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best body wood to match flame myrtle?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by sloppysubs, Aug 29, 2004.


  1. sloppysubs

    sloppysubs

    Nov 24, 2002
    Swansboro, NC
    ash, mahogany or poplar?

    i hear poplar has that nasty green tint to it. i dont really mind all that. but im also told its a soft wood and i play hard from time to time and i would hate to mess it all up.

    mahogany im told is a bad arse body wood and no matter what the top wood is.

    and of course ash, it always sounds good with those jazz bassess. but i was todl its got a good bit of top end zing. but it does sound good.

    what do yall think?

    i guess it might help if it toss in im putting a humbucker in the neck and a single coil in the bride. thanks.
     
  2. McHack

    McHack

    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    What neck wood are you considering?
     
  3. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    My favorite body woods for a bass are (not in any particular order...) black limba, walnut, and australian blackwood. I am also partial to alder simply because my ugly old p-bass is alder.

    Again, it would depend on what sound you're going for, and what neck woods. Is this a bolt on or a neck through? Pickup types and placement?... (oops, you covered that above...)
     
  4. sloppysubs

    sloppysubs

    Nov 24, 2002
    Swansboro, NC
    well its gonna be a zon. so bolt on graphite neck wiht phenowood fingerboard.
     
  5. McHack

    McHack

    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Well, if you're having a Zon built... why not have this discussion with them? I have NO idea what that neck & FB setup comes out like.

    BUT, as BassKahuna indicated, Limba/Korina DOES rock, I've seen it described as Mahogany +++.

    Maybe its just me, but I have yet to read anywhere,,, where someone LOVES Poplar... There are woods people rave about, & I just haven't seen that for Poplar. That doesn't mean its not great sounding, tho. Maybe less popular, because of its hue...
     
  6. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    I completely agree with McHack, if you're having a bass built, I would spend plenty of time talking to the builder (Zon) discussing what sound / tone your looking for and get them to suggest the woods. They know their basses and electronics best, so go with that.

    Black Limba sounds WAY better for a bass than Mahogany (IMHO...), nice deep end but not muddy. I find mahogany can be muddy in a bass if it is not balanced with other woods and electronics properly.
     
  7. Well, that would be me for one. The bass I completed for Bassman2000 was poplar (painted) with a flame ash veneer top - maple/maple neck and it was astounding how good it sounded. Not just OK for a different species but on par with any alder I've played. You're right about the color but when stained, the green goes away completely and you get some very nice variegated brown to white hues depending on your stain choice. Most of the stuff I've seen has a strong grain pattern between between the deep color heartwood and the white wood. The stuff machines almost like maple but is lighter. Routing body contours was a breeze because of it's tight grain and it was great with chisels too.

    Since it's not expensive, everyone should just pop together a blank and see for yourselves. I bet you'll be surprised.
     
  8. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    I agree with the above advice for people getting acquainted with building 100%. Many of the cheaper, more abundant species sound great and while you get off the ground, it's a good idea to use woods like poplar and (one of my favorites) sassafrass.

    Now, if you are paying big bucks for a custom bass someone else is building, you should get exactly what you want. You should not rule out woods like poplar, but you should try to find a wood that you like everything about. Rather than go into a spiel on how I feel about "the sound of wood", I'll just say that you should pick something you like the looks of, and are happy with the general characterization of, sound-wise, and can cope with in terms of weight.

    But I'll close by saying: what does "mahogany++" even mean? Was that Ed Roman who said that?
     
  9. JSPguitars

    JSPguitars

    Jan 12, 2004
    Grass Valley
    You gotta love the look of some good mineral stained poplar, no?
     
  10. McHack

    McHack

    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    LOL, I have NO idea what that's supposed to mean... What's funny is, I cant find where I read that either... So, it very well could be Ed Roman. If it is, I am ashamed.