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Maple vs. Walnut

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Mystic Michael, Jan 3, 2005.


  1. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Anyone have any informed, experienced feedback on the relative tonal characteristics/advantages of maple vs. walnut?

    I'm aware that they're both dense, heavy tone woods, and that both yield a bright, crunchy tone with lots of attack & sustain. But I've played only maple. Any noticeable distinctions between it and walnut?

    MM
     
  2. Body wood or top? When used as top laminate walnut will provide more mid/low range tone than maple. Incidentally my favourite wood recipe is a walnut top on a maple body...
     
  3. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    I was thinking as a body wood - but also as used in a neck-through. Your comment is helpful. Anyone else?

    MM
     
  4. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    My Spector is maple and my Jerzy is Walnut. Maple is sweeter, brighter, and has an upper-mid bite not present in walnut. Walnut is darker, rounder, and growlier in the lower-mids.
     
  5. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    I second RAM's response that Maple is brighter with a pronounced upper mid bite, and that the Walnut is darker.

    You mention it as a body wood - what are you looking at for neck woods? One of my basses has a maple/swamp ash body with a maple/birdseye neck. Waaaaay OTT bright and upper-mid growly. Too much for my taste in some rooms. You may also want to check into Primavera for a body wood. It's my choice under a maple top.
     
  6. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Well, today I'm taking delivery of a new Carvin LB70 with maple neck-through, walnut body wings - and a maple body cap - just to add a little more crispness & sparkle while keeping enough walnut in the mix so I can get some of that walnut low growl. So I reckon I probably got the formula right for the tone I wanted on this one. We'll see...

    My next instrument will be a Carvin LB70F - fretless. And I'm thinking I'll go all-walnut on that one. The darker, rounder tone seems better suited for fretless anyway. But from what I've gathered, the maple & the walnut are both pretty aggressive-sounding tone woods - just each with its own flavor. And that's all right by me...

    MM
     
  7. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Usually top woods arent thick enough to offer any tonal variation.
     
  8. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    For fretless I have two main choices, depending on what particular tonality I'm looking for:

    Agressive: A bubinga body core with a maple/bubinga neck and ebony fingerboard is my personal choice

    mellow/solid: A mahogany body/neck with purpleheart fingerboard

    In either case a J in the neck and a MM in the bridge fits my taste perfectly when complimented with a Bart NTMB and a coil tap on the MM.