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What is this bass made out of?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by el_Bajo_Verde, Dec 2, 2017.

  1. el_Bajo_Verde


    May 18, 2016
    It's an ESP LTD B5-JR. I know it's a cheap bass, but I've never seen this before on a bass. It looks like the whole bass has these ridges in it. You can see it in the reflection. There are also some paint bubbles on the back. Look at how the light reflects off the body of the bass.



  2. chip of a piece and send it to 23 and me, they'll figure it out for you
  3. CGremlin

    CGremlin Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2014
    The grain looks to me like ash, but I'm no expert. The bubbles look kinda like holes that were drilled and (not very well) filled before painting. I'm sure someone that knows more about wood will chime in.
    mcnach likes this.
  4. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    It's made of wood. I can't say the exact species, but it's some Indonesian equivalent of alder. Those ridges are the result of cutting corners on the finishing process. The body was rapidly sanded with a large mop-style sander, pushing too hard, which results in those lines and ripples forming in the wood surface. Then a thin fast IR curing polyester finish was put on with no sealer or base coat sanding. Over a little time, the finish has sunken down in, making the ridges even more visible. It's a low budget finishing job that's aged.

    The bubbles are fill spots. There were some small dents or holes in the wood. They squirted some wood putty in them, before going over it with the mop sander and shooting on the poly. And that's what it looks like after some time.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
    DrayMiles, Ellery, MrLenny1 and 10 others like this.
  5. dxb


    Dec 25, 2016
    Given that its an inexpensive bass, I'd say either basswood or poplar. Far-east made basses only seem to use ash for transparent finishes. It could be some kind of mahogany but that's less likely.
    Ampslut, Reedt2000 and alesreaper9 like this.
  6. Why does it have guitar strings on it?
  7. BusyFingers


    Nov 26, 2016
  8. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    I've never seen basewood or poplar with that kind of texture, those woods are generally quite smooth...looks like ash to me.
  9. el_Bajo_Verde


    May 18, 2016
    Because why not? It's a 28.6" scale 5-string bass and I literally can't find any good bass strings for it.
  10. DanAdams


    Nov 3, 2013
    Basswood and poplar don't have wide open grain like ash and oak. Some of that asian Ash (Sen) is almost a softwood. I've got a few basses that are Ash (Sen), you can push your thumbnail right into it if you want.
    Really, it doesn't matter too much. If you were to sand it down it may be several wildly different looking pieces of wood glued together.
    That happened to me when I examined the wood in a control cavity of a bass I wanted to mod. I decided it would be a prime candidate for a refinish, but once I took the paint off it appeared to be different species of wood... and not in a cool looking way.
  11. Sid the Kid

    Sid the Kid Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2013
    While they may be expensive, Fodera makes a fine set of strings for Mikro gauge 5 strings.

    Literally check out www.bassstringsonline.com.
  12. Kukulkan61

    Kukulkan61 Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2011
    Northern Arizona
    Son of a b****:roflmao::roflmao::woot:
    ImaStupidBaby likes this.
  13. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    Did you buy it used?
  14. tlc1976


    Aug 2, 2016
    The lines really resemble ash grain to me, (and it still could be ash) but the lines just seem too perfect. I'm going with Bruce Johnson's take on it.
  15. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    All I see is a solid thick black plastic finish.

    I remember I had an Ibanez with a solid black plastic finish that if you looked at the right angle you could see that the body was made of 3 pieces of wood glued together because it was uneven and so I could see the joint in the finish. So to me it looks like that. Many left over piece of wood, glued together with a black plastic finish over it.
  16. twinjet

    twinjet Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    Let me get this straight. A guy can't post a 18 string bass without getting flack. "Get a guitar!", the peanut gallery says.

    Now here we have a bass that is strung only with guitar strings and noone says a thing. OK! :whistle:

    To answer the question, I'd suggest plywood. That's my uneducated guess.
  17. Loopy3


    Jan 26, 2017
    If the body is light my guess would be paulownia aka empress wood. Those hard pieces in the finish might be due to sanding a soft wood ( paulownia ) along with a harder filler ( maybe BONDO ).
    GlennRH likes this.
  18. tpaul

    tpaul Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2011
    I'm going with "wood"
  19. What Bruce said. A quickly applied finish that has sunk into the open grain over time. Black is not very forgiving.
    el_Bajo_Verde likes this.

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