Are One Piece Bodies all that??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jokerjkny, Feb 18, 2002.

  1. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    hey all,

    i'm thinking of getting a dinky Jazz body, but dont wanna wait 3 weeks for a 1 piece body.

    are 1 piece bodies all cracked up to be as people make them? or does a nice 3 piece body fit the bill just as easily?
  2. I don't think it'd matter to me. My new Lull has a two piece ash body (with a two piece top, so I guess it's actually four pieces), and it was bookmatched, so it looks pretty nice.
    If it's gonna be a solid colour, I think it would matter even less to me if it's one piece or two.
  3. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    One-piece bodies are coveted because they're rare... and because of aesthetic appeal. Some people might *think* they sound better than multi-piece bodies but in my experience that is not true.
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    IME, multi-laminate bodies offer more tone and timbre possibilities. In a skillful luthier's hands, they combine to offer a wide spectrum as long as the pickups and bridge are good quality.

    One-piece aren't inferior in any way, IMO. As long as the luthier has chosen the wood carefully, they do "one thing" exceptionally well. They don't have the tonal complexity of multi-laminates and sometimes that's their beauty.
  5. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    so a 3 piece alder or ash body is gonna have more tonality and better sound than a 1 piece?
  6. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    All things being equal - No. The glued seams don't transfer vibration/resonance/harmonic content as well as a one-piece.

    There's no point in making a laminate using the same wood.
  7. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Oh, Rick!
    There is one point: it's much easier to find a small piece that is acoustically perfect, than a full body sized piece.
    That is why even top level luthiers use two or three pieces to build a bass body without a top.
  8. I have a one piece bodied Guild B-301 bass with a glued neck. It sounds really nice, and offers more sustain that my P-bass or my Washburn (both bolt on necks - not sure of the number of pieces in the body!). However, my two Spectors are thru necks and obviously have more body and neck parts, but they are just brilliant!

    I think it's horses for courses!!!
  9. One piece bodies can 'bowl' (if I remember the term correctly) where the stress of the strings eventually pulls the body into a shallow bowl shape. Three piece bodies do not suffer from this.

    One piece looks good. That's as far as it goes, I think.

    The number of pieces in a body is not really significant when compared to other factors such as the quality of wood and of construction.
  10. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Well, I think Rick would partially agree with you, as I do. But, there are other reasons, as well, that luthiers use wood "recipies" to create bodies than sinle-wood. Multi-piece bodies offer greater tonal possibilities, in general, then their single-wood bodies.

    An example of this is when a luthier uses Swamp Ash for a body for it's punch and growl, but uses a maple top to add a touch of brightness and snap to the sound.
  11. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Sub, the fact that I haven't seen a laminate using a single specie doesn't mean much - it's a wide world and I'm always ready to learn.

    But are there any examples you can direct me to where the luthier has used a laminated body of just one specie???

    It seems curious to me because they may have "a small piece" that is acoustically perfect, as you say, but wouldn't the inferior laminates that aren't acoustically perfect compromise whatever that one "perfect" piece offered??? :confused:

    IME, all the uses of laminates involve different woods which have something unique to the specie that make for a tonally "broad" instrument.

    I'm not referring to any of the jive-ass veneers.
  12. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Rick, I was talking about "top-less" bodies..:eek: .bass bodies!
    And you can find those in two or three pieces from most luthiers, including Fender and Ken Smith. These are vertical laminates , viewed when the bass is laying on its back, i.e. vertical glue joints.

    You are perfectly correct, stating that one piece of wood less perfect will compromise the total sonic impression of a laminate, regardless of the total anount of laminates.

    When you use horisontal laminates , you always use different spieces for tuning the body. When gluing vertical laminations, you sometimes use different materials for tuning, and most of the time the same material, for reasons mentioned in my previous post.

    Now i have to retune myself, as I see some kind of partonising tone in the above.
    Mind you, all readers that all this is not my own opinion, but pure truth.:rolleyes:
    I mean...well...the opposite! Open to any suggestions..:( sorry
  13. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Whoops! Totally different ball game, Sub. The inclusion of the word "vertical" makes it clear now.

    Yeah, "vertical" - "May We Build One for You???"

  14. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Glad we sorted that out:)

    Nice pic, that is. Pretty woods as well. But....

    "What is the resonance frequency of hide glue?"
    Now, where did I hear/read that.....?