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That Jazz Bass Growl!!!!! - which wood combination though???

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Modern Growl, Aug 17, 2005.

  1. So the J Bass is basically known for its 'growl'. But when we say these things growl like a mother, which wood combination do you have in your head?

    Classic 60's or Classic 70's bridge pickup placement

    Which would you say is the 'growliest' wood combo, throwing in the pup placement as the icing on the cake?
  2. macahan


    Mar 22, 2005
    Karlstad, Sweden
    alder, maple and classic 70's placement. that's what i think anyway..
  3. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I'd say ash, maple, and 70's. Which is why my Jazz is alder, rosewood, and 60's placement. I hate classic Jazz Bass growl, and I play in a way that minimizes it.
  4. Wayner


    May 7, 2004
    Maryland, USA
    ash, maple, 70's
  5. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Depends on what type of 'growl' you're after. IME ash and alder growl just fine, but the alder growl tends to be voiced a little deeper (I prefer alder).

    P.S. Always keep in mind that these are generalities; there are no guarantees when it comes to wood and tone...
  6. Best combo to get that growl would be ash, maple, 70s pup placement...I have a Geddy Lee jazz which has alder, maple, 70s pup placement and it has great jazz bass growl too....I think the order of importance to the growl factor goes something like this:

    1. 70s pickup placement (for some reason, it just gets a bass really growly)

    2. Maple/Maple neck (although I'm pretty sure it's not THAT important)

    3. Body wood (seems ash or alder doesn't matter for growl, although the ash is probably brighter....I'd be curious to hear a maple jazz with maple/maple neck and 70s pup placement....I bet it would be growly and bright as hell)

    My rambling 2 cents.... :bassist:
  7. macahan


    Mar 22, 2005
    Karlstad, Sweden
    the 70's bridgepup is located nearer the bridge so it's no wonder it growls more..
  8. Ya see, I always thought that Alder would lend to more growl because of generally having a better midrange then ash.
    And each time I go back n' forth between a rosewood board and a maple board, the rosewood always had a more 'woody' textured sound, and maple has a bright ping.

    YMMV though.

    Pickup placement, always closer to bridge is best ovbiously.
  9. RE:PEAT


    Jun 24, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA

    IME, electronics (+ pup placement) and fretboard/neck are most important. I've always thought the body was further down the list of sound factors, after bridge and strings. But I don't have the science to back this up. :(
  10. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    That's because it's not true. The body has a tremendous impact on tone. I find electronics least important, btw.
  11. agreed that body has HUGE impact on tone. electronics do too. everything does.
  12. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    pups are huge. put humbuckers in there and see what happens.

    Had a 71 that was alder rosewood. Sweet bite.
  13. You're all wrong....the single most important factor in obtaining that jazz growl..........

    the STRING TREE!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. RE:PEAT


    Jun 24, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'm just parroting what I've heard from various luthiers with regard to the importance of electronics and neck. But if the body is so important, how can a luthier carve out a big hole in the back of a j-bass and nobody comments on how the tone has changed? Curious. I'm not saying you're not correct Jimmy, just trying to get a handle on this. :meh:
  15. Hey Hey, some advertisments will TRY to lead you to believe that String Tree's do matter... its so funny too.

    Yeah, - The string tree will give you hightened punch, sweet and vivid harmonics, fat attack, and in your face growl.... on did I mention sweet and vivid harmonics?
  16. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Re wood: check the archives for much discussion. Most of us agree that pickups/electronics have a bigger effect than wood: it's much easier to tell a P-bass from a J-bass (any wood) than it is to tell an alder J-bass from an ash J-bass.

    Yeah. And a brass string tree will give you more sustain. ;)
  17. I've played a lot of Fender basses, as I'm sure all of you have, and the one thing that seems to make a huge difference in growl is pickup placement (regardless of the brand of J pickup that were in the bass)....you can always hear a difference between the 60s and 70s pup placements (which makes a lot of sense when you think about it).

    I'm sure body/neck wood/fingerboard wood factor into this also, but I've found that the pup placement (either on alder or ash Fenders with either maple/maple or maple/rosewood) seemed to make a huge discernable difference to my ears....
  18. does the MarcusMiller have that 70's pickup placement? closer to the bridge?
  19. r379


    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    Guess it might depend on which growl you're looking for. Seems to me that Pastorius feller did his work with alder/rosewood. Granted, he did epoxy his fretless basses so that doubtless had something to do with his fretless tone.
  20. RE:PEAT


    Jun 24, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA

    Blasphemer! :D