Properties of a mahogany body?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Tom Crofts, Feb 18, 2002.

  1. Tom Crofts

    Tom Crofts

    Mar 15, 2001
    What does a mahogany body do for the tone of the bass? And what about a maple/walnut neck? What frequencies are accentuated by these woods?

  2. nunk6


    Jul 29, 2000
    i find that my bass has a tone rich in mids, it has a mahogany body with a maple top, so i would say in my case the mahogany prodives mid frequencies,

    when i chose mahogany for my warmoth body i was looking for a very powerful sound that i associate with low mids,
    when reading about this wood (both on this site and else where) i read that it gives a dark mid sound, and that it provides low mids. I bought mahogany expecting low mids and this turned out not to be true to my ears.
    in my opinion mahogany gives higher mids with a thinner bottom end.
  3. Tom Crofts

    Tom Crofts

    Mar 15, 2001
    That's what I found with mine, I was hoping for a lot more bass than it has, I've found that I have to run both my amp and active electronics at almost full bass and low mid just so it doesn't get a nasal sound. But then I like a more bassy tone anyway, sort of Dirk Lanceish but with more clarity. Thank God for active stuff :D

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    Mahogany tends to lend a lot of midrange to the sound. A mahogany body will sound sweet and warm, but does not have as much low end accentuation as Ash or Alder.

    Walnut will give you a very "woody" sound, and is deep and warm sounding.

    I am having my Warrior made with a Mahogany body and a Walnut neck:)
  5. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mahogany is a great wood for guitar, but IME not for bass. Too much upper mids, not enough fundamentals or low mids, as everyone has said here.
  6. I'm going with embellisher here. Mahogany and Korina (Limba) are IMO the two best woods (NOT IN THAT ORDER, Korina is godly) for guitars.

    I absolutely love Walnut as a bass body wood. I think it sounds terrific, as people have said here. Ash and Alder also sound good, but have two very distinct qualities to me.

    Alder has more of a "midrange punch", but is otherwise pretty even across the tonal range. Sounds pretty crappy acoustically IMO but lends itself tremendously well amplified. Punchy and relatively warm, with not one frequency range dominating. This is my favorite wood for basses used for aggressive material like punk or metal.

    Swamp Ash, on the other hand, has quite a bit of "pop" to it and more high end to my ears. The midrange is more buttery and less aggressive and prominent than alder. Lends itself extremely well to bolt-on fretlesses IMO. Overall, a mellower sound than alder, with a "pop" in the high end and warm bass. Sounds TERRIFIC acoutstically. A common body wood for basses, and for damn good reason.

    Hard Northern Ash (REPRESENTIN' THE NORTH!!! :D :rolleyes: :p ) is the same wood used for baseball bats. It is hard as hell and extraordiarily heavy. (I think JT should make an 8-string doubleneck with solid hard ash :D) This wood has a bright and prominent high end that sustains for about 18 billion years, even in bolt-ons. I wanna try this wood in a neckthru with a 5 or 7pc wenge/bubinga neck and pau ferro fretboard.

  7. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    I'm throwing in with Jeff and Chris on the mahogany - too warm and middy as the only body wood for a bass.

    It was great for the old Les Paul guitars but it really needs to be laminated with something heavier and denser.

    BTW, if you see the name "Honduran/Honduras mahogany" thrown around, all the S. American mahogany is called that name.
  8. The Louisville Slugger bass, John Turner autograph model. I think you may be on to something there.