Versitale bass woods?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by The Urbs, Mar 3, 2004.

  1. The Urbs

    The Urbs

    Feb 23, 2004
    Any woods that seem to have the ability to play just about anything well.

    Is mahagony versitale? What kind of sounds does it produce?

    Maybe Ill try the search function too :ninja:
  2. Wal basses made by Pete 'the fish' Stevens in the UK uses mahogany on the majority of his basses. His fretless basses are fantastic and his fretted ones also have a wide variety of tone. These are the only basses I know that are regularly made from mahogany.

    Having owned two myself, one mahogany fretless with maple facings and a solid walnut fretted as a comparison, I can say that I liked the tone of mahogany. Mine had a rich tone with loads of sustain and all of the notes whether bass, mid range or treble were all clearly defined without being either too harsh or too muddy.

    Hope this helps


  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    I would hope you're not implying the use of a single wood.

    Two main woods complement each other, tone-wise. Even koa, a very versatile wood, doesn't "get it all" when it comes to tone on a bass.

    Basswood and alder are very versatile and lend themselves well to basses. But they need something harder and more dense, like rock maple, to add the "spank" and pronounced tonal extremes they need.

    Moreover, the pieces the luthier chooses to use are incredibly important. Two pieces of the same specie can sound quite different, depending on how the luthier chooses to use them.

    I think that's why luthiery is considered an "art" and not a "science."
  4. The Urbs

    The Urbs

    Feb 23, 2004
    No the mahagony would be the body with an exotic top like buckeye or koa...

    So it would be a good choice, for a do all tone or would ash or tupilwood (poplar?) be better suited with an exotic top?
  5. Gibson basses are also usually made out of mahogany.
  6. superphat


    Sep 30, 2001
    i think an Alder bass with great active electronics can be very versatile.
    my current favorite bass is my tune bass (japanese). it has a mahogany back + padauk top, and it sounds amazing. the most versatile bass i've ever owned, but i wouldn't be able to tell you how much of that versatility/sound comes from the tune active electronics...
    probably half and half?

    but anyways, if you're thinking mahogany back, with exotic top, i would strongly vouch for that choice.