Do figured maple tops affect tone?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Rod Torfulson, Mar 19, 2004.

  1. Rod Torfulson

    Rod Torfulson

    Mar 10, 2004
    Do maple tops affect tone or is the appeal purely aesthetic? For example, is there tonal difference between a swamp ash bodied Sadowsky with a figured maple top and one without?
  2. It depends a little on how thin the top is. I'm not sure about Roger's instruments, but George at F Bass says that using a 1/8" thick figured maple top on a swamp ash body has no net tone effect. I can say that my custom-top BN5 sounds identical to plain ash ones I've played.
  3. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    I was going to say the same thing, but it means a heckuva lot more coming from George!
  4. Sadowsky

    Sadowsky Commercial User

    Nov 1, 2000
    Owner: Sadowsky Guitars Ltd.
    Our maple tops are about 1/10" thick and I do not feel they affect the tone. We use them for cosmetic purposes only. I think once a top gets beyond the 1/4" range, you would probably hear it.

    Roger Sadowsky
  5. Rod Torfulson

    Rod Torfulson

    Mar 10, 2004
    Thanks to all for the quick responses, especially Roger for providing the definitive word regarding Sadowsky basses. What a great forum!