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Basswood is it that bad?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Shawn Luckman, Dec 14, 2011.


  1. I have read different threads on Basswood bodied Fender/Squier basses, is it that bad I have a MIJ PB-57 body which Fender Japan says is made of Basswood like the Squier CV.

    Now my bass does not sound that bad if it is basswood, but recently I pulled my back,so playing my Ric at the moment is uncomfortable. But my Fender seems lighter which is nice. So my question is how do you rate Basswood for bass bodies,bearing in mind the Musicman Bongo's body is made of basswood.
     
  2. PB+J

    PB+J

    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    It's a little soft, dents east. Otherwise it can sound perfectly good. If the bass sounds good, it IS good.
     
  3. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Basswood works fine. Just a little soft as far as bridge screws are concerned, but that can be easily dealt with.
     
  4. Duckwater

    Duckwater

    May 10, 2010
    USA, Washington
    There's nothing wrong with basswood
     
  5. Duke21

    Duke21

    Nov 14, 2010
    Narvik, Norway
    MM Bongo is made out of basswood. Can't be bad wood.
     
  6. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    Ellenwood,Ga.
    You already stated that your bass doesn't sound bad,so I don't see what the problem is. Go with that.
     
  7. KTFunkAlive

    KTFunkAlive

    Nov 28, 2007
    It's "Basswood" how could it not be good?
     
  8. hdracer

    hdracer

    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    I love my CIJ Fender.
    It's about three pounds lighter then my alder body Jazz.
     
  9. Like the others said - basswood can dent a little easier, but you're not going to "hear" any difference on an electric bass because of it.
     
  10. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco/HELIX user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    My MM clones are basswood as is my cheapo USA flag bass. The light weight factor is a PLUS to them IMO as they can be the go-to bass for long gigs or those wonderful days with more than one gig.
    One MM clone was used for about an hour last night for the last set.
    Worked and sounded fine for me. Spending 2 hours at home setting it up(pickup height, truss relief, action) using one's amp pays off.

    It is a combination of the build, setup, amp, and MOSTLY the PLAYER that makes a bass sound good or bad.
    Don't give in to the "your bass and you are not good if" folks. It's your money, your bass, your sound, your life.
    If they look down on your gear, let 'em deal with it.
     
  11. Basswood gets some bad press because cheap gear with cheap electronics are often made of basswood. Throw in a well made instrument with good electronics and basswood sounds fine.

    The denting doesn't worry me as much as screws being stripped out. Fine threaded screws shouldn't be used.
     
  12. soulman969

    soulman969 Banned

    Oct 6, 2011
    Englewood, Colorado
    Basswood has great resonance and sustain despite the fact that it's somewhat lighter in weight and softer than some other woods. Aside from ash, which I believe does impart some subtle tonal difference, you probably couldn't tell the difference between basswood, alder or poplar which are all woods that Fender does or has used in it's instrument manufacture.

    Those facts aside there are also different grades of wood so is a top grade of basswood better than a lower grade of alder. This has been debated on here ad nauseum and not one person can honestly say they could tell a sonic difference in the "blind" test. The strings, pickups and the bridge will have far more effect than the body wood.

    I've owned a number of MIA Fender Basses over the years and as far as I'm concerned my CV is the equivalent of all of them but an ash bodied Deluxe with active electronics and noiseless pickups. That's an $1800 bass and the CV sells for $300 and while the Deluxe was better it wasn't anywhere near 6x better.

    Trust you ears more than what others opinions may or may not be.
     
  13. Michael Vee

    Michael Vee Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    Basswood (linden) wood is not very attractive, so is not a good choice for clear or transparent top finishes if good grain showing through is desired. Otherwise, if a hard finish is applied, basswood is very usable, resonant, and not that prone to denting. Definitely not a wood to use for an oiled natural finish.

    My personal experience with a basswood bass was my black Ibanez Roadstar II RB865. That bass took a pretty good whupping for several years in the mid-80's with a lot of gigs. Although there were some scratches, there were no dents when I sold it.
     
  14. PDGood

    PDGood Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    My '69 P bass is basswood and I love it.
     
  15. Michael Vee

    Michael Vee Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    Basswood (linden) wood is not very attractive, so is not a good choice for clear or transparent finishes if good grain is desired. Otherwise, if a hard finish is applied, it is very usable and not that prone to denting.

    My personal experience with a basswood bass was my black Ibanez Roadstar II. That bass took a pretty good whupping for several years in the mid-80's with a lot of gigs. Although there were some scratches, there were no dents when I sold it.
     
  16. parsons

    parsons

    Feb 22, 2008
    Maryland
    EBMM Bongo is made of basswood. Not exactly a cheap bass.
     
  17. pbassnut

    pbassnut Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2004
    Falls Church, VA
    I have a couple of tricked out Squier basses with basswood bodies that sound just fine. It does dent easily, but I take care of my stuff so it's not much of an issue with me.
     
  18. Zoa

    Zoa

    Dec 28, 2009
    My only beef with it is that doesn't hold screws as well as other woods and dings kind of easy.
     
  19. Morkolo

    Morkolo

    Aug 11, 2003
    Newfoundland
    My soundgear is basswood and besides sounding great it's a hell of a lot easier on the shoulders.
     
  20. spiritbass

    spiritbass Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2004
    Ashland, MO
    I'm (obviously!) not the only one with a high opinion of basswood. Have you read all of the reviews of the Squier CV 60's precision? I play one and it is wonderful weight and tone-wise. Another basswood-bodied instrument that gets consistently good reviews is made by a little company named after George Fullerton and Leo Fender - the L2500.
     

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