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Body woods [I have done a search]

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by matthewfoote, Nov 22, 2004.

  1. I have done quite a long search to no avail so I am posting for some help!

    What do people think the tones of these combinations would be.

    Wenge body with Maple facing v Walnut body with maple facing v Mahogany body with maple facings

    It will have a through neck of maple with stringers of the appropriate body wood.

    I am looking for a bass that has a good low but tight bass, prominent mids and a treble that is not too bright/harsh.

    Above all it must be a growl monster!!

    Any help appreciated


  2. Papersen

    Papersen Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2002
    I`m no expert in the matter, but I guess that electronics (pups and pre) and hardware have an important role in the equation to find that growly tone.
  3. JTGale


    Oct 26, 2004
    Hummelstown, PA
    Not too sure if this will help, but ... I have a neck-through that has a maple neck with wenge stringers and a wenge fingerboard. The body wings are maple only. But I can tell you, this bass (a 5-string) has some of the best sustain and ringing clarity of any bass I have ever played. Even without being plugged in, it really sounds great and I attribute that sound to the combination of woods. Wenge is awesome! You can feel the whole bass vibrate under your fingers in a very sexy way.

    This said, I thing a wenge body with maple top with a wenge/maple neck would be very heavy. But if your shoulders can handle it, I would suspect it would have excellent tonal qualities that, IMHO, would be worth it. Let us know what you decide and feedback is required after the bass arrives. I know we will all be curious.

  4. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    I don't know that there are many folks who'll have experience with wenge as a core/body wood. Mahogany is usually a safe bet in my book, but my familiarity is mostly with bolt-ons. If I had to guess, I'd say walnut would be a little deeper and a little less mid-heavy. And as Papersen implied, body wood is only one part of the equation--fretboard wood will make a difference (I'd probably go with wenge there), and certainly pickups and electronics.

    Good luck!
  5. Thanks for the very quick replys guys :)

    Are there any more thoughts from people out there.


  6. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    My PJ has a wenge neck, ebony fb, & korina body... This thing burps, & growls so much, I swear it needs a couple of TUMMS.
  7. 6 string demon

    6 string demon

    Mar 23, 2003
    i belive xo-bionic has a all wenge sei. might be worth shooting him a PM
  8. copy a warwick thumb bolt on or a spector bolt on.
  9. catwig1


    Mar 4, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    I second the "ask XO" comment. His Single cut is wenge (i think). If not one of his other Sei's is. I think that the Mahog may sound pretty bassy and not so much upper mid-y. Walnut more Low mid-y and wenge Hi mid-y. But I'm no expert :). Is this gonna be a single cut Sei Matt? I'm just being nosey...
    Matt White
  10. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I agree: electronics, pups, and pup placement have a LOT to do with growl.

    My growliest bass is my Warwick Streamer Stage I 5, which is mostly maple.
  11. Someone, I think it was Basskahuna, mentioned that a combo of wenge neck and korina body has good growl.

    I have a bass with a korina body and a maple neck/ebony fingerboard (all Warmoth). It sounds great!

    Maybe someday I'll get a wenge neck with ebony fingerboard, swap it with my present neck, and see what happens.
  12. JTGale


    Oct 26, 2004
    Hummelstown, PA
    Let me say that I love my wenge neck. It has an open grain but doesn't need finishing. It is warm and feels nice under the hand. A very tonal wood. What I wouldn't give for a wenge neck with an ebony fingerboard! Sorry, I am gassing ... ;)
  13. Thanks for the replys guys they are helping me a lot.

    catwig1 I am considering a new bass and Sei is a strong contender [along with JP] If I do go the single cut route. :D

    As I have posted previously, I was seriously considering a singlecut but I am now having some second thoughts. If I do go double cut again I would want a twin for my fretless so Sei would be the choice for me.

    At the moment I am just sorting out in my own mind which woods I want in the bass. As my rig adds no colour to the sound I need the bass to have the sound I am after. It will be another 7 stringer but this time fretted and needs to have the growl of a warwick thumb [but I do not want a Warwick].

    This is all at an early stage and subject to change so my final spec could be a long ways off, but this is where TB is so good. A lot of good information can be gathered and sifted to hopefully help me make the right decisions.


  14. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    AS the tonal influence of the body is rather minimal, I suggest you go for the most comfortable. Which means lightest.
    European walnut is about the same weight as mahogany. Tested solo, i.e. as a piece of wood, not a part of an instrument, the walnut would be a little more bassy. But in an instrument, it doesn't matter very much.
  15. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    First, IMHO disclaimer. I have done a lot of reasearch into this and spoke to folks like Glenn at Austin Bass Traders as well as Mike Tobias, who is a master at wood "alchemy". Based on what I've read and heard back, here's what I'd think...

    In fact, even after reading my personal opinion below, I'd strongly recommend you email Glenn about this, too. He's an absolute master at wood tones. Just read his artful descriptions of the basses he has in stock (www.austinbasstraders.com). I got my MTD from him, and his description was dead-on tone-wise.

    Very bright and crisp, with a compressed upper mid.
    The walnut is going to be a little softer than the wenge, so this will warm it up somewhat.. not as crisp as above
    Classic vintage tone with a bright high end due to the maple top. Should have a very balanced tonal range, not really exemplary in any one particular spot, but probably the most versatile tone of all. This is one of my favorite combos as well as alder/maple and ash/maple (though that's also on the bright side).

    The neck thru will take a bit of the edge off, but give you a little more inherent sustain (tho keep in mind sustain is affected by many things).

    Then I'd almost suggest not going with a maple top, because maple will be bright... it's not harsh, but generally adds brightness. I'd definitely not go with the wenge maple in your case.

    Bottom line is, if you want good lows and a milder high end, I'd suggest you go with softer woods, like maybe a redwood top on alder or even maple on alder. Of your choices, I think the maple on mahogany would be the closest, but you may have to back the treble off just a bit.

    Also, as mentioned earlier, neck construction... including fingerboard woods will also make a significant difference. If you want something not too bright, I'd avoid wenge, ebony, and maple. I'd go with rosewood/pao ferro or something like that... a little more open grained.

    just get a very well made bass with high quality elex (regardless of your wood selection) and you'll get this.

    Again, IMHO...
  16. Vics

    Thanks for the very full reply you have given it is very informative.

    As you say in your summing up, of the 3 body woods I have listed, mahogany seems to be the one which would give me the best all round tone so I will go away and do some more research on the various luthiers websites into it.

    It is also very interesting what you and others say about the electronics being very important in the production of growl.

    Thanks to everyone so far and keep it coming.


  17. lsimy

    lsimy Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2003
    Virginia, USA
    I just had a Warrior completed with mahogany body, maple top and mahog/purp/mahog neck with ebony board.

    When I first got it, it had a sterile, bright high end with the high-headroom 18v preamp they put in there. I had them change it to a simple 2-band with 9v power and it's a whole new beast: prominent mids, more lows and much less highs. The thing really growls now.

    Just some thoughts on pickups and preamps. Another +1 for the importance of those as well as the woods.