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What sort of wood is nato?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by A9X, Jun 21, 2004.

  1. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    Howdy all,

    I have a modest asian built bass that the distributor says uses 'nato' in it's construction, apparently some of the neck peices (see pic). I've searched but can't seem to find any info on this timber (except one unqualified comment that it's crap for basses) and am curious what it's properties are, or what sort of other better known woods it's related/similar to. In the bass I have, it seems to work OK as it has excellent singing sustain and a great acoustic tone; it's not my Alembic, but at <5% of the cost of that bass, it's excellent.

    Thanks for any help.
  2. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    I know of a wood called "nyatoh". SE Asian wood with medium-heavy density (similar to rock maple), yellowish color. Genus is palaquium. Chances are it's an asian wood that is little-known outside if that area.

    If your bass sounds good, then you know the important part. Sounds like you got a good deal and the manufacturer saved some $$ by using lesser-known regional woods.
  3. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    AFAIK, this material NATO is a composite. Actually an acronym for the mixed materials.

    Of course, I may be wrong. :rollno:
  4. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    Thanks! Looks like you got it. Using your tip, I googled 'nyatoh' and came up with this
    <i>Nomenclature etc. SAPOTACEAE. According to Malaysian Grading Rules the following species: Palaquium hexandrum, P. hispidum, P. impressinervium, P. maingayi, P. obovatum, P. regina-montium, P. semaram, P. sumatranum, P. walsurifolium, Palaquium spp. Trade and local names: nyatoh (MAL, RI, D); chay (VN); pencil cedar, red planchonella (PNG); pali (IND); <b>nato</b> (RP); kha-nunnok (T); riam, jangka (MAL-Sar); hangkang, balam teruing puteh, balam masin, kayu tanjung hutan, mayang, taban (MAL, RI); moordooke (AUS).</i>

    Acoustically the bass is very nice, but plugged in, less so. Might change the pups out for some Barts, and install one of my preamps to replace the POS that's in it. Still owe me less then than a new MIM J.
  5. Bassic83


    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    Is that a Brice, by any chance? FWIW, I was always told nato was shorthand for "natural finish"...
  6. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Nice grain on the top wood..t
  7. Kavorka


    Mar 28, 2002
    Austin, Texas
    Found this on a Uke site through Google. Seems to be a common definition:

    "Roy, I see several ukes that say they use "NATO" wood.... what is that?

    Nato wood, also known as Eastern Mahogany, is a relieble, strong wood used on guitar necks. It is a value-priced wood used more in the lower cost instruments. However, Nato still embodies all of the properties of more commonly used.... and more expensive mahogany. Not a bad wood at all for most ukes.... except the finest ones."
  8. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    Thanks for that!
  9. sizzlinusa


    Mar 5, 2011
    Her is what the book says:
    Nato wood
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, search

    Nato-Body wood is a collective name for wood from Mora trees. The best-known species are Mora excelsa (Mora) and Mora gonggrijpii (Morabukea), with the latter contributing less (occurring in a smaller area).

    The wood may vary in appearance, with reddish brown being the dominant color, but in varying shades and often with darker or lighter streaks. The wood is dense and not particularly pleasant; it is not very easy to dry or to work. However, the wood is available in large dimensions and is well above average in properties such as resistance to wear, strength and durability. It finishes well. It is used for heavy construction, industrial flooring, railroad ties, etc. Smaller billets are used to build acoustic and electric guitars.

    Because of its availability and price, many Chinese and Korean imported guitars use nato in their inexpensive guitars. BC Rich guitars,[1] Eastwood guitars[2] and others manufacturers often refer to nato as "eastern mahogany" due to the use of the more expensive mahogany wood in higher grade instruments

    Thanks Guys
  10. HogieWan


    Feb 4, 2008
    Lafayette, LA
    You are answering a question that is almost 7 years old
  11. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    ^ And joined today, just to make that one post.


    Closet Nato dealer?
  12. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    Nato dealer??? Would that be a wood pusher???? LMAO
  13. SJan3

    SJan3 Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    So what? I found his response useful TODAY! It's not all about you..
  14. KramSttop


    Sep 25, 2011
    I'm happy with my nato/alder bodied bass. I am a firm believer that ANY device can make a fine instrument - do it right and legendary tone comes from a rusty tin can 2/3 full of molasses.
    dasparks2004 likes this.