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Solid Maple Neck bolted on a laminated body?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by LowGrowl, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. LowGrowl


    Jan 20, 2011
    Mexico City
    I happen to have a spare maple neck from previous projects and I plan to build a body for it. I have had both bolt-on and neck-through basses and I really can feel and hear the difference in sustain and punch. Every desigh has It own vibe and I like them both.

    simple question here...:confused:

    What if I make a laminated body (maple-wenge-purpleheart) ala Ken Smith and I bolt on a solid maple neck?

    Does it worth the effort?
    Will it sound like a regular bolt on with a solid body? better?

    Your help is much apreciated.

  2. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    It will sound like whatever it ends up sounding like. There are too many variables to predict the outcome.

    I can tell you that if you build it well, it will sound good.
  3. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    deviated prevert
    I am currently in the throes of mating a maple neck with a laminated (plywood) body.
    I'll let you know...

  4. Drake Custom

    Drake Custom Commercial User

    Aug 24, 2010
    Builder/Owner:Drake Custom Bass Guitars
    I have used that same selection many times with good results. The first bass pictured below is a laminated Birdseye Maple, Wenge, Purpleheart combo with a Birdseye Maple neck. I found that the tone of this bass is somewhat brighter with nice low-mid growl.

    It is the biggest pieces of the body and neck that make the biggest difference in overall sound. All of the woods you have listed will have a brighter tone as they are all very hard woods.
    I have recently made a bass (see the second bass below) with many of the same woods, but with a larger amount of Purpleheart, and I found that a single MM pickup did not give the bass enough bottom end. I had to add a Jazz pickup to bring out some more bass. It was because of the large amount of Purpleheart used in the body that made the bass brighter in tone. The Walnut and Maple used in the body were not a very big factor on the sound because the top pieces were not very thick. So I think that if you want more warmth in the tone of your bass with using the types of wood you listed, you may want to consider pickup placement and possibly chambering the body (if you are using a top wood) to add some roundness to the overall tone.