To answer your question, yes and no. Materials and methods of working with the strings are very important. Specific woods allow for things like sustain, active and passive tonal consistencies. Tone is a big deal with many musicians... That why you have hardbody guitars like LP's, and many others that musician swear by.
A good example is if your happen to be a Slash fan (Saul Hudson of Guns&Roses and others) used a Jose Arredondo amp and a couple of very specific LP's for the recording of his most current album. The amp gave him a specific amplified tone, but the guitar tone was a separate issue. The pickups are of course part of it and when put with the kind of bridge, tailpiece, fretboard, strings & hardwood give off a specific tone. Another example would be Joe Bonomassa. Metal removes lower frequencies and the more you use the more sterile and tinny the instrument sounds.
Kramer experimented with aluminum necks back in the 70 which some artists liked, but very few used. Today those Kramers are quite rare and collectors items, but very rarely used in recording or live performances because of their tonal qualities.
The pickups are responsible of converting that tone to an electrical signal which is sent down a path to an amplifier. Pickups have an influence in sound and tone, which is why so many artists looks for specific kinds of pickups with things like a certain amount of ohms, windings, type of copper, type of magnets, winding patterns and etc. All those considerations play with that natural tone that comes from the oscillation of the strings and the resonance of that within the body of the instrument.
Lastly, how you play also has influence on your tone also. All things to keep into consideration, but when you use metal you narrow and limit tonally to a very specific frequency range. Hence the tone sucking.
~Steve (AKA: Alfa Funatic)
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