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Ideas on mahogany basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by air4me2, Mar 28, 2002.

  1. air4me2

    air4me2 Guest

    Feb 19, 2002
    For those of you that have played on basses with necks/bodies/both made of mahogany or koa,, what do they sound like? I've heard some people say they have a real crappy tone,, but Les Pauls and Wal basses sure are highly esteemed!
  2. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    Wal basses have a Mahogany body "core" but the neck is not Mahogany.
    The six-piece Wal neck is two pieces of Hornbeam in the middle, with a thinner strip of Amaranth (Purpleheart) on each side of the Hornbeam, and then Maple on the outside of the Amaranth.
    They may use something different on their necks that are all black, I'm not sure.
  3. Tom Crofts

    Tom Crofts

    Mar 15, 2001
    I have a DeArmond PIlot Deluxe with a mahogany body. It is neck thru with walnut and maple neck. The mahogany gives a LOT of emphasis to midrange frequencies... At least that's what I've found with mine... I keep my mid knob on about 3 or 4... Otherwise it's a bit overpowering...

    Depends what tone you like I suppose. I try to go for a clear, bassy tone without much mid anyway so it probably wasn't the best choice of bass (but it looks so cool :D).
  4. pedalpointer


    Mar 25, 2002
    My Dean Rhapsody has a maple and walnut neck, a rosewood fretboard, and a mahogany body with a bubinga top. The sound is very warm and absolutely huge. The tone is by no means crappy. Actually, that is the first time i have ever heard that about mahogany bodies.
  5. I asked Dave Pushic about Mahogany body woods and he said he doesn't recommend them for a top wood. He said its great for a core, but it is really soft and prone to denting.

    I don't think many basses are made with mahogany in the neck because it is so soft. It might be a good question to ask over on the Luthiers Corner.
  6. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    I've got a Carvin BB75, all mahogany, including the 2 pc neck. It's prone to scratches and dings like any other tung-oiled bass, but not any more so. It's seen heavy use in the studio and everyone has found the tone to be quite rich. I think it has more prominent mids, it's not as 'bright' as other basses, but it's quite warm and has been a pleasure to work with.

    No complaints about mahogany here.
  7. ChlkDstTtr

    ChlkDstTtr Guest

    Feb 15, 2002
    Seacoast New Hampshire
    I believe both Alembic and Ken Smith regularly use Mahogany as body cores because it has a good tone. But ,like others say, it's not as bright so it's combined with other brighter woods.
  8. tonru


    Mar 15, 2002
    study up on the gibson t-bird.i'm going out to our local music store(sam ash) with a friend to check out the nikki sixx sig.

    to my mind,what it lacks in punch it should make up in lower frequency resonance.must be a natural sustain phenom.from the reviews i've read at HC that are worth mention,it has a very smooth massive tone.nothing so garrish as a ric 4003(grin).

    i've heard an explorer bass live,and it would also confirm my understanding of mahogany bass tone:not a soloist tone,but a great support instrument that adds alot of foundation without definition.i think best for small bands(power trio) that need that filler to sound full.kinda replaces those sustained organ notes you hear in deep purple.no offense to rush;those guys are great.
  9. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I've got a very early Curbow 4 string fretless that has a one piece mahogany body, and a brazilian rosewood fretboard/neck. Passive Bartolini P/J setup, and rotosound flatwounds.

    This thing cuts through very well in a mix, has more mwah than you would think possible with flatwound strings. It's also light as a feather, which is a big plus when it comes to long gigs.

    I've also got a 6 string Curbow with a mahogany back and flame maple front. Great, even sounding bass.

    If you want a good example of how an all mahogany bass sounds, listen to anything by Cream. Most of the stuff was recorded with Gibson basses, I believe, and they were all mahogany construction. I'd say Jack Bruce was capable of getting a pretty good solo tone, AND a decent foundation tone, wouldn't you?
  10. tonru


    Mar 15, 2002
    i understand,and agree.alot has to do with your set up.my point is,and the reason for making a bass out of mahogany,neck through with passive humbuckers is to emphasize throb more so than punch.

    cream and rush are excellent examples of the tone nuances IMHO.creams music is thick ,greasy,fuzzy,woody,resonant.rush is dynamic,airy at times,crisp,coordinated.

    cream-'white room','strange brew','i'm glad'.

    rush-'red barchetta','time stand still','a farewell to kings'.
  11. I have an old Ibanez Musician, and I'm pretty sure it's a Mahogany body with a Maple top. I just know that if I don't keep the mid range knob turned down (it's active) the mids will just dominate. Overall, it has a nice sound. My Jack Casady has a Mahogany neck which is unusual, but, they must have had a reason for doing this. Maybe if Epi had used maple for the neck it wouldn't be as warm sounding as it is. Mahogany's O.K. with me.

    Mike J.
  12. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    i love mahogany basses, love the mahogany if coupled with a maple top.
  13. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    isn't vic wootens bass mahogany?
  14. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I have a 1976 Gibson T-bird, and it sounds great. I have heard that the Nikki Sixx models aren't up to the same standards as the regular, but I don't know by personal experience.
  15. neptoon

    neptoon Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2000
    Vero Beach, FL


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