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!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

New Roscoe Wood Choices

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bassmanbob, Feb 14, 2006.

  1. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    I started a thread about two weeks ago that went nowhere so I'm starting it again with a new title hoping it will generate more interest.

    I want to replace my SKB-3006 with a Signature Century V Roscoe. The C string gets no use and it's just getting in the way.

    I want a funk machine with lots of thick thunderous bass (but not booming) with good definition and good highs as well. Something that can sound good in a pop, rock or funk band fingerstyle or slap.

    Playing basses two or three times with Mahogany body and Walnut top including two different brands really sparked my interest. One was a Fodera and the other was a Peavey Cirrus (which I usually don't like the Cirrus sound). The thud of the basses were eye openning so I came up with this possible combination.

    Roscoe Signature Century V with:
    • Mahogany body
    • Claro Walnut top
    • Birdseye Maple fretboard
    • Wenge/maple/wenge neck
    • Nordstrom PUPs
    • Demeter preamp
    • Standard string spacing, nut, bridge

    I e-mailed Gard, and he and Keith feel that the Mahogany body with the Walnut top may be too dark sounding. Gard had recommended a Swamp ash body with a Walnut top or a Mahogany body with a maple top. I felt that the Mahogany body and Walnut top would give me the deep sound I was after, and the Maple fret board, Nordstrom PUPs and Demeter preamp would give me the definition I am after.

    Am I nuts? Do I have something here? What do you guys think?

  2. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I think you have a point with the maple and electronics you have in mind, although im not a fan at all of walnut.The top wont affect tone that much if at all, so its basically aesthetic there. Mahogany is okay for what you want, but honestly, swamp ash is my favorite by far. Mahogany just sounds too condensed to me and doesnt have really open clear highs. Just my experience though.
  3. ArwinH

    ArwinH run rabbit run

    Dec 1, 2005
    Southern California
    Well, I had a bass with a walnut neck and body, to me the tone of a walnut bass is not so much about lows as it is about mids. The bass I had had very tight mids and was somewhat compressed sounding, the true lows weren't really there as much. I've heard les claypool say the same thing about his main walnut carl thompson. Mahogany seems like it would suit the project well, yu might want to pm tom bowlus, I know that his fav body wood is mahogany and he's has it in a lot basses.
    I definitely think that the demeter preamp and maple fretboard will give you teh definition and articulation you're after.
    I disagree with figjam in that I believe in certain basses, the top can have a pretty drastic affect in the overall tone of the bass. Maple on a mahogany body can do wonders to brighten up the tone of a bass; otoh if you ahve maple on swamp ash of medium density, there isn't as great a dichotomy between the woods and you won't really hear the efect of the top as much
    I know that whenever I hear my friend's all mahogany les paul and some gibson black beauties, there is a pretty big contrast compared to the standard les pauls with maple tops.
    Good luck with your project.
  4. the_home

    the_home Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 14, 2005
    Pensacola, FL
    I think that your specs will indeed give you a dark and 'woody' tone, as the body (mahogany) and the neck (wenge) will tend to resonate the lower frequencies. The maple board will help with attack, but won't change the harmonic resonance of the instrument much. I like the suggestion to change the body wood from mahagony to ash. That should help the tonal balance, providing more upper register harmonics and allow the bright, singing attack of the maple board to shine without being brittle.
  5. Um you'd be silly to get mahogany. Look to ash. When I think funk (you did say funk machine) I do not think of thunderous bass. I think of nice tight bottom, but still deep. Ash!
  6. Shiveringbass


    Aug 21, 2005
    +1 for swamp ash. Mahogany too dark and muddy for a funk machine !
    Ash will give you punch and definition but still some good lows.
    Conbine with wenge in the neck which will bring growly midrange, this bass should groove and growl like a monster !

    On a side note, I won't chose birdseye maple...

