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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Benjamin Strange, Sep 18, 2004.


  1. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Yes, it's true; I got my brain off amps for a second, and starting thinking about my bass. I've got a Steinberger XM (which has a maple body) and a Moses neck (graphite) and Rio Grande Pitbull pickups (essentially a P pup; running passive). I love the tone of the thing, but I'm finding it's a little weak on low-end. I also tune in fifths (CGDA), so my low C doesn't really have the core tone that I want, and the high A is a little thin.

    It's a wonderful bass, but I'm finding subtle problems with it that I find a bit disconcerting, and so I'm beginning to consider getting a bass custom made. I'm considering getting Gary Novax (the fanned fret guy) to whip one up for me, that's very similar to what I have now. I'm pretty sure I'm going to stick with the graphite neck, since I need the stability of it and love the clarity, but I may go with a different body wood to help fill out the low-end. Which brings me to my point: what's a good wood to mate with a graphite neck? Keep in mind that I love the tone of this bass already, but it could use a bit more warmth and some more oomph in the lower frequencies. I'm thinking of a thick tone that I can still play chords and tapping melodies without it getting muddy. Suggestions, gents?
     
  2. I would suggest either an ash or mahogany body, though too different tone woods, both will have more low end richness than maple.

    As for the pickups, I would suggest MM style bucker's, they drip with low end response. Also, I would suggest having a pre installed. That would bring up a lot of clarity in the lower areas.

    Try bart MM's and a bart pre.
     
  3. vene-nemesis

    vene-nemesis Banned

    Jul 17, 2003
    Bilbao España
    Get a brige pick-up with more output (wood change wont really make a huge difference if you dont change something in the electronics) and/or change to active a sadowsky or fodera outboard pre-amp can be a good choice.


    EDIT: never seen such a thing but a walnut body + a graphite neck can be interesting, cos that way you can add wood tone to the lacking tonewood graphite neck.
     
  4. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Pickups is a good place to start. Drop those old EMGs back in it, and see if that oomph is back. It might be the neck, or the strings, or something. Don't think right off the bat that it's the body. You might love the pitbull tone, but maybe it's the pickup.

    Just something to sit on before you pull the trigger on anything.
     
  5. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Nonono... guys, I want to stick with the pickups I have. They really do sound great; much better than the EMGs that were in there previously. I love the P sound, and I don't want to move away from that.

    It's definitely the bass. When playing it acoustically, I can hear the tone that needs to be there - just some more low end presence. It's not something that can be changed simply by use of electronics and/or pickup change, besides - I want to stay passive. At this point I'm purely thinking of what woods would complement the graphite neck.
     
  6. Bubinga? :confused:
     
  7. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Low end oomph? Something lighter, less dense. Maybe spanish cedar? That's what Roscoe uses to get some big bottom.
     
  8. canopener

    canopener

    Sep 15, 2003
    Isle of Lucy
    Maybe put some TI Jazz Flats on them?
     
  9. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Hmm... that's an interesting idea. Cedar is light, is it not? I'm kind of a slight dude, and a light bass would be a good thing.
     
  10. vene-nemesis

    vene-nemesis Banned

    Jul 17, 2003
    Bilbao España

    Well i had this idea for my own but im sharing it with u, make a bass thats active and pasive at the same time, you want a pronounced low bottom so you can add a 9v batt. to the neck p-up and leave the rest, the promblem i found bout this is that you have to set the pickups on parallel mode and you might also need some resistors for the bridge pickup, talk to a luthier that makes his own electronics he might tell you many more technical details.
     
  11. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Hmm... that sounds a bit complicated. I went passive because I like the simplicity, and prefer a hi-impedance signal. I've got nothing but a pickup selector on my bass, and I don't want to add anything more than that.

    Any more wood suggestions to go with a graphite neck?
     
  12. vene-nemesis

    vene-nemesis Banned

    Jul 17, 2003
    Bilbao España
    yeah i saw one of your steinbergers in that talkbass video, i dig the simplicity too but its a shame that the way we would like our sound/tone is so complex.

    Have you played your bass in any other amp (better than yours if possible)?
     
  13. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    Hehehe, better than Mesa...something's wrong with this boy! ;)

    I'll second the suggestion for TI Flats. Big bottom on those suckas. What strings are you using now?
     
  14. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    dude - i've seen your rack
    don't tell me the weight of a bass really matters - :p
     
  15. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    His rack has wheels.

    ...now there's an idea, Ben.
     
  16. coyoteboy

    coyoteboy easy there, Ned Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2000
    Sactomato, CA
    As for mating wood specie with graphite, Mr MosesGraphite would have experience making custom instruments using various different woods with his own graphite necks, and might be willing to share some insight. I think he has also worked with fanned frets.

    I dig his graphite material, it makes a great fingerboard.
     
  17. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Hmm... yes. A bass with wheels...