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Top wood tone

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Sebek-Ra89, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. Sebek-Ra89


    Sep 8, 2010
    I am looking into buying a Zon Sonus custom 6 and I am curious as to what affect my choice of top wood will have on tone because I find some tops more pleasing to the eye but tone obviously comes first when I am shelling out the kind of money I will be for a Zon.
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Hi, the reality is that the top wood will have almost zero impact on the tone. I mean maybe if somebody was comparing the hardest pau ferro against the softest cedar, and if the top was very thick (for a top), then maybe there would be an audible difference. Maybe.
  3. Are you talking 1/8-1/4" tops, or like Warwick does with the 3/4-1" tops? The former is the most common, and won't make a difference.
  4. Sebek-Ra89


    Sep 8, 2010
    Thanks guys that makes me feel good that I can choose what I will be looking at for years to come based on its looks and not something else.
  5. Let me say it one more time: Tone is not a building material :)
  6. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Banned

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    Preach on Brother Larry!
  7. Minimal impact at best. The Zon neck will be the dominant tone in the equation along with Bart electronics.
  8. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    In my experience any solid top of 3/16 inch or thicker will make noticed tone change. More then 1/4 oinch is imo too thick a top and causes too much sound change.

    Maple top adds bright treble edge. Walnut adds some treble to but not as much. A smoother type treble add imo.

    What body wood are you useing?
  9. Big B.

    Big B.

    Dec 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    I have always felt that having a top does change the sound of a bass. I think the difference between actual species would be minimal at best. I would think that woods of the same general density would sound nearly identical.
  10. Sebek-Ra89


    Sep 8, 2010
    Thanks again for all the help, sorry about putting this in the wrong forum I thought wood would be put in the materials section. The bass will have a two piece swamp ash body and from what I can find Zon uses 1/4 inch tops.
  11. Not to worry, it will sound like a Zon.
  12. bass12

    bass12 Say "Ahhh"... Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    The affect on tone that a given wood might have is something that very few people seem to agree on (luthiers included!). I know that certain luthiers don't like buckeye burl because they feel that it acts as a "tone sponge". Again, I would imagine that the thickness of the top would have something to do with how much the wood type might affect tone. The best thing, I would imagine, would be to ask Joe Zon himself.

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