how much is too much? (body woods)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassmusic808, Jul 10, 2002.

  1. Hi all. I was just looking at some basses. I see that some have 5 or more piece necks along with 2-3 piece bodies (including a figured top). Now, that seems like there would be a lot of glue holding that baby together. Is there a point where too many pieces of wood glued together can actually hurt the tone of a bass? Or is that not a factor if done properly?

    If this was already talked about, I couldn't find the post.
  2. I wouldn't worry about what type of wood a bass is made from, or how many laminates it may have, just listen to how it sounds. We all talk about this wood being brighter than that wood, but, in the end it's just the tone that matters. To give you a direct answer, I've found that I usually like a body made from one type of wood, such as alder. But, everything else contributes to the end sound as well.

    Mike J.
  3. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    It's been talked about, but it's always disguised as something else.

    The short answer to your question is, "It depends..."

    Some luthiers use as little glue as possible because they believe that glue has a negative effect on the tone of the bass. Other luthiers have been known to assemble 7-piece necks through 11-piece bodies (I think the Alembic Series II meets this description).

    To my knowledge, there's no simple rule that applies universally, but there's also no denying that glue does have its own resonant frequency. It's just that the point where it takes over the tone of the bass still seems to be a mystery to most.
  4. patrickj


    Aug 13, 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    It's not a factor if it's done properly (well, technically not really, but it isn't significant).

    As long as the vibrations pass through the wood with a minimum amount of resistance at the joints, then it's working as it should.
  5. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    I'm no star woodworker, but I thought that a good wood glue joint contained very little glue?
  6. TRU


    Apr 12, 2002
    Northern Europe
    That is true. The glue "layer" should be microscopic. Someone should make a bass body out of glue, then the sound of glue could be really taken into account. :) :) :)
  7. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Personally, I think there is a limit -

  8. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    It's not all that microscopic, because glue penetrates the wood grain on both sides of the joint.
  9. That's Les Claypool's Rainbow Bass, isn't it?

    FWIW, "graphite" necks are mostly epoxy, which is glue for all intents and purposes. The stiffness--and thus the resonant frequency, and the tone--can be tweaked by changing the ratio of fiber to epoxy, and the type of epoxy used.
  10. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Yeah, and some people tend to feel those are pretty cold and harsh sounding, particularly in the upper mids.
  11. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    I don't know, Acoustic....(nor, do I care to know).

    All I know is someone has got to STOP IT!


    NO - that pic is not out of focus!
  12. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
  13. oddentity

    oddentity Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Whoa!!! Getting dizzy...
  14. Lackey


    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Even better,, that guitar was apparently made by a convict doing hard time!!