newbie question...

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by dudi8, Mar 15, 2014.


  1. dudi8

    dudi8 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Hungary
    Hi!
    i saw many DB's that are plywood but looked very figured in the sides and back, some golden and some blackish stripes..
    isn't only carved basses are figured?
    is it the varnish?

    Thanks!
  2. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    No, plywood is still wood and it can have a grain pattern to it.
  3. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    Connecticut
    You're seeing the pattern on the veneer (outer layer) of the plywood.
  4. dudi8

    dudi8 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Hungary
    So the veneer isnt making the pattern?
  5. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Plywood is just thin layers of wood glued together. Whatever is in the middle is likely not pretty, just functional. The outer layer is what you see. Nicer plywoods have nicer A-Side veneers. That's the part that you see.

    If you're looking at a bass and trying to tell if it's solid or laminate wood, look at the edges, rather than the face. If you see layers, it's plywood. If the edges are painted a dark color, chances are it's plywood. If you see grain running through the wood top to back, it's solid.
  6. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    Connecticut
    The veneer IS responsible for the pattern you see, as I said and as Troy explained so well in detail.
  7. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Location:
    Appleton
    Plywood often has grain pattern a bit wilder looking than a solid piece of wood as the log is cut like a giant roll of paper towel adding a distorted or widening of that particular wood species natural grain pattern. Even board cut wood has grain that varies considerably depending on how the log is cut apart as there are several established ways rectangular boards are cut out of that cylindrical log.

    Either way, you are looking at real wood, and each instrument looks unique. The look you prefer has to be a balance of your personal tastes, your budget, and suitable species for the instrument.

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