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Warmoth Project Suggestions

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BryanB, May 26, 2002.

  1. BryanB

    BryanB Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Hi all -

    I have been thinking about building a Warmoth bass for a while. I would like some opinions and suggestions from the community.

    This bass will be a 5 string fretless jazz with the following features:

    34" scale
    1.875" nut width
    18mm string pitch
    Goncalo Alves neck (Deluxe 5 3+2, angled)
    Macassar Ebony unlined fingerboard
    Alder body (Deluxe 5)
    ? body top
    Hipshot Ultra-lite tuners, black (Gotoh GB-7?)
    Vilette passive jazz (4 pot)
    ? brass bridge, black
    ? nut
    Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Flats

    The tone I am going for is more vintage with strong clear mids and a little bite in the top end. I would like it to be articulate with a strong attack. (I usually play fast finger funk style.) I plan to just oil the neck. (Comments on the neck welcome.) For the body, I would like a top wood that will add a little bite and brightness to the alder. I think figured maple is a common choice, but I would like other suggestions. I am considering using either paduk, goncalo alves, or coco bola if I can get it at a reasonable price. Could I use an oil finish on alder given the right topwood? What woods would be good for this?

    I would like suggestions for the bridge too. Through-body is not necessary since I will be using TI strings. (The strings are a must have.) Solid, warm with good sustain and a little brightness is what I am looking for here. I figure brass would work well in this application.

    Nut - (I believe everything counts.) Possibilities include bone, corian, lignum vitae. Open to suggestions.

    All comments and suggestions are welcome.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE
    Hi Lo-z,

    34" scale
    1.875" nut width
    18mm string pitch
    Goncalo Alves neck (Deluxe 5 3+2, angled)
    GA is going to be a bit heavy...Padauk is also a good neck wood but wenge would be my choice
    Macassar Ebony unlined fingerboard
    Alder body (Deluxe 5)
    Padauk body top
    Hipshot Ultra-lite tuners, black (Gotoh GB-7?) Go for the Ultra-lite!
    Vilette passive jazz (4 pot)
    The later ABM roller bridges are pretty cool brass bridge, black
    graph tech 5 string nut...the best!
    Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Flats

    It's no problem to oil the alder body but keep in mind that alder is a soft wood and that you'll have to take great care of the back...

  3. BryanB

    BryanB Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Wenge: I was considering this also, but I read in the archives that good straight wenge is pretty scarce. It also said that unless the boards are cut so that the grain is perfectly straigth it has a strong tendency to warp. Is this true?

    Paduak: Warmoth says it is close to maple in tone. Others say it isn't nearly as bright. In the end I think this is a strong contender. Nice color and apparently very stable. Paduak seems to be the lightest. Weight doesn't bother me too much, but good balance is really important.

    Since Alder is soft, maybe I should do a durable body back wood too. Hmmm....
  4. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE
    About the tone differences of woods...

    maybe you could read this interwiew of famous bass builder Carl Thompson:

    I would not be so "extreme" but some of his thoughts are just the truth...

    Let me summarize my opinion:

    talking about tone for different woods is cool but you have to remember that you play a electric instrument. Pu's, strings, electonics play a more important part in your instrument's sound than wood itself. Wood is not an homogeneous material. two pieces of padauk are probably going to sound differently... It's important to use "good" wood :)
    For me "goo" wood is the one which will suit your requirement of aestethics, weight, strength, etc...
    Of course we can say that maple is going to sound brighter than rosewood but we can't really control that...

    About your warmoth project: alder body with a padauk is IMO a cool setup. I use "oiled" alder with no problem. What I wanted to say is that alder is usually lacquered because it's soft and if you oil finish it, it's not going to be as tough as ovangkol for example...

    The wenge necks from warmoth don't suffer any complaint. You can go with it. Wenge is a great neck (or body top) wood. Oiled, it's a pleasure under the left hand. You can keep going with teh ebony fingerboard. IME, it would give a good combination for the fretless you wanna build.

  5. BryanB

    BryanB Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Thanks for the info. I read Thompson's interview. Quite a character. An interesting read.

