SX Ash body wood any good

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Lazaro, Oct 25, 2006.

  1. The SX ASH PJ is catching my eye as a project bass. However, people as saying SX is most likely hard ash and not swamp ash. Hence, it's not as "musical." Because of this, my intuition is making me lean toward good ol' alder. Any own/tried an SX ASH model against anything with swamp ash? Any comment over all?
  2. Shelly


    Jul 12, 2006
    Brighton, Michigan
    Lazaro, I hope you don't feel that I'm hi-jacking your brand new thread, but the ash basses have me concerned, too. They mostly seem to come with maple fingerboards vs rosewood...could anyone comment on these differences as well? The megathread didn't seem to do this.

  3. SherpaKahn


    Dec 1, 2005
    Bronx, NYC
    I dunno about SXs, but "hard ash" makes a fine body wood for bass guitars. All Ibanez Musicians were made with hard ash body wings, and true, though they may just be wings, they sound fine to me. From what I understand, hard ash is avoided for guitar bodies, but works fine for bass guitars.
  4. I recently purchased an SX Ash 75 J and it is great. As long as I've been playing bass (almost 30 years) I have no idea what woods are "musical" or not as I'm always able to achieve any desired sound through EQ, but the sound and playability of this bass is great stock. Certainly no mods are needed on mine.
  5. bassman10096

    bassman10096 Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    Hard ash and swamp ash are both used for bass bodies. They weigh different amounts: a swamp ash P body (no hardware) might weigh as little as 4.5 lb. Hard ash is generally more than a pound heavier. Swamp ash has a more detailed, scooped mids tone that is warm. Hard ash is more piano-like because of it's much greater density, but lacks a lot of the warmth and sometimes sounds a bit dead - particularly a heavier piece. Keep in mind - they make Louisville Sluggers out of hard ash... :bassist:
  6. lug

    lug Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    I actually prefer a heavy Ash body over Swamp Ash. If you aren't concerned with the weight, there should be no problem.
  7. buddy just stumbled accross a 72 fender Jazz with Ash natural finish. I guess the school he taught at thought it was junk in thier junk pile. Everything was stock so it gave me a good idea of "that" sound. I assume it's swamp however. Now it's just a case of comparing this memory of that sound to a hard ash I may come accross. Many other factors too of course.

    So most people saying they dig and the other extreme is "lifeless." :cool:

    I could'nt find anything on the megathread either.
  8. My SX jazz 5 is hard ash, and it sounds really good unplugged. It weighs a frickin' ton though.:D
  9. How does it sound plugged? Some basses are wierd like that.
  10. same here.... actually "swamp" is a grade not a species! Just lighter and less dense pieces of the same kind of tree.
  11. I thought Swamp ash and Northern Hard ash were from a different area altogether??
  12. Scott in Dallas

    Scott in Dallas Commercial User

    Aug 16, 2005
    Dallas, north Texas
    Builder and Owner: DJ Ash Guitars
    Swamp ash is black ash, northern ash is white ash. They are separate species.

  13. It is my understanding that Swamp ash is a lighter weight 'grade' of Black Ash... Yes there are other species of ash... like the white ash of a baseball bat. I am no expert though :)
  14. Scott in Dallas

    Scott in Dallas Commercial User

    Aug 16, 2005
    Dallas, north Texas
    Builder and Owner: DJ Ash Guitars
    I'm not an expert either, but I did the research a couple of weeks ago because I'm about to buy some lumber for bass blanks. What I found out was that swamp ash is the species fraxinus nigra, or black ash. Whether ALL black ash is swamp ash I do not know for sure, but everything that I found used the terms interchangably. Someone had said that swamp ash is not a specific species, but it is. Beyond that I won't pretend to know.
  15. A different species and area all together! They should be given different names, as to not be misleading. Like baseball wood vs swamp ash.

    In that case they should name the bass:

    SX SPJ Baseball instead of SX SPJ Ash

    Awe schucks, I know I like swamp ash like that 1972 fender I played. However, the SX probably has a baseball wood body.

    As of now I know you can't go wrong with alder and some people above stated they like harder baseball wood bodies.

    Is this old news or should more clarity be brought to this difference?
  16. 70s Fenders (including my old 74) were some of the heaviest (not swamp) ash I've met.
  17. RLT


    Jul 10, 2004
    South Central OH
    The early Peavey's T-40, T-60, etc. Were all made of Northern or hard Ash. Then they switched to Southern (Swamp) ash for the lighter weight.
    Fender made a lot of basses with hard ash bodies.
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