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tone woods... whic do you prefer and why?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Erythuria, Mar 5, 2004.

  1. claro walnut

    14 vote(s)
  2. mahogany

    21 vote(s)
  3. ash

    37 vote(s)
  4. koa

    9 vote(s)
  5. maple (specify flamed, quilted etc)

    19 vote(s)
  6. alder

    21 vote(s)
  1. i'm shopping around for a new custom six stringer and i'm still trying to decide on woods for various parts of it... ideas please and the reason for your choice!
    thanks :)
  2. JerseyFunk


    Jan 8, 2004
    What kind of music do you play? Are you a slapper?

    basically what are you looking to get out of your bass?

    the answer to these questions will make it easier for TB'ers to make a selection.
  3. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    I prefer mahogany because I tend to favor the mids that the mahogany bodied basses I've owned have had.
  4. i picked maple......kubicki all the way....32piece maple neck and single piece maple body...nice and bright yet low end punch
  5. SlavaF


    Jul 31, 2002
    Edmonton AB
    Mahogany sounds and looks great, but usually is a bit on the heavy side! Ash can sound good with warm pickups, like in a P-bass, but I can't stand the harshness and lack of low end on some ash-bodied basses. Alder is a classic choice, so if you want a classic tone, probably go for that or ash. And then stick a nice piece of quilted maple on the top and you'll be all right! :bassist:
  6. steviecsg


    Aug 16, 2002
    what are the tone characteristics of maple top on walnut body? and what are such wood combis good for?
  7. Cliff Bordwell

    Cliff Bordwell Commercial User

    Jan 6, 2004
    USA , Orlando , Florida
    Owner of CB BASSES
    Is it going to be a neck through, or a set neck / bolt-on?

  8. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Keith Roscoe turned me on to myrtle. Some myrtle is highly figured, so you can get some nice visual appeal. It's also pretty heavy, much more so than ash for instance. A nice myrtle body will give you a very solid fundamental with plenty of sustain. Kind of reminiscent of an old Alembic in that regard, but not nearly as heavy. Well worth a checkout.
  9. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    woah - huge huge huge topic
    i would reccomend going thru bass player back issues - mike tobias did a great article called secrets of tone years ago - also, mikes website describes the tones of his various combinations. Tobias (Gibson) basses used to put out a list of the various wood combinations and subjective tone
    really ya need to play a lotta basses side by side - esp if they are different wood combos by the same luthier
    i really like a wenge neck as it is super tight and aggressive, but a good maple neck is still really good
    a wenge figerboard is pretty darn aggressive too, but to my ears not as "bright" as a maple fingerboard
    a maple board makes you hear a lot of attack and fundamental, where rosewood (or most of the related family) softens up the attack, ebony is hard to describe but imo is somewhere in the middle
    alder is just the classic body wood, i like ash, but a lot of times it can suck up so many mids that you dont cut thru in a full band situation
    i was never a huge poplar fan (although it is very "punchy") but was knocked out by an mtd with a tulipwood (eastern poplar) body
    korina is a really cool body wood - very tight sounding - mtd basses with a wenge neck/board and korina body are impossible to hide in a mix and are one of my favorites
    mahogany is pretty darn cool too - nice mids
    maple bodies can be a bit "hard" sounding, but solid flamed or quilted maple bodies actually can sound very "refined" and not as grating as a rock maple body
    then of course if the top wood on your bass is thick (like mike t does it), then that affects the tone of your bass as well...........
    confused yet?
    fwiw, learning all you can about the subject is valuable, but dont rule anything out -one day you will pick up a bass and play it and either sell your car to buy it or cry all the way home because it was perfect
    i've had 2 mtds, a fodera, an alembic a 75 jazz and a brandy new fender hot rodded p bass (now discontinued) make me cry in the past 18 months - most of them were complete surprises
  10. Wenge, Purpleheart, Bubinga, Ovangkol <--I recommend those.
  11. ok, sorry guys i forgot to specify my style of playing etc..

    well i mainly play death metal... but despite this i love a jazzy tone: warm with moderate punch.
    i dont slap very often at all, i'm more interested in fingerstyle.
    the bass will be a lefty (not important of course lol) 6 string fretless and will be neck-thru.

    i've heard that claro walnut is the best tone wood for bass... but of course opinions vary.

    please give me your preference for the above imaginary bass ;)

    thanks :D :bassist:
  12. prophecy


    Dec 26, 2003
    hehehe my washburn is alder (quilted, go figure :p) and my other bass is a hardwood i have no idea, but alder is a good choice!
  13. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    hehe - death metal, that brings back memories of hanging out with celtic frost when i used to road and lend equipmant to black wytche
    but seriously, in that case you definitely want a bass that will cut thru that wall of guitar sound which means MIDS
    when you're by yourself nothing sounds better than dialing up a nice smiley face eq by cutting mids and boosting the bass and treble but....
    in a full on band situation (esp like yours) that tone gets lost really quick - try to find the bass on most pantera or metallica albums - even those 2 bands have more recently had the bass boost mids to get heard
    my advice - think long and hard about modulus graphite basses - used ones abound - i've owned 2 and had a love hate relationship with them - the tone can be a bit "chilly" at times but i never ever had a hard time being heard, and they sound just fine in a full band and the b string is phenomenal
  14. yeah i'd love a modulus but its tough to find second-hand lefties... any idea where i could find them and how much they'd cost? the new ones are "slightly" out of my price range atm lol
    thanks :ninja:
  15. VS


    Jun 6, 2002
    Mountain City, Tennessee
    Discounted Gear: Peavey
    I second. -Luke
  16. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Another tonewood thread, where Korina is getting diss'd...

    ***, builders rave about this stuff... What's the deal?
  17. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    "Dissed"? Only one person has even mentioned korina, and that was a positive quote from the MTD site.

  18. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    You're right... I think I'm just interpreting the continual overlooking of Korina, as a diss... I mean, if its so great,, people would be lining up for it...

    I'm not sure these types of polls yield an accurate result...
  19. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    That's funny. I was about to come on to stand up for korina bodies with maple necks, (possibly maple and purpleheart/ maple and walnut/or maple and koa laminate necks) and pau ferro fingerboards. And I personally like an acacia cap on the korina. Like maybe koa or Australian blackwood. then all I would need is passive pickups with an active preamp. Oh great. I'm giving myself GAS over here.
  20. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Well, that's my plan thus far... Black Korina Body, Birdseye Maple Neck, & Pau Ferro FB... Throw in a P/J p-up config, & the active pre-amp of the day, & that's what I'm looking at...

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