Do you find basswood to be tonally inferior to alder or ash?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BusyFingers, Sep 21, 2017.

  1. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts


  2. vates


    Nov 15, 2007
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Basswood works great on EBMM Bongo
    lowdownthump likes this.
  3. Well, I must say a few things regarding this, being one of the "poo-poo-ers" of Basswood in the original thread-

    On the "hate it" side, I found the tone of my MIJ-P-bass to be lackluster; that is, lacking any sort of focus. Dull and "thuddy". Not the sound of a P-bass as I'd heard to that point of my life/career.

    On the "maybe it ain't so bad after all" side (or maybe I should call it "retract my statement?"), my playing then (remember, late 80's/very early 90's, so I maybe had 4-5 years of "self teaching" under my belt) wasn't so hot, and I just didn't understand what all the fuss about a P-bass . My amplification wasn't so hot either (a VERY road worn V4B driving an equally worn Traynor 2X15 with mismatched Peavey drivers). Was the P-bass the tone I hear in my head or the one I was searching for (at the time)? Probably not. Given the tendency of that era's players to wanna be either Stu Hamm, Billy Sheehan or maybe still Jaco (self included), this instrument didn't suit my search, thus fueling my equally vain feelings top this day regarding Basswood.

    If I ever get to try one of these instruments, I will certainly try to make an unbiased assessment!

    Although, I WILL go on record as saying regarding Basswood- it seemed to be very easily prone to dings and gouges, unlike Ash or Alder! My current instrument is Alder, and other than the usual wear spots through the finish, has withstood being dropped, falling off guitar stands on stage, and being played by a drunk audience member (himself, a bass player though).
  4. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    Go try a EBMM Bongo and report back
    Dasgre0g and lowdownthump like this.
  5. Hounddog409


    Oct 27, 2015
    I would bet a LOT of $$ that less than 1% of people could determine which bass was made of alder, ash, maple, basswood, etc in a Blind sound test.
  6. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    I have no idea what kind of wood any of my guitars or basses are made of, and will never ever care even a little bit.
    Rockonjp76 likes this.
  7. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Bassist: "So my plan is to add a thin layer of mahogany between the koa and bubinga to enhance the inherent growl of the ebony fret board, while boosting my glassy upper mids with three extra winds on my reverse-P configuration and adjusting the distance of the J pickup from the bridge by 2.5mm..."

    The entire listening public: "Aaaay Macarena!"
  8. Kun2112


    Nov 2, 2013
    I was just about to jest that surely you must play a P-Bass, then I saw that you prefer P-Basses.
    2tonic likes this.
  9. Rickter


    Nov 30, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    I used to have an Ibanez BTB that was a basswood body with a maple veneer. There was definitely something about the mids with that bass. In retrospect I figured out that it was the typical Ibanez cheap electronics.

    By contrast, I would point out that Ernie Ball's Bongo series is entirely based on Basswood bodies. You don't hear, or at least I don't hear, people saying that the Bongo line is lacking in tone.
  10. jd56hawk

    jd56hawk Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    This just in...Music Man to discontinue the Bongo line of basses.
    pjbassist likes this.
  11. GK Growl

    GK Growl Inactive

    Dec 31, 2011
    I like that. I actually know what mine are but don't care one little bit.
  12. Rockonjp76


    Aug 8, 2016
    716, NY
    Don't care what type of wood, although I do like my basses on the heavy side.
  13. CocoaThumper


    Aug 18, 2017
    Tone wood on electric solid body instruments? Lol

    (That's all I have to say about this topic)
    SmrtWntCrzy likes this.
  14. grinx


    Mar 24, 2003
    Raleighwood, NC
    I will never buy a basswood instrument again.

    New Ibby SR800 from the late 80's.
    Look at it the wrong way and it will dent.
    Had active preamp. Stripped screw holes out within 2 years changing batteries.
    I play a lot unplugged and it isn't as loud as my hardwood basses, unplugged
  15. BobaFret


    Jan 22, 2008
    just drop a high mass bridge on it and you'll be fine.
  16. Runnerman

    Runnerman Registered Bass Player Supporting Member

    Mar 14, 2011
    no, no and no
  17. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Um.....we need to talk. Who do you make them for? :D
  18. Jay Corwin

    Jay Corwin Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
  19. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Did you use a microscope? Seriously, how did you COUNT layers of paint.....especially twelve of them???
    Showdown, CocoaThumper and pjbassist like this.
  20. jnsnj


    Sep 5, 2015
    The maple bass would be easy to figure out. Just listen for the grunting sound when they pick it up.
    MobileHolmes and Showdown like this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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