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ovangkol Vs. walnut

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by pgnbstrd, Sep 11, 2001.

  1. pgnbstrd

    pgnbstrd Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Metro Detroit Michigan
    I recently learned that ovangkol is a type of german walnut. Would the tone from american used walnut be similar, or is it a seperate tone altogehter?
  2. PJR


    Jun 20, 2001
    N.E. PA
    Warwick uses Ovangkol.....it's a very dense (heavy) wood.......kinda darker sounding IMO.

    There are many factors which shape the final sound of any bass.....wood type being only one....

  3. pgnbstrd

    pgnbstrd Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Metro Detroit Michigan
    yeah i know warwick uses it.. i'm looking at getting a thumb bo 4 i have a corvette which uses it for the neck wood.. i was just wondering if walnut would have a similar tone
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    pgn - If I were you, I wouldn't use whomever/wherever said that for wood references any more.

    Ovangkol is an African wood, (the name alone is a tipoff) from Gabon, the Ivory Coast, and other African countries. It is more commonly referred to, (IME), as shedua (e.g., Ken Smith basses), and amazakoue.

    Assuming that we're talking about the walnut used most commonly for basses, black walnut, the two woods differ a little. But keep in mind that the tonal characteristics of ovangkol haven't been studied or described much at all since only a very few makers use it. So, the info. I have on ovangkol's tonal characteristics isn't based on much info.

    Black walnut is similar in sound to rock/northern/sugar maple but lacks maple's brightness. But it is a med-heavy wood that is stiffer than mahogany, so it's strong and warm with clear lows and articulate high end.

    Ovangkol is said to sound like rosewood, (Indian, I guess, since that's what is used most often for stringed instruments). It has strong, deep bass, long sustain, and tight mids.

    So, to me, it seems that black walnut offers warmth and more high end while ovangkol's heavy weight and extreme stiffness give it more pronounced, more robust, lows and more sustain, and the mids are more defined as opposed to "warm."

    What's are you looking at? neck? neck laminates? body?
  5. i know Wal basses use alot of Walnut im not sure if its a walnut top or solid Walnut and Warwicl uses ovankol so you should try 'em out and see what the similarity's are.
    PS: i tryed a walnut p-bass and it had ALOT of mid range w/o the amp.
  6. Dirty Road Cola

    Dirty Road Cola Guest

    Sep 8, 2000
    Gainesville, FL
    :confused: Uh..sir, Wal basses use Mahogany bodies. The fretlesses usually have walnut facings. Wals use shedua facings as well. Shedua is much darker than Walnut. Also, Ovangkol (Shedua) has a much more "biting" attack; while walnut is warm and smooth.
  7. virtual.ray


    Oct 25, 2000
    Everything I hear when I play my Ovangkol body/neck Thumb Bolt On 5 agrees with what I read above.IME it makes for a unique sounding bass that's a pleasure to play.

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