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Figured hardwoods on the BACK of the bass...

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Slater, Apr 2, 2002.


  1. Slater

    Slater Bye Millen! Hello?

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    I have noticed that sandwich-type bodies are becoming more popular on basses (and guitars), with a popular tone-wood for the middle of the bass, and then a figured hardwood top and back. It seems more obvious how a hardwood top would affect the tone of an instrument since the top is right under the strings. What I am wondering is...
    On a solid-body electric bass, does a hardwood back make much of a tonal difference, or is this done more for cosmetic reasons?

    Thanks in advance for any insightful replies :) .
     
  2. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    On solid instruments, the back wood will play just as much a role in the resonance of the body as the top.

    This, of course, is different on hollow bodied instruments.
     
  3. dhuffguitars

    dhuffguitars Luthier/Bass Wanker depending on your opinion

    Sep 18, 2001
    SPOKANE WA
    I would think it has more of a role on a hollowbody. Some classical/acoustic luthiers use "tone" wood (spruce,cedar,etc.) on the top and back. They claim it helps out quite a bit.

    Darrin
     
  4. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    I hadn't heard about acoustic builders using spruce on the back of an instrument. I'll have to pick the brains of the classical/acoustic builders next door for their opinion. These guys are pretty traditional, so I may be asking for trouble.....
     
  5. dhuffguitars

    dhuffguitars Luthier/Bass Wanker depending on your opinion

    Sep 18, 2001
    SPOKANE WA
    It is used on Kasha/Schneider designed guitars.