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Wenge VS maple neck and body question

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Yvon, Jul 31, 2005.


  1. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    I will build myself a warmoth pretty soon.
    I love the feel of the wenge neck, I love how you can feel the wood.
    The problem is that all the basses I heard with a wenge neck I didn't like the sound. They sounded very hifi, in a bad way (for me at least). Like some MTDs.
    Should I go with a more standard maple neck?

    Also the body, I want my next bass to have a modern sound. I tried 2 basses with a sound very close to what I want. They both had mahogany wings, one with a maple center and the other one with an ash center.

    I was wondering if I ordered a mahogany body if I could get a similar sound.
     
  2. My wenge MTD has the hi fi sound (that I like personally). Other MTD's I've played/owned without wenge necks did not have that sound. So I assume it's the wenge providing all that sizzle and a very wide sound. If you don't like that sound.... don't do wenge! Sounds like maple would be good for you... maybe an Ebony board... which to my ear provides a little bit of 'ping' and a little more 'modern' sound that you might be looking for (based on your post).
     
  3. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    Thank I was wondering if the neck played a big role in the sound.
    For the fingerboard I was thinking ebony or maple.
    A maple neck it will be!
     
  4. I'm sure you will get other opinions and suggestions from other TBers also.... give your thread a few hours and I bet you get some other good info :)
     
  5. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    +1

    Wenge can make a huge contribution to the sound of a bass when used as a neck wood IME IMO. My MTD has an all Wenge neck and has a unique sound. The trick was in learning how to harness that very wide range of sound for good, not evil. I think I've done that and subsequently I love my MTD 635.

    Yvon, if you really don't like the sound of Wenge, stay away. There's nothing wrong with liking what you like.
     
  6. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Could you describe the tone you are looking for, so that we can give better suggestions?
    Modern is a wide term.
    Wenge neck in my limited experience: very responsive (more so than maple), growly low mids, strong lows, a bit less high mids/lower treble, and strong highs
     
  7. That's what a wenge neck/board sounds like to me... good description. They are so responsive (at least combined with the MTD pickups/electronics) that it can be a little scary at first... I think a lot of people get turned off to the 'classic' wenge MTD's because of that... very unforgiving if you are a little on the 'sloppy' side with your technique.
     
  8. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Well-broken-in strings help :smug: :D
    Still, I like wenge very much. My next bass is getting a wenge neck made (should be ready by the end of Sept :cool: )
     
  9. Every bass I've heard with a wenge neck has sounded very similar, so I would reccomend against getting one if you dont like the sound, becuase there is no real way around it. I personally would love a neck through bass with wenge in the neck and fretboard. Maple is doing fine for now though.
     
  10. Sean Baumann

    Sean Baumann Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Livin' in the USA
    I owned a wenge neck MTD 535 for awhile, which was eventually replaced with a maple/ebony necked 535. To me, the wenge has more mid range, especially in the high mids. I think that is what gives it that presence. My current 535 has stronger lows and lower midrange (not as growly, but still lowder in those frequencies), but that could be because off the mahogany body. Maple/ebony is a great combo, sounds good for slap too.
     
  11. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I have a bass with a wenge board...I never 'feel' the board, so I can't speak to that. But the bass is the most responsive 'quickest' bass I've ever played. I always assumed it was the design/build, but it definitely sounds like these descriptions.
     
  12. DEVILMAN

    DEVILMAN

    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    ...what type of bass? There are TONS of factors involving the final product/sound...

    ~S~

    PS: If it ain't there, you can't add it...