Agathis- what's it comparable to?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RBrownBass, Oct 18, 2004.

  1. RBrownBass

    RBrownBass Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    I know it's a conifer, but that's all I've been able to find out. As a body wood, what would it most sound like? Ash? Alder?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. It's mahogany at the price of pine. The rest should be obvious.
  3. thomas85


    Mar 25, 2004
    packing foam and wood glue
  4. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    I play low end Ibe's which are Agathis - at least the mid '90's - 2000 ones. There's plenty of info on the net from doing a general google search. But I've read about it and wood's in general. There was a great article by many of the top bass luthier's but I lost it. And they didn't agree about a lot of things.

    In terms of species, general comparisons can be made from wood to wood but like statistics, it's fairly useless for specific application as two slabs of wood from different places from the same board can produce dramatic variation in tone, more so than you'd get from a different species of wood. My basses vary from dark to bright.

    I also swapped a neck from the acoustically dark bass to the bright bass once and the bright bass became dark. I'd guess 90% of the tone was in the neck. If that is typical, then what comes from the body appears to be fairly insignificant, short of some critical harmonics that might be produced and are probably unpredictable.

    Also, I removed a 3/4" x 4" x 7" routing (roughly 15% of the body) from beneath the strings of all these basses so I could mount any pup configuration and I couldn't tell and difference in the tone as a result(except maybe the dark bass became a little more of a thudder).

    The bottom line is it's the tone of the composite of the bass that matters regardless of what it's made up of.

    There's also plenty of info on woods in the luthiers forum.
  5. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Agathis is most often used on very inexpensive basses like my Brice V2. Since the sound of the bass is a conglmeration of parts, and in the case of Agathis the parts are usually very cheap, I don't think it would make a difference that you would care about at the price.

    Personally I think it's a fine body wood, I love my Brice V2, great bass for the money and sounds fine, too. :bassist: