Ash vs. Alder wood (body)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bearclaws, Jun 20, 2002.

  1. bearclaws


    Mar 5, 2002
    Anybody have a preference for an Ash or Alder wood bass (body)?

    If so, which and why?

  2. There was a thread on this a couple of days ago. Do a search.

    I like both. I find swamp ash tighter and punchier but alder sweeter with more mids. Both sound great.
  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Like Jim, I'll assume you're talking about swamp ash.

    I have no preference because each does something better than the other, as long as either one's tonal properties aren't stifled by a paint or thick candy coat, poly, finish.

    - Swamp ash has more "spank" and edge. The bottom is clear and big. The highs have a lot of "bite." Better suited to full-on rock.

    - Alder gives a lot of mids that merge with warmer lows but still does a nice job with bright highs. It is a more "sweet singing" wood as opposed to the "in-your-face" qualities of swamp ash. For R&B and jazz, alder would be my preference.

    Caveat - the tonal properties of either wood are only as good as the board(s) used and how the maker handles them.
  4. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    I prefer alder because it's lighter and I like the sound.
    Ash is heavy as hell.

    Swamp ash is not as heavy as regular ash, if I remember right. I've never had a swamp ash bass so I don't really know.
  5. KronRider


    Jun 5, 2002
    so what would the tonal differences between southern swamp ash and northern bog ash be????????

    Thats whats up there right? bogs????
  6. I have a $400 Yamaha that's made of alder, and I just love the warmth of it. Alder w/rosewood board = sweet sounds.

    Mike J.
  7. I am quite happy with my ash P bass w/ Maple neck/fretbord

    Bloody heavey though. :p

  8. Jontom


    Mar 11, 2002
    New York
    I love my '96 Swamp Ash Warwick Corvette w/ wenge neck/fingerboard. Its one slappin' bee-yotch!
  9. ash and a maple neck are perfect for me, im loving the high end bite and "in your face" -ness. fortunetly, ive gotten used to the weight.
  10. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Rickbass gave a nice overview, which I agree with. My choice is ash because of its inherent tone.