Northern Ash / Alder Blend on Lee Sklar Signature

Northern Ash on the bass side adds great sustain, clarity and punch to the B and E strings. Alder on the treble side keeps the G and D strings nice and warm sounding.

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The traditional way of combining body woods to control tone is to laminate horizontally. For example laminate a thick maple top on a mahogany core to increase the brightness of the mahogany. This system works well to alter the tone response of all the strings as a group. However, our experience with the Novax Fanned-Fret ® system has opened up a whole new way of thinking about an instrument. What if we could take this concept one step further by focusing on the needs of the bass and treble strings separately? In effect creating a body that naturally balances tone between the bass and treble strings. At the time this had never been done before.

To achieve this naturally equalizing body we turned traditional thinking on its side by laminating across the width of the body. This allows us to use a higher density wood such as Northern Ash for the bass side to accentuate the highs and give power to the lows without affecting the treble strings. We then use a lower density wood (Alder) for the treble side to bring out the resonance and warm up the treble strings without making the bass strings sound muddy. For such a simple idea the results are pretty dramatic – warm, punchy treble strings with solid snappy bass strings.