Wenge Necks?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jokerjkny, Sep 26, 2002.

  1. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    hey all,

    i was wondering what a wenge neck would do for my swamp ash parts jbass.

    i know lots of you guys like the wenge fingerboard, but how would it sound with the neck being wenge too? how's it compare to my maple/maple neck? is it possible to have a wenge neck / maple fingerboard?
  2. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    an all wenge neck will give you deep growl. think warwick-type sound... i've seen the wenge combos from warwick and i think that warmoth had some that were all wenge. i think that a wenge fretboard does add some growl but not as much as the whole neck IMHO. mind you they are also very heavy and may affest the hang of your bass...
  3. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA

    this is the one i played that got me thinking. had an interesting growl beneath the overall punchie maple tone. but i still wanna know what other people thought about it.
  4. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    i had a warmoth swamp ash j with a bart mmc pickup and an all wenge neck. it was the ole' shiznit. the thing cut and had great highs and punch. sadly it was part of the great bass sell off that included 65 and 66 j basses when i got the fodera bug.
  5. It'd be interesting to hear, that's for sure. I have owned wenge-necked Warwicks (as the FNA in the avatar) with J-bass electronics. Think burp with balls when using the neck p/u (active electronics of course). Wenge is getting harder and harder to come by, as a result of political instability in the African regions where it grows, but it definitely has a fan here. BTW, did I mention that it is a hard and dense material second only to the synthetic stuff in stiffness?

    Hey FNA4--become a supporting member so you can show off yer axe on every post...or PM & we can trade jpegs & stories.
  6. rickreyn

    rickreyn Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    Had all wenge necks on my Warwicks and briefly on an Elrick Gold I traded for. Very heavy, dense feel. Many use the term growl for the sound that emanates from it. Compared to maple or other woods, it sounds richer, warmer, darker, tighter. You might want to try one first.
  7. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
  8. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Wenge with a Swamp Ash body. Tight, articulate, growly, open, unforgiving. I love this bass.

  9. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA

    no one else tried maple board on wenge neck? :confused:
  10. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
  11. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    Brad, that thing is incredible!! Oh, man, I'm drooling! Wow!
  12. Hugh Jazz

    Hugh Jazz

    Sep 13, 2001
    Atlanta, GA
    Though I don't have much experience with those wood combinations, I have and idea of how they may sound. According to the "research" I've done, the ash body, wenge neck, and wenge board should have a very aggressive midrange and cut through like a mofo. Your highs and lows will not be as articulate and "open" as the same bass with a maple neck and/or fretboard. As far as I know, maple will give you snappy, defined highs and lows, while wenge will strengthen the midrange.

    In comparison to a wenge/wenge or maple/maple neck, I think the wenge/maple will be a better "overall" tone that's not conentrated in a specific frequency range (or ranges). The wenge/wenge should have the most midrange growl, the maple/maple will have tight, snappy, articulate highs and lows, and the wenge/maple will be somewhere in the middle. A lot of luthiers choose maple necks with wenge laminates and a maple freboard to keep the neck from becoming too heavy and unbalanced while keeping the tone nice and raunchy. :D

    I'm not sure how correct I am on this. Maybe someone can verify it for me? Also, you may have some luck in the luthiers' forum.
  13. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    I played an MTD at Rudy's once that had that combo. I normally don't like maple FBs, but I really dug that bass. Can't remember what the body was, but I think it was either swamp ash or tulipwood.

    I don't like the feel of wenge FBs--not smooth enough--but in a neck it seems to lend a quality that I can't quite define but that appeals to me. FWIW. I'd be curious about ebony on wenge (probably heavy, but Warmoth suggests it as a way of getting a little more treble out of wenge).
  14. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I have an MTD with a maple neck / Wenge fretboard and an F Bass with an all maple neck.

    Allowing for the difference in tone imparted by the respective body woods and electronics in each bass, I would say that the F Bass has the usual tonality that you'd expect from a maple neck bass. Think of Marcus Miller slapping on that all maple neck Jazz Bass of his. Most TBers agree on that they impart a brighter tone than say rosewood.

    The tone of a maple neck / Wenge fretboard has more of a focused, punchy, slightly compressed, but very articulate character when compared to the all maple neck. I stress "slightly" compressed", and this is positive factor because IMHO it provides a certain articulateness and clarity to the tone. It's not a squashed ultra middy tone by any means. It's just as bright, if not slightly brighter, than maple. I think that the above mentioned tonal qualities are attributed to the relatively higher density and hardness of the Wenge. So, if you have an all Wenge neck bass, although I've never played one, I expect these tonal qualities to be even more evident.
  15. 43apples

    43apples Guest

    Nov 9, 2003
    Whoa! Thanks for all the nice info guys...thats just what i were looking for.

    Now i'm almost sure what my custom warmoth fretless JazzBass is gonna be like:

    -Hard Ash body with clear coat finish, pearl pickguard

    -"fatback" Wenge neck with epoxied maple fingerboard

    -Basslines Musicman style humbucker in brigde, Antiquity II Jazz bass in neck

    -Volume, Volume, Tone, Series\Split\paralell switch for humbucker

    Gotoh 206 brigde

    ....sounds awesome, eh? And it's only gonna cost 1300-1500 dollars if i'm really careful!

    Weeeeeeeeeeeee :D

  16. A little to dark for me - possibly on a 4 or 5 string; but that is my taste.
  17. Nice. good choice for neck shape too. The other thing that's great about wenge in addition to the aggresive growl, is its feel. My Warwick with a wenge neck has one of the best feeling necks I've ever palyed.
  18. mashed potatoes

    mashed potatoes

    Nov 11, 2003
    i have a 1993 warwick fortress one with an all-wenge neck, and it does have a very deep growl-like sound.
    also, it's a very different feel. no matter how sweaty my hand gets, the wenge seems to stay cool and my hand slides along it easily. A lot of people recommend it, but try one first.
  19. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Murfreesboro, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer LowEndBassShop.com, Builder LowEndBasses.com
    Works wonderful!

    I personally think wenge is an awesome sounding neck wood, but personally think it needs to be broken up with something. Wenge and wenge is just too much and not enough high/bright freq that needs to be added. Wenge has wonderful growl and deep mid, but can get muddy. Wenge is great for boards, but the neck needs to be something different..... now I know others will argue, but you asked for opinions......

    best of luck,