Alder vs. Basswood precision body, which is lighter?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ForestThump, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. ForestThump


    Jun 15, 2005
    Looking to get a CIJ or MIJ P bass that is not too heavy.
    Is basswood lighter than alder?
    I hear conflicting opinions as to whether alder is lighter than ash.
    Can someone clear this up?
  2. Basswood is usually lighter than alder. Alder is usually lighter than northern ash, but swamp ash is usually lighter than alder.
  3. hover


    Oct 4, 2008
    basswood, because it's not a very dense wood, in fact, quite soft. I like the sound of basswood, but some tend to find the tone a little "blurry", I say "neutral" like alder, but a tad mellower... depends on other components of course, but companies have been using it forever, most recently on Music Man Bongos.
  4. Johnny Alien

    Johnny Alien Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2003
    Harrisburg, PA, USA
    Is this a pound of Basswood vs a pound of Alder?
  5. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Basswood is generally lighter but I've had heavier basswood bodies and that weigh about the same as some lighter alder bodies.
  6. amandolin


    Mar 16, 2008
    Lancaster, PA
    Alder is lighter than white ash, by a pound or two on bass bodies I think. Basswood is light, I've only handled small bits of raw basswood but it was closer to balsa than anything.
  7. A lb. of Basswood is much lighter than a lb. of Alder.
  8. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I know Basswood is lighter than Alder, but how can a pound of it be lighter than a pound of Alder? A pound is a pound regardless of wood type. So an 8 pound bass is going to weigh the same 8 pounds regardless of wood. :confused:
  9. I was doing shtick, which doesn't always translate to the net w/out the use of :D
  10. hover


    Oct 4, 2008
    Dude, I would think that reply was tongue in cheek.
  11. Colonel_Claypoo

    Colonel_Claypoo Steve Harris nut

    Oct 24, 2007
    well, my basswood bodied p-bass weighs 8.9lbs. which is quite heavy for basswood i think.
  12. Agreed.
  13. Well... A lb. CAN'T be lighter than an lb. That's like saying 2 is more than 2. The correct response, I think, would be to say that it would take more basswood to equal a pound than it would alder.

    Simply put- Basswood is lighter, softer, less dense.
  14. :rolleyes:
  15. Johnny Alien

    Johnny Alien Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2003
    Harrisburg, PA, USA
    I set em up and bassrique knocks em out

    Confusion ensues
  16. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    That which we call a rose, by any other name, would still make me sneeze.
  17. RTL

    RTL Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Leander, TX
    Basswood: Fills you up without letting you down.
  18. B_asswood has more bottom :D
  19. Low Main

    Low Main Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    People used to dislike basswood for bass bodies a lot, but enough good basswood basses have been built by now to show that basswood is a legitimate choice.

    I recently got a basswood Squier CV P bass. Nice and light and sounds totally awesome.

    Alder these days is actually heavier than it used to be. The initial alder harvests, they timbered out all the easy to get to stuff. Now they're going for the harder to reach timber, some growing at higher elevations - slower growth and more dense material.

    And they're racing the lumber through the kiln cycles at faster rates, which often means heavier lumber when it reaches its market-ready moisture content.

    Air dried northern ash is much lighter than commercially kiln dried ash. AD ash is light enough to use for a bass body without ending up with a 12 pound bass. Much nicer to work with than swamp ash, too.
  20. Colonel_Claypoo

    Colonel_Claypoo Steve Harris nut

    Oct 24, 2007
    i don't really like basswood for a p-bass. mine sounds bassy but muddy at the same time. not much definition in the low end. apart from that it's a good wood but would still choose alder.
    mikiman likes this.
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