Agathis wood?!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by FungusHumungous, Jul 6, 2003.

  1. I recently found out the exact type of wood my Cort Action has...
    It's Agathis?
    Ever heard of it.
    I'm curious of what it would look like if I sanded off the walnut stain and tung oiled it or something. Any clue?

    I'm in a very serious stage of researching pickup modifications, new look, new bridge, etc.

    Also: How much sound imporovement would there be if I upgraded my Cort stock bridge to say a Badass or Gotoh?

  2. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    It's a cousin of mahogany, I believe.
  3. mslatter


    Apr 8, 2003
    Samples I've seen have been pretty blonde without a lot of grain or figuring. It wouldn't be terribly interesting in a natural finish, IMO.

    As for the bridge, I hope it's not one of their two-piece "Fortress" bridges. Those require body routing, so if you take it off, you'll be starting with two giant holes in the body of the instrument, and no aftermarket parts to fill them. If it's a surface-mount bridge, you'll have better luck. Whether there'd be a sound improvement or not is anyone's guess.
  4. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
  5. Toasted


    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    take the scratchplate off dammit!

    whack in some decent pups and it will sound fine.
  6. Turock


    Apr 30, 2000
    Agathis is in the pine family. It's most often used in making furniture. IIRC, there are something like 20 species of agathis in the world, found mainly (perhaps only) in the southwestern Pacific.
  7. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I'm glad you posted that. I had it in my head that it was a type of pine, but I wasn't sure where I'd read it. It's nice to get a confirmation.

    Coincidentally, I've got one of these Retros on the way. I'm sure I'll post all about it when it gets here this week! :bassist:
  8. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Where DO you get these beautiful toys?

    Mmmm... Retro in black with a black pickgaurd. Oh yeah.
  9. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I was thinking a tort guard...
  10. Woodboy


    Jun 9, 2003
    St. Louis, MO
  11. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    You would.

    So, Jazz necked 1.5 at the nut, or the slightly wider version akin to those found on the Cort Curbow's? (40mm, or 1.6", I believe) is it the Cort Curbow neck on a cooler body?

    Do you even know?
  12. Turock


    Apr 30, 2000
    From what you have written and your username, I can only assume that you are more knowledgeable about wood than me. I'm sure you are right about it being used because of its size and location. As for if it is a really a pine or not, all I can go by is what someone else that should know more than me has to say on the subject, for instance:

    Web Knowledge Online describes it as:
    Agathis - n : kauri pine

    GardenWeb's HortiPlex Plant Database describes it as:
    Agathis australis - kauri; kauri pine
    Agathis dammara - dammar pine; amboina pine

    EcoNorthland has this to say:
    The kauri tree, Agathis australis, is New Zealand's largest and most famous native tree. It is a type of conifer or pine tree which grows in the subtropical northern part of the North Island.
  13. My bass is made of agathis. It's an all right wood. It resonates pretty well. Only my bass doesn't look anywhere as good as that Curbow Retro. :eek:
  14. Woodboy


    Jun 9, 2003
    St. Louis, MO
    Very interesting sources. It could boil down to the problem of using common names. Think about how many types of woods are called "cedar": Western Red Cedar, Spanish Cedar, Cedar of Lebanon, Eastern Red (pencil) cedar, Atlantic White Cedar. All called "cedar", but none are in the same family. The common denominator is these trees all produce lightweight, fragrant wood. The word "Pine" in New Zealand could mean a completely different tree than "Pine" in the U.S. Whose "Pine" is the real "Pine?" It probably depends on where you come from!
  15. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Oregon, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    That would be interesting if amboyna burl comes from agathis trees. Amboyna burl is one of my favorite burls - beautiful, but more understated than, say, buckeye (which I hate).
  16. pilotjones


    Nov 8, 2001
    Agathis spp.
    Family: Araucariaceae

    Other Common Names: Dakua makadre (Fiji), Kauri pine (New Zealand), Bindang (Sarawak), Menghilan (Sabah), Damar minyak (Malaya), Tolong (Brunei), Almaciga (Philippines).

    Distribution: Widely distributed in Indochina, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, and extending to New Guinea, New Zealand, and Fiji. Found from sea level to high altitudes.

    The Tree: Varies with species but may reach a height of 200 ft with trunk diameters of 5 to 7 ft, sometimes reaching 10 ft and more. Boles are straight, cylindrical, without buttresses, and clear for long lengths.

