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Warmoth Bass Bodies and Necks

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by greekorican, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. greekorican


    Mar 12, 2009
    I have decided I want to build a bass. I am just wondering warmoth.com is a good place to buy my body and neck. Anybody have any experience with them?

    I'm also wondering what the tonal qualities and pros/cons of alder, ash, and mahogany are?

  2. odin70


    Dec 26, 2007
    Warmoth is great! Good quality.

    Wood is wood is wood
    I have used alder, maple, cherry, walnut, mahogany, korina and basswood basses and imo the bodywood has almost no effect on my sound. Do yourself a favor...dont waste to much of youre time and energy on this matter.
    Anyway there is tons of stuff on this subject on this forum

    Good luck with your new bass!
  3. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Do a search on "warmoth." They are used quite a bit and you will find lots. Even a comparison of Warmoth vs. two competitors.
  4. Hi Greek,

    A few more comments if you don't mind.

    1) Look at USA Custom Guitars as a possible source. I have used them for a number of my projects, and they do good work.

    2) Probably the biggest difference between body woods is how you finish them. Alder usually does not have nice grain, which is why it used mostly in solid color finishes. And it tends to be less expensive than ash. Ash usually has nice grain, and is usually used for transparent finishes, and it is less expensive than mahogany. Mahogany is about the most expensive commonly used body wood, and is usually lightly stained, and otherwise has a transparent finish.

    Basswood usually falls into the same category as alder, as does poplar. These two almost always have solid finishes on them.

    3) Body impact on sound? Get ready for the flame wars. Some claim it makes all the difference, some claim it makes no difference.

    Personally, I think it does, but I can't prove it. On the other hand, when I build a guitar or bass, I use a transparent finish, so I use ash for the cosmetics. I think it's called "justification."

    So what is the end result of all this? You should let your choice of finish determine the body.

  5. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Warmoth does do nice wood - and they do excellent finishing - worth the $$ if you don't have a spray booth of your own.

    That said, I don't care for their necks - I'm a "skinny neck" kinda guy, and their necks tend to be rounder/fatter, owing to the re-enforcement rods they use. I just replace a warmoth J neck with a MightyMite neck and am much happier - but that's *my* personal preference - many folks love their necks.
  6. etoncrow

    etoncrow (aka Greg Harman, the curmudgeon with a conundrum)

    I agree with BigOld Harry. I just built two "P's" with Warmoth bodies and All-Parts J necks. They came out real good.
  7. The only way you can compare wood tones is to have two or more basses that are exactly the same in every way, except for the wood. Then record them with the same player, on the recoding equipmnet, on the same day, and then do a blind A-B. comparasion. I doubt if there are many of us that could tell much difference. I am also sure there are many that will disagree.
  8. blockinlay


    Feb 21, 2009
    Phila Pa
    I built a Strat and an Explorer with some Warmoth parts.
    It might cost as much or more than just buying a new guitar, and any resale is poor.
    Excellent quality necks though on both my guitars.
    My Strat neck is flame maple with a rosewood fretboard finished in satin and bolted right on to a Fender American body.
    The Explorer is a padouk neck with ebony fretboard and shark fin inlays. No finish necessary.
    I like both necks allot, and they seem to get better with age. The flame has gotten more pronounced on the maple over time, and the padouk has turned from a reddish color to a medium brown.
    I haven't seen a maple fretboard from them with the finish already applied to the fretboard. I would like to know how much work would be needed to finish one with a maple fretboard that has a factory finish sprayed on.
    My necks needed nothing except to be bolted on straight, and tuners installed straight.
    No fret dressing needed, and no dressing the sides of the frets needed.
    The Explorer body I did a quickie on at first with white lacquer, then this past year I added a thin flame maple veneer, a third pickup, a vintage Gibson style tremolo, and repainted with a tobacco brown burst and black back.
    Here's a mockup pic before the final coat and assembly.

    I would buy another neck from Warmoth without hesitation. I am thinking about buying a custom bass neck from them with block inlay and ebony fretboard.
    I would opt for a finished body if I bought another body, as I lack the proper workshop to do what is necessary to finish with a premium job.
    For a bass body, I would want it to be lightweight. I would look for that over tone woods, and make sure it's finished with lacquer.


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