Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Facing wood.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sloppysubs, Feb 16, 2003.


  1. sloppysubs

    sloppysubs

    Nov 24, 2002
    Swansboro, NC
    Hey all,
    Well I'm trying to choose a good facing wood out of zebrawood, maple and swamp ash. Which should I go for and why? Tonally and all that jazz. I'm leaning toward zebrawood, but a friend informed me it's quite unpredictable when finished. Any help is greatly thanked.
    KC
     
  2. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    Out of those, I prefer the zebrawood. Most maples have just been WAY too overused, IMO, and Ash usually seems rather plain to me. I've never heard of any odd happenings with finishing Zebrawood, and I would think what you see is pretty much what you get with it. It's not a figured wood, the stripes are just the way the grain flows, so I wouldn't think there would be any hidden spots in the wood.
     
  3. sloppysubs

    sloppysubs

    Nov 24, 2002
    Swansboro, NC
    well like i said the friend told me his zebrawood (mahagony body) was twangy sounding, where as his buddies (same woods) was low and warm. i was under the impression that it was similar to maple.
     
  4. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    I'm sure a zebrawood top won't have a large enough effect on the tone to make a bass go from "low and warm" to "twangy". Is everything else about the two basses identical?
     
  5. sloppysubs

    sloppysubs

    Nov 24, 2002
    Swansboro, NC
    I'm not sure about that. they're both std wal mach 2. so im assuming they are all teh same, but one i know for a fact cause the guy told me is coated with maple veneer. maybe that has an effect?
     
  6. walwear

    walwear

    Feb 17, 2003
    Zebra is definitely NOT "twangy". I have a zebra-faced Wal MkII/5 and, tonally, it is the darkest Wal I own. It has very strong lows and the signature Wal midrange, but the highs are very compressed. Part of this is certainly due to the rosewood fretboard, but I have other Wals with rosewood boards and they don't suffer as much as this one. If you are considering zebra, then you should definitely consider an ebony fretboard to bring in a little bite.

    Just my $0.02.

    Erik
     
  7. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    Maple veneer? :confused: How does that come into play with zebrawood facings? I don't understand.
     
  8. LM Bass

    LM Bass

    Jul 19, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    Finishing Zebra is nasty! The stuff is way toxic. I made a Lightwave equipped bass with a Zebra top and it was stinky stuff to work. It is fairly easy to work, though it tears out in a stringy way that is different than most woods I use. It is very striking to look at though, and my customer digs his bass.
    LM
     
  9. sloppysubs

    sloppysubs

    Nov 24, 2002
    Swansboro, NC
    i never said the maple veneer had anything to do with it, just thought it might? i wasnt sure.

    so you think ebony will bring a little more highs? that sounds good then. your wal is a mahagony body correct? thanks.
     
  10. This ones all zebrawood & wenge. It punches like a 2000 pound torpedo, and weighs a ton. Mike T. made it in '85.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Not sure if zebra facings would make as much impact.

    Aloha,

    Jonathan
     
  11. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    Is it a maple veneer between the mahogany and zebra? I was confused by the fact you said it was "coated" with maple veneer.
     
  12. walwear

    walwear

    Feb 17, 2003
    Yes, the zebra Wal has a mahogany core with a thin maple laminate between the core and facings.

    I would suggest an ebony fretboard if you want more bite...this is assuming that the body has a satin or oil finish. If you are having the body finished in a high gloss polyester, then the facing wood discussion becomes a nit. A poly gloss finish will drastically alter the tonal characteristics of any facing. For my ear, poly gloss and ebony is a bit too harsh. I have that combo on another Wal and I have to run Elixer strings on it to take the edge off.

    Erik
     
  13. sloppysubs

    sloppysubs

    Nov 24, 2002
    Swansboro, NC
    no, i dont want poly finishes. so ill go with the basic. the bass is hopefully going to be a zon, so im thinking the grpahite and the phenowood fretboard might open it up a bit. we'll see.


    hey john that bass is awsome. thats factastic looking.

    thanks for the help.