Mahogany basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by kingbrutis, Dec 30, 2004.

  1. kingbrutis


    Aug 10, 2003
    Phoenix AZ
    I have been looking at an all mahogany bass with a mohagony neck. It is very light and sounded great. Can you tell me what the difference in woods means as a bassists? Like, is there a reason more basses arn't made in this style? Will it ding easier because it is lighter? Will the neck flex more? What are the sound properties differnces between say ash or maple? Is mahogany a more or less espensive wood than most? Sorry for all the questions. Thanks Joe
  2. artistanbul

    artistanbul Nihavend Longa Vita Brevis

    Apr 15, 2003
    There are lots of reasons all basses are not made of mahogany. Same as why there are such different basses. But mahogany is a good, closer to being expensive tonewood for instruments.
  3. Rvl


    Dec 23, 2003
    Aomori Japan
    I have several mahogany basses and owned quite a number over the years

    My observations
    Mahogany tends to be
    -generally heavier but some have been extemely light
    -round bottom and soft highs (ie sounds like having the tone pot on half way)
    -finish seems to flake off or not adhere well
    -wood is more brittle and pieces have broken off
  4. It's not uncommon for mahogany to be used as a body core wood because of it's warm tone (see above). As it's not particularly attractive, you can often find it sandwiched between fancy wood facings. This is also done because the weight can vary as Rvl mentioned. Many high-end bass builders use mahogany this way, however I can't think of any who use it as a neck wood. That might not be a wise choice as the neck on a bass must be flexible enough to permit adjustment.
  5. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Gibson uses it for necks.
  6. Ahh... right. I remember now. Prolly why my ol' Thunderbird had so much neck-dive! Of course I've never really thought of Gibson as a high end builder, but still...
  7. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    I think our own urb_munki has an all-mahogany bass, IIRC.
  8. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    My JAF has a mahogany/purpleheart neck.
    Lows are HUGE. :)
  9. kingbrutis


    Aug 10, 2003
    Phoenix AZ
    Heres the bass I am talking about. It is a Dean Sledgehammer. I know it looks like something else, but it was very light an sounded very good. The neck I think would take a little time getting used to as it is not as smooth as I'm used to(I usually like a high gloss finish on necks) . Plus it has MM pickups and sounds pretty mean. Heres the links to the specs.
  10. ezstep


    Nov 25, 2004
    north Louisiana
    I have an all-mahogany Carvin 5-string (LB75), mahogany neck and wings, natural finish. The lows and mid-lows are great. The mid-highs and highs are not "perfect" for me, but then I turn the treble up some and adjust the amp and the sound becomes perfect for me. Gotta love those active electronics.

    I have to oil the body every six months or so, which is a good excuse to go ahead and change strings, change the battery, and dress the fretboard. Maybe I just got a good piece of wood, but the overall appearance is quite good (black hardware). It doesn't look as good as my cocobolo-topped Orion, but it is as good looking as my G&L L2500 natural ash finish.

    Dings? Not really. A lot (I mean A LOT) of furniture is made of mahogany for good reasons - looks, funtionality, reliability, low maintenance, etc.

    Guitars that use mahogany necks include PRS, Ibanez, Guild, Martin, Dean, Washburn, Cort, Schecter, Yamaha, Parker, and of course, Carvin and Gibson. I have never, repeat - NEVER had any neck problems with my mahogany-necked 1994 (?) Carvin.