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Is basswood any good?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Kink Rimson, Jun 17, 2005.


  1. I'm considering buying a Fender P-bass, '57 RI.
    The body is made of basswood, which I always associate with cheaper basses. Am I right? Would it detract from the tone I would expect from a P? :confused:
     
  2. bovinehost

    bovinehost

    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    Hmmm, it's a bass, and.....it's made of BASSwood!

    My God! What are the odds? I mean, it's like Lou Gehrig contracting Lou Gehrig's disease!

    Really, you're going to get a wide range of answers from people who have different opinions.

    Listen to the bass. Does it sound good? There's your answer.
     
  3. metalguy2

    metalguy2

    Dec 26, 2004
    Boston
    Yeah... I would have to agree with him...
     
  4. EricTheEZ1

    EricTheEZ1

    Nov 23, 2004
    Clawson, MI
    It has a generic tone. Nothing you'd be able to tell the difference with in a P Bass. What sucks is how light it is. I had massive and total neck dive with a Kingston I had. Not a little, the entire way down. Maple neck and Basswood body...you're gonna have a bad time.

    -Eric.
     
  5. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    It must happen more than you think... I mean, look what happened to that Parkinsons guy :p
     
  6. bovinehost

    bovinehost

    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    I have Bongos made of basswood. Not light. No neck-dive, believe me.
     
  7. I don't notice a tone difference to be honest, but it dents really easily. I wouldn't buy an instrument made from it.
     
  8. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    My basswood Dean Edge was always a pleasure. No neck dive, but that thing had a hellaciously long upper horn.
     
  9. bovinehost

    bovinehost

    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    I've banged my Bongos a time or two and haven't noticed any unusual softness.

    Could be the tendency to dent has something to do with the finish, not just the wood.

    Unless we're talking nitro here.
     
  10. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    IIRC a LOT of the ERBs from Conklin and such have basswood cores or backs with figured tops ( I think even Stew's 10 string is mostly basswood )
     
  11. Basswood is fine.
     
  12. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    I have no problems with it. Two of my former basses were made of basswood, a MIJ Fender Jazz and a Peavey Fury QT, and they sounded great!

    Dan
     
  13. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    I like basswood. It is considered a good tone wood regardless that its inexpensive. Just ask Michael Tobias! :D It isn't good for see-thru finishes however because it tends to have green streaks thru it.

    Personally I have two basses made of basswood. Neither dents easily (probably due to the polyester finish), both are light weight, and both sound really nice. Neck dive is not a problem on one but was on the other. Its not because of the basswood, its because of the design of the body. I relocated the front strap button and now no problem.

    I swear, I believe some people think it has to be expensive to be good. :meh: Let your ears decide.
     
  14. primus_55

    primus_55

    Dec 28, 2004
    Nothing wrong with it at all.

    My cort c4 is pretty good, has big tone for a basswood body (electronics) and its pretty light, no neck dive.
     
  15. oversoul

    oversoul fretless by fate

    Feb 16, 2004
    Portugal

    It's Dragonwood, ( pawlonia?) I believe basswood is darker/ brownish

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Dirty Dave

    Dirty Dave

    Oct 17, 2004
    Boston, MA
    My old Ibanez SR640 had a basswood body. I had no issues with it.
     
  17. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Nope. Most basswood is lighter, and as noted above, can have green streaking.

    I had a 50's MIJ Telecaster that was basswood with a blonde transparent finish that was quite nice....great sound and not too heavy.
     
  18. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    I agree.
    I would love to see a pic if you have one! Everybody keeps telling me I shouldn't try a transparent finish on mine :spit: but I'm going to anyways. :D
     
  19. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Detailed pics will have to wait, since they're on my computer at work...but I do have this one...unfortunately, you can't see any of the grain in the shot, even though it was quite evident on the guitar.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. oversoul

    oversoul fretless by fate

    Feb 16, 2004
    Portugal
    oh, I wasn't stating that dragonwood is lighter than basswood, just that Conklin doesnt use basswood but indeed dragonwood, including on Stew Mckinsey's 10 string behemoth, but then again how are you that sure that basswood is lighter than dragonwood? If I recall this stuff is like related to balsa...