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Koa as a body wood?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by allenhumble, Aug 12, 2007.

  1. allenhumble


    Oct 22, 2004
    Acworth GA.
    Has anyone seen Koa used as a body wood? What kind of tonal charictoristics would it bring to a bass? If it has been done can you provide some pics. Thanks
  2. Rumblin' Man

    Rumblin' Man Banned

    Apr 27, 2000
    Route 66
    I have a Warmoth DIY J bass that has a plain Koa body with a with a fancy Koa top, a plain maple neck with rosewood fingerboard and EMGs.

    As far as tone goes, it sounds like it has EMGs.
  3. allenhumble


    Oct 22, 2004
    Acworth GA.
    Is Koa a real dense or hard wood?
  4. bassjigga


    Aug 6, 2003
    I've seen it though it's less common due to less availability these days. Tone is similar to mahogany which is why it probably isn't used as widely. Mahogany is easier/cheaper to get.
  5. Fender32


    Jun 23, 2005
    Kent, England
  6. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I had an all-Koa Carvin 5 banger a few years back. It does smack of mahogany. Sorry, no pics. You might want to check the Carvin website to see if the option is still available.

  7. doctorjazz


    Oct 22, 2006
    Wilmington, NC
    It's mahogany-like, but with more top end. In response to the above, I've seen a few recent all-koa Carvins, so I know they'll do it. Their flamed koa tops are gorgeous too, and with the sunsetburst edges like my walnut bass has... oh man.
  8. mgood


    Sep 29, 2001
    Levelland, Texas
    Yeah, similar to mahogany, but with a little more top end.

    I have three koa-bodied Carvins.

    BB75P with maple/koa neck and koa body sides.

    BB75PF with koa/maple neck and three-piece body of koa back, maple center, and flamed koa top

    DC747 with koa neck and body
  9. Dirty Dave

    Dirty Dave

    Oct 17, 2004
    Boston, MA
    Another Carvin. This one is an LB70.

    Koa Body, Flamed Bookmatched Koa top and 5 piece Koa neck with Maple stripes.


  10. mgood


    Sep 29, 2001
    Levelland, Texas
    Koa grows only in Hawaii. Environmental groups there have been trying for years to stop the harvesting and exporting of koa. It is to the point now that they can't cut a live tree, they have to wait for it to die before they can take it. And I'm sure that much of the wood is unuseable because whatever killed the tree (disease, fire, whatever) has also ruined a lot of the wood.

    Lots of new koa trees have been planted in the last few years. I understand that a lot of this is specifically for cutting and selling, sort of "tree farms". When these trees mature, koa will again become more plentiful and prices will come down some.
  11. T-MOST

    T-MOST Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2004
    NJ via NYC
    The Victor Bailey Signature Jazz bass is solid Koa and sounds great.
  12. Visirale


    Mar 23, 2003
    Ohmygod I love Koa. So beautiful. I'm getting GAS...
  13. Some of the first KOA instruments I ever encountered were Peavey Dyna Basses, from years upon years ago, so yeah, KOA has been used for quite some time...in fact, the Dyna basses I tried were ALL Koa. And they sounded simply awesome. Full, deep, resonant,

  14. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    Bass V likes this.
  15. Barkless Dog

    Barkless Dog Barkless to a point

    Jan 19, 2007
    As with mahogany & walnut, koa tends to be heavy, but does look great in my opinion.
  16. only the top of the VB is Koa, the back is mahogany
  17. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    I have a Peavey Dynabass Unity which is an all Koa NT, except for the two purpleheart NT stringers about 6mm wide. It's very light, easily my lightest bass.
    I bought it with some cosmetic issues and it's been in parts for ages whilst I procrastinate on making it pretty again, so no pics.

    Australian Blackwwod is very similar to Koa as they're from the same acacia family.
  18. BassikLee

    BassikLee Commercial User

    Feb 13, 2004
    Deltona, FL
    Owner: Brevard Sound Systems
    The Peavey Dynabass Unity KOA was the first bass I ever bought new, and still stands out as probably my favorite four string. That is pretty high praise, considering it held its own with the likes of late 60s J basses, Steinberger #22, 'birds, ricks, etc. That combination of woods, 6 piece koa/purple heart neck through, ebony 'board, solid koa body with more purple heart lams 'tween the neck and wings. The humbucking P/J passive pickups, with Dyna 'tronics. NICE bass. Plus, if I recall, it was under $500 NEW with a case in '89.

  19. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    It is pretty nice eh Lee?
    I forgot to note it also has a curved rear a la Spector.
  20. BassikLee

    BassikLee Commercial User

    Feb 13, 2004
    Deltona, FL
    Owner: Brevard Sound Systems

    Sadly, I traded that bass away long ago. Of course, had I kept the bass I got in trade, I'd be able to sell that bass and buy five or six PV D-U-Ks today..... I traded it for a 70's P neck, on an aftermarket P/J body with EMGs, PLUS the original, stock Fender body....... That too, long gone....

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