Alder or Ash?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Andy Flees, Feb 20, 2005.

  1. I am looking to purchase a Fender American Deluxe Jazz Bass, but the one thing I can't decide on is what the body is made of. I like to play slap style, and wasn't sure which wood would help me get the best sound, ash or alder. If anyone out there has any experience on this question, I'd really appreciate hearing from you! Thanks!
  2. 6-3-2


    Sep 20, 2003
    Well for slap most would say use Ash. Like most things in the bass world though, it's subjective. Some really like alder for slapping too.
    To my knowledge Ash is tighter and brighter in sound. So I would have to agree better for slapping. I've never personally slapped on a ash bass though.
    Also consider the fretboard. Maple is brighter, rosewood more mellow.
    I'd say go for Ash plus Maple for slapping, but that's my opinion.
  3. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Id go with an ash body, maple fingerboard.

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

  5. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    yeah thats the classic combo
  6. Chace90

    Chace90 Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2002
    Denver, CO
    First, I'm pretty sure this topic has been discussed numerous times, so try searching for other threads concerning the issuse. :)

    While this is a total matter of opinion, I'll post my preference.

    I have an American deluxe with an alder body and rosewood fingerboard. This is paired with the stock noiseless p'ups and a j-retro deluxe. I've yet to play a bass that has a better slap tone (to my ears). Most, I think, would say that an ash body and maple board would sound tighter and better suited to slap. Marcus Miller is the obvious example, but his tone has a lot more to it than just the bass. Victor's original fodera has an indian rosewood fingerboard, and his slap sound is awesome. The only real way for you to decide is to play all 4 combinations and decide which you prefer. Of course, that may not be an option. Fender seems to think alder and ash are interchangable because only basses with a body finish that shows the grain of the wood have ash bodies.

    The reason I chose my combination is because I had previously played it and just ordered my own with those options. Also, most people will tell you that Fenders can be so "hit and miss." IMHO, I lucked out with my fender. I've definitely played some deluxes I just plain didn't like.