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Basswood or Ash?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Ralphoid, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. Ralphoid


    Jan 2, 2009
    I am about to embark on a Precision building project and have the choice of either a Basswood or Ash body.
    I have heard that Basswood helps to produce good low frequencies?

    Does anyone have any good experience with this kind of thing?
  2. Basswood has a similar tone to alder just not as "loud" or pronounced as alder. Ash will give you a nice tight punchy bottom, a natural little scoop in the mids and a tighter brighter top end than basswood.
  3. Tommygunn


    Nov 8, 2008
    Houston, Tx
    Ash! It sounds better and makes a better burst!
  4. splitcoilsenior


    Jan 18, 2009
    Ash is just a general better wood lol I.M.O
  5. rhino333

    rhino333 Supporting Member

    Jan 31, 2005
    Western NY State
    Love the Swamp Ash.
  6. 3toes


    Aug 30, 2006
    Denver, Colorado
    I'm an ash-man.
  7. LDonnie


    Aug 3, 2008
    I think basswood sounds more compressed and less pronounced than other body woods. Alot depends on the wood quality, but overall I would choose Ash.
  8. man, most guys I know would go a mile for a good peice of Ash. Seems like a no brainer.
  9. allexcosta


    Apr 7, 2004
    If it's swamp-ash, I'd take it in a heartbeat. If it's heavy northern ash it would depend on the actual weight of the piece. Some bodies are as heavy as 6.5 pounds and I'm not inclined to play a boat anchor.
  10. no1likesme


    Dec 26, 2006
    Shepherd, MI
    I am gonna go against the grain here but I am gonna suggest basswood. Mostly because it is cheaper and lighter (IME most of the time), and I don't really believe that there is a large enough sonic difference for it to matter.
  11. Gord_oh

    Gord_oh Midtown Guitars: Ulyate Pickups & StringJoy Commercial User

    Oct 4, 2008
    mahogany will have a similar tone to basswood, maybe littler darker.
    its a little more durable IMO.
    it wont be a fender anymore...

    im doing a mahogany jazz right now.
  12. Stickk


    Sep 2, 2008
  13. For a 1st project I'd go basswood (speaking as a person who frequently makes very expensive and exotic firewood)....

    Basswood is cheap and cuts easy......
  14. Ash, have a Musicman with a ash body and I love it. :bassist:
  15. Definately ash. Mi '51 RI P-Bass is ash and that wood just makes it sound incredible.
  16. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    If you want the wood to be as close as possible, sound-wise, to MOST (not all) real Fender P basses, then basswood is closer to alder. If it were me, I would use ash, especially if (a) it is swamp ash, and (b) I was going to use a natural, or semi-translucent finish that lets the grain show through. Ash is much prettier, IMHO. However, if you're gonna build a solid-color bass, then basswood will be cheaper, potentially lighter, and probably closer in sound to a genuine alder P bass.

    I will be using ash on my next build because I will be building a natural-finish P bass.
  17. ExaltBass

    ExaltBass XBass Cables Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2006
    Twin Cities, MN
    My '97 Warrior is BassWood and it's tight and punchy as can be - much like my alder bodied P, yet they both have a nice low bottom. (my .02)
  18. Ash, I like the grain.
  19. Meatrus


    Apr 5, 2009
    Basswood is normally lighter, so this may help you decide.

    Luthiers corner may be a better place to post this as you will have more chance of getting responses from people who have worked with both rather than just " I like ash because my bass is made of it" :D.
  20. rimtism123


    Mar 25, 2009
    Birmingham, AL
    Def Ash.

    I love my Warwick Corvette STD Ash