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Kingwood or Cocobolo

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

  1. Cocobolo

    10 vote(s)
  2. Kingwood

    6 vote(s)
  1. MacDaddy


    Jan 26, 2002
    Provo, UT, USA
    Well, I'm finalizing some options for my new DP Custom and I'm completely torn between these two woods. I love each, but I just can't decide. What do you think?
  2. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon

    May 10, 2000
    Redmond, WA
    Microsoft Product Designer
    i really love both.

    linc luthier recently finished a bass i was intersted in that had mostly kingwood.

    lots of swirly suff going on.

    much more than typical cocobolo.

    kingwood can be just as much or more expensive than ebony.

    not well know....but depends on the cut.

    have him show you some samples of what he has.

    i prefer a more brown cocobolo than the usual reddish hue.

    kingwood tends to be more tannish.

    me likey.

    my next bass will have a cocobolo accent.

  3. Prague77


    Aug 20, 2001
    Waco, TX
    I would go with the kingwood. It is very very nice. heh..but so is cocobolo..hehe
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Assuming you mean either wood used for the body/top plate;

    - Highly figured and colored cocobolo was what I chose for my body top.
    One reason is its shock resistance (important to me for a body wood). Its shock resistance is rated "high" by woodpicker.com, while kingwood is rated "low"
    Not that kingwood isn't beautiful and has great tone like cocobolo. Both are heavy, hard, rosewoods and both cost about the same, unless you get some outrageous cocobolo. Cocobolo's colors and figuring can be very dramatic, while those qualities don't get nuts on kingwood often. But you may like the purple tones commonly found in kingwood, rather than the reddish-orange tones and striking black figuring of cocobolo.

    Also, if you did a search for "cocobolo basses" and "kingwood basses" you would see cocobolo is used far more often for basses, especially high enders, than kingwood.

    But what really was one of the clinchers for my decision to pass on kingwood in favor of cocobolo is what Alembic says about cocobolo;

    - "There is always the crown jewel of bass tone woods, Coco Bolo, with it's complex bright and dark mix."

    That statement was too hard to ignore.
  5. tonru


    Mar 15, 2002
    kingwood would be my choice,if the fretboard was ebony,both for balancing tone and beauty.

    may i ask what wood your choosing for the body and neck ?
  6. MacDaddy


    Jan 26, 2002
    Provo, UT, USA
    the original plan is to have a maple neck with stripes of whatever the body wood. Although, if I get Kingwood, its fairly unlikely that I'll be able to do this because Dave is having trouble finding a peice long enough. So, I may just do maple and walnut. I'm kind of torn on the fingerboard too. I certainly don't want Pau Ferro, but I'm not sure what else to get. I have seen some with cocobolo fingerboards, but I'm thinkin it'd look weird if I did that, if I got the cocobolo top and bottom. (mahogany core)
  7. tonru


    Mar 15, 2002
    i know rickenbacker uses a bubinga(spelling?) fretboard on the 4004cII,and it has a maple neck.i think it would look great with an orange and brown wood.

    in your case i'd probably go with cocobola.-BTW,sandwiched mahogany sounds like a great idea tonewise.

    does anyone know if tulipwood could be used as a fretboard wood?-sadly,most of my knowledge comes from handgun grips.thus,i can vouch for cocobola as a shock resistant wood:handgun grip craftsman craig spegel uses it for his exellent'bootgrip'.it's the best compact grip in the industry.
  8. MacDaddy


    Jan 26, 2002
    Provo, UT, USA
    I checked around on the wood webpages I know of for instruments and never found tulipwood. I think Alembic may have something on it. I'm pretty sure I'm going to go with Cocobolo on this one. As for the fingerboard its still a toss up. Black Ebony, bubinga, or maybe even cocobolo. I think it'd look pretty weird if I used cocobolo for the fingerboard too though. Oh well.
  9. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    I think a cocobolo top w/ matching headstock and a birdseye maple fingerboard would look awesome. :) Other than that, a dark ebony I'd say.
  10. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    I agree with this statement wholeheartily. Alembic says for their neckthru basses in particular, it is hard to tell the difference in tone from wood to wood, but point out that cocobolo is an exception to the rule.

    My cocobolo bass has the richest, most complex tonality I've ever heard in a bass. Although I've never heard the tone of a kingwood bass, I'd go with the cocobolo.


    James Martin
  11. gmann


    Mar 1, 2001
    I've contacted Dave about making a bass for me and I chose cocobolo.
  12. Balor


    Sep 24, 2000
    Montréal, Québec
    I'm having a similar combination of woods for 7 strings i've ordered: spanich cedar (close to mahogany tonewise), front and back will be cocobolo. Let's hope it turns out to be as goods as it looks.
  13. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
  14. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    Are you saying alder for the body, the top, the back, or all?

    When the original question was raised, I figured Macdaddy was talking about a top wood. A bass made completely of cocobolo would be heavy as all get out. Alder is fine for a body wood, but I wouldn't want it for a top wood. One of my basses has an alder body and a flame maple top. Too bland looking unless you paint it or cover it with a nicer looking layer of wood. Just my opinion.


    James Martin
  15. MacDaddy


    Jan 26, 2002
    Provo, UT, USA
    Totally agree. I currently own a bass with a Alder body with a Figured Walnut top. Pretty as hell, but the alder is fairly plain. I'd never dream of getting an all-alder bass, unless I painted it or something.
  16. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    i ment alder body.
  17. You may just want to talk to Dave P about it and have him help you make that descision. As I understand it cocobolo can be difficult to glue, due to it's oily nature. That hasn't stopped luthiers from using it, it just means a little more care and patience, and dry time.

    For me personally, and in my opinion, I would go with Kingwood, it can be as striking and beautiful as cocobolo, and it's not as often seen. Also availability may be a bit easier - I'm not certain on that, but I do know that when a extra fancy piece of cocobolo becomes available, often times it's purchased before your even aware that is was available. Either choice will yield a beautiful instrument from a fantastic luthier.

    Best Wishes,
    DR Burkowitz

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