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Bass building question

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by jbabs688, Apr 24, 2005.


  1. jbabs688

    jbabs688

    Apr 21, 2005
    If you are using curly maple, which sounds better; a solid bass body or a bass body with a top (maybe 1/4" thick)?
     
  2. M_A_T_T

    M_A_T_T

    Mar 4, 2004
    Canada
    Something to think about in that case would also be cost.
     
  3. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    Well, a solid curly maple body will sound one way, while a body with.... let's say walnut.... with a curly maple top will sound another.

    Personally, I don't like all-maple bodies -- too bright. If I may make a suggestion, mahogany with a maple top. It's inexpensive (Gallery has mahog. for $65 and AAA maple tops for $55) an, IMO, sounds killer!
     
  4. jbabs688

    jbabs688

    Apr 21, 2005

    Thanks that helps out a lot and i think going to go with the mahogany w/ a maple top... unless... do you know if a solid walnut bass sounds good b/c i can get high quality black walnut really cheap?
     
  5. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    Walnut is my absolute favorite wood. I think it's a great wood to make a bass from since it really brings out the low mids and bass. However, it maybe TOO low. Often, people will call the tone "muddy." By puting a top such as 1/4" maple on it, it will brighten things up a little, but you'll still get most of that walnut tone.

    I just brought up another point. The thickness of your top will affect the overall sound. A 1/8" top wont do much, but a 1/4" will.
     
  6. Cerb

    Cerb

    Sep 27, 2004
    Indiana
    Can we say 'Subjectivity'? :rolleyes:
     
  7. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    Yeah, that's true. Some ears hear different things than others. :smug:
     
  8. lhoward

    lhoward

    Apr 27, 2003
    Western NY State
    I agree, walnut has great sound and its just a beautiful wood. Of course, the bass I used it in was a fretless and the body was solid walnut. So having a bright high end wasn't forefront in my design idea. In the 20 years I've been playing it, I've gotten nothing but compliments on its sound and appearance.

    As far as cost, I can't help with current prices, but take time and shop by phone in your local area for a good hardwood shop and evaluate which is the best source to check out (check the web also). I'd rather get the best cut of wood I can if it only entails a few extra dollars in the price. I found a piece about 17" wide, 1 1/4" thick and a little over 6' long at a wood shop about 85 miles from my home. I used half for the fretless and I still have the other half that I'll use for another body when I decide how I want to cut it and have the time to do it.

     
  9. Rene

    Rene

    Mar 8, 2004
    Canada
    Check what you can get at a bargain price to handcraft your own bass on this site
    www.gelinar.com
     
  10. One question, Why just a top? you could use a thinner piece of walnut with a maple front and lets say a nice piece of koa or something like that. Or curly maple on the front and back, that would be sweet!
     
  11. jbabs688

    jbabs688

    Apr 21, 2005
    yeah i thought about doing the curly maple top and bottom with the walnut in the middle. but i might as well make it all maple.