Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by B8ssMan89, Jun 1, 2005.

  1. What type of tone would a Walnut body produce?
    I dunno whether to get Mohagony or Walnut on my future Carvin.
    I want a nice warm/even sound, yet I want a nice punch with it.
  2. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    I'm no good at puting wood sounds into words, but I've got a predominantly walnut bass (Cirrus Bubinga/Walnut) and and All Mahognay bass (Old Takamine, strange oddball) and judging from uplugged tone the Walnut KILLS the Mahogany. Cant compare the electric sounds since one is active soapbars and the other is passive 2 p-pups there are too many differences.

    If this were a poll I'd have voted Walnut without even thinking.
  3. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    It's not just the wood that shapes the tone, it's the pickups, pickup placement, fret material, and zillions of other things. Warmoth does have a wonderful summary of the tonal characteristics of woods.
  4. My Carvin is a Walnut body, and I would describe it as warm with a punch

    I say go Walnut. Looks good too
  5. seansbrew

    seansbrew Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2000
    Mesa AZ.
    From my recent experience, more and more builders are using Mahogany for its rich tone and light weight, this is something to consider.
  6. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    I took delivery of a new maple/walnut Carvin LB70 a few months ago (maple neck-through, walnut body + maple cap). I'd never owned a walnut anything before - but I could immediately hear & feel the difference in this instrument, even before plugging it in...

    It has a focus & resonance unlike any bass I've owned before, and I've owned close to a dozen at one time or another. The tone penetrates in a really marvellous way, and the sustain just goes onandonandonandon...

    I was so impressed, I ordered a fretless version of the same instrument - 100% walnut, except for the ebony fingerboard...

    I've not had much experience with mahogany, and the reviews I've read have been mixed - some cats love the warmth & woodiness of it; others think the tone can get too muddy & indistinct. But I've never heard any such complaints about walnut...

  7. gruuv


    Jan 23, 2004
    walnut walnut walnut walnut. . .


  8. pickles

    pickles Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA





    ... +1
  9. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    Me LOVE my walnut bass! :D Yummmmm!

  10. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    I have a walnut P bass...it's my favorite P bass of all time.

    I've played a few Carvins.....I wouldn't want a mahagany (sp?) one.
  11. muggsy

    muggsy Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2000
    Alexandria, VA
  12. klocwerk


    May 19, 2005
    Somerville, MA
    Mahogony is a fairly soft wood.
    If you could get a nice hard piece of mahogony, those are probably the ones with the good tone. The softer end are probably the ones that people call muddy.
    Just my thoughts from a woodworkers perspective. ^_^
  13. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    I've played a couple of walnut instruments, one of them being a walnut bodied Cirrus. Very punchy, very focused...not a warm burpy fingerstyle tone.
  14. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    My mahog Carvin is wonderful. Of course, I like warm tone, even when I slap. So it suits me very well. Too bad I have to send it back for a truss rod that's rattling inside the neck. :(
  15. honeyboy


    Oct 31, 2004
    I built a 1 piece 5 string Carvin bolt kit a while back and debated the same issue. The salesman Chris convinced me to go with the Walnut. I don't regret it. It is not only a very warm, smooth sounding bass but can growl as well. Very versatile, It weghs 9 3/4 lb. incidentally. I never fail to recieve compliments on its appearance as well as tone. See my pictures!
    http://photobucket.com/albums/v259/saxnaxe/Bass Bolt Kit BK5/?
  16. bobpond

    bobpond Supporting Member

    May 23, 2005
    Long Island, New York
    My B5A kit from Carvin is all walnut, neck and body. I won't have it for a few more weeks, but I decided on walnut after building the same bass in mahogany.

    honeyboy's pictures convinced me from an aesthetic standpoint that I would like the walnut looks. I felt getting a walnut neck would safer for me than trying to stain maple to match as well as he did.

    As for the mahogany B5 kit (gave it to my brother), I was very impressed with the sound, and had not other issues intervened I would have kept it. I didn't have it for long, but I was really working on getting an amplified sound that had the character of the acoustic sound of that bass. It sounded very good unplugged. If anything, the tone was a little softer and smoother than I ideally want. What I have read about tone woods makes it sound like walnut will have a little more bite in the midrange, without giving up any of the deep.

    It will be a while, but hen I get the kit together I'll post a comparison.

  17. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    We have used Walnut for Tops and Solid Bodies as well as Cores for 25 years and find it to be one of the best all around woods available. It is not hard enough for necks in our opinion but is equal or better than the soft figured Maples for most body applications. This includes Plain, Figured and Crotch Black Walnut as well as Figured Western Claro and Oregon Black Walnut including all the Hybrids.
  18. is walnut a very expensive wood?
  19. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Walnut has alot of natural defects. Knots, alot of sap wood, ingrown bark in many of the Crotches. It is also hard to kild dry without the inner cells colapsing and surface or end checks occuring. Steamed Walnut can work better for drying but is not as clear and looks muddy to me as compared to Kiln or Air dried Walnut. I prefer Air drying it in our own shop. Walnut has a very Low yeild as compared to Maple. We have bought truck loads or Logs (trees) and had that custom sliced to yeild the bast possible parts. Plain Walnut is more expensive that the average Tiger maple Lumber but it has a special Value to us especially when we find those beautiful Crotches. I now have more Walnut that I can use in a Life time.. A worth while investment !
  20. damn... you will post this thing whenever you get the chance won't you? :D