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Body Core Wood

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by SnakeAnthony, Feb 19, 2006.


  1. I was wondering, what would be a good body core wood for a chambered bass with a walnut top and back, maple neck with walnut and wenge laminates, and an ebony fretboard. I would be looking for a darker, earthy tone (but not rediculusly dark), with a really strong midrange, and just enough brightness (which I think is taken care of in with the maple neck and ebony board). I want it to be really versital in the sound it gets, and I also want to include a piezo bridge. I had thought along the lines of black Korina, but I saw something on here the other day that the combination of Walnut and Korina might be too dark sounding. What do you guys think?
     
  2. JSPguitars

    JSPguitars

    Jan 12, 2004
    Grass Valley
    How bout maple or ash?
     
  3. I think maple might be a little over bright, from what I've heard about its tonal qualities. I'll be honest in that I'm not overly fermilair with Ash's tonal qualities. So thats an interest. Anything else?
     
  4. rdhbass

    rdhbass

    Jun 28, 2003
    Springfield, mo
    Can't go wrong with poplar or alder which are used in countless basses and is a mid tonal wood, not too bright and not too dark. If you will be using active electronics exclusively, it wouldn't matter if you wanted to use balsa wood or bass wood, most of your sound is coming from the preamp/pickups anyway. I've seen ken smiths with a maple back and walnut top that sound killer.
     
  5. tribal3140

    tribal3140 Banned

    Nov 9, 2004
    near detroit...uh
    I vote for black limba or korina
    for the darker mojo.

    swamp ash would be a meaty-er tone but also acceptable
     
  6. For some reason, I have some serious issues with Alder as a tone wood. It is the equivilant to plastic in the world of woods, the absolute most plain sounding possible, but that could just be me. Yes, what scant design for this bass I have in my head to build will use active electronics, but I still want good quality woods to be used, especially since I can get upper mid level woods (like walnut) easily (my dad is a contractor as well as a wood-worker, so he knows where to get wood). I know Korina will be possible but harder to get for not too much, as well as maple which I'm not thrilled about using, for fear of it being to bright, but I will still consider it. I know Ash is possible to get, so that is still under consideration.
     
  7. Thats what I'm thinking. I want a tonal mixture of Les Claypols Walnut 4, Mike Gordons tone before he used Modulus, and the slight hint of growl. So a nice spread of even tonal qualites, but still a really tight, focused midrange, and that hint of earthy-ness and growl, like from a Warwick (which is why I would use Wenge laminates in the neck). Will black Korina get me this?
     
  8. tribal3140

    tribal3140 Banned

    Nov 9, 2004
    near detroit...uh
    korina is very resonant.
    It takes on alot of what you have coupled it with.
    it tends to be very in you face sounding.
    I think with the walnut and wenge korina might not be a bad choice.
     
  9. unity bass

    unity bass

    Dec 15, 2003
    Modesto, Ca.
    This sounds alot like my bass including the description of the the tone you want. I have a Walnut top and back; Maple, wenge and bubinga neck; Ebony fretboard. (It's not chambered and there's no piezo).

    I have a spanish cedar core that was chosen (by me and the luthier) because of it's mahogany-like tone quality and light weight.

    With my Bart pre and Areo p-ups I can get quite a range of tone. It goes bright and mid-rangey like my Koa peavey or it gets deep like my fretless p-bass with flats. However, it is centered in between those two. I think dark (but not too dark), earthy and versatile is an excellent description.
    Of course, alot depends on how aggressively I play, how close to the bridge or fretboard I play and whether I'm going through a pair of tens or a pair of twelves. (I prefer the 12's).

    Currently, my favorite sound is with the preamp set flat (or bypassed) and the blend control centered. When playing live, the first thing I usually do, to really rip through, is slightly boost the mids.

    I'd be interested in hearing what other builders and players opinions are about Spanish Cedar. I know Roscoe uses it. Maybe a Roscoe user will chime in. I, for one, am very pleased with it.

    Good luck!

    Chad
     
  10. tribal3140

    tribal3140 Banned

    Nov 9, 2004
    near detroit...uh
    I would be hesitant of doing a spanish cedar body for a chambered bass!
    spanish cedar is very very soft like redwood and dents and bruises easily.
    You'd have to put lots of clearcoat on that badboy as well as being chambered be really gentile with it.
     
  11. Phil Mastro

    Phil Mastro

    Nov 18, 2004
    Montréal
    Doesn't Roscoe use spanish cedar on a lot of their basses, including chambered ones? (Do they do chambered bodies?)
     
  12. tribal3140

    tribal3140 Banned

    Nov 9, 2004
    near detroit...uh
    they do use sp. cedar on alot of the basses
    I dont know if they do chambered though.
    I havent seen a chambered roscoe in person.