Cypress wood for bass construction?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by CYoung, Aug 23, 2001.

  1. CYoung


    Nov 30, 2000
    Gainesville, FL
    I was over at looking at the custom basses that guy has put together and it got me thinking.... I live in Florida and we have lots of big cypress trees. Cypress is a very heavy, hard wood, that stains or oils to a very dark finish. I am curious if any of you know of anyone who has used cypress wood as a component in a bass guitar? The though has occurred to me to maybe use some cypress panels as the facing over mahogany or maple in a custom neck-thru instrument. Any ideas on how sound might be affected? Anyone try this?
  2. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    It depends on which type of cypress you're talking about.

    Spanish, Canadian, and Monterrey cypress backs and sides are sold by Luthiers Mercantile for Spanish guitars. Spanish cypress has been used for flamenco guitars for a long time.

    Buy you may have pecko or southern cypress, (or another type), and I've never heard of those being used for anything other than construction. Doesn't mean it won't work well, it may be it was never tried. Spector used some kind of cypress for their "caveman" bass, but that wood was 32,000 years old! (I guess it had time to dry).

    The biggest obstacle I see is getting the cypress properly dried because the species I've seen mentioned are all oily. Otherwise, it will be unstable and you may have parts of a bass after a while. Plus, too much oil left in will dampen tone.