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Weight VS sound

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Diegombass, Dec 1, 2018.

  1. Diegombass


    Sep 19, 2012
    Is there a relationship between weight and punch?
    Could a modern and lightweight bass sound like a vintage Bass with the right electronics? In terms of low end punch, sustain and growl
    Thank you!
    PD. Don't know where to post right.
  2. Yes & no,
    I've found that if you want a really bright instrument all maple is the way to go, but it can be heavy.
    For low end, it doesn't need to be heavy.

    To be specific, we're talking about density.
    GrapeBass, G-Dog, gebass6 and 3 others like this.
  3. There are so many variables in how a bass sounds and weight I think is near the bottom of the list of important ones
    GlennRH, HolmeBass, krovx and 3 others like this.
  4. Diegombass


    Sep 19, 2012
    What else? May you tell me?
  5. Diegombass


    Sep 19, 2012
  6. Strings, the pickup design, the electronics, how it's played... People have gotten great sounds from light weight instruments and heavy ones. Heavier weight would indicate more mass but if that creates a "better" sound is down to opinion.
    FronTowardEnemy likes this.
  7. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    No science to back this up, but the sound I get from lighter basses makes my back and shoulders feel better...
  8. JACink


    Mar 9, 2011
    Usingg the same scientific proof that all major internet sites use, the sound of a bass (not factoring in amplifier) is made up of the following:

    83.34% - Style of playing (where and how you play)
    8.21% - Strings
    7.98% - Pickups
    0.23% - Body and neck woods
    0.09% - Fingerboard wood
    0.15% - Magic

    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
  9. Leo Thunder

    Leo Thunder

    Sep 27, 2018
    Weight is related to the low end. A very light instrument, imagine a sheet of paper with strings, would just be fluttering back an forth, absorbing energy from the strings. The higher the frequencies, the less they would be absorbed so the overall sound would be tinny, the low end being sucked into feeding the fluttering. Make the sheet of paper thicker, turn it to cardboard or to solid wood and more of that low end would remain in the strings. The heavier the body, the less it would vibrate and the sound would remain fuller. At some point, the difference would no longer be noticeable and more weight would no longer matter. Most basses are built beyond that point.

    The same principle applies to amplifiers. I suppose this is why bass amplifiers are built heavier than those for guitar.
    Happy Face, AlexanderB and austin2112 like this.
  10. Leo Thunder

    Leo Thunder

    Sep 27, 2018
    Here is a demo of a lightweight bass:
    Scottkarch, GlennRH, JIO and 2 others like this.
  11. Leo Thunder

    Leo Thunder

    Sep 27, 2018
    I think I hear a difference in the lower part of the spectrum as this guitar is being cut down. It is subtle and requires good headphones:
  12. JACink


    Mar 9, 2011
    @Leo Thunder , based on your 3 posts above, would you say that this should sound "tinny"??


    And I am hoping that this was just a joke:

    HolmeBass, mellowgerman and Artman like this.
  13. SpazzTheBassist


    Jun 20, 2006
    weight : punch......let's change the word "weight" to "mass" and I think there is a relationship, certainly with a more focused resonance and crisper highs (which, i guess, can be interpreted as 'punch'). Of course, setup and technique will also be huge contributing factors.....however, each and every bass is a case-by-case scenario, no matter what its made out of...... so the mass : punch phenomonon is more of an imperfect gradient that isnt an exact science with many outliers refusing to conform to the curve (like an HR Diagram of stars)....at least, thats what its always seemed like to me
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
  14. Leo Thunder

    Leo Thunder

    Sep 27, 2018
    Nah, that's woody!
    As to amplifiers, I'm not joking, this is serious speculation.
    AlexanderB likes this.
  15. PaulKaplan

    PaulKaplan Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2013
    Western Massachusetts
    I’d go much higher on the magic.

    Marko 1 likes this.
  16. Geri O

    Geri O Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    Lemme tell you this...

    My just-under-8lb Mike Lull M5V with a bolt-on neck has as much sustain as any of my buddies’ Ken Smith, Muckelroy, or anything else. I had to incorporate some more muting and damping into my technique because of its sustain capabilities.

    The weight/sustain notion has been dispelled for a long, long time now.
    HolmeBass, Inara and rmayer like this.
  17. Leo Thunder

    Leo Thunder

    Sep 27, 2018
    I'm talking about the low end of the spectrum, not about sustain. A dictionary could help understand the difference.
    GlennRH and AlexanderB like this.
  18. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    There might be some peer review on that.
    GlennRH and Skillet like this.
  19. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    A lot of early Fenders are light in weight. Many would argue that the lightest ones are the best. Leo used swamp ash and alder partly because they’re not too dense. CBS in the 70’s got away from using lighter ash - any ash was ok to them.

    So, if you want a modern bass to sound vintage, it should be light. Roger Sadowsky agrees to the point of chambering his high end basses - he initially did it for weight, and cutomers told him they sound better.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
    gln1955, rmayer and RRR like this.
  20. rmayer

    rmayer Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2008
    Boynton Beach, FL
    My two Sadowskys (both chambered bodies) at just under 7.5 pounds have plenty of low end, sustain and punch. One is an NYC 24 Fret with Soapbars (I swapped them for a set of Nordy Big Splits, might go back) and the other is an NYC Satin Deluxe with P/Js. For even more "punch" you could try a Will Lee model with the Mid Boost.
    On a trip to Chicago years ago, I stopped at a well known music store, and must have played 30+ vintage Fender basses, Ps and Js. Some weighed over 11 pounds and there were a lot of dogs (in my opinion). So, no, weight alone doesn't make a bass sound great.
    BIGEJ2 likes this.

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