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Buckeye Burl or Buckeye Burl?!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by improvpwnd, Mar 12, 2006.

  1. All of these top woods were labeled Buckeye Burl, but they all look so different! I like the greyish more than the yellowish ones, but why is there a difference?
    ROSC_LG_3005_BEB_FL_L. buckeyeskb5smal2.
  2. Attached Files:

  3. instigata


    Feb 24, 2006
    New Jersey
    burls are very random and assorted. no two pieces can be alike, and the differences are due to moisture cntents/areas where grown, parts of the tree, etc.
  4. i understand, but when i order a bass and i ask for buckeye burl, how do i know im going to get the greyish one and not the yellowish one? is it just by chance?
  5. puff father

    puff father Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2006
    Endicott, NY
    "Burl" is derived from bile+hurl? b'hurl...

    I thought it varied according to what the person/animal had to eat before throwing them up.

    JK ;)

  6. instigata


    Feb 24, 2006
    New Jersey
    well, who are you ordering from. if its a custom luthier (which it likely mostly is.. i don't know of many production basses which come in buckeye), you usually can work with them through pics and such as for what top you like. you should always be able to choose your custom top, when that is desired.

    me, i prefer a delicious piece of swamp ash with the correctly applied transparent or burst finish. maybe thats just me...

    most exotic wood tops to me are just added extravagance. and i prefer the simplicity of design.
  7. Scott Lynch

    Scott Lynch Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2002
    Delaware, USA
    If you are concerned with the color of the wood, you could:
    a) buy a bass that has already been built, or
    b) ask the builder of your bass to send you a pic of some different burl slabs so you can pick the one you like the most.

    That way you'll know!
  8. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars

    My other reply to your thread seems to have disappeared, but to this question, I'd tell you that buckeye burl is definitely something that if you're considering ordering a custom bass, you should be able to pick out the top wood yourself, from either samples or pictures provided by your luthier. Then you can pick the look you want.

    I wouldn't buy a buckeye burl bass sight unseen. Ever. You never know what you're getting!
  9. Scott Lynch

    Scott Lynch Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2002
    Delaware, USA
    man, you beat me by like 30 seconds, you son of a :D :D
  10. tribal3140

    tribal3140 Banned

    Nov 9, 2004
    near detroit...uh
    the blue green content is derived from mold pigments and the natural color is the yellow/cream.
    There is also pink and brown stains that can occur in buckeye burl as well as the classic penline spalt.

    definately specify what look you are after of if they have tops to look at that would be ideal in your situation.
  11. [​IMG]

    A mighty fine example of so called Cookies & Cream Buckeye Burl. Just be very specific about your wishes and preferences and you'll be OK. Any good luthier should be willing to show or e-mail pictures of possible tops for your bass to you, so you could chose the one you like best.
  12. IMO... it's VERY important with the Buckeye tops to find pictures of the general look you want and send to your luthier ( .. lot's of pictures of Buckeye Burl instruments on the Bass Northwest, Groove Shoppe, etc. sites). And.. it's hard to tell what the finished product will look like from the raw, unfinished wood if your luthier sends you pictures of various pieces.

    As mentioned, there is so much variability in these tops... some look great, and some are really pretty ugly IMO.
  13. rontalsaurus


    Aug 19, 2002
    Something I don't get about burl:
    Wouldn't having all of those areas of the wood rotted out, porous and hole-y cause the builder to use excess epoxy to finish it (filling in the holes along the way)? And, wouldn't this alter the resonance of the wood and make the bass sound partially synthetic?
  14. IMO.. the thin topwood veneers that most luthiers use on basses have little or no impact on the sound... they are just there to make the bass look pretty. To your point, that's why you don't see any (or many) burl bodies or necks.

    There are a few luthiers who use thicker topwood veneers and claim some difference in the tone (Drozd, for example),
  15. Basso Gruvitas

    Basso Gruvitas Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2000
    Dallas/Ft. Worth TX

    Looks like you're enjoying those Roscoes Headbanger. I don't blame you. You've got some great pics on file.

    Wood is a variable thing, but sending shots to the builder AND the retailer (as a third party) is really the only way to communicate what you have in mind. Especially if you're dealing with Roscoe, it's a good idea to send "concept photos" because Keith has a W - I - D - E variation of what you might be looking for.
  16. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    The yellowish one may have the vintage yellow finish on, so it has a yellowish glow.

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