Solid Maple bass, what would it sound like?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ChaosGwar, Sep 28, 2002.

  1. Solid Maple Warmoth

    9 vote(s)
  2. Maple/ Rosewood Fender clone.

    2 vote(s)
  1. Calling all wood Guru's! I'm at the assembly point on one of my custom basses, and I'm at a crossroads. First, I should say that the body is solid maple, with a honey blonde finish, and looks mighty tasty. I'm not sure which neck to put on it, and I have 2 to choose from.

    1) Solid Maple Warmoth neck
    2) Maple neck, rosewood board, Generic Fender clone neck.

    The neck with the rosewood board has been defretted, and that's the reason for this thread. I'm not quite sure I want to continue with fretless. I keep the neck around for the occasional bite from the fretless bug. At this point, I'm not into fretless.

    I'm leaning toward the Warmoth, but curious how it will sound. Other than the hardware and electronics, the bass will be entirely maple. It's a Musicman pickup located higher up in the neck position, if that makes any difference. Also, 1 volume, 2 tone, passive for now, although there is a spot for a battery.

    edited for stupid typos.
  2. It won't sound that much different from a bass with a hard ash body. A heavy, old G&L L1000/2000, maybe.

    I tend not to like solid maple neck-throughs; they're usually too bright for my tastes. I'd imagine a bolt-on would be, even moreso.
  3. pd_5string

    pd_5string Admin: Accnt Disabled

    Jan 23, 2002
    Tight and snappy but not as tight and snappy as say a solid bubinga body a la Warwick. There will be less harmonic content as an ash, alder, or poplar body wood bass. It also depends largely on the kind of maple. I would imagine burl would sound tighter than quilt due to grain density.
  4. It's neither burl, quilt, nor birds eye, or any figuring at all. Just a nice simple piece of maple. I imagine it will sound kinda bright and snappy. But will the fat MM pup in the P spot beef up the tone any? I don't mind if it's kinda bright, my alder body maple/rosewood P bass is about as dark as I've ever heard. My alder body jazz with the maple neck has a fairly wide range from fat and beefy to bright and punchy. I'm hoping that the maple body can extend on the brightness, but I don't want it too bright. I suppose that with it being bolt-on, I could try both.
  5. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Old Guild Pilots had maple bodies.
  6. steve-o

    steve-o Guest

    Apr 17, 2002
    an old G&L sb-2 or sb-1.
    all maple. i think they sound awsome. they have a nice slap tone. just everything you want it to be.

  7. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I have two all Maple basses, a Brubaker NBS Custom 5 with Maple neck and board and a Zon Legacy Standard fretless 5.

    The Brubaker is a bright and open sounding bass. Excellent lows, no mud. It has Bartolini quad coil pickups and a 3 band Bart pre with two position mids control. I usually leave everything set flat. Both pickups on yeilds a very full yet articulate sound. I do most of my playing with this setting. Solo the bridge pickup and it gets a very nice round, punchy Jaco-ish sound. This bass doesn't suffer for boutique-itis, where the mids are under-represented and the bass doesn't cut. This bass cuts like crazy.

    I play the Zon fretless the majority of the time with the bridge pickup soloed. Bass dimed, treble flat. Very punchy. Bart soapbar pickups, Polyfusion preamp. Both pickups on is very nice for slap.

    What sound are you after? Have you routed for the pickup yet? It could be interesting trying to find the sweetspot with a single MM pickup. There's a lot of sound near the bridge that you won't get. Just something to keep in mind.
  8. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    As some possible points of reference, Rickenbackers are maple neck and body, rosewood fingerboard. Pedulla MVP and Buzz are maple neck and body, and ebony fingerboard. Although unlike yours, both of these are neck-through.

    Of course, here you may be getting into a "religious" area of controversy, where some people say that the fingerboard wood makes no difference in tone, while others strongly believe that it does. Either way you go, you'll have a maple body - maple neck bass. Some might say that the major difference between the necks tone-wise would be generic-Fender-clone versus Warmoth, rather than the fretboard wood. There could be differences due to quality of build. There could also be differences due to the Warmoth having two steel stiffening rods in addition to a double steel trussrod, and the clone possibly having only a single-acting (and single-bar) trussrod.
  9. Well, I went sahead and slapped the maple neck on, and it looks great. I still need to wire it all up, but that shouldn't take too long. I can work a mean soldering iron. :D

    I still need to work out the proper scale beofre I bolt on the neck. It was a little off (between 32 and 33 inches) when I set it in the pocket and measured. It looks like I need to move the bridge back some. It looks sweet. Thung oil finish gave it a honey blonde color.

    I'll post up some pics when I finally get it all finished up.
  10. dmaki


    Apr 29, 2000
    Don't Rics have bubinga fretboards?
  11. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Some do, I've seen rosewood, bubinga, and padauk (vermillion).
  12. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Yes, I love the vermillion (forgot that that was the same as padauk!) ones, but I quoted the rosewood, as currently listed for 4003s of the Ric website.
  13. bazzanderson


    Oct 7, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Hey, ChaosGwar....I PMd you.
  14. mgood


    Sep 29, 2001
    Levelland, Texas
    Not a guru, but . . .

    Carvin basses and guitars from mid-1989 and earlier - not sure how much earlier, but at least back to the very early eighties - came standard with maple bodies, maple set-necks. Koa was optional. Ebony 'boards on pretty much everything, but maple fretboards may have been available as an option. I don't recall exactly when the maple fretboard option became available.

    So pretty much any old (pre-1990) Carvin you can get a hold of might give you a bit of reference.

    I had one of these maple/maple monsters, a 1987 V440T. Pretty heavy and fairly bright, but not overly so.

    Pickup selection may become somewhat more critical with an all-maple instrument. The pickups you think sound great in a darker-sounding wood my sound like poo-poo on this one and vice-versa.
  15. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    My band's guitar player recently built a jazzmaster-like guitar that's all maple(!). He says he's pretty happy with the way it sounds, but he admits that the sounds he gets out of it can get a bit too bright at times. Furthermore, the guitar's pretty heavy. All-maple should be fine for bass, though, I think. Warwick sold a few limited edition Thumbs over here that were all-maple.
  16. Years ago I had a 4 string Ibanez Musician. It was neck thru and all maple with an ebony finger board. The tone was bright and snappy and would cut through a marching band.
  17. ThunderPig

    ThunderPig Guest

    Dec 15, 2002
    Oakland California
    I've had several all maple basses. One of them was one of my all-time favorite basses, the Carvin LB-40. All maple with an ebony fretboard. With a fresh set of Roto 66s, it was nasty-bright. It had perfect intonation and chorded like a piano, all the way down. I wish I would have kept that bass. I've been searching for one ever since.
  18. My REX is all maple, it's a neck through with EMG's and a rosewood board. Most people would say it's too bright.

    To me, it has an awesome, cutting, growling tone that is beefy but defined. Not phat in a sense, but it has a clear lower register. The mids and highs are SO detailed though.

    I think maple is the ultimate wood for harmonics as well.
  19. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    man, I got worried when I saw the PD post, then realized this was a resurrection!
  20. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings