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Agathis: Bad or Good

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Mud Flaps, Feb 9, 2003.

Does agathis sound good?

Poll closed Feb 23, 2003.
  1. Yes

    12 vote(s)
  2. No

    10 vote(s)
  1. Mud Flaps

    Mud Flaps

    Feb 3, 2003
    Norton, MA
    I am looking to buy a 6 string fretless for a low price. But I am not looking for an instrument that belongs in a dumpster! Since the particular one I was looking at is extremely cheap, I am assuming that agathis is even worse than basswood. Someone advise me, please.
  2. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    I stated before in your other post, that it really is a matter of taste. Some people like northern Ash and some people hate it. Same thing with basswood or maple or whatever. Agathis is a medium weight wood I believe and has a slightly edgy tone with decent punch. SOmeone correct me if I'm wrong.
  3. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    Oh I forgot to mention, cort makes lots of basses out of agathis, so if your curious as to how the agathis sounds, check one of the non-composite corts. Cort makes a good bass for the price IMO. Maybe someone else knows of another company that uses much agathis in their bodies?
  4. i might be wrong, but i think that squier uses agathis on some of their stuff. like the highend squier's i mean. i'm pretty sure mine is agathis, it looks like it from what you can see through the sunburst finish, but mine is a '98 MIM jazz
  5. Rondo Music's Brice basses are made of agathis. I didn't like mine (returned it.) Lightweight and dull tone - I'm not specifically blaming agathis for the bad tone, but I assume it didn't help.
  6. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    A lot of other people like the Brice basses from Rondo.

    I'm planning on buying a 6 string Brice from Rondo some time in the next year or so. As a hobbyist on a budget the finer points of tone don't concern me on the Brice. Just the fact that it plays decent, looks OK, and makes decent sound.
  7. Don't get me wrong - it's not complete crap, but it's very low-end stuff nonetheless. Good value, but of course, don't expect anything fancy or ultra-reliable.
  8. shirojiro


    Jan 24, 2001
    San Francisco
    I like the acoustic tone of my Brice 5 string that is made of Agathis. THe only detractions that I can think of are that it's a soft wood, and that its grain isn't particularly pretty.

    I don't know what you think is unreliable about the Brice basses though. Mine is constructed well, and the neck has been stable during some rather wide temperature shifts in San Francisco.

    We'll se how it holds up in the long term, but I don't see any problems in the near future.

    But then, I have a bit of a perverse attraction to inexpensive basses.
  9. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    As do I. There's a great book called "Guitar Stories", I think it's out of print, that's mostly about cheap guitars. Like the Hondo II story, the Ibanez story, the Kay story, etc.
  10. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    I voted "Yes", agathis is bad or good.
  11. turkish

    turkish Guest

    Jul 14, 2002
    FCCAUSA, or here
    LOL good one ;)
  12. j.s.basuki

    j.s.basuki Supporting Member

    May 14, 2000
    Agathis is too soft in my opinion. In my country it is used only for furniture and door for Japan market, because they like it there. The wood texture is very smooth. Cort factory overhere uses them alot for their instrument.
  13. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Some of the DeArmonds were made from agathis. I picked up one of the Pilot Pro models when Sam Ash was blowing them out. I think it sounds pretty good. I wouldn't not buy a bass because of what was used to make it.
  14. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Me, too!
    Some planks are good, some are bad. Most planks that go into basses are good.
  15. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Seems like this question comes up about once a month.

    Agathis has a number of advantages, such as being a cheap and "renewable" tonewood in good supply. Most lower-end guitar manufacturers couldn't survive without it.

    It's not usually very pretty and it's not as hard as some other woods - but there are other soft, ugly woods being used in inexpensive-to-upscale axes.

    I have a few guitars with agathis or capped agathis bodies and they are fine, if not things of great beauty.

    As time goes on, I am beginning to believe that the tone effects of tonewood selection are either overrated, misattributed or both, compared to the many other factors that contribute to the average production instrument's sound.
  16. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    I think you might want to :bag: from the flames that, FME, should be coming very soon. :D

    from a safe :bag: :
    Not from me, I agree!
  17. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    I don't doubt at all that wood species matters, I'm only saying that the degree to which it normally does in most cases is widely overestimated, and the individual variations in tone characteristics encountered within the stock used creates a pretty broad overlap between the various species in practice. Never mind all the other variables, such as thickness, profile, etc., etc., etc.

    I think anyone who doubts that either hugely lacks experience or a basic understanding of how instruments make noise.

    Of course, misattribution, exaggeration and outright self-delusion are the very mother's milk of "tone quests." :)
  18. bovinehost


    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    You are my new best friend.
  19. 4-Banger


    Jul 21, 2010
    I recently updated my MIM with an agathis body (i bet you are thinking thats more like a downgrade. well it isn't). It used to have an Ash body. I would rate Ash above Alder and, yes, Agathis above Ash. This upgrade brings the warmest sound I have ever heard out of a Jazz Bass and I absolutely love it. I must have just hit a good piece or something :hyper:

  20. AcidFripp


    Jul 12, 2010
    Well, my Squier Jazz Bass is made of Alder and Agathis. It sounds pretty good, so I'd say Agathis is a pretty good wood.

    Although I'm still not convinced that the type of wood has a very great effect on tone.
    I mean, sure a piece of crappy plywood would probably sound different from a more luxurious wood, but still!

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