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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Owen118, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. Owen118


    Oct 25, 2017
    Just wanted to know if plywood has a good sound. I've got it and I would just need the other parts. I would need to glue two layers on top of each other. Will that affect the sound?
  2. Roland GR 88

    Roland GR 88

    Sep 16, 2013
    The 'other parts' will have the most impact on the sound. Plywood doesn't sound good or bad, it's just plywood. Used a-plenty by those looking to increase profits on cheap guitars and those that are just cheap themselves.
    tlc1976 and el_Bajo_Verde like this.
  3. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    Make sure to paint it a solid color. See through finishes don't work well with plywood. I remember some of the Series 10 Strat knock off guitars from the 90's had plywood bodies, and you could still see the plywood through solid red paint! That would be my biggest concern with plywood.
    ObsessiveArcher and rbuchholz like this.
  4. cdef


    Jul 18, 2003
    Plywood is often looked down on as a body material, perhaps because it's always been used for the most inexpensive basses and doesn't have a grain to show off. There's nothing to say that such a bass can't sound very good, though, depending on what else goes in. The main point against plywood bodies is that they tend to be on the heavy side, which may or may not bother you.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
  5. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 Life: It's sexually transmitted and always fatal Supporting Member

    Hmm not sure if serious.

    Why work so hard on such a difficult to work medium (plywood heavier than solid wood as a general rule) when reasonably priced components (pre routed painted bodies) are available for a low price in so many different locations.
  6. Owen118


    Oct 25, 2017
    Cool thanks but would the glue affect it at all? I'd need to screw two sheets of plywood together and I was wondering if it would work.
  7. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 Life: It's sexually transmitted and always fatal Supporting Member

    Work is subjective as a wall hanging or a playable instrument? Screws do not wood joinery make.
    Glue and clamps can join the 2 sheets of material. But again why?
    interp likes this.
  8. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    Because he is a kid on a low budget and has access to it.


    Feb 10, 2016
    Michigan USA
    The plywood basses i have had contact with are more fittingly termed "laminated". Usually they are made up of less layers than construction or furniture grade plywood and using a higher grade material. Again, that has been my experience.
    Pilgrim and covermego like this.
  10. Owen118


    Oct 25, 2017
    Ghastly likes this.
  11. Thebrownarrow


    Jul 23, 2011
    I had a MiM P bass that I am pretty sure was plywood. Sounded fine but sheesh that thing was an anchor!
  12. tlc1976


    Aug 2, 2016
    If it's what you got and what you can afford then go for it. 1 or maybe 2 of my basses are plywood and they sound fine. Every bass is going to have its unique tone anyway, especially something you make yourself and assemble odd parts. But it will still sound like a bass.

    Most bass bodies are laminated. Actually I think high end ones often have more layers because they sometimes have many layers of different types of wood laminated, or a top surface made of a more expensive wood. The glue certainly doesn't hurt anything there.

    IMO the main drawback of working with plywood is the tear out on the edges. Sometimes there are voids inside the wood, and sometimes pieces want to tear out if you're not careful. If the rout is under a pickguard then it's not so bad, but on the body edges it makes more work to clean it up. Higher grade plywood might not be this way, but then again you're into more cost.
    Engle and UNICORN BASS like this.
  13. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 Life: It's sexually transmitted and always fatal Supporting Member

  14. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    ColdEye and Member8675309 like this.
  15. Owen118


    Oct 25, 2017
    Nah it's just what I've got
    rodl2005 likes this.
  16. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    I was asking @/\/\3phist0

    All three of his posts are against this plan.

    I'm fine with your plan. I say go for it.
  17. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 Life: It's sexually transmitted and always fatal Supporting Member

    It seems like a lot of work to achieve less than desirable results.
    He's embarking on a journey of discovery or frustration. If offering alternatives that may achieve a good result is telling him not to I missed it... Go for it I made a guitar out of a skateboard, an upright out of a cardboard box and a tuned marimba set out of PVC pipe.
    Nev375 and Garret Graves like this.
  18. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    Why do the results have to be less than desirable?

    Maybe you haven't told him not to, but you keep jamming kits under his nose.

    Plywood he has, money, not so much.
    tlc1976 likes this.
  19. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Depends on the wood in the plywood, depends on the quality of the plywood itself, depend on how well you glue it.

    Depends on a lot of stuff.

    Go to guitar fetish and check out their closeouts.
  20. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Is there a reason you're planning to screw two sheets together rather than gluing them?
    Gaolee likes this.

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