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Questions on Tonewoods

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Rumblefisher, Aug 22, 2007.


  1. Rumblefisher

    Rumblefisher

    Aug 22, 2007
    Astoria, NY
    This is my first post, so hello to all. I want to order a Custom Shop Warwick and I have specific idea in mind. I just wanted some opinions on it, lest I make a very expensive mistake. In any case, my idea is:

    Streamer Stage I

    BODY

    Construction: Neck Through

    Wood: Cocobolo core with Flamed Maple Top and Back

    Finish: Honey Violin Colored Oil Finish

    NECK

    Wood: Flamed Maple

    Finish: Matching with Body

    Headstock: Flamed Maple with same finish as Body

    FINGERBOARD

    Wood: Tigerstripe Ebony

    Inlays: Bass Clef

    PARTS

    Hardware: Gold Warwick

    Pickups: EMG 35DC Active

    Electronics: 3 Way MEC


    I know trying to compare tonal qualities is like trying to describe a fine wine to someone, but please just entertain the thought for a moment. Is the idea of a flamed maple neck (keeping in mind that flamed maple is bright and poppy in sound), top, and back with a cocobolo rosewood core (to lend its warmth of sound to round out and fatten up the tone) a good idea? Would a flamed maple neck and flamed maple body be better or just too bright in tone? Any ideas on pickups (perhaps some MEC ones...their website doesn't say anything about the pickup sound)?

    Thank you for any help or opinion you can provide!
     
  2. A9X

    A9X

    Dec 27, 2003
    Australia
    The NT assembly would be the major contributor to any wood dependent tonality, with the wings having little effect. With a Coco core, it's going to be heavy.
     
  3. Rumblefisher

    Rumblefisher

    Aug 22, 2007
    Astoria, NY
    So then the cocobolo core would do little if anything to round out the sound? If that's the case should I just stick with a flamed maple body and neck? Thanks for the input.
     
  4. Flintc

    Flintc

    Aug 15, 2006
    Alabama
    Most discussions of tonewoods I've seen relegate cocobolo to fancy figured tops, because it's about the heaviest wood per unit volume you can find anywhere. Most bodies with thin tops (and backs, sometimes) are ash or alder because these are excellent sonically, very durable, and light weight.

    However, I have two basses made of solid bubinga, which is another dense heavy wood, and I LOVE the sound. Warwick commonly builds bodies out of solid bubinga also, for the same reason.
     
  5. Rumblefisher

    Rumblefisher

    Aug 22, 2007
    Astoria, NY
    I'm not really concerned so much with the weight of the bass guitar so much as I am the sound. A popular choice among Warwick users (besides ovangkol bodies) seems to be flamed maple bodies and necks. I thought that using wings of different wood than the neck would help shape the sound, with the flamed maple neck-through having the most tonal "voice" in the matter. Would it be a better idea to just stick with a flamed maple neck and body, or would this just sound annoyingly bright?
     
  6. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    I think you need to go out and play some Warwicks, listen for the differences in tone and settle on what wood(s) sounds best for what you're hearing tone-wise and doing project-wise. Don't try to think too far out of the box, chances are if a "cocobolo core" was the lick, everybody would be doing it.
     
  7. A9X

    A9X

    Dec 27, 2003
    Australia
    Some people think it makes a difference, and I do "a bit", but I honestly don't beleive the difference will be very noticable or significant to the tone.

    I'd get something else for the body core, and maybe the coco for the top/back, but that's mainly my aesthetic preference. I don't like flamed or quilted maple and definitely would prefer straight grained maple in the neck.

    Agree with the advice to get out and play similar Warwicks before sending in the order.
     
  8. doctorjazz

    doctorjazz

    Oct 22, 2006
    Wilmington, NC
    Jesus, that's going to be one heavy bass. And it seems like a shame to cover up all that beautiful cocobolo with run-of-the-mill flamed maple that it seems like everybody's bass has. Like putting a motivational poster over the Mona Lisa.
     
  9. The cocobolo core might have an interesting sound, but you couldn't pay me enough money to play a bass that heavy.

    Personally, I'd probably ditch the flamed maple for some nice quartersawn maple for stability. You should also be able to get away with a thinner neck, too. Are you doing a full top?

    As a personal pref, I don't do back caps. It may look nice, but I don't see the point in putting a nice piece of lumber on the back of the bass when I'd be the only one who sees it. I'd much rather spend the same money and upgrade the top.

    For the overall maple motif, I'd probably want an ash or maybe an alder body.
     
  10. Rumblefisher

    Rumblefisher

    Aug 22, 2007
    Astoria, NY
    Thank you everyone for your help. I'm going to go out and play a few more Warwicks...Guitar Center has a good selection...and rethink the project a bit. Thanks again!
     
  11. ggunn

    ggunn

    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    And look at the tonewoods thread that has been running for the past few days for a plethera of opinions on what and how much difference the wood makes. They run the gamut from "none at all" to "huge". Here, I'll bump it for you...

    But let's not start that up again, OK? ;^)
     
  12. Rumblefisher

    Rumblefisher

    Aug 22, 2007
    Astoria, NY
    thanks a lot ggun. wow, people at this forum are genuinely nice and helpful. bass players are always the most chill people.
     
  13. Double Agent

    Double Agent Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    Clearly, this was written BEFORE he had a chance to read through the tonewoods thread ;)
     
  14. ggunn

    ggunn

    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Yeah, well, he said it was his first post. Talk about jumping right into the fire, eh? ;^)
     
  15. Double Agent

    Double Agent Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    ^ no kidding!
     

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