Swamp Ash/Mahogany body? (Opinions)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassplayer7770, Feb 18, 2002.

  1. When I get the money, I was thinking of having Devon ( www.devonguitars.com ) build me a Diamond D with a body made of Swamp Ash AND Mahogany. It would also have the MM/J pickup configuration, a maple neck, and rosewood fingerboard. The tone I'm looking for is warm but able to cut through the mix. Would this be a good combination? He seems to think it would sound great, and I would tend to believe him. Thanks for your opinions!:)
  2. how are the woods distributed? mahogany back and swamp ash front or mahogany front and swamp ash back? or completely different?

    i think it will sound great
  3. I would have the Swamp Ash on back and Mahogany on the front. I think it would look better that way with a natural finish.:)
  4. instead of having a bright and a warm wood
    why not get a full KOA body which has the traits of mahogony but brighter and alot of bands that have koa basses cut through prety well.
  5. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    DeepDeath: which bands have bass players with koa axes? I can't think of any.
  6. I have a Lakland 55-94 that has the same pickup configuration, swamp ash body, maple neck and rosewood fretboard which pretty much fits the sound you described (warm but able to cut through the mix). Maybe you don't need the mahogony?
  7. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Carvin makes beautiful koa basses.
  8. Steve Digiorgio from testament uses a KOA Carvin Bass.
  9. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Really? That's interesting. I didn't know of anyone playing heavy music with a Carvin.

    I've got a Carvin koa fretless. I've never been happy with the sound, but that might be the electronics more than anything. It's also a maple neck-through, so who knows how much effect the koa has. The bridge pickup is very punchy but thin. The treble is very extended, but it doesn't really have any bite.

    If I recall (it's been a while since I used it in a band), you're right it did cut through fairly well. Again, not in an aggressive way but a warm midrange sort of thing.
  10. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Swamp ash and mahogany are both commonly used as tone carrying back wood. The mix will probably sound great.
    Whether to put one or the other in front is mainly an aestetic question.
  11. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    From what I've seen, mahogany doesn't appear to be that common a bass wood. I used to have an all mahogany 6-string fretless, and I never liked it very much. Middy without much real fundamental bass. I dunno what it would sound like mixed with swamp ash, though. Might end up being a synergistic combo.

    For looks, though, I personally wouldn't put the mahogany on the front. All the mahogany I've ever seen, except for the odd somewhat figured piece, is pretty boring-looking without color. Ash at least often has a visually interesting grain pattern.

    I like koa better than mahogany in basses. It's prettier and sounds nicer IMO, but it's also pricy and harder to get than mahogany.
  12. chucko58


    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    I've been toying with the idea of a Carvin XB75 with a koa/maple laminated neck, mahogany body sides, and figured walnut cap... maybe when my wife hits the lottery. :(
  13. ESP-LTD


    Sep 9, 2001
    My ESP LTD B-305 has a maple/mahagony neck with mahogony body sides and a maple cap, on a neck thru.

    I'd say the tone is pretty balanced and cuts well enough. I see these things used for about $350 on e-bay.
  14. i would opt for a maple top instead of the ash if the body wood were going to be mahogany. you'll get a big round sound with some slice on the top
  15. Actually, the body will be mainly Swamp Ash with a top. Devon seems to think Mahogany would be a great mix with the Ash, but Dave Pushic (DP Custom) doesn't recommend it because it's too soft. He recommends Cocobolo, Bocote, or Rosewood. What do you all think?
  16. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    Just to play devil's advocate for a minute, have you considered just going with solid swamp ash? Are you expecting the top to change the tone significantly, or is it mostly for looks?

    An interesting combination used on the Yamaha Patitucci signature bass is an alder body with a thin layer of ash on the back, and thin layers of ash and maple on the front.
  17. My 5-string is solid Swamp Ash. I'm hoping even a thin layer of a darker wood on the top will help make the tone a bit warmer, but if I had to choose only one wood, it would be Swamp Ash. I also think the top will make it look nicer. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe the Bart electronics would make it warm enough.:confused: