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L2K - Alder vs. Swamp Ash...Tonal Differences?

Discussion in 'G&L Bass Forum' started by Bassmore, Mar 18, 2008.


  1. Bassmore

    Bassmore Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2007
    Virginia
    It's me again,:rollno:

    I wasn't aware there was a way to e-mail G&L directly so if you can share that link/info. that may help with my last semi-stupid question on the weight choice. :cool: I agree, who the hell would order a "Heavy" Bass, perhaps some young health freak "Ahhnold" wannabe in a "pogo stick" band, as I call them, they make you tired just watching them play cause they're so busy bopping up and down, must be some good stuff I guess. :hyper: :hyper: :hyper: :hyper: :hyper: :hyper:
    I got to admit though most of them play far better than I so I guess there's something to it that I just plain out missed.:( Back in the day, Nils Lofgrin (Grin, before Springsteen) used to use a mini-trampoleen during his show (gymnist in high school I think) but the guy wasn't on it the entire show!!!

    Anyhoo, If one was to chose an G&L L2K say, Champlain Blue with an Alder Body (assuming it would weigh less than Ash) vs Clear Blue Swamp Ash, What would the tonal differences be if any? Is Swamp Ash Brighter than Alder? Is there really no difference because the majority of the tone is all in the electronics (pups and circuits) and you could adjust either to whatever you wish?
    As always your opinions are appreciated.

    Thanks again,

    Bassmore:D
     
  2. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
  3. Bassmore

    Bassmore Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2007
    Virginia
    Chef,

    Much Thanks. Ironically, I think I killed a small tree to print out all the info. :eek:Good news, I doubt it was either Ash or Alder.:D That should certainly be some good food for the head...and eventually the ears.:bassist:

    Thanks again,

    Bassmore:D
     
  4. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    FWIW; and IIRC-which I may not-Leo chose wood based on availability in the early years, then later used "cheaper wood to paint over, and more expensive grainier woods" for tansparent finishes. I'm not sure he was ever a big believe in shopping for wood by it's purpoprted tonal varieties.
    Having said that, I'll generally agree, in principal, with a broad brush, that the link I sent you covers general characteristics...to which there are many dang exceptions;)
     
  5. Bassmore

    Bassmore Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2007
    Virginia
    Chef,

    Thanks yet again. I guess what I was kinda looking for, realizing that on my G&L Dream Bass I only have two (as you pointed out, "traditionally based by Leo") basic options, Alder or Swamp Ash:eek:. So then I thought, yeah, Ash is beautiful (I have an old "Blonde" Ash Guild that still gets me every time I look at her:cool:, BTW, not too heavy at all, just neck heavy...different story) But if the new G&L bass weighs 12 plus lbs.!!!:eek::rollno:
    (like a Ibby SR-406, soft maple body, that I have) it may be like luggin' boulders to build the pretty princess's castle, :bag: every time I play for a few hours....if that even makes metaphorical sense. In other's words, if they both (Ash or Alder) can "sing" pretty much the same:oops: = :oops:, thus the "tonal difference in woods" question, then maybe I should opt to go for the lighter weight(Alder) "painted lady" :cool:vs. the beautiful (Ash) heavy princess:rollno:, afterall which ever girl I choose she's goin' to be with me a very long time so she needs to be a pleasure all the way around:D. I don't mind a good work out :hyper: but I don't want to "have to" take a stool everytime :(when I get a bit futher down the road (years) cause my back's been roached by my baby:atoz:. I hope this.. makes sense?

    Your thoughts?

    Thanks again,

    Bassmore :D
     
  6. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    My thoughts?
    Play some of each, and see what you think; wait for others to chime in.

    And as noted, all this is pretty variable.

    Also: I have an alder P, it wieghs 7 lbs, and sounds great. I have an ash P; it weighs 12 lbs, and sounds great.
    I have an alder Jazz, it weighs 10 and sounds great.
    I have many other basses (see my sig) that are all pretty much ash, alder, or mahogany.
    to me, weight, tone, and kind of wodd are not necessarily related, and not as important as "how does any single bass sound."

