Which Brazilian wood for my project?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rubo, Jul 16, 2004.

  1. rubo


    Aug 25, 2003
    Hi, I'm trying to assemble MusicMan bass from different parts. The body will be cut from Brazilian wood - I have three choices:

    1) Angelim - This is the darkest out of all three and heavier as well.


    2) Tauari - Bright looking piece of wood, so my guess is medium brightness in tone.


    3) Caixeta - The brightest out of three, looks like pure white paint -also the lightest weight out of all three.


    Few questions.

    1) Anyone ever had a chance to play a bass with any of the mentioned body woods? If so what are tonal characteristics.

    2) Also the dilemma here is, either go dark body wood and maple / maple neck or bright body and maple / rosewood neck?

    3) This one is probably for MM owners. Generally speaking are MM pickups dark sounding pick ups compared to normal Jazz or P or lets say Bart soapbars.

  2. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    I haven't used any of those woods, but you should know that color of wood is not an indication of tone. Of the three, I like the looks of the first one best. Of course, if you are going to paint a solid color, then it doesn't matter.

    Are you choosing from these because you live in Brazil? If that is the case, I highly recommend finding a local instrument builder that would know something about these woods. You don't need a bass builder, anyone that uses these woods as tone woods would know something about their characteristics.

    As for pickups, it all depends on which MM pickup you are using. I'm using a Duncan alnico MM pickup in my bass and it is very bright and lively.
  3. rubo


    Aug 25, 2003
    I'm in Canada, so no chance there, but maybe someone knows few Brazilian luthiers and can post a link or something. As for MM pups, i'm mainly interested in original MM, not SD or Barts.

  4. rubo


    Aug 25, 2003
    Oh yeah, no paint, simple satin finish

  5. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    I don't know much about wood, but looks wise I'd saY the first one. Fromwhat I've heard MM pups are bright sounding.
  6. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    I've heard as a rule of thumb, a heavier wood will get a darker tone than a light one. I too like the first one the most.

    However, I hope you're not counting on those specific ones -- two of the auctions are finished.
  7. appler

    appler Guest

    Not to mention the Tele bodies :p

    I think you'd do well with a bright sounding body wood and a maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard. It worked for me, anyway. Very versatile. I'd go for caixeta for the body.... but I don't really know anything about it, so don't really take my opinion into account. :D
  8. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Not necessarily true. Heavy woods like maple, walnut and ash (not swamp ash) can sound pretty bright.
  9. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Ok, then I have to ask. If you are in Canada, why are you limiting your choices to those 3 woods? I ask this because you are choosing between 3 woods that you have no information about. Which means that they could be great for you or they could be completely wrong.

    There are so many great woods to choose from. Warmoth has a great write up on the various woods that they have available. I'm sure there are other web sites that also give great descriptions of the more commonly used woods.
  10. rubo


    Aug 25, 2003
    That's why I want Brazilian, because we don't have it here. This will be my second bass, my first one is Fender Jazz assembled from Fender USA neck and USACG Alder body. I want something different, plus price is a big factor here, I can buy one of the three bodies for $70 US including shipping, plus they will drill it to my specs, not to mention that I really like the body shape. I don't think Warmoth or any other North American company can compete with their prices, for simple reason that in Brazil salaries are much lower then in North America. Well not just Brazil any third world country.

    Appler, I already have Alder Maple Rosewood combo, so I'm leaning towards Angelim with maple, maple, but again the other two are lightweight bodies and weight is also a factor fro me. Here are some more pictures of the same woods in slightly different patterns. I want the bass to sound very 70 funk, but not to bright sounding.