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Strange wood combination?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Brendan, Mar 27, 2002.

  1. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    While we all are aware of combinations like Ash and Maple, Walnut and Alder, ect. I was wondering how you decide on new and different wood combinations, or even if the wood would make a good bass? For instance, Mike Tobias uses Tulipwood, something I've never really seen used in basses. While we all are aware of combinations like Ash and Maple, Walnut and Alder, ect, w

    Do you just look at a wood and go "That'd make a good bass"? or are there steps to consider when trying a new wood out on a bass? I ask, because it would seem to me a waste of time and resources to just up and make a bass that might sound, well, less than desirable. So how do you select "new" woods?

  2. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Woods the have similar properties: density, oil content, and so on, tend to sound similar. That's one way of estimating how an unusual wood will sound.

    Another way is to listen to the "tap tone" of a wood. Hold up a small board between your thumb and forefinger. Hold it near the top of the board and let it dangle. Rap the wood with your knuckle. knock around in different locations. Some woods will be more resonant and sweet-sounding than others. Tulipwood, for example is exceptionally resonant. This is a good quality for stringed instruments.

    Personally, anything that catches my eye I will buy and put on a prototype.