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Glossary of Woods

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BrettAM, Aug 18, 2002.


  1. Does anyone know where I can find one? I'm going to start making some more solid plans for my CT soon and I'd like to have all my options when it comes to woods available to me. Right now I'm thinking a mahogany core with either cocobolo or ebony front and back. Fretless unlined ebony or pink ivory fingerboard. 36" scale, 4-string, single Kent Armstrong bridge pup, and 1 tone control. But I'm gonna play this one by ear. :D
     
  2. My spread sheet has a WOODS section.
     
  3. BigBohn

    BigBohn

    Sep 29, 2001
    WPB, Florida
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Do you really want to do this "right"???

    If not, I would just refer to luthiers' webpages and see their differing opinions.

    But, if you are willing to do your homework and make the bass as close as can be to your expectations, I encourage you to refer to "Woods of the World" software;

    - http://www.cybozone.com/fg/woodcd.html

    I use that software quite a bit.

    Here's what I've found - all luthiers try to give you the best info on woods, but their info is largely their opinions according to several factors, such as ;

    - the wood they get from their suppliers (and the climatic conditions it grew in)
    - how the wood was dried
    - how the woods perform using their designs
    - what their info sources are and the feedback they get from customers who have bought their instruments

    Although the "Famous Guitar Makers of the World Internet Headquarters" uses "Woods of the World" software as a resource, you still need to do some homework to understand what you are considering if you want to make this your "dream" instrument.........for instance, what is "modulus of energy?" what is "janka hardness?," what are the effects of "density factors?", is "grain runout" and "grain lines per inch" important?, et al.

    Mike Tobias's "Quest for Tone" article is a wonderful resources to get a grip on understanding wood (link) - http://www.mtdbass.com/html/qfortone.html

    As I said, the luthier links are wonderfully convenient but they only give you
    "their reality."

    Unfortunately, it's not referred to as the "art and science of lutherie" for nothing. Like either "art" or "science", the caveat is that - the more you learn, the less you know.

    I keep trying to learn more and end up knowing less is certain.
     
  5. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Uh, have you talked to him? I don't think he's really taking orders last I heard, and if he is, it'll take him 2+ years for $4000+ with apparently questionable quality (heard of lots of problems lately). You totally sure?
     
  6. Odd that you should say that. I have spoken to him and if he isn't taking orders then he certainly is playing a very mean game! ;) Yes I am aware of the 2+ years and the roughly 5,000 dollars involved in making one, but I've played several, two of which are not more than a year old. In comparison to the Zons, Warriors, MTDs, and Elricks I've played I find them to be of the highest quality, and most gorgeous craftsmanship. I am quite sure, but thanks for your concern! :)
     
  7. Suburban

    Suburban

    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Woods of the World is a great, though not complete, resource. It lacks info on many spieces of the northern hemisphere! And also some sieces are only partially presented.
    But I think a multitude will agree on this:
    neck shall be light and stiff, to keep the resonance frequency high
    fingerboard should be hard
    body core is a main resonance component
    top and back has minor influence on sound, but a major impact on weight and visual beauty, as long as they are less than 10mm thick (approx)

    Your ideas make a very heavy instrument, but a cocobolo may be quite pretty. Personally, I don't fancy an all black body, which is why I disapprove of the ebony.