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P-bass: alder or ash body?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by nonsqtr, May 28, 2004.

  1. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    For a 5-string P bass I'm hoping to get, if I want the vintage P-bass sound for classic rock, would it be better to get an alder body, or an ash body?
  2. either is gonna get you the tone.

    You want a clear finish? Get the Ash. Opaque color? Get the alder.

    Ash will give you more "pop" in the mids, and alder will sound more "even"... Fender used both in production forever. In the 70's, they used heavier northern ash in the bodies, and were thinner.

    These are all generalizations. Go out and try a few, and come to your own conclusion of which gives that "vintage" tone. It's all subjective really.
  3. This is usually the case.

    Fender also charges about $100 more for a guitar or bass with an ash body. But, they do look great!

  4. JRBrown


    Jun 21, 2000
    North Carolina
    The local P-Bass player/Fender dealer of 25 years always boasted that his Ash body/maple fretboard P-Bass is the best P-bass tone ever.

    ...Three months ago, I proved to him that his P-Bass has an alder body... :D
  5. By thinner I meant the body was dimensionally thinner... this is what I've read repeatedly. I cannot attest to this being a constant thoughout the 70's, no. :bassist:
  6. Virus


    Apr 16, 2004
    What about the Fender American Vintage series basses?

    Not really affordable but from the sample on their website these basses seem like it'd be a good buy.

    The '75 Jazz looks real nice to me.
  7. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Go w/ Swamp Ash! It's cool, everybody's doing it... Besides, Alder is the "Taste like Chicken" of all woods... :cool:

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Staff Member Supporting Member

    I am a big fan of Swamp Ash, get a nice burst or trans finish to show of its grain.
  9. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I agree with everything above except I put fingerboard in the same category as body wood for a fretted bass.
  10. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member