1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

How can you tell if it's Alder or Ash body?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rubo, Jul 5, 2004.

  1. rubo


    Aug 25, 2003
  2. That looks like alder to me. Ash generally has a much more open, prominent grain. As for the weight, wood is a natural material and you can hardly ever say that anything is "always 100%" about it. Plus, there are several varieties of ash. Swamp ash is generally lighter than alder, while northern heavy ash is generally heavier than alder. However, the weight of all these woods can vary a great deal from one piece to the next.

  3. Lackey


    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Grain looks more like ash to me, but why bother with that? 385 seems really high for a "non-pro" finished P body. Vintage '65 or not.


    Sorry if I offend.
  4. Swamp Ash is lighter than Alder?
  5. rubo


    Aug 25, 2003
    Well refinished or not, not really a problem for me. Price - it's Ebay I can always try to negotiate, specially if it doesn't sell fro the first time. I have a nice Fender Jazz Neck -which I love, so I want to find an old Fender body, prefer light weight. I know about Warmoth, but I want something 30+ years old and was played a lot, which resonates like crazy. Otherwise I would have gone the Warmoth way. I'm on a $250 -$300 budget, but could stretch it a little if it's something I must have. I also had a crazy idea about buying a used Mexican Fender Zone just for the body, I know it's alder and smaller then jazz body. What do you think. Also about P-Bass vs J-Bass - in general specially the 1960's era which is considered smaller body in size and weight if its made from same wood. My other concern is also neck dive, but I'm trying to assemble a light weighted bass not more then 8lb - 8.5 lb.

  6. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Looks like ash to me. And yes, swamp ash can be lighter than alder. Check out warmoth.com raw bodies for evidence.
  7. rubo


    Aug 25, 2003
    Ok, so it's 50/50 on the Ebay auction, but I still want to get an Alder body. Are warmoth bodies cut to the exact dimensions Fender, I'm talking about space between pick ups and bridge plus shape.

  8. Nah, I still say it's alder--there's not nearly enough contrast to the grain. Look especially at the picture of the back.

    Anyway, the weight can vary a lot especially with alder. The Warmoth Showcase page lists alder J bodies from 3 lb. 12 oz. (lighter than average for alder!) to 5 lb., and swamp ash bodies between 4 lb. 1 oz. and 4 lb. 15 oz. at the moment.

  9. rubo


    Aug 25, 2003
    Yeah, I'm looking at the warmoth website and to me it looks closer to Alder. Anyone else?

  10. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    Looks like alder to me.
  11. Yeah, definitely alder. I have a warmoth body finished in a similar stain (except with a flame maple top) and the back looks exactly like the front of that bass. Alder can have some nice figuring to it.

    As for wanting an older body, honestly I don't know how much better thats going to sound than a light piece of wood from warmoth or USA Custom Guitars or Stew Mac or whomever. Plus with them you get reliability and the option to return it and what not, as well as having more accurate measurements than a bathroom scale and this guys word, as well as a cheaper product.