    The Wood:

    General Characteristics: Heartwood pale cream, golden brown, to dark reddish or yellowish brown if resinous; usually not distinct from the sapwood. Lustrous; grain mainly straight; texture fine and uniform; generally without distinctive odor or tastes (A. australis has a faint pleasant odor).

    Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.41 to 0.47; air- dry density 30 to 36 pcf.

    Mechanical Properties: (First two sets of data based on the 2-in. standard, the third set on the 2-cm standard.)

    Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength

    (%) (Psi) (1,000 psi) (Psi)

    Green (34) 6,600 1,330 2,840
    12% 11,750 1,650 5,900
    Green (15) 7,790 1,570 3,370
    12% 13,070 1,890 5,600
    Green (35) 8,570 1,400 4,040
    12% 13,600 1,600 6,900

    Side hardness 480 to 760 lb for green material and 700 to 870 lb at 12% moisture content.

    Drying and Shrinkage: The timber is reported to season well with little or no degrade. Kiln schedule T7-B3 is suggested for 4/4 stock (A. alba) and kiln schedule T10-D5S for 4/4 stock (A. australis and A. vitiensis). Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 4.2%; tangential 6.0% (A. alba).

    Working Properties: The timber works easily with hand and machine tools, finishes with a clean smooth surface; good nailing and screwing properties; good veneer peeling characteristics; paints and polishes well; easy to glue.

    Durability: Generally reported to be nondurable and vulnerable to termite attack; prone to blue stain. Heartwood of A. australis is moderately durable in ground contact.

    Preservation: Usually treatable by standard preservation techniques.

    Uses: Vats and tanks, patternmaking, millwork, boatbuilding, furniture components, face veneers, shingles, pencil slats. Trees are tapped for its copal used in varnishes and lacquers (A. alba).
  17. pilotjones


    Nov 8, 2001
    Amboyna is not Agathis. It is also known as Narra. It is more closely related to Padauk.

    Pterocarpus indicus
    Family: Leguminosae

    Other Common Names: Angsana (Sabah), Sena (Malaya), Amboyna (a name for highly figured veneers cut from burls).

    Distribution: Philippines, Borneo, Burma, New Guinea, and the Malay Archipelago. Often planted for shade along roadsides and as an ornamental.

    The Tree: May reach a height of 100 ft or more, usually of poor form with a large crown; trunk diameters up to about 3 ft above high wide, spreading buttresses.

    The Wood:

    General Characteristics: Heartwood light yellow, golden brown, reddish brown, to a distinct red; sapwood whitish or pale straw, clearly defined. Texture moderately fine to moderately coarse and uneven due to the ring-porous structure; grain interlocked and sometimes wavy, together with dark growth bands produce an attractive figure; somewhat lustrous; has a fragrant odor which persists even when dry.

    Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.52; air-dry density 40 pcf.

    Mechanical Properties: (2-in. standard)

    Moisture content Bending strength Modulus of elasticity Maximum crushing strength

    (%) (Psi) (1,000 psi) (Psi)

    Green (7) 10,700 1,470 5,570
    12% 13,800 1,770 8,450
    Green (34) 10,100 1,480 5,150
    12% 14,200 1,700 7,900

    Janka side hardness 945 to 1,080 lb green material and 1,055 to 1,350 lb for dry. Forest Products Laboratory toughness 300 in.-lb for green and 234 in.-lb for dry material (2-cm specimen).

    Drying and Shrinkage: Easy to season with very little or no degrade. No data on kiln schedules available. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 2.8%; tangential 4.0%. Movement in service is rated as small.

    Working Properties: Easy to work with both hand and machine tools; turns well, and takes a good finish.

    Durability: Generally, heartwood is reported to be very durable. Some experience is Malaya is conflicting.

    Preservation: Reported as likely to be resistant to impregnation.

    Uses: A valued furniture and cabinet wood, decorative veneers, novelty items, interior trim.
  18. Can anyone tell me if Amboyna Burl tops would have tone similarities to Ebony tops?

    I haven't been able to find info. I wondered if they'd be more similar to Redwood Burl or Walnut in sound?

  19. very interesting stuff
    but more importantly as I am interested in modifying my cort action here-
    would a new (badass/gotoh,etc) bridge make any tone difference than a stock one?
    Do new nuts(bone...) make any tone difference than a stock(plastic?) one?

  20. pilotjones


    Nov 8, 2001
    A change in nut material will affect the tone of open strings, but not fretted notes.

    Changing bridges can change the tone, especially if you are changing type (bent plate vs. solid milled).
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