'' Tonewood: To be or not to be, that is the question... I believe there is a phenomenon that I (a mere commoner) will perilously refer to as the "coupling effect". As it pertains to the Laws of Physics, the ultimate question isn't whether this quirk of nature does or does not exist (I think it most certainly does) but rather: To what degree does it affect anything or everything? I happen to believe there is a profound effect, but that's just me... Hence: The strings are attached to the guitar (obviously); At one end they go over the nut and are anchored to the tuning posts, at the other end they are either attached to the bridge/tailpiece itself or anchored directly to the body. Anyway, as the strings vibrate, this vibration resonates through the body. In turn, these resonant frequencies are transferred back to the strings and the resulting fundamental frequencies, along with many complex overtones, are ultimately captured by the pickups. So, yes, the pickups are just picking up the string vibrations, but the overtones born from being coupled to the body are all part of what makes a particular guitar sound like it does - and I just so happen to believe that this transfer of energy contributes to what we call the instrument's "timbre". Need proof of this transfer? Place your ear against the back of the neck whilst strumming. The pickups themselves are also "coupled" to the guitar, since they are attached to it (either directly or indirectly), thus picking up some of these resonant frequencies, although probably to a much smaller degree. Some pickups are apt to be more sensitive to this than others. Tapping on them (and the body) with your pick (amp cranked) should provide an idea of how much. This effect can also be applied to amplifiers - while sitting on a stage floor for instance - where they can be "coupled" to the stage, in turn affecting their perceived tone (bass amps in particular). Of course, the only way to truly demonstrate this phenomenon (or lack there of) is to have the strings and pickups suspended in mid-air with neither of them coupled to anything and see how that sounds going though an amplifier... ...then instantaneously transfer everything over to an appropriate guitar assembly - using some sort of Star Trek level of technology of course - so we can compare the two sounds in real time! Anyway, should anyone decide to take on this noble challenge, be sure to Youtube it using your smartphone so we can all witness the amazing results... ...ok, now all you "nay-sayers" can trash me if you wish... '