    Hope this helps

  7. poptart

    poptart Commercial User

    Sep 13, 2005
    Owner: Bass Direct
    I have a pair of SKB 3005's, one with mahogany body, maple top, rosewood board and one with ceder body, myrtle top and spalted purplewood board.

    They are both strung with DR high beams 45/130's. They both sound funky! and are great for both finger and slap.

    Your specs look good and it's intersting that you have chosen the demeter pre, which seems to have it's own fan club on TB and the Norstands which Gard has just used and which I am sure are very good. Although I have yet to hear in what way they are different to the T&T bart set up which IMO works really well and gives a big chunk of the Roscoe sound.

    Your set up will look awesome though and I am sure will sound the business. Good luck;)
  8. Dbassmon


    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    +1 with Gard in that order 1) Swamp ash with Walnut top 2) Mahogany with Maple top. The low end from a swamp ash body is extremely tight. This kind of low end that really allows the bass eq have control because you have an extremely solid fundamental note to work with and lots of harmonic content and snap on the top. It's not booming low end but can be eq'ed any way you like. I think he's giving you great advice. Mahogany body will be a little more restrained in the top harmonic content and a little more bloat in the lower mids. Quite nice as well but for funk choice #1 with maple board. IMO
  9. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    Thanks guys. This is the type of response I was looking for whether they were for or against my ideas.

    More are welcome!!!
  10. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I can't speak with any authority regarding walnut tops, because I just don't have any experience with them. But with regard to mahogany as a body wood, it always surprises me when people say they think of it as dark and/or not open sounding on the high end. In my experience, it is a fairly balanced and neutral tone wood except for the fact that it has a stronger than average presence in the lower mids (but to my ears, it maintains excellent clarity/articulation in the lower mids).

    I totally agree that mahogany is not what comes to mind when someone says "funk machine" - which I normally associate with a 70's Jazz sound (low end thud, high end zing, not so much going on in the lower mids). But, based upon your description above and your variety of music, my own preference would be to use mahogany, and I like the rest of your wood choices (though again, I know nothing about walnut).

    One of my favorite wood combinations is mahogany body, maple neck, ebony fingergoard (with top of your choice, if you so desire). To my ears, I can get nice high end extension and articulation (but without that absolute zing that some people like; in which case maple might be a better fingerboard wood), I get tight, full lows, I get balanced upper mids, and I get the stronger low midrange presence with good fullness and excellent attack and articulation. To my ears, many other woods sound somewhat scooped in the lower mids, and mahogany sounds "just right." This is all personal preference, though, and I have certainly heard (and own) other basses made from vastly different woods which I thoroughly enjoy.

    I guess to me a defining question would be do you want "thunderous bass" - which case I think ash would do you well - or "thunderous low-mids" - in which case I prefer mahogany.

    I do know that when I first set out to buy a custom bass, I kept asking about mahogany as a body wood (as I love my Gibson Thunderbird, which may tell you something! :p), and I kept hearing that it is too dark/muddy sounding. Then I talked to Pete Skjold, and he said that mahogany is one of his favorite body woods and gave me all of his reasons (which fit exactly with what I was hearing). My resulting Skjold Custom 5 sounds great to my ears, and I find it to be anything but dark, muddy, or lacking in open highs.

    I have great respect for the other posters on this thread, and you should definitely listen to them. This is just my take on things, but keep in mind, I am a fingerstyle player (very little slap/pop) and I dabble in funk only occassionally (mostly a rocker).

    So, there's my two cents. :D

  11. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    I am really itching for this new bass. I'm still not sure what woods I'm going to get, but I'm going to have to wait on this bass until I know finances are OK in May/ June. My office was destroyed by Hurricane Frances Labor Day weekend 2004 and I'm still in my second temporary office. I'm going back to my original office in May (hopefully). Insurance has been a big help, but it doesn't cover everything. That's for sure.
  12. I'm really parital with Ash bodies for Roscoe basses myself. Walnut/Ash sounds like a nice combination to me.