NBD! GFS Paulownia content

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by kevinsbass, Feb 25, 2013.


  1. kevinsbass

    kevinsbass

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    Not New Bass Day, but New Body Day!

    I bought my surf greenish P bass in the late '80s. It had an '82 Bullet Deluxe neck and what I eventually determined to be a DiMarzio body with a solid brass pickguard. My shoulder could no longer stand that 11.5 pound monster and I looked for lighter alternatives. I loved the Road Worn P, but I'm sort of attached to this bass and its neck. A replacement body was in order. I decided to go cheap and try a paulownia body from Guitar Fetish. They didn't have surf green in stock, so I said what the heck, let's try something new: a sunburst. It was supposed to be 3.5 pounds but turned out to be 2.75 pounds! The neck pocket required a little trimming and shimming, but it is now ready to play at 7 lb 4 oz. Amazing! I tiny bit of neck dive, easily tamed by resting my right arm on the bass. I think I will replace the strat-style knobs with chrome barrels or maybe jazz knobs. What do you think? Here you can see the old bass in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SU8BTgo_KFg

    Attached Files:

  2. Snakeman1066

    Snakeman1066

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Location:
    Central Valley
    If you have never heard of Royal Paulownia it is a fantastic wood choice...It is a extemely fine grained, very light, and warp resistant. Not to mention Paulownia is extremely fast growing; some species of plantation Paulownia can be harvested for saw timber in as little as five years. Once the trees are harvested, they regenerate from their existing root systems, earning them the name of the "Phoenix or Dragon tree." Paulownia has the ability to reclaim ecologically stressed and degenerate patches of land relatively quickly. Its root systems run deep and penetrate compacted and contaminated soils which have resulted from industrialized development. Paulownia is also a highly developed phyto-remediator, increasing the organic content of degraded soils, processing and filtering contaminants through the uptake of its vascular system, and emitting oxygen into the atmosphere. The bark is made into numerous types of dyes, and the leaves are used in vermicide preparations. Tone wise it is very similar to Ash! It is also rot resistant and a has a very high ignition point. So from an ecological (read green tree hugger) standpoint this wood can't be beat! plus it's quite attractive

    I have two Trabens made from this wood and no not neck heavy at all, they balance quite well...
  3. Scott in Dallas

    Scott in Dallas

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    Dallas, north Texas
    Disclosures:
    Builder and Owner: DJ Ash Guitars
    Interesting. I now have a favorite body wood. Thank you for the information!
  4. Snakeman1066

    Snakeman1066

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Location:
    Central Valley
    You can probably fix the neck dive by adding a high mass bridge or ultra lite tuners
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  6. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Nice bass! Good job on the stain.

    Paulownia is great. It's not bad looking; looks like pine & lightweight but stronger & slightly heavier than balsa. It's perfect for shaping paipo or alaia boards too. Water resistant & floats well. Coat with boiled linseed oil & you're good to go. Wait we were talking about basses.
  7. Snakeman1066

    Snakeman1066

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Location:
    Central Valley
    no problem...these are very common trees used for just about everything in most Asian countries...
  8. Diesel Kilgore

    Diesel Kilgore

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    Location:
    Modesto, CA
    I have been very interested in a GFS body for a build. How is the finish on these? GFS claims the finish is very solid and high end.
  9. stepswork4me

    stepswork4me Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Location:
    Across the creek from Cinci
    Had the same thought.
  10. Avalon

    Avalon

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    Congratulations to the OP on a great discovery and what appears to be a fantastic bass!

    Another interesting tidbit on Royal Paulownia, here in the United States, it has become an invasive species. It has taken hold along the Hudson River in New York and in urban lots in NY City. In appearance, it is somewhat like a Catalpa tree except it has round pods and blue flowers instead of the long beans and white flowers that the Catalpas are known for. The branches are brittle.

    By the way, I wonder why I've never heard of Catalpa being used as a tone wood. It's not that common, but I would think it similar to Paulownia. I would not be surprised if both trees had developed from the same Genus.
  11. IronLung1986

    IronLung1986

    Joined:
    May 19, 2010
    Location:
    Seattle, WA

    seemingly a miracle wood! very cool.

    and the bass looks awesome too!
  12. EagleMoon

    EagleMoon Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Location:
    Wexford, PA
    Very cool body. I've looked at those myself and they looked nice. Also interested in the quality of the finish.
  13. kevinsbass

    kevinsbass

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    Actually, I bought the pre-finished body, so the work was done by someone else. Others have asked about the finish. It looks great, but it is a hard and thin finish over a soft wood, so I would think it could be damaged easily if dropped or hit with something. I'll have to see how it holds up to gigging, but I'm pretty careful with my basses: my T-40 I bought new in '78(?) has two dings on it.
  14. Gord_oh

    Gord_oh Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    Location:
    Michigan
    been wanting to pull the trigger on one of those. drilling for a bridge scares me.
  15. brotherbassj

    brotherbassj Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    Location:
    Virginia
    Disclosures:
    Jim Dunlop USA, King Kong Cases, Golden Eagle Energy Drink
    me too unfortunately :help:
  16. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Location:
    Willow Street, PA
    Disclosures:
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    That pickguard is awesome! Where'd you get it? Was it part of the original bass?
  17. kevinsbass

    kevinsbass

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    Yeah, I love that pickguard. It was on the bass when I got it in the late '80s. You can see it in the video I linked to in the first post.
  18. Scott in Dallas

    Scott in Dallas

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    Dallas, north Texas
    Disclosures:
    Builder and Owner: DJ Ash Guitars
    Catalpa in my experience is very pretty but not terribly strong. My parents got some fast-growing trees for their property several years ago that was called Dragon wood or something, and I don't know that I'd use that wood for anything that I was putting that much tension on. It hadn't occurred to me until just now that the Dragon wood could be Paulownia. The trees are mostly water and they break even more easily than Catalpas do.
  19. kevinsbass

    kevinsbass

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    Played and sounded great last night. Easy on the shoulder, too. I took off those strat knobs and put on some chrome barrel knobs from Allparts.

    Attached Files:

  20. richntiff

    richntiff

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    Location:
    Northern Wisconsin
    Very curious to hear how the durability of that body turns out! I have some neck issues (extruded discs) and a heavy bass is not a fun deal at all. Would love to put together an inexpensive lightweight gigging bass :)
  21. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2002
    Location:
    Below Ground, Detroit area
    If it's plug & play & floats the band, you're good to go! Nice finish.

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