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Aussie Tonewoods

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by heath_the_great, Feb 9, 2006.

  1. i was just curious as if to any of you guys have looked into or considered using aussie tonewoods such as Queensland Walnut and Maple, Victorian Blackwood and bunya?

    cos i read about how ebony, brazillian rosewood and honduras mahogany are becoming rare

    as i said, just curious:)

  2. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    A luthier mate has used QLD maple and walnut and speaks highly of them. Blackwood is a fave timber of mine for appearance. Got some furniture and pens made from it, but no basses. Hard to get decent widths of it for instruments, or so I was told. I do have two in the similar Hawaiian Koa though. Nice looks and sound.
  3. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    A wood has to be pretty hard and durable to substitute for stuff like ebony and rosewood. I think Jarrah could probably do okay in that capacity but I do not know enough about QLD walnut and maple to think that they could be used for fingerboards, for example.

    Acacia melanoxylon, called Australian Blackwood up here, is a fine substitute for body and neck woods -- anywhere you would use koa. I just bought a board of it last weekend and I will probably buy more.
  4. tribal3140

    tribal3140 Banned

    Nov 9, 2004
    near detroit...uh
    A bunch of fiddleback black acacia just hit the mkt and its a beaut!
    The aussie woods are great! just as good as the south american or african woods.
    the burls, lace sheoak, narra, jarrah, eucalyptus, the black acacia, tazmanian blackwood and snakewood
    The best is when you find on of the great aussie burls is a size suitable for instruments! (coolibah, grey box, bimble box, yellow box, jarrah is no problem to find in those sizes, even the gimlet if theres not too many pockets in it! and lace sheoak is essentially a burl figure too- you can even find it with burl/birdseye every blue moon and again)

    If you know how to get them its a great resource for instrument woods.
  5. i know maton and cole clarke are starting to use alot more of them....most of their models use blackwood for the sides and backs....and apprently the trees dont take as long to grow as their counterparts...im getting a jazz made with ash and a blackwood top:hyper:
  6. Phil Mastro

    Phil Mastro

    Nov 18, 2004
    I got a bass with blackwood back, it works really well I find, kinda like walnut. Probably even more like Koa, but I've never worked with Koa. Looks real nice. I'll post a pic when I get home, cuz I'm at school right now.
  7. jeffhigh


    May 16, 2005
    And of the Australian woods, the tasmanian (state in Australia) woods really rock.
    Just went on a trip there in january, wished I could have filled up the car with wood but we flew down there.
    Besides the blackwood, there is myrtle, sasafrass, bluegum and dozens more. A lot of specialty wood shops selling to the public.
  8. Hi, aussies)
    I`ve used jarrah 7 mm thick for the top on my first jazz-very happy with results-here is photo somewhere in a forum.
    I`m building another one,using-neck-venge,new-guinean rosewood, body- silky oak,venge, bubinga.
    B.t.w, local shop Anagote Timbers at Marrickville sells beautiful bubinga very cheap, and there is a very helpful guy
    David, who makes acoustic guitars himself.
  9. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Interesting.. I'm making another bass in Design Tech this year.. Might use some Aussie timbers.

    If I want a real warm, yet aggressive sound from the bass.. What do you think would be the best Australian timbers to use?
  10. Phil Mastro

    Phil Mastro

    Nov 18, 2004
    Here's that pic I was talking about. I thought it was better than that.

  11. to popinfresh *** If I want a real warm, yet aggressive sound from the bass.. What do you think would be the best Australian timbers to use?*****
    Personally, I don`t know...I`ve used jarrah only for the top so far, and the rest of the body is alder, fender noiseless pickups, passive.The tone a got-traditional fender jazz bass sound with (surprise) huuge sustain.Maybe it`s jarrah`s fault))

    What others say-
    Warmoth about australian silky oak (lacewood)-*the tone is
    similar to alder*
    Maton guitars about-
    Queensland Maple -Originally used as a Mahogany "substitute".
    Queensland Walnut-produces great tone, giving a clear top end frequency response with full bodied mid and bass,having much in common with American Walnut.
    Blackwood-It has a warm, full tone with a particularly pleasing mid frequency response .
    There are also a few very respected luthiers, who uses
    aussie wood, like http://www.mallia.com.au/
    http://ww.coleclarkguitars.com http://rizzolo.customer.netspace.net.au/main.htm
  12. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
  13. I agree, I bought some nice bubinga and rock maple for the necks I'm making from Anagote.
  14. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Hmm, looks like i'll use a black wood top and back and maybe the QLD maple for the body.. I'd like to keep a visual contrast in there as well. Not sure on neck/fretboard though.

    My mate works at cole clark, i'll see if he can get anything in for me.

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