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Wenge for the body,but what for the neck?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by tonrutoo, Apr 22, 2003.


  1. tonrutoo

    tonrutoo

    Apr 18, 2003
    Hello.
    i'm methodically exploring my plans for a custom bass.i've been told an all wenge(body and neck/ebony fretboard)bass would sound dull,so i'm open to suggestion on where to go next.
    conditionally,
    1-i want a tonewood that requires little to no finish.no need for fancy figure,or rarity;though i'm open to anything from solid ebony to paduak.
    2-versatility is not a priority,as part of my goal is to have a tone alternate to my ric 4003,thus wenge.
    3-weight is not a priority.it may be as heavy as needed;in fact i prefer heavy.
    the proposed set up is:
    a short scale(30-31"),4-string fretless,with a passive Seymour Duncan alnico MM pup.i'm going with a dual concentric pot(outer knob volume,inner for tone).3 way mini-toggle a debatable addition.
    i thank you for your comments.-

    :)
     
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Wenge body and padouk neck is the signature combo for Le Fay's Reiner Dobbratz - killer tone.
     
  3. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    if you like the dark stuff how about ziricote over maple with a maple neck ?

    ziricote or ebony will give it articulate the tone pretty well. Maple for the body core, same reason, or walnut.

    mahogany IMO produces a softer tone.


    but...you are going to hvae to pust some kind of finish on it regardless of what you get.
     
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    forgot the pic

    [​IMG]
     
  5. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE
    All padauk would be a nice option man!!

    Padauk is a great all around wood and will work great for body, neck and board...

    Oh...and all wenge bass sounds fine to me too...just a bit TOO heavy :D

    JP
     
  6. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    As I understand, you've selected solid wenge for the body, and are looking for suggestions for just the neck?

    I agree that padauk would be cool. I am also liking sapele as a neck wood. Or jatoba, if you want a real heavy 4 string short scale.
     
  7. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    is Sapele related to Mohagany ?
     
  8. tonrutoo

    tonrutoo

    Apr 18, 2003
    thank you for all the suggestions gentlemen;your input is invaluable.
    btw-i'm planning on an oil finish.
    *i've been cross referencing tonewoods via woodworkerssource.com to get some luthier friendly ideas:Sapele sure looks close(albeit,i'm a sucker for bar graphs).
     
  9. LM Bass

    LM Bass

    Jul 19, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    I'm with JP on this one -paduak!
    My favourite bass maker -who now makes only doublbasses and lives in Switzerland- Peter Elias, used to make an all paduak bass. The AP-1 was the last model he designed before he went into making uprights, and it had a very small body, but a great sound.
    LM
     
  10. LM Bass

    LM Bass

    Jul 19, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    Oh, and by the way, if you're using an oil finish, I'd recommend Gun stock oil from Birchwood Casey. It dries really fast and builds up quickly. Remember to sand between coats, I use 1000 grit or better for that.
    Best,
    LM
     
  11. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    I love this one from Leduc: (all padauk)
    [​IMG]
     
  12. tonrutoo

    tonrutoo

    Apr 18, 2003
    what a beauty.-
    i love the headless design,as i had explored the prospect of a Status Classic II.all things in time...
    the design i'm planning on right now is sort of a nod to Leo Fender,and Forrest White,with ergonomics that fit my needs(lefty). :)
     
  13. tonrutoo

    tonrutoo

    Apr 18, 2003
    thank you.
    i'm familiar with some of the mildly exotic woods to bass from my familiarity with firearms.it seems the best woods for recoil absorbtion also contribute to pleasing tone.
    what kind of tone should i expect from paduak? i have very little information in this reguard,but it had peaked my interest before due to it's apparent stability,strength,and coloration.
     
  14. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Same family, different genus. Easy to find quartered with dead-straight grain and ribbon figure. Somewhat harder and stiffer than south american mahogany.
     
  15. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    I will second (triple ?) the Padauk idea.
     
  16. Suburban

    Suburban

    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Oak.
    Great for necks, but for some reason overlooked for ages, by the big guys.
    Has a very nice history, though, and is quite frequently used on top level acoustic guitars.
     
  17. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    Oak ? my double bass has an oak neck but I have never ever seen a high end acoustic guitar with any oak parts. What are you considering high -end ?
     
  18. xush

    xush

    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    I've seen Alembic basses w/ oak.
    Haven't heard them though...
     
  19. tonrutoo

    tonrutoo

    Apr 18, 2003
    thanks Jazz Ad.
    i saw your posts here,hoping to see you chime in.
    btw-also contemplating a Pau Ferro fingerboard if i went with Padauk.
    comments welcome.
     
  20. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    I'm not for miwing too many types of woods. 2, 3, maybe 4, that's it.
    Padauk will make a great fretboard.

    Oak will make the bass neck dive.
    It's also a wood that tends to crack a lot.
    You'll need a piece at least 50 yo to make sure it doesn't move.