Alder-Rosewood vs Ash-Maple - Alfik response to DanAtkinson experiment

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Alfik, Feb 19, 2013.


?

On which instrument was played the third example?

  1. Ash-Maple

    18.9%
  2. Alder-Rosewood

    54.3%
  3. I do not hear a difference

    26.8%
  1. Alfik

    Alfik

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    I prepare this test in response to Mr DanAtkinson ASH vs ALDER thread popular on this forum till today.

    Last Year I published it on polish forum BassCity with very interesting results.

    Those examples were not recoded for this test purpose. I’ve recorded those samples during daily practice time mainly for controlling my progress and trying to get as similar setup for my two fretted Jazz basses as possible. After some time I realized that those samples are ideal for this test. It is Jamiroquai bass line from “give hate a chance”

    The basses are:

    1. 1971 Fender Jazz Bass Alder - Rosewood with Badass II bridge; Fender American Vintage 62 pickups; CTS 250K pots and CTS No-Load tone pot; Hipshot string retainer; brass nut.

    2. 1978 Fender Jazz Bass Ash - Maple with Badass II bridge; Fender American Vintage 62 pickups; CTS 250K pots and CTS No-Load tone pot; Hipshot string retainer; brass nut.

    Both basses have pickguard removed for sonic reason. In studio - if instrument is resonant enough, there is very little but audible difference in tone with and without pickguard at least for my own engineer ears. You can laugh about it or simply check if the tone difference is worth for You or not, but please do not discuss it here. Discussion on this topic on polish forum takes about 100 pages...
    Both basses have been refretted by the same luthnier, with the same fret wire. Necks pockets of both basses have been cleaned and tightened. Papers and lacquer were removed from neck pockets. They were setup identically. Strings were Ernie Ball Stainless 0,45’ – 0,100’ about Two month old and equally wearied on both basses. They were both recorded using modified SWR Grandprix preamp with identical settings. Bridge pickup and tone fully open neck pickup fully closed.

    Examples:

    1. Ash-Maple:



    2. Alder-Rosewood:





    After two days of practice I’ve recorded this example with the identical settings:



    on one of those basses.

    The question is - on which bass I’ve played it: Ash-Maple or Alder-Rosewood?

    Those basses were used:

    [​IMG]


    THIS IS NOT APRIL FOOL'S I SWEAR THAT THOSE EXAMPLES WERE RECORDED ON BASSES AS WRITTEN ABOVE AND PURPOSE OF THIS TEST IS NOT TO FOOLISH ANYBODY FROM OUR BASS COMMUNITY. IT IS MADE FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO DO NOT HAVE OPPORTUNITY TO COMPARE OTHERWISE IDENTICAL BASSES IN RECORDING SITUATION. SO PLEASE VOTE. I KNOW THE TEST IS VERY HARD SO IT IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOUR EARS IF YOU WROTE THE WRONG ANSWER.


    p.s. Sorry for my bad english
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2014
  2. alexlocurto

    alexlocurto

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2011
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Love the song choice! :D
  3. EagleMoon

    EagleMoon

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Location:
    Wexford, PA
    I can hear a little bit of harsh brittleness to the tone in the ash/maple which is one reason I've never liked it as much.
  4. Flaked Beans

    Flaked Beans

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2005
    Location:
    NYC
    what i hear on my tiny htc cell phone earphones is ash-maple..
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  6. unclejane

    unclejane Guest

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Can't tell, both sound the same.
  7. David Jayne

    David Jayne

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Location:
    Brookfield, CT
    Lol.....here we go again!
    Ima just gonna watch, from over here in my comfy chair.
  8. Smallmouth_Bass

    Smallmouth_Bass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    To me, 1 and 2 sound the same. 3 sounds a little bit brighter, but still really close.
  9. 1bassleft

    1bassleft

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2012
    Location:
    NW England
    I voted alder/rosewood but, just like the poll results so far, I was inclined 35/35/30% In fact, if you followed up with "April fool! All three were the same sample!", I'd not be totally surprised.

    I'm not going to make excuses either - wearing decent h/phones. To think I've long thought the variation would be obvious :eyebrow:. I still think maple 'feels' snappier - at least until someone posts seismographs or something :)
  10. jbybj

    jbybj Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I could care less about the woods, great playing and an awesome tone all around.
  11. Energy

    Energy

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2006
    Location:
    Germany
    Even with my Sennheiser headphones I had to concentrate very hard to even hear a difference between the 1st and 2nd sample, so I don't dare to vote for either. :(
  12. NeroJazz

    NeroJazz Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2011
    Location:
    Denmark
    ^^+1

    I bet if you were slapping the difference in tone would be more apparent, but in these clips it's really hard to tell the difference.
  13. JustinStrings

    JustinStrings

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2012
    I think I'll say it's Alder-Rosewood. It sounds more like the second sample. But they all sound very similar.

    Edit: Beautiful basses by the way. :bassist:
  14. SolarMan

    SolarMan Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2011
    Location:
    Marlborough, MA
    Interesting, I always say that slapping gives me the least idea of the tone. (also, if it was slapping, I would have left the thread, lol.)

    I voted alder/rosewood.

    I love this kind of "test" - Thanks!
  15. stepswork4me

    stepswork4me

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Location:
    Across the creek from Cinci
    I hear no real difference.... If there is any, I might say that the third is more akin to the second and that it's alder-rosewood. But I really don't know.
  16. backup

    backup

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    Location:
    Saturn, Solar System
    the first one has more fret buzz than the other two so i vote alder rosewood too. but i don't think that has anything to do with the wood. also the second and third sample seem to have a warmer sound overall compared to the more aggressive first one. that might be the wood.
  17. Alfik

    Alfik

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    The question is - Do You hear this "a little bit of harsh brittleness to the tone" in the third example or not
  18. TomA1234

    TomA1234

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Location:
    Fareham, England
    The third clip seems to have a slightly brighter sound than the alder/rosewood clip, so I'm going for the Ash/maple bass.
    It is a really small difference though, and with any more instruments I doubt I would be able to tell any difference at all.
  19. esoxhntr

    esoxhntr Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    Location:
    Markham, Ontario
    I went alder rosewood - thought I heard just a tiny bit more roundness in the tone on #2 and #3.
  20. Dragan

    Dragan

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    I'd say alder rosewood. harsh and brittle which is pretty common in such case. bridge pick up only,which I personally don't appreciate unless you re Jaco Pastorius.
  21. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass Gnarsty bass tones Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Location:
    Maryland, between Bawlmer & DC
    Excellent thread, thank you. Nice playing, too.

    Using decent headphones, I voted alder/rosewood: I hear more similarity with 2 than with 1.

    But even if I am correct, you have demonstrated that there is no significant difference in tone between the three clips.

    When it comes to tone of electric basses, electronics trumps wood. If one of those tracks was a P-bass, then few of us would have trouble telling them apart.... unless you soloed the neck pickup on the J-basses. ;)

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