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If the tone is in the wood, explain this!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Fire-Starter, Jun 14, 2004.


  1. Fire-Starter

    Fire-Starter Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2002
    MINNESOTA
    I actually played one of these, and I actually laughed at the guy for suggesting I pick it up, its a metal body bass???? no thank you,,, Well I played it, and I must say it has a solid Fender like sound, not what I would expect in a none wood bass, list price is 3920$ and its called a TRUSSART STEELCASTER.
    So "if the sound is in the wood" which I hear a lot, and believe, how did the people a Trussart pull this off?????
    :eyebrow:

    http://americanguitarboutique.com/steelbassfullfront.html
     
  2. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.
    Very very customised pickups. That the only way i can describe it...
     
  3. Jeremy_X

    Jeremy_X

    Jan 29, 2002
    Heresy! It must be melted! :D ;)
     
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Well, the neck is wood, so there.

    Additionally, the frame of the body seems to be wood too.
     
  5. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    The tone is in the wood? :rolleyes: Are you sure? ;)

    The tone can also be in the neck, the FB wood, not just the body-wood; also, the construction - NT/SN/BO, how deeply glued or how many screws, what kind of bridge, out of what material, what is its mass, how deep is it in the body, with how many screws, what strings, what pickups, how close to the strings, what size, what shape, what body-construction: solid/semi/hollow, etc, etc

    These all affect the tone :p

    And remember: the tone of each wood is from which frequencies it enhances, which does it dim, what overtones come through well and which ones dont ;)

    I hope I made this as clear as possible
     
  6. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Oh and also the tone is in your hands, too ;) :D
     
  7. Mel Monihan

    Mel Monihan

    Mar 30, 2004
    This has been a sore spot with luthiers and players forever.Some swear that it's all in the wood, some swear it is only the electronics.I believe that all of the parts make up the whole.I do believe that with the wonderful advances in technology recently, more of the tone of the instrument comes from the pickups and the bridge and the neck (fingerboard material) than the actual body material.I think that only minor subtleties can be noticed body materials and accessories.The dynamics of the electronics of today are far too advanced to be infulenced a great deal by the body material.My two cents.
     
  8. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    I agree with the first part (the tone is affected by a lot of things - see as I said in my post) but I do not agree on the second - I think that the body wood still has a major part contibuting to the tone. I wouldnt buy a bass that only had the tone of electronics, because a lot of times I go passive, with only p-up pan, and my bass sounds good that way, too :p
     
  9. Josh Curry

    Josh Curry

    May 29, 2003
    Frisco, TX
    I would suggest reading some books on guitar building. There are some very interesting points made about how the body and neck material affects the tone. Mostly having to do with how different materials absorb the vibration of the strings where they are attached to the guitar.
     
  10. metron

    metron Fluffy does not agree

    Sep 12, 2003
    Lakewood Colorado
    Theres no tone in wood! Tone is in the tone. :rolleyes: :D
     
  11. i played a tele guitar like that. it had a sharp corner, and ripped my shirt. sounded good though. and the guy at the shop was nice enough to replace my shirt.
     
  12. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon Supporting Member

    May 10, 2000
    Lake Forest, CA
    None.
  13. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    I like it. It's cool. It makes me want to rock.

    Too bad it's got a headstock.
     
  14. :D
     
  15. Scott French

    Scott French Dude Supporting Member

    May 12, 2004
    Grass Valley, CA
    There is a band called 'Neptune' around the Boston area that plays with all 'homemade' metal instruments. Guitar, Bass, "Drums", etc. Those guys have live tone to die for, no wood in the whole band from what I saw.
     
  16. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    I use to be skeptical about the tone in the wood thing. But I always wonder where tone is coming from and have gone to some length to isolate it within reason: routing basses to accept any pup configuration; wiring onboard preamps to outboard, and running pups straight to seperate jacks with no onboard controls. I have from acoustically dark to acoustically bright basses and have swapped pups back and forth and run them through different preamps.

    Through my experimentation as a general rule, I'd say pups are the major influence, then the bass itself, then preamps. There's no doubt that the tone inherent in a bass will show through any pickups or that the character of pickups will follow them wherever they go. Preamps are relatively transparent but the frequency mix of each makes for different tone shaping. Seems parts of a bass are a lot like the members of a band, changing the element that seems to have no significance can make a big difference. The hard part is getting the right combination. In the end, it all matters.

    Basses of different materials other than wood I don't know about. But I have general idea about basses made in a conventional manner. And there is tone in the wood for a fact. But you could probably contact the manufacturer and they'd probably tell you what makes their bass work.

    Out of curiosity, what did that bass sound like unplugged?
     
  17. Tez

    Tez

    Jan 24, 2004
    Australia
    if you set up your amp badly every bass will sound like sh333t
    so to get a great sound you need to master the understanding of what is good tone
    1 its subjective
    2 its a combination of woods
    2 choice of pickups
    3 choice of amp and or speaker
    4 how you set up your tone on the amp and Bass
    5 how you play
    there are so many variables it takes a long time to perfect your own sound and hopfully your not the only one that likes it
    Tez
     
  18. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    Wassup Smash. Was pretty much resricting myself to just the bass, pups, and "onboard" preamps. When I've swapped preamps from bass to bass, I personally haven't observed the preamps (being the NTMB, OBP-3, and BQS) to have the pronounced affect that occurs with swapping basses. That is, I've had no luck getting the same sounds going from the acoustically dark to acoustically midrange bass using the same preamp with the same pups - when I've done it. Something with a parametric EQ (like the NE-1) is moving more into some gray area. More sophisticated outbaord EQ units I don't have experience with.

    Strings I don't have much experience with. All my basses are strung with TI JF-344's. When I used to buy and sell basses on a regular basis, they always came with rounds so I'd play them one night just to check them out. I noticed the round sound got lost in the mix depending on the style of music. Where bass was more apparent it stood out. But strings I haven't jacked with much just cause I like TI's - and it's also a constant that facilitates comparison for other factors.

    Amps and speakers definetly can make a major difference.

    Where the tone is in the bass itself (neck, body, construction, etc.) I've wondered but I'd always guessed the neck would be most critical. That aspect I've made no attempt to break down. But your neck experience was an interesting piece and something to remember.

    For sure, what matters more than anything is the dude at the helm. But I was thinking along the lines all factors being equal aside from bass, pups, and preamps.

    But it's just my take at this date. Occassionally something happens and everything changes.
     
  19. Brooks

    Brooks

    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    I have the Staccato bass (see my sig below for link) which has no wood in it at all. It's a neck-through, with main part made of a fairly light magnezium alloy, with an attached fiberglass body filled with foam. It's passive, with Kent Armstrong pups.

    Sound is very...hmmm...woody, somewhat heavy on lower mids, sort of like a P-Bass with treble rolled off, or maybe a Gibson Thunderbird...great for traditional rock.

    So I guess tone is in everything that goes into the bass, to some degree.