What type of body wood is your bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by cassanova, Dec 18, 2004.

  1. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I'm trying to get some ideas of what would be a good body wood to use for my next bass. I have to admit, I'm somewhat ignorant when it comes to this topic. The only thing I know is that maple is very bright and not for me.

    I'd like to know what your bass is made from and if you could point me in the dirrection of a sound clip of it or perhaps post one in this thread here. If you can't do that, please describe your tone as best you can. Especially if you are a Cirrus owner, as this is the one I'm looking at building.

    I really appriciate this.
    Mama Cass :bassist:
  2. smarvelous


    Jun 2, 2002
    Albany, CA
    Here's a description of various body woods from the warmouth site:


    I'm no expert but here's what I have observed...

    My modulus is alder. Probably the most common body wood. My fender MIM P bass is ash (probably swamp ash, as it is very light). Both of these woods are considered top notch for their light weight and balanced resonant tone (low to high). Alder with some kind of maple top is probably the most used body wood in quality basses (I'm taking an educated guess) though their are many other options.

    Many basses have fancy "tops", the top 1/2" or so of the body, for looks. Maple is very common (my modulus has a beautiful figured maple top) By most accounts, this does not affect the fundamental tone of the body wood much.

    go to http://www.basstasters.com/ for sound clips of various basses. They are recorded in a controlled fashion, but bear in mind pickups and strings have a big impact on the tone. Notice how many of the bass bodies are listed as.... alder.
  3. Diewos


    Feb 27, 2003
    I've got a Peavey Foundation that I think is solid maple. I'm not sure about that, but the bass sure is heavy enough for it. My other bass is a Warwick Rockbass that's made of swamp ash. It always feels odd going from a bass that's probably close to twenty pounds to one that weighs about eight.
  4. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    both mine are Ash

    hear them here

    with the white fretted you can hear what flats and rounds do to the tone too. wood type is just a little piece of what causes it to sound like it does. I bet you would sound worlds different on my basses then I do and vice versa.
  5. Two of mine are ash (the Yamaha and the Conklin), my fretless MTD is poplar I think.
  6. lyle

    lyle Guest

    Jan 10, 2004
    Vernon, B.C. Canada
    alder (body), flamed honduras mahogany, flammed maple stripes and ebony center (top)

    pic in sig
  7. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB

    Damn James! That is one fine sounding bass - that flat tone is to die for :cool:

    BTW both of my basses are Alder (Jazz and Precision)


    Dec 1, 2004
    Asheville NC
    My US Masters is lacewood with a quilt maple top and purpleheart stringers. Cool tone, lots of bottom but really crisp highs. Plus it's really light for a five string. 7.8 pounds. The lacewood has a nice looking deep grain, too.
  9. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
  10. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    I'm totally addicted to alder.
    It's not a pretty wood but it's light, sounds punchy and thumpy with a very open tone.
  11. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    :cool: Thanks!!
  12. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    My Yamahas and Fender Jazz Plus V are alder, my Ibanez SR-800 fretless is basswood, but the bass I used on my samples page was my Ibanez SR-1206 six-string. It's a mahogany body with flamed maple top, 5-piece maple/walnut neck-through with a wedge fingerboard.

    Due to the neck-through construction, the mahogany and maple body, and the multi-piece neck, I've found the sound almost "naturally EQ'ed flat" as if the "middy" mahogany and the bright maple cancel each other out. It makes it a great instrument for chordal, tapping, and upper-range playing, but I'll be honest and say upon hindsight that the songs called more of a standard alder bolt-on low-mid "hump" when played fingerstyle. But I owned neither the Fender nor the Yamahas at the time. Poo. ;)
  13. Cliff Bordwell

    Cliff Bordwell Commercial User

    Jan 6, 2004
    USA , Orlando , Florida
    Owner of CB BASSES
    My next bass that I make for myself will have a Spanish Cedar body!
  14. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    My main bass (warwick thumb NT) has a bubinga body with an ovangkol and bubinga neck.
  15. Excellent chops, very listenable!

    The recording quality is very useful and shows the difference. The Benevente is a tasty sound J.

    Thanks for putting those up.
  16. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    Wow again... thanks!

    and thanks for listening. :bassist:

    [edit] unless you are talking about the 2 on the fretless page with my band.... then I played all bass and guitar as well as programmed / looped drums. I'm still figuring this stuff out and all the fretted tracks are over a year old. [/edit]
  17. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    I prefer alder, but I also like other tonewoods such as ash, maple, poplar.
  18. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    Modulus Q-4: Alder/Walnut top, IMO it's top wood probably has very little effect on it's tone.

    Spector NS4CRFM: Maple

    Rick 4001: Maple

    EB/MM Sterling & StingRay-5: Ash.

    Fender fretted & fretless P's & J's: Alder.

    Warmoth fretless J-style: Swamp Ash.

    Alembic Europa-4: Mahogany

    Roscoe SKB3006: Spanish Cedar w/ a quilted maple top. Again, IMO the top wood probably has very little effect on it's tone.
    I really like the acoustic sound of my Roscoe. This is the first bass I've owned with a Spanish Cedar body. It's hard for me to describe it's sound unplugged; it sounds very natural and 'open' to me.