1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Modern Wood

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DigitalMan, Mar 3, 2016.


  1. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Wikipedia often mistakes my opinions for fact Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    Ok, this is a really tough one to ask without trolling or breaking the rules, but I'll try anyway.

    First, I'm not going to call out a specific bass or even manufacturer. I'm also not going to try and make anyone change their mind about anything. Regarding taste there is no argument.

    I've never been a woody bass guy, although I do admit I appreciate some classic looking basses. It seems to me that over the first 50 or so years of bass history that wooden basses that display wood surfaces have all conformed to a general aesthetic that most people would find appealing, be it on an instrument, a piece of furniture, or a piece of art. Walnut? You bet. Quilted, flamed, or spalted maple? Sure.

    However, just in the last year or so I've noticed an abundance of basses made with wood grains and colors that I can only classify as hideously ugly. I'm no arborist but when I see them I start thinking about Dutch Elm disease and other such maladies. The grains are pocked with imperfections and warts, and the colors look ashen, moldy, or otherwise flat-out unhealthy.

    I don't think there is any debate that there is a new trend in woods. We never saw basses like this before.

    My question is this: does anyone also see these new wood offerings as hideous the same way I do, or am I somehow the exception? Is the ugliness part of the appeal? Are these "anti-coffee-table" basses? Or do these new choices have genuine appeal to folks?

    Don't get me wrong, there are still plenty of fine, attractive wood basses being made. It's just the new stuff made with woods the likes of which we haven't previously seen that I honestly don't understand. I've never heard anything but nice things said about them, which is good manners that I respect. It's just left me wondering if I have a rare gene or something when it comes to this subject.
     
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    honestly hadn't noticed any such trend.
     
  3. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Wikipedia often mistakes my opinions for fact Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    Fair enough. Maybe a wood such as poplar burl would be an example of one of the woods I'm thinking of.
     
  4. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music.

    May 3, 2009
    N.E Illinois
    One man's meat is another man's vegetable.
    Or something like that.

    Anyway.

    I for one love natural finished wood basses.
    Wood grain.Preferably a riot of quilted,flamed,dark streaks,knots, figures.
    Spalted.
    Burls.
    I don't call that imperfection.
    I call that beautiful.Natural.
    Some aren't that grained or highly figured.But that's OK.
    It's unpainted!


    For decades most manufacturers weren't really focusing on making natural wood finished basses.
    So I I had to settle with a bass that was painted.

    Nowadays there are more.
    So that's all I buy now. Snapshot_20160122_1.JPG Snapshot_20160124.JPG Snapshot_20160124_1.JPG Snapshot_20160227_1.JPG Snapshot_20160124_4.JPG
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2016
    TripleDouble, DwaynieAD and Lownote38 like this.
  5. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Wikipedia often mistakes my opinions for fact Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    I like the wood selection on all of those basses.
     
  6. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Do you have any examples of this diseased-looking wood? I've seen some spalts and burls mostly held together by epoxy, but nothing that stuck in my memory the way you're describing.
     
    JackANSI, lancimouspitt and ehque like this.
  7. AngelCrusher

    AngelCrusher Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2004
    Mesa Boogie, Tech 21, Taylor
    Think he is talking about stuff like this. IMO, it looks pretty sweet for a natural finish.

    [​IMG]
     
    wmmj, RiZzBot, grinx and 13 others like this.
  8. Spalted. Zombie basses.
     
  9. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music.

    May 3, 2009
    N.E Illinois
    THIS!
     
  10. Mosstone

    Mosstone

    Jun 20, 2009
    I think I know what you mean, DM. I'm a big fan of the look of guitars with natural and oil finishes as well as stains, dyes and bursts. I love ash, quilt and flame maple, burled anything, etc... But I find some 'exotic' woods that the 'boutique' builders like to use (woods that I've never heard of and will probably never remember the names of) to be quite hideous... To the point of wondering why anyone would want to make a bass out of it.

    Don't get me wrong, a lot of exotic woods are beautiful beyond belief, but some of them look like someone had too much to drink at the Chinese buffet.
     
    Bajo Clarkko and DigitalMan like this.

  11. DSC01156.

    My Stambaugh bass used to be a coffee table.
     
    grinx, interp, dinodino and 3 others like this.
  12. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    Lakland Skylines? Yeah I noticed that.
     
    Lownote38 likes this.
  13. I think he may be speaking of woods that may have wormholes or other imperfections along those lines. Maybe reuse woods or wood from a log submerged in water and petrified and have unique grains and pock marks
    holes in the wood etc... I personally have no feeling either way about wood finishes, but I guess I can understand some of the appeal that some may have.
     
    petrus61 likes this.
  14. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Wikipedia often mistakes my opinions for fact Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    Pretty interesting, because that one in particular is somewhat in the direction I'm thinking, but I can definitely also see its appeal.

    If you google "poplar burl bass" and look at the images results this one shows up along with many other examples. About half of what appears in that search falls into the category of what I'm thinking.
     
    AngelCrusher likes this.
  15. tfer

    tfer

    Jan 1, 2014
    There should be a minimum mandatory sentence for painting any instrument wood that shows grain!
     
  16. A lot of stuff like burls and figuring are abnormalities in the growth of the tree, so yes, they are imperfections. But a lot of people find them very attractive when cut a certain way. I think poplar burl for example is cool looking. Part of the appeal is knowing that your bass is one-of-a-kind in a way, because of the unique look of the wood. But mostly people just think it looks cool, not much more to say really.
     
  17. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    He couldn't have sanded out the coffee cup stain first? I hope you at least use coasters these days.

    ;) :D
     
  18. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    That's the "Brown Ring of Quality."
     
  19. sikamikanico

    sikamikanico

    Mar 17, 2004
    I personally don't care for the looks that much, but the problem I have with these "poplar burl" type basses is that they're usually out of my price range :D

    But all kidding aside, these complex and exotic woods do tend to come with other design choices that I simply don't care about. If someone made a nice P in poplar burl (and for a decent price), I'd consider getting it :)
     
  20. jd56hawk

    jd56hawk

    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    I sure hope you don't mean these, because I'd own either one before any traditional wood bass.
    zm1ued.
    2zpqnwy.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.