    I've had plenty of all of the above that sucked as well...
     
  7. ljazz

    ljazz

    Dec 10, 2002
    Cookeville, TN
    Perhaps it's purely coincidence, but I have yet to own an ash bodied bass that I've been truely pleased with. Alder, to me, tends to have a bit warmer and rounder tone, where the ash bodied basses I've had tend to sound a bit more "compressed." It's too bad too, 'cuz the ash grain always looks so flippin' killer.

    That being said, I have an SB1 here that sounds absolutely fantasitc, and I don't have a clue as to what was used for that. Based on comments I've read here, it could be anything from alder to poplar.

    Ljazz
     
  8. all of my favorite basses have been alder....

    including this one:

    L2000.


    it also includes two Modulus basses and a handfull of Ps and Js.

    with that said, i've owned two Swamp Ash G&Ls, a 1500 and a 1505 that i still own, and they both sounded great. to me, tho, the alder seems to have a little more throat and a little less top.
     
  9. shatterd

    shatterd

    Feb 24, 2008
    Man that bass is beautiful!!
     
  10. Bassmore

    Bassmore Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2007
    Virginia
    Anyone who might have an Alder L2K (or other Alder basses as well, curious if problem is common),

    If I were to go with a L2K with a an Alder (lighter weighing wood...not all but most of the time) body. Should I be concerned with, on the look out for, possible "Neck Dive" (maple neck long and heavy, sometimes not balanced well with some lighter body woods, thus when bass is strapped on and you take your hands off of it for a second to get something, the neck starts heading for the floor, sometimes banging into things as it goes!!!Ouch!!! Fu***!!!) issues?

    Thanks again,

    Bassmore
     
  11. ljazz

    ljazz

    Dec 10, 2002
    Cookeville, TN
    I have alder on my sb2, and no neck dive issues at all. In fact, with the smaller (lighter?) neck, it is almost too body heavy.

    Ljazz
     
  12. lug

    lug

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    I have this Ash L2000
    6ihsakguaz.

    It weighs a metric poopieeton. The only bass I own as heavy is a solid Hard Rock Maple bass I made. I own 2 T-40's that are lighter! :eek: That being said, it is the best of all my basses. :D
     
  13. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    My ash 2500 USA also scales in at about a metric tonne.
    It's fab tho!
     
  14. dlb1001

    dlb1001

    Jan 30, 2007
    I have Korean made ash L2500 and MIA L2000. The ash model is a little heavier so I'm guessing that the MIA probably alder since it has a black finish to it.
    Tonal differences...well, the five string is a little brighter but not that much more than the four string.
    I guess if you are worried about weight then go with the alder but don't surprised if an alder version comes in on the heavy side. I suspect some weight may be due to how much moisture resides in the wood as it ages over time.
     
  15. Bassmore

    Bassmore Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2007
    Virginia
    Thanks all for you continued feedback. Right now I'm leaning toward the L2K MIA Ash, if it's on the heavy side, so be it. Thankfully, I have no back problems...yet. I'll try to specify "light weight" when I place the order. My thought is that you can always dim brightness via the controls or strings if need be but the adverse is not the same. I have an old EBO for example a.k.a. Thunder Mud! As far as neck dive, I know that it can be an issue with the G&L ASAT and I've even seen it true with a vintage Alder body Fender P but has anyone every seen a L2K with neck dive? My inclination is that one does not exist. If anyone does have one please let me know what body type and neck size. If so, I'm hoping I can specify "proper balance" when I place the order as well. Man, those folks might be sick of me on day one but perhaps they used to "particular" folks.

    Thanks again,

    Bassmore
     
  16. honeyboy

    honeyboy

    Oct 31, 2004
    My '95 American ash L2000 weighs 10lb with no neck dive- it balances quite perfectly. If I use a neotech strap, it is usable for long gigs w/o becoming too noticable. I would certainly prefer a 9 lb L2000.:)
     

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