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Different Woods and their Sounds

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by greg_huff, Nov 12, 2005.

  1. greg_huff


    Nov 12, 2005
    Hey guys, im greg, and im brand new, so i just wanted to start off by saying hi to you guys and I look forward to talking to you guys.

    Right, well, down to my question.

    Ive been totally GASing for a Valenti since the moment I set eyes onto the one that Poon got, and so I was wondering what the differences in tone that you would get between different types of wood that are available. I know that from playing a variety of different basses that different woods for basses make the tone quite different, so I was just wondering if you guys could fill me a little bit more in-depth about that, as I'm starting to save my pennies for one of Nino's amazing basses and so I wanted to know more about different woods and their effect on tone.

    Anyways, I just wanna thank you guys in advance, and I would appreachiate all of your :help:

  2. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Welcome to TB. Nino does make a very nice bass.

    There are tons of threads around talking about different types of wood and general sounds. However, its sometimes hard to find the consice info you are looking for, since threads tend to wander a bit.

    Here's a very, very basic description of some popular 'Fender' type wood combo's. Also, PM Nino... he's a TBer and seems to be a very nice guy... he would be the expert on what sounds different woods give his basses. That being said...

    Ash body/Maple fretboard... this wood combo tends to be somewhat bright and maybe a touch 'scooped' sounding. Used in lot's of classic 70 J Basses. Very good if you like to slap... my favorite combination. Ash comes in very different weights... swamp ash is very light and sounds a bit more open.... a little more scooped.... heavier ash provides huge fundamental (lot's of punchy bottom).

    Alder/Rosewood board... the classic 60's wood combo... warm... a little mellower with more mid punch.

    Ebony fretboard... a lot of players feel this is a great compromise between RW and Maple... still very quick and bright... but a little warmer than Maple with a little more 'zing' than rosewood.... looks really nice with a light color or natural body.

    These differences can be somewhat subtle, since pickup type and placement, weight of wood, preamp, etc. can have a large impact.
  3. ii7-V7


    Aug 4, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    Descriptions of tonewoods are general. What I mean by that is one ash/maple combo will sound different from the next. So, just because you have a mohagony body with a Maple top doesn't mean that you instrument will sound like a les paul.

    There are tons of places on the internet with good descriptions of tonewoods, but this is the best that I have stumbled across.