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Anyone use cherry as a body wood?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by emjazz, Dec 19, 2005.


  1. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Any experience with Cherry as a body wood? I got this from the Celinder site:

    "Soundwise the cherry-wood body is one of my personal favorites and we will probably use cherry much more in the future. It has warmth but is articulate. It sings and is open, but focused at the same time. I love it."
     
  2. nope, but when i build my bass its going to be one of the neck woods/fretboard

    lowsound
     
  3. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    I've been looking at figured cherry quite a bit the past week or so, and plan to use it as a body center core (think Smith type solid core that has body wings) for one of my double-cut bodies. The trouble has been finding a nicely figured piece of the proper dimensions.

    All the best,

    R
     
  4. From the Gallery Hardwoods forum:
    You might want to PM him about it

    ~Alex
     
  5. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
  6. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Funny that Rick Turner chimed in on that other thread. His Rennaisance bass is the reason why I want a chambered walnut bodied bass. Now he just piqued my interest even more in Cherry.
     
  7. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    It's funny you dug that quote up about cherry sounding dark. The brightest sounding bass I have ever built had a cherry core.

    Not that I think the cherry had much to do with it....

    Just so that this post won't be void of any usefull content: cherry is pretty easy to work, but it burns easily if you linger with your tools. It takes a mean suntan so be sure to watch where you leave it. No one has ever asked me to build them a cherry bass but that doesn't mean that it is not good for it and easy on the eyes.
     
  8. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Matt, what's your favorite body wood to use and why?
     
  9. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    I like/dislike a lot of different woods for bodies. Most of the reasons I like the woods I use have to do with how the wood works and how nice of a polish it takes.

    The most fun to work are probably butternut, limba, and mahogany. They all look great with a finish on them.

    I like sassafrass because it looks like a darker ash and it's very inexpensive. It also smells great.

    Spanish cedar is very lightweight but it dents easily, can be hard to get smooth (it scratches easily), and the fine dust gets everywhere, including your mouth if you are not careful.

    Walnut and cherry work fine but are a little harder than the rest. They both take an excellent finish.

    African mahogany is somehow not as nice to work as honduras. But it looks good and is less threatened. Sapele is a little heavier, with interlocked grain, but almost always has ribbon-stripe figure when it's quartersawn. Sapele can be hard to find a good matching top for.

    Picking a favorite would be hard. Probably either walnut, butternut, or limba.

    I don't let tone enter the discussion, personally. I've gotten a sound out of all of them.
     
  10. I'm in the process of building a 5-string NC series bass that has a cherry body. I'll let you know how it sounds when it's finished.
     
  11. Piedro

    Piedro

    Jan 23, 2001
    Montréal, Qc, Canada
    Endorsing Aguilar Amp product.
    My Teacher have one made of Cherry.. And it's his favorite cause of the sound and the fact that the tree is comming from canada and the Wood works fine with our temperature.. he said it's almost like Mahogany.. and kind of blend between Mahogany And Maple
     
  12. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    These are a few photos of the board I am looking at.
     
  13. bingoguitars

    bingoguitars

    Dec 23, 2005
    Cherry is the best sounding wood I have ever used in making guitars and basses. you can manipulate the sound very easy by puting a top cap of paduk or maple or what have you. But the sound is so crisp and low. new or old strings doesn't matter I love the sound. Cherry just adds personality like other woods do not. So if you have the chance to use cherry do it!! :bassist:
     
  14. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Digging up an old post....anyone else have any words to say about the tonal qualities of cherry? I'm deciding between this and Mahogany for my next bass. I've been told that Cherry is like a blend of Mahogany and Alder? Any comments on that?
     
  15. LM Bass

    LM Bass

    Jul 19, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    I love cherry wood, and use it a fair amount. You can get it with all the figure seen in maple - birdseye, quilt, flames. . . It works well, finishes well with oil, and I like the sounds I've gotten. Always hard to say exactly what effect the body wood plays in the equation, but I'd say it tends to be brighter than alder.
     
  16. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Lawrence Mollerup by chance? If so, I love your designs. Thanks for the comments.

    Do you feel that, generally, it has the warmth of alder? Similar in the lows? I'm looking for something that is warmer, tight, even and has a sweet top end. I'd like Mahogany but a bit tighter sounding.
     
  17. fivestringdan

    fivestringdan Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2001
    Little Rock, AR
    I had Ken Bebensee make me a bass with Cherry as the core body wood. http://www.kbguitars.com/mg2/index.php?list=17

    To this day it was the best sounding electric bass I have every played. If I ever have a bass made again I'll use cherry for the body wood.
     
  18. fivestringdan

    fivestringdan Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2001
    Little Rock, AR
    +1 Very much so IMO.
     
  19. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Thanks fivestringdan.

    I remembered that I had asked Jon Maghini about cherry. Here's what he said:

    I actually built two six strings for with cherry bodies. One had a kingwood board and the other birdseye maple. Both basses were very well balanced tonally and seemed to have a bit more definition than Mahogany but still retained a very natural warmth… The Kingwood cherry combo had an unbelievably responsive finger style tone while the maple seemed a bit more versatile with the addition of a killer slap tone! I’ll defiantly be building a few more basses with cherry bodies in the future.

    I think I'll be going this route for my next six. I'm thinking a cherry wood body, maple neck and a 26 fret ebony fingerboard....either Delano or Kent Armstrong dual coils with my ACG filter preamp. Should be a great bass.
     
  20. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    no comments on its tonal properties, but it sure is gorgeous and relative easy to work with (as seen here in this freshly bookmatched top wiped with a little Naphtha)

    [​IMG]


    I'll note that Cherry will burn if your router bit gets a little sappy build up on it (like when you route thru a pitch pocket), but nothing worse than what can happen with Maple

    [​IMG]

    it also is aesthetically pleasing when worked into a Cherry/Ash/Cherry sandwich (with a pair of Wenge veneers to add separation)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    I know that Cherry will be a wood I keep on-hand once I get the new shop up and running

    all the best,

    R