Alder bodies on high end basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bassdude15, Nov 28, 2013.


  1. Bassdude15

    Bassdude15

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2013
    Location:
    Nashville
    Why is it that lots of people choose to put alder bodies on basses with otherwise "fancy" wood?
    One example I've seen:
    Alder body, buckeye burl top, purple heart neck, wenge fingerboard.
    Why would you put such a plain body wood on an otherwise exotic bass?
    I mean, if you havre the money for a boutique bass, why not go all- out?
    :confused:
  2. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
    Location:
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    Disclosures:
    John K Custom Basses
    IMO, because alder has uniform density and saves a lot of weight.
  3. RickC

    RickC Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    I'd do it because I consistently seem to prefer the sound of alder bodied basses. So in my case, alder is "all out".

    /rick
  4. blmeier7

    blmeier7

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Location:
    Amarillo, TX
    Alder by itself is typically not that "pretty" of a wood. Many builders will use a top wood over alder for a higher end look. I personally prefer alder bodies for the heavy mids.
  5. spade2you

    spade2you

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    Location:
    somewhere in middle America
    Alder and ash have good tone and are reasonable weight.
  6. Bassdude15

    Bassdude15

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2013
    Location:
    Nashville
    Now ASH I understand-it can have a gorgeous flame figure:ninja:
  7. Spaldo

    Spaldo

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2005
    Location:
    Ballaarat, Australia
    But.....alder is so boooooring to look at :rollno:
  8. bass12

    bass12 Fueled by chocolate Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    I have an alder MTD 535 and an alder Sadowsky on order. I personally like the look of a nice piece of alder but I honestly don't spend a whole lot of time looking at the backs of my basses. I've liked the sound of a lot of alder/rosewood basses (which could just be a coincidence) and alder is generally pretty lightweight. I have to say that if the looks of the back of your bass are at the top of your priority list when choosing an instrument then something is weird...
  9. CrashClint

    CrashClint I Play Bass therefore I Am Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2005
    Location:
    Wake Forest, NC
    My next Roscoe will have an Alder core with a maple top and back. I love the sound Alder produces.
  10. gidbass

    gidbass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    But, listen to it...;)

    A simple veneer over it and that alder body rocks in sound, weight, and asthetics...;)

    Just IMHO..
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I prefer solid finishes so I don't care what it uses as long as it sounds good.
  12. Relayer71

    Relayer71

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    Location:
    NYC
    But that's where "buckeye burl top, purple heart neck, wenge fingerboard" come in. You need to balance it out.
  13. WoodyG3

    WoodyG3 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    As John said, alder is a nice, even, consistent, wood. Most "fancy" woods would add weight, and if you have an exotic wood top, people don't see the wood under it anyway.
  14. Nikoubis

    Nikoubis

    Joined:
    May 3, 2007
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    This, though most "traditional" bursts look pretty nice on alder as well.
  15. Phalex

    Phalex Yeah, I've got the moves like Jagger. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Location:
    G.R. MI
    Now lets just wait a minute here....... Isn't Alder an exotic tonewood in Australia? :bassist:
  16. roninrindra

    roninrindra

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2013
    Alder and ash is a standard for a bass tone...I think alder wood is more expensive than other body wood ...and become rare now
  17. Bassdude15

    Bassdude15

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2013
    Location:
    Nashville
    Funny thing is, other than the alder body, this thing was the fanciest thing I ever saw:-7-string, giant abalone dragon inlay along the fretboard,5-band eq, series/parallel for each of the (3) hand wound soap bars, piezo pickup with separate 3-band eq, macassar ebony bridge, nut, and pickup covers. Not to forget the neck was FLAME purple heart with BASTOGNE WALNUT laminations.
    BUt I guess whoever ordered it must REALLY love the sound of Alder
  18. bass12

    bass12 Fueled by chocolate Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    And how about those boring maple necks! Someone should make a buckeye burl neck! :smug:
  19. Bassdude15

    Bassdude15

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2013
    Location:
    Nashville
    The trouble is, despite how awesome it looks, buckeye burl literally adds no tone to the bass; maple does. Certain types of spalted or quilted maple can actually be really beautiful IMHO.
  20. seang15

    seang15 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2008
    Location:
    Cary NC
    Why do people still feel wood affects sound!? On a slab?? :confused:

Share This Page