korina vs swamp ash body

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SummerSoft, Aug 22, 2005.

what body wood you like better

Poll closed Aug 29, 2005.
  1. Korina

  2. Swamp ash

  1. SummerSoft


    Jun 17, 2005
    could you please tell me the general difference in sound between Swamp ash and Korina :meh:
  2. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings
    Here are the descriptions of each wood according to Warmoth.com for anyone who doesn't know. I'm just saving time :) There is a White Korina, Black Korina, and many types of Ash (including Swamp Ash).

    Korina, Black (Terminalia superba):
    [​IMG] It's true name is Limba from Africa. Black Korina is usually a medium weight wood, but we occasionally get light weight pieces. The tone is very similar to Mahogany. It features a very handsome olive color with black streaking. This is a great wood for bass guitars. Korina has a naturally waxy feel to it. Oil finishes work well on this wood.

    Korina, White (Terminalia superba):
    [​IMG] It's true name is Limba from Africa. White Korina is a medium to heavy weight wood. The tone is very similar to Mahogany. It features a light yellow/green color which looks great with a yellow tinted finish. This is a great wood for bass guitars. Korina has a naturally waxy feel to it. Oil finished work well on this wood.

    Ash (Fraxinus americana):
    [​IMG] We have two very different types of Ash: Northern Hard Ash and Swamp Ash (Southern Soft Ash). Northern Hard Ash is very hard, heavy and dense. A Strat® body will normally weigh 5 lbs. and up. It's density contributes to a bright tone and a long sustain which makes it very popular. It's color is creamy, but it also tends to have heartwood featuring pink to brown tints. The grain pores are open and it takes a lot of finish to fill them up. Swamp Ash is a prized wood for many reasons. It is a very musical wood offering a very nice balance of brightness and warmth with a lot of "pop". It is a fairly light weight wood which makes it easily distinguishable from Hard Ash. A Strat® body will normally weigh under 5 lbs. Many of the 50's Fenders were made of Swamp Ash. The grain is open and the color is creamy. This wood is a very nice choice for clear finishes. Swamp Ash is our second most popular wood.
  3. SummerSoft


    Jun 17, 2005
    and what about MTD players? what do you think about this?
    MTD with Korina or Swamp ash body?
  4. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I voted korina, as I am a real fan of mahogany bodied basses, and the tone is in the same general ballpark.

  5. I have a swamp ash MTD. Regarding the MTD's... in my experience, the biggest impact on the MTD sound is if you go wenge neck or not. A wenge neck is a very unique sounding thing.... extremely aggressive treble, grindy mids and very low lows. If you combine that neck with swamp ash, you end up with a very, very modern, aggressive sounding bass, very well suited for slapping. I have not played a Korina bodied MTD, but have played a mahogany with wenge neck... the Mahogany body did 'take the edge' off of the wenge, and made the bass a little more 'traditional' sounding (and also quite a bit heavier!).

    So, more than with any other bass 'brand' I've ever owned or played, the neck and body wood combinations really do make a huge difference in the sound. One of the best places to get a feel for this is to read the excellent descriptions of the various MTD's that Glenn Kawamoto has in stock on his Austin Bass Trader's site. Glenn is the 'master' retailer of MTD's, and really can help you with a clear, technical and accurate description of what different wood combinations will give you across the MTD line. To make things even more complicated with the MTD line... the 24 fret versions have more mass in both the body and neck (versus just a few more frets added to the standard 535 or 635 model)... this results in that model of bass playing and sounding differently from the 21 fret model.
  6. Joelc73

    Joelc73 Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2000
    New York
    Either one will make a great MTD. My personal favorite lately is Ash with a Wenge/Wenge neck but the Korina works well too. Korina is a bit more nasal sounding which really gives the instrument some presence (although MTD's generally don't have any trouble cutting through the mix!). Korina fretless basses work very well.
  7. SummerSoft


    Jun 17, 2005
    but since my english is quite bad, I'm not sure if i understood well. This is what I got from the last two posts... Korina would probably take the edge off of the wenge and yet gives an instrument more presence?!? :confused:
    Isn't that like a contradiction?
    Thanks again
  8. I'll let Joel clarify the Korina comment. My comment was based on playing a Mahogany instrument and other posts saying Korina and Mahogany are similar. Mahogany definately will take the edge off the wenge... but Korina might behave differently.... I'm sure Joel will step back in.

    You might want to also email Glenn Kawamoto at Austin Bass Traders. He really, really is good at describing in detail the impact of these wood combinations. He's a very nice guy and will surely bounce you back. Of course, Joel is a good source also :)
  9. todd 4ta

    todd 4ta

    Apr 3, 2003
    I voted Korina.

    I currently have a 535 with a Korina body and wenge/wenge neck. It's the best sounding MTD I've had out of about ten.

    I was trying to sell it for awhile, but after no luck I've decide to keep it and sell most of my other basses.
  10. Joelc73

    Joelc73 Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2000
    New York
    Yes, I completely agree. The Mahogany will definitely take the edge off of the Wenge. The Mahongay will have a bit of a midrange bump as well but the Korina tends to be more nasal sounding. Either one would be great. I'd probably go for Korina over Mahogany if it were for me. Ultimately though I'd probably widen the choices and go with Ash with a Wenge neck