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Oak wood?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Krank, Aug 30, 2008.

  1. Krank


    Aug 30, 2008
    I've come upon an old Japanese bass that looks cool and solid. However, as a guitar player I'm not familiar with oak wood for a bass body. What characterises it in terms of sound and weight (I guess it's pretty heavy)?
  2. I think you're mixing up the word Oak with the word Ply.
    Most of those old Japanese basses were Plywood.
  3. Krank


    Aug 30, 2008
    That's kinda harsh.

    It's similar to the Greco here: http://www.historicguitar.com/id25.html
  4. I didn't mean to be harsh, just funny in an amazingly un-amusing way. Its just I've never heard of Oak being used in guitar bodies. Oak is an slow growing tree that ends up very heavy. Something they make furniture out of. I never thought would be good for musical instrument sound woods. They also use Oak in veners, aka plywood. Still most of the early Japanese basses were plywood bodies.
    I'll read thru the link
  5. StoBro


    Jun 2, 2007
    Is it possible the bass is actually made out of Ash? The grain is often mistaken for Oak.
  6. +1.

    Maybe its made out of Ash and then stained darker.
    Just a thought. :)
  7. wave rider

    wave rider

    Jan 5, 2005
    From Warmoth:
  8. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    In pounds per cubic foot:
    Basswood 26
    Alder, red 28
    Mahogany, African 35
    Maple, red 39
    Mahogany, American 40
    Walnut, black 40
    Walnut, English 40
    Ash, white (not "swamp") 41
    Maple, sugar 46
    Oak, white 48
    Oak, red 48
    Bubinga 55
    Rosewood 59
    Ebony 63
    Cocobolo 65
  9. calebbarton


    Aug 25, 2007
    I manufacture for several companies including but not limited to: Bridge City Sound, Catalinbread, more.
    wow that is really interesting. i didnt realize ebony and cocobolo were that dense.
  10. broadblik


    Aug 10, 2008
    Sheffield, UK
    And Oak is incredibly difficult to work with, I think I have only ever seen one Oak bass.
  11. Barkless Dog

    Barkless Dog Barkless to a point

    Jan 19, 2007
    Shavo says his new signature tbird bass is going to have an oak body
  12. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    It is? :eyebrow:

    I can think of quite a few hardwood species that are more difficult to work with than oak; there are several reasons oak is so ubiquitous, not the least of which is that it is comparatively easy to work with. :D
  13. Krank


    Aug 30, 2008
    Thanks for the replies. Any input on how it sounds, however?
  14. broadblik


    Aug 10, 2008
    Sheffield, UK
    Well a friend of mine was building a laminate bow (NOT A BASS GUITAR)

    and one of the inner laminates was oak, and he said it was painful to work with.
  15. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    Didn't some of the old Peavey T-40 basses have oak bodies? I seem to recall seeing that somewhere.

    Some of them certainly were heavy enough to be oak.
  16. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    The first Fender lap steels were oak; Fender stopped using oak after the chrome hardware started rusting, due to the acidic content of the oak.
  17. CraigG


    Mar 14, 2006
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    I'm betting Ash. My Vantage bass, made during the mid-late 70's by Matsumoku looks a bit like that. Not the easiest to see in this pic, but the grain is rather pronounced...

    I like the appearance of Ash. As for sound, my Vantage has an endless supply of killer tone. Heavy? No, it's not unreasonably heavy.

    Here's a catalog picture of one with a much more pronounced grain...

  18. cdef


    Jul 18, 2003
    No, the natural-finish ones were ash, with a brown-tinged filler rubbed in to make the grain stand out more.

    See Eilif's T-40 infosheet here:
  19. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    I think it's very unlikely you've come upon an old Japanese bass made from oak. I've never heard of any production basses, let alone old Japanese basses, made of oak.

    Maybe if it's an old Japanese one-off boutique bass? :meh:
  20. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    Ahhh. Must've been the filler that threw me.

    My friend had a natural one; it was heavy enough to be oak, that's for sure. Must've weighed 13 lbs.

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