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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Davidoc, Apr 15, 2002.

  1. Can anyone explain to me why Fender uses it on the cheaper instruments, and uses alder and ash in the more expensive ones, but Musicman uses them all interchangibly?

    Is poplar usually considered cheaper?

  2. Well, you'll hear a lot of conflicting opinions about this wood. Yes, Fender uses it in their mexican instruments, but that does not mean it's an inferior wood. It isn't the best looking wood, subjectively, compared to ash and alder it has a less defined grain and can have some green mineral streaks in it. However, one of the nicest sounding basses I have played was an MTD 535 with a poplar body and wenge neck and board. One of the only negatives I see is that the wood isn't very dense and thus can dent more easily. Anyway, I would go out and play some basses and decide for yourself what you like.

  3. Maybe Musicaman found out that poplar complimented the sound of their pickups and electronics more to the " Musicman sound," than most other types of wood? Just a guess.

    Mike J.
  4. That's a good point, cause alder is not expensive. Maybe their is a deeper reason...cause lots of guitar and bass manufacturers use alder bodies in their low-level instruments.
  5. bertbassplayer

    bertbassplayer Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
    Actually Squier's Affinity Series, have Alder bodies (they are made in China). I think part of the body wood is due to the location of the factories. As everyone said Poplar isnt a bad sounding wood (I know some people that preffer the MIM Fender's becuase of the Poplar). It is a soft wood, and can be unsightly becuase of the streaks.
  6. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Poplar is relatively cheap, but has neutral Alder-like tone characteristics. When balanced the rest of the instrument it can be a fine body wood. It's pretty ugly though so it's only good for opaque finishes. It's also light, which is nice, but can cause neck dive. I used to have a Poplar Peavey Dyna-Bass and it was nice.

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