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P Bass Body Wood types

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by KablesP, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. KablesP

    KablesP

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    If you have a P bass and swap out the bodies with different woods and the same electronics, hardware , and neck, how much of a difference would there be in tone?


    A guy on ebay paints bass bodies and he has a few different types of wood so I thought I would ask you guys.


    On a side note, how do you feel about instruments that do not have "classic" paint job? I kind of wanted a custom body with some sort of graphical design that isnt just a normal color,burst, etc.

    [​IMG]
  2. JellinWellen

    JellinWellen

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    As far as the wood goes, there's no difference in tone. Tone woods for solid bodied electric guitars is just a way to sell different woods at higher prices. If things like wood really mattered then things like inlays and pick guards would have huge impacts on tone: but they don't.
  3. JustForSport

    JustForSport

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  4. Davo-London

    Davo-London

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    Jellin expresses one view. The alternative view is the wood choice does affect tone.

    Check out the Warmoth site for info.


    For Precisions I have alder and ash and I prefer the alder but the differences are subtle. Either way these are the classic woods for Precisions.

    Davo
  5. Hapa

    Hapa

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    Actually Swamp ash costs more, it is not as prevalent as Alder. It requires filling pores when finishing - more labor. It is also a little trickier to sand properly.

    Lots of finish does effect tone.

    OP I will assume that you have researched who is doing the work. As long as the paint is fairly thin or has been sanded down. it won't add much to the thickness of the finish. If the guy is using regular paint then it will have all sorts of irregular heights that will not become flat until there is enough top coat to sand down to become level. The likely hood that the finish will be thick is very high. If he's really good at shooting nitro it should be thinner than poly...but there are a lot of variables.

    to Answer the OP directly: I always dug graphics on guitars when done right. If you are thinking ESP then you are going to be disappointed. If I were to name a #1 in graphic finishes ESP would be it. AFAIK they draft a design and get a printed graphic to go over the guitar that is perfectly sanded/shaped and then finish goes over it.
  6. shaginwagin

    shaginwagin

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    Holy crap! That is sick!!! I like to see the classic shaped basses in different and weird paint schemes. It's like when you see a '68 Chevelle painted lime green. If done right, it works. I have a few crazy ideas for refinishing another p bass. I would get that body, but if you are gonna do it do it right!
  7. lz4005

    lz4005

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    Some bodies sound good, some sound bad.
    Even if it's the same species of wood, it may sound different.
    If you really like the sound of the bass, don't F with it. Build a new one around the new body.
  8. PJRL

    PJRL

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    Very true. All species will have there given tone range, and some will overlap. Malpe board VS Rosewood will have a different tone as well. It is kinda one of those things, if you find a bass/body that sounds good to you, you might not want to mess with it.
    For the same reason you will see a lot of pro players will have a bass or guitar that is there # 1 and they won't part with it.
  9. Robus

    Robus

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    I like that paint job. Second the suggestion to build a new bass around it if you like the one you have.

    The idea that wood doesn't affect tone is a religion. You'll never change their minds. If you've ever played a really bright Tele with a natural ash body, or compared a Les Paul with a maple cap to one with a solid mahogany body, you don't need to be told. Or wondered why two identical instruments right off the assembly line sound different (it must be subtle differences in the wiring or components, the fit and finish, gremlins--ANYTHING but the wood)...
  10. bassbenj

    bassbenj

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    This ^^^

    Ash is brighter and Alder is more mellow. Alder is the classc P-bass tone. My Squier P-bass is Agathis which gives it a tone sort of half-way between ash and alder. It's the one fault I have with the bass even though the effect of wood is VERY minor (everyone agrees...except the guys who say that is no effect). Still it's enough to irritate me.

    And a finish is another minor effect as is the variability of the wood even if it's all the same kind. So if you are going for graphics I just wouldn't worry about the wood and go for the luck of the draw hoping that all factors just come together right. If they don't the effect will be minor anyway.
  11. JellinWellen

    JellinWellen

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    That's because different pot values, caps, and variations in pickup windings DO affect the tone in significant ways. One bass may be wired so when it's tone is wide open it = the same bass next it with its tone knob 3/4s up.

    Sorry for being so radical and outrageous.
    :rollno:
  12. 39-Bassist

    39-Bassist

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    I have found that (in MY opinion and ear) type of wood makes a little difference BUT the thickness of the body also adds more of a change. I like Ash (Not Swamp Ash) and alder for woods.
    The graphics idea would be cool if you had the money to do as needed...have fun if you go that route.
  13. PJRL

    PJRL

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    It would be interesting if you to change all your electronics over to the other bass and see what you get.
  14. Robus

    Robus

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    My money's on the gremlins.

    The more I see that bass paint job, the more I like it. It's got kind of a Dr. Seuss vibe.
  15. JustForSport

    JustForSport

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    "change all your electronics" (AND strings AND neck) "over to the other bass and see what you get"
    Hasn't been done yet...in any of the threads I've read- just speculation.
    And I've got my own observances, but don't have 2 of anything to a/b.
  16. JellinWellen

    JellinWellen

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    I'd do that, but my next bass is gonna be a stingray and not another P.

    :cool:
  17. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

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    As you've already discovered, there are at least as many opinions as there are TB members regarding whether wood makes a difference in tone. Ask any luthier the question and you almost certainly will be told that wood does make a difference in tone (with the possible exception of Dan Atkinson).

    As for me, I say it does make a difference, but not nearly as much as the pickups and electronics. I'd say alder would be a good choice for your P bass.

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