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Ash Wood Basses: How Will They Age?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SamHD, Jun 1, 2005.

  1. SamHD


    Nov 22, 2004
    From what I understand, most vintage Bass bodies (at least fenders) are made of Alder wood, which apparently sound even better as they get older.

    Seems as if none of the older basses (that I know of) are made from Ash wood. Does anybody know how these Ash Basses sound as they age (deeper or brighter)?

    Will they just go down-hill, or should we expect some great tones from these basses in the future?

    Just curious.
  2. S Lewis

    S Lewis

    May 23, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    well, all i can say is my '85 Peavey T-40 (ash) sounds as good as anything i've ever heard, old or new, so hopefully it will only get better!
  3. I can confirm the alder story, but remember that this only goes for basses that get played enough, the wood needs to vibrate!
    As for the ash, I also own an ash bass now, but not long enough to tell yet.

    Marcus Miller still plays his original instrument, and probably for a good reason... Maybe you can ask him.
  4. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    early 50s Fenders were Ash... weren't they?

    good question though.
  5. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    I thought the T40 was Oak?
  6. 43% burnt

    43% burnt an actor who wants to run the whole show

    May 4, 2004
    Bridgeport, CT
    not sure...I have an early 80's G&L L2k thats made of ash. It sounds incredible...but I bought it used 2 years ago so I don't really have a frame of reference for age. I can tell you the G&L smokes my other basses in terms of volume and tone, but that bass is a beast to begin with. Interesting question though.
  7. SamHD


    Nov 22, 2004
    If Fender used Ash in the 50's, I wonder why they switched to Alder... :meh:
  8. pilotjones


    Nov 8, 2001
    Fender wood choices have always been driven by market costs and availability of lumber.
  9. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Whether wood sounds any different as it ages or is played is still a matter of opinion. My gut feeling is that tone of an instrument doesn't change over time... not because of the wood, anyway.

    It's likely true that the quality of tonewood is changing over time due to increased usage/diminished supply:

    I don't know if "lumber" is a fair word to use ;), but market cost and availability have always been important factors for Fender.

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