    BTW, your new bass body design is really beautiful. Keep up the good work.
  6. BryanB

    BryanB Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    bumpity, bump, bump, bump...
  7. warwick necks are all most all weng i think can be to hard to find the wood thats good
  8. BryanB

    BryanB Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Didn't they just switch to using Ovankol or something? I always associated Warwick with Bubinga and Wenge basses. In fact I remember playing one with a Wenge neck. I thought the neck sounded and felt awesome. ( I think it was a Thumb neck-through.) Anyway, if they did switch, was it because of the lack of good Wenge, or did they just decide they prefer Ovankol?
  9. cheaper. i got a Corvette Standard i think its a 97 wenge neck Bubinga body.i wish i could buy a bdy so i could put my kahler trem in it. i want to make a jazz bass out of the same stuff. the sound is werid .ill play eq flat blend alittle bit off the neck a tone alittle down just like jack bruce and it will have this mad funk sound but its not all bass. its like hard to explain . in a way it doesnt have any bass liek the typ of bass that rumbbles.

    i played a Corvette Standard with a Ovankol neck set the eq and knobs the same it sounded a little like wenge but it had more bass to it.
  10. BryanB

    BryanB Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Ovankal is not very pretty in my opinion.

    What do you think of using walnut as the body back instead of Alder with a wenge/ebony neck?
  11. BassFelt


    Mar 26, 2002

    Thanks for that link, I enjoyed the interview. Like you said it's a bit extreme, but it is my opinion too that people do get carried away speculating about woods.
  12. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    Before you go the Warmoth route, i'd give Tommy at USA Custom a call.

    his bodies are first rate with nice grain lines and whatever weight you wish. my natural swamp ash is simply stunning and a nicely balanced weight. i kinda dont like the headstocks on his necks, but warmoth's thrift shop has some pretty nice ones. my black block inlay j-neck is actually a warmoth, and attached to the USA body, the fit was great.

    i'll post up a pic as soon as i'm done my baby.

  13. i was at warmoth i couldnt figure out how much a all wenge neck wood cost and i couldnt tell if the would make a jazz body out of the wood i want
  14. dreadhead


    Feb 1, 2002
    I would consider Afzelia as a body wood. It gives the warmth of Alder with the attach and punch of Bubinga... it's great! I've had a fretless bass with Afzelia body... it sounded really nice!
    For the top I would use Moabi or Zebrawood.
  15. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay

    I would recommend Zebrawood, or Bocote for the top.

    I just recently bought a Warmoth neck made of Bocote and it looks great.

    They dont have it listed, but its in the Custom Thrift Shop part of their website, and when I asked them to make me a neck, they happily obliged. I would recomend taking a look, and asking if it can be done. They guy I talked to said it had a sound similar to Goncalo Alves.

    Zebrawood is another beautiful top wood. Its what im using on the bass that the Bocote neck will go on. Its an incredible wood, and if i remember correctly is supposed to have a bright sound.

    One more interesting is a Purpleheart top. It could have a cool striking color like a painted body, but of course be much classier.

    In the end, I dont think that the top will make much diffecence in the sound, since its just a thin layer.

  16. dreadhead


    Feb 1, 2002
    I must disagree. I wouldn't use Purpleheart for a top... it's a "nervous" wood, it can do strange movements in the years... an hard wood top will definitely give a little of punch to the bass. If you want a warm sound without losing attach, use a soft wood for the body and a harder wood for the top!
  17. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    That hasn't stopped Fodera or Curbow from using it, among others.
  18. dreadhead


    Feb 1, 2002
    I know it... but the wood COULD move... if it doesn't do it, better for the owner of the bass!
  19. neptoon

    neptoon Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2000
    Melbourne, FL
    well, the reason behind warwick not using wenge anymore is the lack of supply. due to a lot of fighting going on in africa, the bulk they required was no longer available. and i think it's pretty safe to say that you can use purpleheart anywhere. greg curbow has built necks out of the stuff, and it hasn't shifted, as this was on some of his older models. all of the body top woods seem interesting. i think i would go with ziricote or zebra. i second the abm bridge. awesome hardware, there. and since it's going to be a fretless, i would with a bone or corian nut. i think that would offer more consistency between the fundamental and a "fretted" note. maybe if you could get a nut made of the same wood as the fingerboard? that would be nice. good luck, man.
  20. dreadhead


    Feb 1, 2002
    Yeah, you're right. But the first reason was the price. Wengé is more expensive than Ovangkol!
    MEC pickups are cheaper than EMG
    Alloy bridges are cheaper than Brass ones... and I could go on for a week... :(

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