Help with Roscoe decisions

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dave, Jan 18, 2006.

  1. Ok, after much deliberation, Ive deciding Im going to have a Roscoe built for me. I know Im getting a fretted SKB 3005. Im pretty set on the Demeter preamp also. Im not sure what kind of woods I want though. Thats where you guys come in. :)

    Im looking for something smooth and clear, but with a little punch. I play alot of contemporary Christian music at the early morning service at my church. I also play with my band, which is mostly acoustic driven rock. If your familiar with them, think David Crowder Band, acoustic Foo Fighters stuff, etc. I went up to check out the shop in Greensboro, and talked with Gard for a while, which was extremely helpful.

    I think for the body wood, either Ash or Spanish Cedar would give me what Im looking for, but Id like some input on those of you that have a Roscoe and might play similar music to me. Also, Tell me what your favorite top/fretboard combo is.

    Here is two of our songs. The style of the softer one is pretty much what 9/10 of our stuff sounds like. The heavier one is the only song that we have like that. Its an odd duck.


    So anyone got any insight, opinions, advice? Lemme have it.

  2. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    My first two questions.....

    1) If you had to choose, are you looking for more warmth or more attack and tightness/aggressiveness?

    2) Will you be slapping/playing with a pick? In other words, do you like the muted highs that a Bart system will give you, or are you looking for more of an open top end?
  3. Halftooth

    Halftooth Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    Tri-Valley, NorCal
    My personal favorite combination right now is an Ash body and a Demeter preamp. It gives you just about every tone imaginable.
  4. 1. If I had to choose, I would say more in the middle, but closer to warmth.

    2. I play 99.9% fingerstyle, so round it and get 100%. Gard was telling me how he felt the Bart preamps kind of compress the sound a little, and that the Demeter opens it up alot more, esp in the high end. Honestly, I do find myself dialing in more mids than highs, not that I cut them out or anything. I cant say I want muted highs, but I dont want the high end sizzle that slap players look for.

  5. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    Dave -

    First of all, it was good havin' you and your friend stop in (I suck with names, sorry, nice dude though!).

    For woods, based on the discussions we had Monday, I'd recommend a swamp ash body for you, for the top, probably something like a spalted maple or boxelder burl - something not TOO hard/bright (or do something "different" and go for an all swamp ash body!), and for the fingerboard, cocobolo - a bit harder/brighter than rosewood, but not quite as "snappy" as maple.

    Preamp wise, I would definitely stay away from the Aguilars, as I find them a bit more bright. The Demeter is clear without being too "hi-fi" sounding. The great thing is that, with the exception of the Aguilar OBP-1, you can always turn the treble DOWN if it gets a bit too bright, and it harms nothing (as opposed to adding treble, which adds hiss). The Bart stuff is very good, and is easily the most popular preamp choice we offer, but for what you're looking for, my strong recommendation is the Demeter, more open sounding and clear without being overly "hyped" sounding.

    As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail, PM, or call me! :)
  6. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I'd say Gard just nailed it.
  7. He SHOULD nail it!! Look at what he made for himself! Excellent suggestions and explanations!
  8. Thanks everyone, Now its just what kind of top I want, and with as much as Keith offers, thats going to be hard. Everything looks so awesome. Im glad you suggested the cocobolo fretboard. I love that stuff, but I dont know that I want it as a top with its high weight. Maybe if you guys ran across a light weight piece, Id think about that.

    So Gard, how was your 6 when it was finished? Turned out to look beautiful. Id love to hear how the Nords sounded in there.

  9. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    Dave -

    Well, I wouldn't suggest cocobolo for a top, not only because of the weight, but also, I find it a bit "snappy/bright" as a top wood. I still think a spalted/quilt top (see Shawnost's bass) or a boxelder burl are good choices, as is going with just swamp ash. I feel that redwood may be TOO mellow, but it is PRETTY stuff, however, you may really dig it (the SKB 6 you were checking out Monday turned out to be very full and warm sounding, FYI).

    The cocobolo fingerboard with those choices would be pretty much on the money for you.

    As for my personal bass, there is a "blow-by-blow" "how it happens" thread here: version: :hyper: :hyper: :hyper:

  10. SharkB8


    May 29, 2002
    Be careful..Gard is a pusher and will ultimately lead to your downfall. BTW, I meant that in the most positive way...:p

    For church stuff, I think Gard is right on. I personally love the ash/maple combo (like the one I just bought), so I'll be able to give you a better answer as soon as I get it. It will primarily be played for church environment as well..

    It's really easy to "tone down" a snappy bass, but hard to snap up a mellow one (if that makes any sense). IMHO.
  11. So Gard, do you guys have another top like Shawnost's? I love the way that looks. I think that with a cocobolo fingerboard would KILL in the looks department. Of course, Im sure it would sound OK too. Maybe even good if we're lucky. ;)

  12. sethlow3

    sethlow3 Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Nashville, Tennessee
    ash/maple FB
    ash/ebony FB
    maybe flame maple top mmmmmm...

    Great PUNCH
  13. frigo

    frigo burn in hell!

    Dec 8, 2003
    Am i wrong? i think ive read somewhere cocobolo is kinda toxic, but, as i said, i am probably wrong
  14. Fawkes007


    Sep 13, 2005
    SF Bay Area
    You probably read that on the Warmoth site...they won't work with cocobolo.
  15. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    What is more bright than Maple for a top wood?:confused:
  16. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    Myrtle is pretty bright. It has a lot of the same tonal characteristics as maple. They're not carbon copies of one another, but similar.
  17. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    It really depends on the person. It's not necessarily the wood itself that's toxic (if you touch it, your fingers won't shrivel up and fall off :p ), but the sawdust can be extremely hard on luthiers. Some start off having a hard time with it, others develop problem over time, and some people never have issues at all. However, it is important to always wear a respirator when working with cocobolo.
  18. Thats weird, I'd never heard that about cocobolo. Wonder what would cause that?
  19. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    Doc, note that I said SPALTED maple, which is considerably softer than the quilt you have on your fretless. Some spalted maple is so soft you can dig chunks of it out of the board with your fingernails. If I want a really bright sounding top, I'll use a good hard piece of quilt or flame maple. The spalted quilt that I've suggested to DMB would be somewhat between these extremes, and will give a good top end without being too bright for what he's trying to achieve tonally.
  20. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    Silly me. I should have figured that out. the spaulting is fungus eating away at the wood, therefore rendering it softer. But my next question is, "Does it make it s soft as a Buckeye Burl? Or does that depend on the extent of the spaulting in the wood?" I hate buckeye burl for instuments. I never realized how soft it was until I saw some of Grasshopper's. I played a couple of basses that I usually like, but with the Buckeye Burl tops, they sounded somewhat mushy for my liking. They had reletively thick tops. I would imagine that a very thinly layered Buckeye Burl top would not have a considerable influence though.