basswood vs. poplar

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by fretter, Jul 23, 2016.

  1. Basswood

  2. Poplar

  3. Plywood

  4. Particle board

  5. Carrots

  6. Broccoli

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  1. Worldeeeter

    Worldeeeter Inactive

    Mar 29, 2010
    Asheville, NC
    Ah, OK. That makes sense.
    Another tonewood you left off is Alder; very common in sub-$1000 basses, and my personal favorite, if ash is off the table.
  2. 58kites

    58kites Save a life....adopt a Pitbull

    Oct 21, 2014
    Austin Texas
    Toward exotics?
    Warmoth says: "Alder is our most popular wood and it grows all around us here in Washington State".
    "The tone is reputed to be most balanced with equal doses of lows, mids and highs".
    They seem equally complimentary to Poplar.
    They seem complimentary to Basswood also.
  3. someguyfromNC


    Jul 4, 2015
    So what you are saying is they equally like all the wood they sell all. Biased. They only go by folklore 'reputation'

    People really should play for themselves than being told what to believe. Even 2 pieces of alder can sound very different
    Mugre, tfer and blindrabbit like this.
  4. MobileHolmes

    MobileHolmes I used to be BassoP

    Nov 4, 2006
    Your alder understanding matches mine. I will say, however, if it wasn't chosen for tone, it did come to define people's expectations for electric instruments since it was so widely used. And I've got a few alder instruments, and they sound nice.
  5. MobileHolmes

    MobileHolmes I used to be BassoP

    Nov 4, 2006
    Or at least Stingray electronics :)

    My 95 is black, and made of god only knows what, but it sounds killer
  6. sheltjo6

    sheltjo6 Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2012
    My first bass was a Fernandes Jazz bass that had a basswood body. It produced a good vintage tone. It wasn't great for slapping, which is why I sold it, but it was great for fingerstyle playing. Kinda wish I kept that bass. Things you learn after the fact.

    I have no experience with Poplar. I can't tell you if it produces a good tone or not.

    My experience with bass guitars is if the instrument sounds good acoustically, it will probably sound good when plugged in regardless of who built the instrument, how much it costs, or what materials were use in the construction.
    DeliriumTremens likes this.
  7. 58kites

    58kites Save a life....adopt a Pitbull

    Oct 21, 2014
    Austin Texas
    I am not saying anything about how they really feel, I read and understood what Warmoth wrote and provided here some information they posted on their website.
    If you read my posts on this thread, it would be obvious to you that I am not a big proponent of body wood being a big factor in the sound of a bass.
    I believe it factors in somewhere but it might (or might not) be further down the list after pick ups, strings, neck material, fretboard material, frets or fretless, scale length, maybe nut material, maybe bridge type, active or passive EQ circuits, amplifier particulars, pedals, pick or fingers or slap technique.
    I'm not really sure where body wood falls in the list of things that effect sound.
    Why do so many people post without reading?
  8. bassrich


    Nov 20, 2011
    Sarasota, FL
    My JP_90 is poplar and my mim p is alder the jp is a little brighter but way lighter
  9. bassman10096

    bassman10096 Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    I'm glad to hear I've been listening to smart folks. To be clear, alder is a very good wood for electrics - but for practical reasons less than sonic magic. That said I like my alder and mahogany bosses best...
    MobileHolmes likes this.
  10. Which is interesting because even in tree form I call it basswood. But not bass as in bass guitar, bass as in bass the fish. So it's fish wood.
    Raulplaysbass likes this.
  11. mojomike001


    Mar 28, 2013
    South Florida
    These are all Tele-style basses built from pin bodies. The first two are finished in thin nitro. There third is still a work-in-progress waiting for Ultralite tuners to arrive. It's sugar pine capped with walnut. All are well under 8 lbs with the second two being in the low 7lb range.

    2.JPG 1.JPG 2.JPG
  12. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    To many here over think the type of wood for basses. No matter what the wood if it sounds and plays good it is good.
    Novarocker, bolophonic and blkpwdr like this.
  13. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    nice job! i love the idea of pine bodies: gotta be really lightweight (a pref of mine! i'm really old!). thanks for sharing. gives me some ideas if i ever decide to go custom built again. my last two bass purchases were advertised as "basswood," and they are really lightweight. but the pine idea is great!
    mojomike001 likes this.
  14. Cosmiceddie


    Aug 18, 2014
    My first bass was an Ibanez Destroyer DT600 which was made from basswood and birch.
  15. I'm not a big an of either.... I guess popular but not by much.
  16. mojomike001


    Mar 28, 2013
    South Florida
    Here's another view of the walnut-capped pine body.

    walnut 1.jpg
  17. mojomike001


    Mar 28, 2013
    South Florida
  18. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    wow! really nice! that's inspiring. there are so many talented builders on TB: but again: i like the idea of the pine --- too cool!:thumbsup:
    mojomike001 likes this.
  19. Basswood or Linden. Commonly used by Norse warriors for their shields. Guys who fight for a living would have a handle on what to use.

    I got plenty ash,alder,poplar and maghogany basses here,all dinged to heck,basswood ones are in good shape. I always think you drop a cheap
    bass you blame the wood but blame yourself if it's an expensive one.
    fretter and eff-clef like this.
  20. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
    It comes from the Tilia genus and it can also be called Linden.
    Mr. Sound and RedVee like this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jul 27, 2021

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