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Walnut body or Alder Body?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by FlawLaw, Aug 13, 2004.

Walnut or Adler Body

Poll closed Aug 20, 2004.
  1. Adler

    45 vote(s)
  2. Walnut

    36 vote(s)
  1. I know that body wood discussions have been posted many times before, but...

    I have a used Warmoth Alder P-style body that I have been working on and a nice maple neck that goes with it. I have several Alder bodied basses and have thought maybe I should just sell this body and try something new. I have always like Walnut bodies with just a plain tung oil finish.

    I am curious what other people think - stick with the tried and true Alder or go with a Walnut.

    Rats, I can never spell that word right.
  2. DDXdesign

    DDXdesign formerly 'jammadave' Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    altogether now, "Alder".... Awl-durrrr. 'Adler' is your friendly neighborhood 11-string bass builder. =0)

    On a serious note, have the best of both worlds, get an alder body with an oiled walnut top. voila. I love the walnut look myself.

    Besides, I don't know that I've ever seen a whole body made of walnut. Then again, I'm not as well-versed in this stuff as others here.
  3. after what jammadave said, with having alder body and walnut top, i like that idea. the majority of the body would be alder, so i voted alder :)
  4. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Bleh, live on the wildside!!! Try something new!!!
  5. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    FWIW I have an old Fender precision special with a solid walnut body. The tone is comperable to ash....and it's heavy as hell.
  6. why not a combination of the two like dingwall?

  7. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Go for the "gold"!

    How `bout a purty Cal. claro walnut burl back like mine with all those "eyes" in it???

  8. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    Here's one!
    It's an 82 p-bass special. Walnut body and neck.
  9. Bassic83


    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    Wal basses were all walnut...
  10. rusty


    Mar 29, 2004
    Ask your back for it's opinion... :D
  11. cosmodrome

    cosmodrome Registered User

    Apr 30, 2004
    ****town, Netherlands
    my thumb bo 1994 is walnut. looks a bit like the-morning-after-a-heavy-nights-drinking crappola colour. i really don't have the faintest about difference in sound colour and all. i'm not that picky at all, i hear what sounds right and don't care much about what causes it. but then again, i'm a dumbass.
  12. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Well, there's an awful lot of high end basses that use Walnut... whereas Alder's not even a consideration on basses of that magnitude.

    Go look at Alembic's website, almost everything has at least SOME walnut in it, including my all time fav,,, The Entwistle Spyders. They have a walnut core for tone, & 5a flame maple front & back...
  13. kazuhank


    Nov 12, 2002
    Portland, OR
    the tone is worth the weight; go walnut.
  14. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    If you have a build like the Govenator, Walnut has a nice dark sound. Although I voted Alder, that was because of the weight. I'm a Swamp Ash guy. Light weight and resonant. The only knock that I'm aware of is that SA is pretty brite sounding so, a nice dark sounding top on an SA body might be the ticket. I'm thinking Koa on SA for a rear-route PJ I have in process. You might want to give (USA Custom Guitars ) a call. Tommy is a great guy and is straight up with his info as well as his business practices. Has a great rep with local players in my area and also among the builder / player types over at the TDPRI.

    One issue with a Lam-top is that the top have to be pretty thick to affect the tone at all. Depending on the top wood, that can raise the pice of a body considerably. Most builders using lam tops do so for the look rather than the tone. YMMV
  15. tonrutoo


    Apr 18, 2003
    Why do so many dread a little heft?
    I simply like the feel of my walnut rifle stock,and it's all steel components.My one and only bass is a Ric:all maple and rosewood.
    I'm currently putting another all maple bass together,but this one's more of a Fender in design.
    I should explain that I do alot of physical labor and I work out.Today I reached my goal of climbing 5000 vertical feet in one hour on the treadmill:set at 2.7 mph and 35.5 degrees.
    I'm 37 and weigh around 185 lb.
    I've been working out for about 11 weeks.
  16. doublemuff216


    Jun 14, 2004
    Astoria NY
    i voted walnut without thinking...i realized i meant walnut top (just like a carvin that i've been lusting after...) so maybe alder with a walnut top...
  17. mjw


    Jun 12, 2001
    Spring, TX USA
  18. I can vouch for the tonal qualities of Walnut but my experience goes a different way than 4mal AND my basses aren't heavy without losing tone. This is my chambered walnut Jazz I finished last year. Multi-lam back with a bookmatched loopy grained top. Maximum chambering while stll allowing reasonalbe body contours. Birdseye maple neck and the whole thing weighs right at 8 lbs. Not bad for Walnut in my book.

    The tone I get from this bass is definitely bright and defined. A lot depends on the preamp and this one had a Carvin until recently. It's in teardown now for a U-retro. That will shift from the Carvin's odd midrange center frequency to something a little deeper. I fully expect to be able to get an earful with this setup.
  19. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    my fodera imperial has walnut wings, and ya know what? i love it! acoustically, you can really feel the low end like no other. my sadowsky PJ's alder body is chambered, but i can still feel that low middy punch.

    both are rather dark acoustically, but seems like their tonal punch centers are different. the walnut being much lower and almost subby feeling, while the alder is much higher up in the register. while i'm sure alder's punch is popular for a reason, walnut's got that sensuous depth.
  20. dhuffguitars

    dhuffguitars Luthier/Bass Wanker depending on your opinion

    Sep 18, 2001
    Here is a bass I am putting together for myself.

    The core on the wings is Walnut, as is the whole center section(slightly flamed).

    Can't go wrong with Walnut!