Help on choosing topwood/ how would this look like?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by chaak, Aug 17, 2017.

  1. chaak


    Apr 25, 2013
    now here
    Hello everyone,

    I hope this is the right place to post this.
    I would like your expert opinion on the following:

    I am in the process of ordering a custom made bass with a jazz body, and i have chosen chambered swamp ash for that. I have been caught between either going for

    option A:
    Ash top + maple fingerboard (all blond ish look)

    option B:
    Buckeye Burl top + Ebony fingerboard

    Option B would be a dream come true the Luthier has this buckeye burl top but i'd like it to have more of that blond clear look and less of the greys and blacks (swirls)

    how would this top look like when finished ? I know it is not the same and no two buckeye burl pieces ever are but would be it be anything as close to this fodera in the hues colors?

    Thank you so much in advance


  2. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    It's hard to say with the lighting, but it could look pretty similar to the Fodera you posted with finish. I'm not a fan on the very green/grey buckeye and I think that piece your luthier is showing you is a very nice piece. It has a fair bit of cream area and the green/grey areas appear fairly light coloured.
  3. Of course, every slice of wood is different so I am not sure if this helps - mine doesn't have much gray like the one shown above. Here is my Roscoe bass in buckeye. On the left is the original glue up with the fingerboard on top, taken in Keith's spray booth at the time. The first picture is wetted down with naptha to see the grain. Looks to me like Keith used a bit of an amber tint on mine, but this should give you an idea:

    Last edited: Aug 18, 2017
    chaak likes this.
  4. chaak


    Apr 25, 2013
    now here
    Great looking bass Thank you so much for sharing this with me. I did not know that Roscoe produced piepzoelectric basses I'd love to hear how your bass sounds like.
  5. Hey Chaak

    Thanks for the kind words. The bass has an exact "twin" with a birdseye top. They both have RMC (Richard McLish) piezo/midi systems. The birdseye one is here:

    Birdy copy 2.jpg

    They were used exclusive on "The Muse Awakens" by my band Happy the Man. There is some bari sax on this tune down low too, but on a decent stereo you can get the idea from this little ditty:

    I also used the basses for a variety of fretless and upright sounds on the record. PM me if you want to hear more, I don't mean to sidetrack the thread.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2017
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  6. Arie X

    Arie X

    Oct 19, 2015
    ha! those tops look like "book of the dead" covers :)
  7. chaak


    Apr 25, 2013
    now here
    Thank you so much for sharing this revelation with me. Both Happy The Man and the RMC piezo are new to me.
    I am a huge fan of progressive Rock and for some unknown and sad reason I did not know about your band. Now I have to go and find out more. The bass sounds really stunning sitting perfectly in the mix and very well pronounced.
    BassHappy likes this.
  8. Picton


    Aug 16, 2017
    Reading, MA
    I think it'll look great. Of course, I once built a tartan guitar, so what do I know?
    BassHappy, chaak and charlie monroe like this.