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Body wood for growling tone

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by rockosocko, May 19, 2011.

  1. rockosocko


    Sep 14, 2008
    I once had a Tobias with a quilted maple body and a pau ferro neck. The bass had a warm tone with tons of growl. Other than quilted maple, what other body woods could give me a similar tone?
  2. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    The same pickups and pre from the Tobias the body wood doesn't have much of an effect. Besides, the purveyors of the "solidbody tonewood" pretense will tell you that Maple is bright and snappy, so this would cause extreme disbelief in the "solidbody tonewood" cults. Electronics and build quality along with neck materials will dictate the sound.
  3. glued plywood.. its angry
  4. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    Sorry to side-bar this a bit, but this thought has perked my interest. If one had an instrument that was somewhat "dark" in tone, would changing the neck to a very different wood make a noticeable difference?
  5. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Banned

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    Noticeable - probably. Predictable - absolutely not.
  6. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    I'd try OSB or "wishwood". Very angry for obvious reasons. Could be described as abusive tone.
    Similar to "mother-in-law tone".
    No resonance though. More screech.:eek:
  7. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Bring out the little dude eating pop corn. :bag: :D
  8. Redundancy will make anything angry..........
  9. Dogwood.
  10. steamthief


    Jan 25, 2006
    Mentone Beach
    Well played. :D
  11. AndroWal


    Sep 28, 2003
    Ojai, CA
    I find that my mahogany bodied, maple top basses all have good growl with good brightness. The neck materials applicable are maple with strips of mahogany, composite and other light hardwoods with mahogany strips.

    This said...pickups are very important...I especially like the Barts on my Zon TJ5 for the growl and of course the Wal multi-coils which you can only get if you buy a Wal.
  12. darylchan


    Mar 1, 2011
    Tropical Birdwood. Comes in red, blue, yellow and black varieties.
  13. My Ibanez ATK growls like a mother with fresh nickel roundwounds. The pickup is in the EBMM position, although the tone is warmer and more mid-heavy than an EBMM. It has a heavy ash body and maple bolt-on neck. It weighs 11lb and change.

    I threw a second ATK pickup in the neck position just for fun, and when I dial the blend all the way to the neck pickup, it goes very deep and smooth-sounding, with no growl.

    I have a single-cut 35" neck-through bass (the one in my sig), with EMG 40P5's. The neck pickup is in almost-P position, and the bridge pickup is further back from the bridge than a 70's Jazz. It's rock maple and Bubinga for the center log, and soft curly maple for the body wings, with a thick Ebony slab fingerboard. It weighs just over 10lb.

    It's had various EMG's in it over the years, and always sounded as smooth as butter, with no growl. ...Until I put the second P5 in the bridge. Now the bridge p/u position grrrowls like nobody's business.

    So I'm voting for electronics and pickup position as the dominant factors, with a bias toward combinations that give you lots of harmonics and less fundamental. Wood, weight, and neck joint don't seem to have a lot of impact, based on my very small statistical sample.
  14. gbarcus

    gbarcus Commercial User

    Jul 20, 2008
    Minneapolis & St.Paul, MN
    Owner of Barcus Basses barcusbasses.com
    I had a mid 90's Tobias 6 string with a pau ferro fretboard that had nice growl, but only up to the first 6 frets or so, beyond that, it got muddy. I've never had a bass that changed it's tone so much across the neck.
    None of my single cut 35" scale basses have that. :)
  15. How bout ya buy a Roscoe and call it a day... :bag:
  16. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Banned

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    Goodly played, sir!
  17. pasco jacorius

    pasco jacorius

    Jan 4, 2010
    To me growl means wenge or ovangkol neck with wenge fingerboard, for more warmth (and low mid,a kind of nasal sound) check a rosewood fingerboard. Pau ferro as a neck do give a nice, punchy growl. I think a good mahogany body will meet your needs,with a soft maple top(for beauty ), or even bubinga(but it's so heavy..).
    Now you also have to choose a pair of pickups that will focus on the "growl" part of your tone('cause if your pickups focus on the high end, you will hear the "high end" of that growl" , while I'm sure you want the mid-end of it to cut better). MEC pickups tend to to that very well, and some Barts "split-coil" in a jb pu'shell can do that also. Concerning the preamp I always say "go passive". So no preamp is the best to me :D.
  18. Deleted
  19. :)

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  20. markanini


    Jun 25, 2008
    A boost between 1.5kHz to 2kHz helps convey growl big time.

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