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sustainable wood bass makers

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by atunenrama, Sep 27, 2004.

  1. atunenrama


    Sep 19, 2003

    I know it might sound cheesy to some, but I am really worried about this thing (no trees, no basses :))

    The thing is, what makers or models are really certified to come from sustainable sources of wood? I've found vague statements from fender or gibson (the samrtwood series, discontinued if I know...), but there's nothing in their webpages to show they use "proper" wood sources.

    Does anyone know what basses can I buy while still sleeping right?

    Hey, don't mean to offend anyone. I have a bass of dubious nature, too. Just don't want to have another :)
  2. fastplant


    Sep 26, 2002
    I've thought about what would happen if there weren't enough trees to make guitars anymore. Like if Bubinga trees died out, and such.
  3. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I know Matt Schmill of FBB (www.fbbcustom.com) is big on sustainable woods and using domestic alternatives.
  4. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Maple is fairly sustainable so don't worry much about buying a Maple bass. There is no Brazillian Rosewood anymore. :bawl: In the forseeable future there will be no more Gabon Ebony either. :bawl: :bawl:

    For "sustainable" woods from mass market bass makers look for Maple and Poplar, which grows very fast and to my ears (like the sound) and hands (light) is a very nice bass bodywood.
  5. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    As Brendan mentioned, I try to keep up with sustainability and alternatives to overtaxed woods. I would be happy to discuss alternatives exotics, domestics, and buying sustainable-yield/FSC certified either here or privately.

    Think green!
  6. atunenrama


    Sep 19, 2003
    You see, I've been looking at all (or most) major maufacturer's webpages, and none of them says anithing about sustainability, and although I know some kinds of maple and poplar are quite easy to recover, I'd rather get my bass from FSC- approved poplar or maple.
    I sent most of them an e- mail, and got no reply: only from a german company (esh, very cool, in fact...) that uses their own wood from their own forests, which they keep up.
    In fact, I'd rather pay a bit more for a environment friendly instrument, but I cannot afford a boutique bass, and it seems to me only small boutique makers are really considering this issue...
    Thanks for the information, and stay green!!
  7. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I feel compelled to mention that Wishnevsky basses are usually made from large parts recovered wood from old furniture, doors, etc.
  8. lbanks


    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    There ya go!
  9. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    :D :D :D

    Also, there are some woods that are grown for other reasons, but can be used for bass.
    for example, in India, they plant fast-growing trees next to some plants to protect them from strong storms, etc. Then, these are sold cheaply, and some of this is used for bass.

    Also, the bass industry uses only a small amount compared to furniture. For bass, its about tone and looks, but at furniture, (auto and other) decoration industry, they are used solely for their looks - wouldnt it be easier to use only thin layers of wood on plastic?

    however, the most damage to exotic woods is from burning down forests for (low quality) soil
  10. smperry

    smperry Administrator Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Martin Keith Guitars
    Reason #28 to buy used...you're recycling!

  11. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Do you have any idea where plastic comes from? We could all use to reduce the amount of plastic in our lives.

    BTW, if anyone wants to make a bass out of fruitless mulberry, I've got a tree in the back yard that needs pruning. :D

    Here is another idea, let's all make basses from the Christmas trees that are discarded every year.
  12. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    YEs, plastic comes from oil.
    I know.
    But since we have so much plastic lying around (non-decomposing but recyclable waste), it would still be less harm than an endangered species of wood.
  13. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Look around for big pieces of beat up furniture being sold at garage sales and see if you can have tables and such turned into a bass.
  14. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I have read this as well, with an accompanying claim that instrument makers' impact on endangered woods is practically negligible. I imagine that this holds true to different degrees for different woods... I'd like to learn more about the issues.
  15. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    If you go to the G&L site and follow their factory tour, they are stockpiling swamp ash because it is becoming hard to get......
  16. Phil Mastro

    Phil Mastro

    Nov 18, 2004
    Good site, I remember Modulus using Granadillo for that reason. I think it's also part of why Fender switched from Indian rosewood to pau ferro. Also, a while back Gibson had a line called SmartWood guitars or something. All made from sustainable woods and such.

    If you're trying to help save some rare trees, I'd suggest staying away from Koa, Brazilian Rosewood, Madagascar Ebony, and Honduran Mahogany. I'm pretty sure the first 2 are already on the CITES treaty, and the last 2 might be added there soon enough.