opinion about the winner in alder vs. ash Telecaster.

You intend to pick up a Telecaster guitar but have a hard time choosing between alder and ash for the material? In that case, you have come to the right place. Our article can tell you everything you must keep in mind about both types of wood from their look to their sound. Continue reading and you should be able to tell which wood is the ideal material for your Telecaster.

A Comparison of The Wood


For your information, the weight factor is not straightforward as the final weight depends on how the manufacturer cuts and crafts the wood. That being said, in most of the cases, the weight values of alder and ash will look like:

  • Alder: 420 – 700 kg/m3. Average 560 kg/m3
  • Ash: 450 – 550 kg/m3. Average 500 kg/m3

At a glance, it’s easy to notice that compared to ash, alder possesses a lower lowest weight and a higher highest weight. Since ash boasts a more consistent weight range than alder, it is usually lighter. Of course, at the end of the day, it all depends on how the guitar was put together. For good measure, you may want to pick the guitars up and see how they handle to make a wise investment.


When Fender was first founded, ash was the material of choice for every single Fender electric guitar and Telecaster was no exception. Telecaster guitars with ash bodies often have the following characteristic once it comes sound:

  • They have scooped mid-range.
  • They sound more open and bright compared to other wood types.

After 1956, Fender embraced alder and it soon became a prominent material for guitars of the brand. Fender did so because alder was by all accounts cheaper and easier to procure than ash. In terms of sounds, guitars with alder bodies tend to pack these traits:

  • Their EQ profiles are quite balanced.
  • They provide a punchy and full tone.


In case you don’t know, both ash and alder belong to the light wood category so not many differences exist between them. At the moment, the prevailing sentiment in the community about their appearances comprises:

  • Alder has a more consistent grain.
  • Ash has a more prominent grain.


As mentioned above, ash became rare and experienced a massive spike in price around 1956 which persuaded Fender to favor alder over ash. In addition to that, Fender made an announcement in 2020 claiming that they would no longer use ash wood in guitar production due to climate change. As a result, you should have an easy time getting your hands on a Telecaster made from alder. All you have to do is order from either Fender or other retail stores.

If you want to grab a Telecaster made from ash, you need to do some digging around custom shops for classic versions. Needless to say, the process may be time-consuming and even if you manage to find one, prepare to pay a hefty price.



Alder Ash
Weight 420 – 700 kg/m3 450 – 550 kg/m3
Sound Open and bright Punchy and full
Appearance Consistent grain Prominent grain
Price Standard Expensive
Availability Easy to find Requires searching


Fender And Its Telecaster: Facts

The Fender Telecaster’s immense popularity hardly comes as a surprise considering its overwhelming success as the world’s first mass-produced solid-body electric guitar. To be precise, Telecaster was both the first and the second since it was released along with its sister – Esquire. Of the two, Telecaster is a two-pickup while Esquire is a single-pickup. Both guitars made their debut in 1950 and brought about a revolution in the music industry.

Over time, the solid-body design of the guitars went through some changes and the type of wood used in their construction is a prime example. Actually, you’d be hard-pressed to find a type that everyone recommends due to the differences in preferences. The body of a Telecaster is commonly made from either alder or ash though there are various other options: maple, mahogany, spruce, rosewood, ebony, etc.

So does the wood used for the guitar matter? Well, a solid-body guitar does not possess a sound box that you would normally find in other guitars. Instead, it relies on an electromagnetic pickup system to directly detect the vibrations of the strings. Because of that, the type of wood used in the body of the guitar leaves more impact on the sounds it makes than usual.

However, you should know that while alder and ash influence how the guitar sounds, the effect is negligible compared to that of dedicated amps. Hence, there is no need to think about the decision too much, especially if you are not a professional player.