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Influence me: Wood choice for a Warmoth P...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by HeavyDuty, May 2, 2003.

  1. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    OK, first let me say I really don’t need another bass. Or a new amp, when it comes right down to it. But, new toys are good, so…

    I picked up a MightyMite J neck from a guy on the Pit awhile back. It’s brand new with a maple board, and I bought it with the intent of building up an inexpensive P bass with a more comfortable neck. It’s been sleeping in its bubblewrap, waiting for a body. I already have a set of original Fender clamshells, and I think I have a bridge and pickup around here someplace. This will be a passive bass, and I’m looking for a more-or-less trad P tone.

    I’ve been thinking it over, and would like to get started. I’m considering one of the following four options:

    1. Swamp Ash body with a colored Tung finish, probably in a dark maroon, then waxed ala Warwick. I’m unsure if I’d want it front or rear routed.
    2. Walnut body with an oil finish of some kind.
    3. Koa body with an oil finish of some kind. Pretty, but $$$.
    4. Putting the money away toward a new head.

    I’m looking for comments regarding options 1 through 3. The idea of a natural oiled body is very appealing, but I’m just not sure if the characteristics of Koa or Walnut would be complementary to the tone I seek. I think Swamp Ash would work great, and would look great, too.

    Fire away…
  2. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    Mmmmmm new toys...... *drool*

    No real help here... but I love my new swamp ash/maple/maple bass :cool:

    great over all tone!
  3. Tumbao


    Nov 10, 2001
  4. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Whoa! I didn't realize Black Korina had such prominent grain. Very nice!


    What's the finish on that bass? And how accurate is Warmoth's description of the tone?
  5. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    First, don't forget about USA Custom Guitars when it comes to your wood needs...i was very happy with the project I did wit them. Give Tommy a call and he'll set you up with a choice piece.
    But back to the body....I would stay away from walnut, korina, koa, etc. if you're going for a traditoinal early '60's vintage tone. Walnut would be too bright, and think of korina and koa as mahogany substitutes, with koa being more inbetween mahogany and maple/walnut. If you want "ole school", you probably need to stick to swamp ash or alder (my fav). In fact, you can get a great deal on a finshed body from USACG/Roxy Finishes, http://www.roxyguitarfinish.com/main.html
    See if they'll offer the deal to you for a P-bass.
    I think that you'd be hard pressed to get a better deal, and you could have a bass with a classic Fender custom color. Bottom line though, I'd recommend sticking with swamp ash or alder.
  6. pc


    Apr 4, 2000
    Montreal QC
    I just love this bass on Warmoth's gallery... the oiled walnut + maple + black pg combo is wonderful !!!

  7. Tumbao


    Nov 10, 2001
  8. LM Bass

    LM Bass

    Jul 19, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    Alder for a standard P-bass sound. Swamp ash is okay, too. You should probably get it in nitrocellulose, as the oil finish isn't great for either of those woods, unless you're careful with the bass.