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. HubbardsFate

    HubbardsFate

    Oct 18, 2006
    I recently purchased a basswood-based bass (??) from a fellow TBer, should receive it on July 29th, plus or minus. It'll be the first basswood axe I'll have owned, and most of what I have read in this thread has been encouraging...:cool::):bassist:
     
  2. Ron Johnson

    Ron Johnson

    Nov 19, 2014
    Chicago, IL
    One of my jobs is working at a lumber mill. I think poplar would be best for a budget bass body, and any stain could make it look good. Plywood or particle board would be difficult to keep the edges from chipping. As for necks, go for a more stable wood, not any of the woods on this list.
     
  3. tfer

    tfer

    Jan 1, 2014
    This one isn't mature yet. It turns pink or green as it ages...
    image.jpeg
     
    Dwitt33, pcake and Jeff Scott like this.
  4. RED J

    RED J Lol

    Jan 23, 2000
    Nobody has mentioned Luthite. :D
     
    Mr. Sound and Dr. Cheese like this.
  5. my man pookie

    my man pookie

    Jul 18, 2016
    You should check out willseasyguitar on youtube, great advice on choosing the righttone wood
     
  6. Not all alder bodies are born equal
    Not all basswood bodies are born equal
    Not all poplar bodies are born equal
    Not all...

    In a nutshell there are some tremendous sonic differences between the same wood families. It depends in many things such as the region it comes from, the proximity of a river, the age of the tree blablabla.

    I tend to like ash bodies but my soft maple Squier VM sounds stunning so I learn to just try an imstrument before making a judgment.
     
  7. RED J

    RED J Lol

    Jan 23, 2000
     
    Dr. Cheese likes this.
  8. @Ron Johnson

    I think you could be right. Price on basswood is $525 per cu.M, poplar is down at $270 per cu.M.
     
  9. 58kites

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

    Oct 21, 2014
    Austin Texas
    @ Red J Al
    Yup the Axcelerator Plus was ash and the regular 4 and 5 Axcelerator models were all poplar.
    I'm pretty sure your Forum P-J is poplar. Peavey manuals call out poplar on all the Forums.
    I'm pretty sure the earlier Foundation 5's were made of poplar and then alder after 1992 or 1995.
    Peavey manuals say the four string Foundations were made of poplar, maple, ash, or alder, depending on year.
     
  10. jmlee

    jmlee Catgut? Not funny. Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2005
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    Guild Pilots were either poplar or maple me-thinks.
     
  11. RED J

    RED J Lol

    Jan 23, 2000
    I wood have thought this thread wood have ended by now.
     
    fretter likes this.
  12. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    Poplar is not what I'd consider to be a budget wood, it's a decent tone wood. Many old Italian upright basses have poplar back and sides. It is more durable than basswood, which is so soft you can scratch it with your fingernails. Basswood needs a thicker finish, and is very plain looking so it is best with a solid color. Poplar has green streaks in it, which can take on a darker shade when you use a translucent finish. Poplar is probably somewhat similar to alder in terms of tone. Basswood has more upper mids and is brighter sounding with tight lows because it's lighter weight...more similar to lightweight ash, but poplar gives a warmer sound.
     
    fretter and MR PC like this.
  13. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
    No :)
     
  14. TyBo

    TyBo

    Dec 12, 2014
    I've liked the (unamplified) sound of some basswood instruments I've owned. Paulownia was mentioned earlier in this thread - I'm just finishing a cheapo build using a paulownia body, and it sounds terrific (again, acoustically). Light as a feather, too, just under 7 pounds. I'm gonna love playing this thing, it's great. So yeah ... paulownia, even if it's not on the list here.
     
    DaveAceofBass likes this.
  15. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Last time I sourced lumber for new bass builds, 8/4 alder was double the cost of 8/4 poplar.
     
    Dadagoboi likes this.
  16. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    I've used tons of Alder and Poplar, they are pretty even as far as weight goes. Some poplar boards are heavier than alder, some alder boards are heavier than poplar. Alder is nicer looking, and works slightly easier than poplar. Poplar is a bit stringy and is more prone to tear out than alder, but its still an easy wood to work with, and both finish very nicely
     
    Dadagoboi likes this.
  17. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2005
    san antonio, texas
    me too!
     
    DaveAceofBass likes this.
  18. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    I always liked ash because it takes and holds threads better than the usual suspects.
     
  19. Dadagoboi

    Dadagoboi CATALDO BASSES Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2005
    Florida Swamp
    CataldoBasses: Designer/Builder ThunderBuckerPickups:Consultant
    I use both, poplar is cheaper than alder and I agree with Hopkins on the weight. As far as trans stain I've had no problems with poplar.

    P1090882%20comp_zpsxnhbdlmf.jpg

    P1090444P_zpskg6ndwqq.jpg
     
  20. Is ironwood the best tonewood for metal?
     
    Qlanq and ianuaditis 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 29, 2021

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