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Bass woods

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by LZ678, Dec 30, 2003.

  1. LZ678


    Dec 30, 2003
    Western New York
    Hey, I need some advice. I just found Warmoth.com, and I was wondering about woods, which I know nothing about. I intend to get an SG style, if that matters, and I play classic rock and metal. I usually have the bass all the way up, almost no mid, and alot of treble. I'd like a tone that could go from growly to very smooth. Also, neck/fingerboard woods and pickup suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. Have a look at the Ken Smith web site, he has a page that has a lot of information about wood. This might be a good start point.


  3. Mo'Phat

    Mo'Phat Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2003
    San Diego, CA, USA
    I'd say Mahogany or Walnut, which aren't as bright as Alder or Maple. They both look good with a clear finish or just a clear stain.
  4. Black limba is a good body wood, as are mahogany and walnut. For growl, you can't go wrong with a nice wenge neck. There are people who believe fingerboards have no impace on the sound of a fretted bass, as the strings only touch metal frets, not wood. Some also believe body wood and neck wood to be of minimal importance. These people are tons more experienced than I, so do some research and make the best decision.

    This is a little off topic, so if you want me to delete please say so. By playing with alot of bass, no mids and alot of treble, you are seriously hurting your sound. In a band situation, you are going to need a ton of wattage in your amp just to be heard somewhat over a guitarist vocalist and drummer. If you bump your lower mids up so that they are mor eprominent than either bass or treble, your sound will be much more defined and won't struggle in the least in a band setting. Low mids are a bassists only friend in the mix.
  5. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    ken's site is the best when it comes to wood info.
  6. Mud Flaps

    Mud Flaps

    Feb 3, 2003
    Norton, MA
    I second that.

    Personally, I like Swamp Ash body, Hard Maple neck, and Ebony fingerboard.
  7. I realize that tone is very difficult to describe, but it seems to me that you could interchange a lot of his tone descriptions for a lot of his woods, and they would fit equally well.

    Here's a sample - you guess the woods (answers provided below). HINT: no trick questions here, these are all woods we've all heard of:

    1. Smooth lows with warm mids

    2. Warm and bright

    3. Low-mid growl with attractive highs

    4. Deep pronounced lows, articulate high mids


    1. Koa

    2. Maple, quilted

    3. Lacwood

    4. Bubinga

    Did you guess correctly? Of couse you didn't.

    Again, I realize that tone is very difficult to describe.
  8. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    I can't agree more. Have you ever heard a really good funk player slap all night, see his hands all over the fretboard and only hear some of what he's playing? If so, it's because he's got his bass and treble turned up and the mids cut. I mention funk slappers because they tend to be the worst offenders of the muddy yet snappy tone.

    If you like a little more bass and treble, there's nothing wrong with that, but try making your adjustments in a more suttle manner. You will cut through better, and the band will tell you how good you sound that night too.
  9. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Mids in general are very important, especially when deuling guitarists. Read below from an interview with Jason Newsted formerly of Metallica:


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