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Mahogany (Fender Style) bass Bodies. Any experience?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dregsfan, Mar 29, 2009.


  1. dregsfan

    dregsfan Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2006
    Texas
    Anyone have any experience with a Fender style (bolt on maple/rosewood neck) bass where mahogany was used for the body wood? I noticed on the Sadowsky site that there were a couple of sold basses with mahogany bodies. I may put together another bass from USA Custom Guitars and I'm considering mahogany. Thanks.
     
  2. Mahogany can be pretty heavy, which is one reason it isn't used much for bass bodies. It's pretty dense and gives a very bassy dark tone and not as much highs.
     
  3. the wight of any wood varies!!! like all its other properties!!!
     
  4. klyph

    klyph Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2009
    SE MA USA
    Mahogany makes a GREAT bass body- very even tone, nice midrange, Very easy to work with, if you're carving it yourself, and MUCH lighter than ash or maple, on average, although as funkmaster observed, wood can vary so much piece by piece as to make weight comparisons difficult. Abandoning my 70's ash-body Jazz for a mahogany-bodied G&L was one of the nicest things I ever did for my back, and my tone.
     
  5. ezstep

    ezstep

    Nov 25, 2004
    north Louisiana
    I have an all-mahogany Carvin LB75 (neck and wings), and my Alembic Orion has a mahogany body with fancy top (vermillion). I am certainly no expert, but from what I have read, mahogany has a slight lower-mid range bump, a slightly darker tone than pure maple.

    You will find mahogany bodies in quite a few basses.
     
  6. SabreChris

    SabreChris

    Mar 19, 2009
    Well, for GUITAR, mahogany has a dominant low mid (and a glassy top, which is why it is often combined with a maple top), not sure what that translates into for bass.

    All of te wood descriptions Ive seen written are for guitar.
     
  7. klyph, just a head's up but you have to cover all profanity here on TB, like shown above. You might want to edit your post when you get the chance.
     
  8. Barkless Dog

    Barkless Dog Barkless to a point

    Jan 19, 2007
    Its used extensively in boutique basses, like Alembics, as a body core wood. It gives a warm mid range tone. It can be heavy, but not horribly so, but if is genuine Honduran Mahogany or African, it can be expensive. Indonesian (sapel?) Mahogany is lighter & less expensive, but considered not as good as Honduran.
     
  9. Heavy! And, not enough different tone-wise from Alder to bother with the weight and cost IMO and IME. It is a very pretty wood though, and has that nice, warm, fat tone similar to Alder (although IMO body woods have a minimum impact on the tone of an electric bass).
     
  10. BuffaloBob4343

    BuffaloBob4343 Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    My Dingwall ABII has a mahogany body and it is not that heavy at all. I haven't weighed it, but it is lighter than most basses I have owned, including my two alder body basses I currently own ( Sadowsky Hybrid P and my Roscoe Beck V).
     
  11. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man

    Feb 11, 2003
    :cool:

    I have a custom made Mahogany P-style body.

    it is light weight, high grade Honduras Mahogany.

    Quality of wood makes all the difference.

    It is very even sounding, with nice low mids.

    I like it a lot.
     
  12. I agree that if you can spec a nice lightweight piece of Mahogany (so that the bass comes in around 8.5 to 9.5 pounds in total), it would be quite nice. However, I've yet to play a bass with a Mahogany body that doesn't weigh a LOT. That of course doesn't mean they aren't out there, but you really have to be careful when spec'ing that particular body wood IMO and painfully IME!
     
  13. sneha1965

    sneha1965

    Nov 7, 2007
    NOVA
    My G&L L-1000 has a mahogany body and it sounds incredible. It's like a P Bass on steroids. Dark undertone but still has the high for slap. Depending on how you like your settings, you can dial in a nice palette of mid range as well.

    GL0002.
     
  14. Duplo42

    Duplo42

    Jan 23, 2007
    Thats my experience also. I have cca. 5cm-thick custom-made musicman-copy made of one-piece mahogany, ebony FB, oak (i think) neck, no PG. Weights a ton, and sound is so so...nice bass tone, but not as, umm, resonant as you would expect. PU is bartolini, i forgot the model thou...
     
  15. TrooperFarva

    TrooperFarva

    Nov 25, 2004
    New City, NY
    I own the only Mahogany bodied Lakland 4-94. It's easily the lightest of my basses, it has to be less than 8 pounds. But it has sustain for days. Without question, it's my favorite bass right now.
     
  16. Band Dad

    Band Dad

    Dec 5, 2006
    San Mateo, CA
  17. dregsfan

    dregsfan Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2006
    Texas
    Thanks guys. The Dingwall and the G&L look very nice. Sadowsky said he's having trouble finding light weight wood these days. So he started chambering his solid body basses and he thinks they sound better. See the interview with Roger Sadowsky. Go to www.behindthenotes.com, click on Bass at the top of the home page. (In the red strip.)
    And it's at the bottom of that bass page. It's free and you will definitley dig it. It's at least 10 minutes long if not more. Enjoy -John
     
  18. I guess we are getting a little OT here, but the routed alder Sadowsky basses are really nice, and come in typically in the mid 8's to 9 pound range, which is the 'sweet spot' to me of enough mass and weight for a good sounding fundamental tone, but light enough to be very comfortable. So, a routed Mahogany body might be the ticket.

    His NYC routed ash models can be REALLY lightweight (under 8 pounds) and I don't like that too much. They are very airy and resonant sounding, but too much upper mid and not enough balls. I specifically bought a non-routed NYC Vintage ash Sadowsky, and it came in right around 8.5 pounds, and sounds VERY good:hyper:

    Roger's downsized J bodies help with the weight also, which is another option for the OP to keep a Mahogany body within a reasonble weight range.
     
  19. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY

    +1, although when he says ash I'm sure he means northern ash.

    I disagree with Ken as far as comparing it to alder. They generally share similarities but Mahogany has more growl and normally a more accentuated lower midrange. Because it doesn't have a lot of snap on it's own it's always good to match it with something like a maple or ebony fingerboard (maple neck). If you're going for a wamer sound then using a rosewood fingerboard certainly works. Of course, if you have a bass with a more aggressive preamp like the Sadowsky then I'm sure that would help a mahogany/rosewood combo push to the front of the mix.

    One of my all time favorite combos is a mahogany body, maple neck, ebony fingerboard. That always sounds perfect to me with eq flat.
     
  20. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    The mahogany basses I know the best are set-neck solidbody Guilds. I've also owned several mahogany guitars (Martin D-15 acoustic & Guild S-60D solidbody, played Gibson SGs quite a bit). Common to all is a prominent midrange that always cuts through but isn't harsh. Not the most hi-fi tone, which is why builders often use maple tops/necks & ebony fingerboards to brighten up the sound like emjazz said.
     

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