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Can't find swamp ash... what to use?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Frank Martin, Apr 18, 2005.


  1. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Hello everyone!

    So, still making plans for my project, to be built till the middle or the end of summer. It will be a back-up bass to the Corvette (or the Corvette will end up as the backup ;) ), and I'm looking for a similar tone (punchy, growly, agressive, lively, strong low mids and lows, bit recessed in the high mids), maybe with more clarity, but with less weight. Also, it will have a different upper & lower horns layout for better balance.

    The original plan was to build a body with a thick bubinga top (3/4") and a chambered swamp ash back. However, I cant find swamp ash here... I can easily get Common Ash, Tall Ash, Flowery Ash, Hungarian Ash, etc, but not Swamp Ash :( The only way I could get it is to order it from America - which would at least double the price.

    How's about African Mahogany? Not much heavier, should add clarity to the lows... whaddaya think?

    Or maple - acer macrophyllum, the lighter one, that is.

    Or should I keep on trying to get swamp ash?

    Input appreciated
    Thanks
     
  2. Juneau

    Juneau

    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    Mahogany seems like the right substitue to me. It will be a little darker, but have good low and low mids from what Ive gathered. You might think about a maple FB if you want more brightness, add it there instead of the body wood.
     
  3. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Thanks for the reply!

    My only beef with maple fb is the it would look quite awkward with wenge-bubinga neck, bubinga top, black hardware... I'd prefer a dark-colour FB. I'm thinking of ebony. Or morado... still trying to make up my mind about it...
     
  4. Juneau

    Juneau

    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    You could always stain it dark, might actually look pretty cool, especially if you used a figured board, quilt or flame or something :) Might also look at Katalox as a board. If I remember correctly, it sounds brighter than ebony (dont quote me there), but is as hard as ebony is roughly. And its dark (aside from the sapwood).

    See Jean Baudin's new Joust Bass, has Katalox board, or if you want to see a really cool use of it (w/ sapwood and heartwood), look around for a pic of Jared's Katalox Fodera, or Ill post the pic later on :)
     
  5. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    except for when it starts to wear out at places... :eek:
    Seen it on many guitars, and I dont like those rash/wear-out marks


    I'll ask the luthier who will be making the neck whether he can get it. :)
     
  6. MAJOR METAL

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

  7. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Yeah, but by the time they arrive here, with shipping and custom prices, etc, they will double or triple in proce... :(