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Wood choice for "mid-range burpy" tone

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by soaf, Dec 10, 2013.


  1. soaf

    soaf

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2013
    I prefer a bass tone with a nice mid bark (think jazz bass with the mids boosted). I want to do a build and are considering woods for the fretboard, body and neck such as wenge and ebony. Which wood combinations would give me that sort of tone?
     
  2. songwriter21

    songwriter21 Bassist for Chris Higbee Supporting Member

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    Mahogany body, maple neck. People say it doesn't matter, but from experience of lots of basses, the mahogany comes through for me better with mids than others. Wenge could work, but it's oily as hell, so I stay with mahogany, and wenge is a pricey exotic, too. Even with neck-thrus, I think it matters...case-in-point, the Ibanez 676 and 776PB. Exact same basses, except the woods. I could totally hear more authority in the mids from the 776PB, which has a mahogany body, whereas the 676 has an ash body.

    The fretboard doesn't really matter, though, since it's a pretty thin piece of wood. I'm just used to rosewood, and because it's oily like wenge (okay for a fingerboard, imo), it seems to hold up better than a dry wood, like maple or ebony.
     
  3. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

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    I would definitely vote Mahogany as well.

    But, I think pickups has a lot to do with it as well. I have two Mahogany Spectors. My 5 string with a single MM pickup at the bridge nails that tone. It's very 'Geddy Lee Wal'-ish and I've never played another bass with that much mid burp.

    But my Spector NS2J with Jazz pickups gives the opposite of that tone, so I'd say go Mahogany with a big fat humbucker at the bridge.
     
  4. Bassdude15

    Bassdude15

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    Feb 26, 2013
    Location:
    Nashville
    Koa body( a bit brighter with more mids than mahogany, kind of a cross between mahogany and alder)
    maple neck
    snakewood fretboard(very bright)
    MM pickup at the bridge position
     
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  6. Floridabwoy

    Floridabwoy

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  7. bass12

    bass12 Fueled by chocolate Supporting Member

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    You'd be better off posting this in the luthiers forum.
     
  8. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings Supporting Member

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    It's been said before, but not yet on this thread...

    A bass guitar is a wholistic instrument, which is to say it's the sum of it's parts... woods, shapes and profiles, pickups, strings, hardware, build quality, etc.

    Asking for wood suggestions for a particular tone goal is a bit like asking what spice will add more flavor to my food.

    Just saying....
     
  9. songwriter21

    songwriter21 Bassist for Chris Higbee Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I'd +1 that.
     
  10. songwriter21

    songwriter21 Bassist for Chris Higbee Supporting Member

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    I've seemed to get better burp with buckers, as well. They just seem to have more "heft" and beef to them, by adding good muscle to your mids.
     
  11. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member

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    Actually, that's the answer to the bigger question, yes!

    If you're just asking for that "which lumber do I grab first to go that direction?" starting point, try mahogany.
     
  12. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass Gnarsty bass tones Supporting Member

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    I agree with others who say that burp -- or any other kind of tone -- starts with pickups and pickup location. For burp specifically, go for at least one pickup near the bridge ... the Warwick Thumb has two pickups down in that range.

    Get the pickups sorted out first, and then figure out what other factors (such as woods) will enhance the effect.
     
  13. Randyt

    Randyt Supporting Member

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    a jazz style pup (single coil...many on the market)
    Alder body
    Maple neck!

    that's my recipe for grindy burpy stuff!!
     
  14. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative Supporting Member

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    I'm a sucker for mahogany, but I bet the pickup placement would have more to do with it than any other single contribution.
     
  15. mongo2

    mongo2

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    See: Rocco Prestia.
     
  16. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass Gnarsty bass tones Supporting Member

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    There's the Rocco funk burp, and many kinds of fusion burp: Jaco, Berlin, Manring, Egan... what kind of burp are we looking for?

    Looks like Gary Willis burps with just one bridge pickup here:
     
  17. grendle

    grendle

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    I would ask, what kind of attack and "ploom" do you want? To me the mids are more effected by pickup placement as others have said. The Warwick thumb and MM seem to get that the best. I would stick close to that pickup location.
     
  18. sonic assassin

    sonic assassin

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    i personally find better mids in using single coils. the inherent mid scoop in humbuckers is sort of the opposite of what you are going for here
     
  19. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass Gnarsty bass tones Supporting Member

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    +1

    If the humbucker coils are wired in series instead of parallel, the scoop should be avoided. But I believe most buckers are wired in parallel.

    (The split-coil P pickup is wired in series, and of course is very mid-present, but that's an oddball)
     
  20. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

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    :eyebrow:

    Umm..a series wired humbucker will have a HUGE mid boost over single coils...especially TWO single coils with the blend in the middle. That's the very definition of mid scoop.
     
  21. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

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    Series is actually the norm, and gives quite the mid boost....as proven by your P bass example.
     

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