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Cons of using Ebony for the top of a bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by godoze, Oct 26, 2002.

  1. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    Why would someone NOT want to use ebony as the top of a bass body; aside from weight ?

    Also, someone please tell me what "spalted" means in regards to tone woods.

  2. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Because it's impossible to find a piece of ebony wide enough to cover the body in width.
  3. that's pretty neat, thanks for the link
  4. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    I owned a real pretty Fodera Deluxe 5 with a ebony top. It was awesome. I should have kept it

  5. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    I don't think the top would add any appreciable weight to the bass.

    the ebony top is pretty much why I bought this one. If it sells on ebay, I know I'll regret it eventually...
  6. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    That fodera is awesome. It's owned by this guy named Kevin that gives lessons at Bass Alone...like I said its awesome and I've seen it many times (I should ask to play it sometime heh heh). Anyway I do not think its bookmatched...look at the figuring. The two sides are not symmetrical.

    I'm totally getting an Imperial someday after seeing and hearing that one first hand.
  7. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Here's some Spalted Maple:

  8. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    I thought of a reason not to;
    It's expensive!!!
  9. Dan Knowlton

    Dan Knowlton Sarcasm: Just ONE of the many services I offer! Gold Supporting Member

    The Fodera is even better looking than in the pictures, although it is darker. Sound even better than it looks!

    Dan K.
  10. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    I don't think a proper piece is actually that hard to come by. Finding Gabon ebony that wide would certainly be difficult, but the better looking IMO Macassar ebony is a bit bigger.

    When I had my Hanewinckel built, I asked Pete about M. ebony, and just my luck his supplier was getting a shipment of wide stock the next week. Not wide enough for a full top, but for a bookmatched neck-through (I think it was 9" wide, so that would have covered a bookmatched bolt-on or hidden NT, too).

    I haven't read too much on the sound. Probably not much different from other hard, dense woods (cocobolo, bubinga, purpleheart, etc) when used for tops. It's not any heavier than cocobolo, or much heavier than bubinga, either.
  11. hey geshel,
    Decent bass, what's the neck made out of?
  12. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Thanks. The neck is bubinga, with wenge and yellowheart stringers. Padauk body. All fairly heavy woods, and it adds up. I can play it for a couple hours OK though.
  13. Woah, I can see how the weight can be a problem but still that must get a pretty broad midrange response... How does having padauke as a core wood affect the tone?
  14. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Well, since it's a neck-through, I'm not sure the padauk has that big of an effect. I've heard different opinions on the tone of padauk, from "like maple" to "like mahogany" and a few in between. As far as the density goes both are in the right ballpark. I think padauk has more midrange than maple though. Funny that I'm not sure since I have the bass, but without another similar one to compare with I'm not really able to say (my fretless sounds quite different but is a bolt-on).
  15. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    People should price woods, I think most would be surprised at how much nice wood doesn't cost;)
  16. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    somebody should tell Alembic then...
  17. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    :D :D :D
  18. Ben_P


    Oct 2, 2001
    Alberta, Canada
    Has anyone seen Carl Thompson's 10 million dollar bass? There's a piece of ebony!
  19. Brad Barker

    Brad Barker

    Apr 13, 2001
    berkeley, ca
    for ten million dollars, it better be a made of diamond.