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Optimum woods (for me)?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Brendan, May 3, 2002.

  1. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    The Building bug finally took hold. I'm going to start the building as soon as A) Parents are done w/ canoe (which got me up off my butt and into the woodshop!), and getting a couple of books. Never can be too over informed, eh? Then comes the hard part...wood choice!

    I'm looking at a bass that rips, snorts, snarls, growls and bites. No, it's not a dog, I'm just thinking Warwick from left field:D. Something that grinds, and is low and deep, but bites like a bear. A real metal/rock axe (that I'd be proud to show you guys! :)). Untill recently, I was stuck on maple necks, with ash/alder body and a figured maple top. A "look" if you will. That was dashed about a month ago. Now I'm after the right woods, not the right looks.

    For the snarly growl/bite, I 'm mulling:
    Primarily Wenge neck, with laminates of Walnut, Bubinga, or Ovankol (or your suggestions)...Though I hear wenge is a PAIN to work with, so a first build maybe something else? I do have a suitable hunk of purpleheart left over from the canoe...hmn...how would you go about it?
    Pau Ferro Fingerboard
    Walnut or Mahogany body with paduak top/back, or vice versa? (I really like Paduaks color and smooth tone)

    Though, if I could find some claro burl like this (see pic) I'd go for the padauk main body in a second. Course, I'm scared of working with wood THAT nice...:( I'm open to comments. What do you guys think of woods for the occasion? It's nice that my stepdad had TONS of tools, and about 10 years boat building experience, along with too many years building houses, cabinets, and wood working in general. That, and the guys at Ressurection Guitars (down the road a few miles) are really helpful guys. Whoo boy...

  2. patrickj


    Aug 13, 2001
    Ellicott City, MD
    Endorsing: Spector Bass Guitars
    that's some purty burl

    about wenge for the neck.. my initial impression (having received my 5' slab of wenge today), it's heavy as $hit. it might not work so well being the prime wood in your neck laminate. I was planning on using mostly wenge + slivers of maple, but unless I find something heavy enough for the body to even it out, i'm going to alter my plans a bit. I'm not to worried about a heavy bass, my Yamaha6 weighs ~ 50 lbs ;)
  3. geshel

    geshel Supporting Member

    Oct 2, 2001
    Are you talking bolt-on or neck-through? Someone said DP only builds the latter. In that case, I think the neck wood will have the greatest impact on the tone. Wenge sounds like the one.

    I think a top made from walnut like that would be $$$$. Walnut leans towards the warm side too, I've heard. You might be able to find cocobolo that looks comparable (not the same, but equally stunning) to that for less money (cocobolo is pretty expensive, but the really nice pieces of walnut are always in demand). I think cocobolo has a crisper, edgier sound.

    A cocobolo top on an alder body, with a wenge neck - that sounds like it could be pretty nasty. If the cocobolo were a bit thick it'd make up for the alder's lightness and balance the neck, maybe?

    OK I'd better stop now before I get even more GAS myself. . . :)
  4. my bass has some major growl! it's almost inexcapeable, and I got quad coils. but, it's a good thing, I think it would be an awesome rock/metal bass. this bass has a lot of funk to it also, if you know what I mean.
    anyway my woods are;
    maple and walnut 5 piece neck
    ash body wings
    Zebrawood full top
    Pau ferro fretboard

    the zebrawood and ash are 50/50 thickness.

    BTW just get a DP, you only have to have half down for him to start. then you don't have to pay the rest untill it's finished, and that could be 6 months.
  5. rickreyn


    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
  6. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Bumpity! The canoe is almost done. A week and a half, maybe two. So it's time to order the books, look at the woods, and make sure I have enough clamps!

    I really would like some help here on the wood choice.

    Like I said, I've got an experienced woodworker of a stepdad, so I'm not feeling to bad about getting some nice-ish woods for a first one like this. That, and A nice supply of poplar/cheap woods to run trials on, I.E. fretting...

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