Best wood for bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Aidan Engel, Dec 21, 2014.

  1. Aidan Engel

    Aidan Engel

    Aug 23, 2014
    I have been looking into woods for bass a lot lately, and found some pretty cool stuff. I understand there is no "best" wood for bass, but there is most certainly personal preference. I would like to ask you all this question: if you had the power to customize your bass, what would the woods be, for the neck, fingerboard, and body. Also it would be nice if you said why you prefer these woods and what the tone is along with it.
  2. Ace Of Bass

    Ace Of Bass A Rooster Illusion

    Jun 27, 2006
    To give a very short answer, it really depends on what my sonic aspirations are with the bass...different applications require different specs....
  3. Basswood. /thread
    On a serious note, don't look to woods to get your tone. They play a part, but not a very significant one in shaping your sound.
  4. Baird6869

    Baird6869 Supporting Member

    I disagree. Wood definitely makes a significant difference.

    Play a bass made with swamp ash/maple than play an identically configured one with mahogany/rosewood. No way you won't hear a difference.
  5. Ace Of Bass

    Ace Of Bass A Rooster Illusion

    Jun 27, 2006
    This all day....don't underestimate the importance of wood selection...
    M.R. Ogle and Big Shrek like this.
  6. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    central coast
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    I always defer to my wife for wood preference. Thankfully it continues to be mine...
  7. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    i've had good luck with four body woods, but then again my basses have had really sweet pickups imo
    grabber - maple body
    flying v - mahogany body
    vintage jazz - alder body
    skyline precision - ash body
    sb-2 - alder body
    L2000 - alder body
    Big Shrek likes this.
  8. Son of Wobble

    Son of Wobble

    Mar 8, 2010
    That's strange, cause I'm certain I saw your wife on another forum asserting that wood selection makes absolutely no difference to her?
  9. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    imagine a balsa wood bass! epic tone for sure. :thumbsup:
    friendlybass likes this.
  10. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Out there!
    To paraphrase Ace Of Bass:

    "Don't underestimate the power of the dark woods!"

    Darth Vader_thumbs_up.jpg

    Walnut makes for some really nice basses. :bassist:
  11. Baird6869

    Baird6869 Supporting Member


    If wood didn't matter, all basses would be made of pine or plywood.
  12. mark beem

    mark beem Wait, how does this song start again?? Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    Alabama, USA
    For me, swamp ash + maple neck and fretboard.. - Light weight, slightly scooped mids, great for rock, slapping, etc.

    Alder + maple/rosewood neck a close second
    TonyP-, davy4575 and DwaynieAD like this.
  13. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    Maple for the neck, Macassar ebony for the fingerboard, poplar for the body. 20+ years of bass building and R & D has led me to that combination as my favorite. Almost all of my current models are made from those woods. I am working on one new model that will be mostly walnut. Walnut is a great wood too.
    stuntbass77 likes this.
  14. bassbully

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

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    There are basses made of cardboard, plywood, resin and plastic. Do they always need to be wood?
  15. BeeTL

    BeeTL Commercial User

    Sep 26, 2006
    Oldsmar, FL
    Brad Lowe, Lowe Custom Guitars
    Maple/Maple, Maple/Rosewood, or Maple/Ebony neck.

    Swamp Ash body.

    In my experience these combinations yield the ideal power to weight ratio.

    They look good, too.

  16. Rich Terry

    Rich Terry BassOmatic

    Sep 14, 2014
    Fort Worth, Texas

    Worldeeeter, friendlybass and StayLow like this.
  17. Funkmabassup


    Jul 16, 2013
    what is the best wood for metal then? :D
    TheDominoKid likes this.
  18. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
    MrLenny1 likes this.
  19. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    central coast
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    Why do you think she's still married to me? The key is to manage expectations...
  20. Ken J

    Ken J Hartford Hot Several Brass Band

    Aug 19, 2011
    Middlefield, CT
    Save the Lucite trees
    BlueTalon and ReidK like this.