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Which top should I choose for my new walnut-bodied custom

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Lenart, Mar 7, 2006.

  1. Hi guys. Not really sure, if this topic hasn't been discussed before, but I tried to search through the old threads and didn't really found what I was looking for.
    I'm getting build a custom bass guitar by Woodandtronics soon and I haven't decide on all of the things yet. The bass is going to have a walnut body and very likely a maple neck (I've played simillar walnut bass with ash-padauk neck but felt that the maple might sound better on that bass). I still need to decide between a set neck and a bolt on. I've read many threads on that topic and from what I've understood, the bolt-on is supposed to be a bit more punchy and set neck has a simillar sustain to a neckthrough (which I've tried and thought I could use some additional punch). The bass is also going to have Norstrand dual coils, a John East preamp and I think I'll also have Gotoh hardware and a piezzo bridge on it.
    Here is the main question; I really like the sound and response of walnut, but I thought it could sound a bit fuller in lows. Could I achieve with a certain type of wood? Also, do you think I should go with a bolt-on or a set neck? I play all kinds of music, from latino and fusion to rock and dub so I'd want my bass to have some edge to cut through loud drummers and distorted guitars (I use EBS and Schroeder gear, if that helps).

    Thank you for your answers, there will probably be more when I get those answered.:)
  2. Do you think I should post that in the luthiers forum?
  3. lamborghini98

    lamborghini98 The Aristocrats

    May 1, 2005
    NYC; Portland, OR
    I dont know much about utilizing woods and all, but I don't think that using one top over another is really going to get you those lows. Maybe you should try a different neck wood? Im pretty sure maple is not the best wood for getting lows... might want to try Wenge or ... padauk..?
    You might get a better response if you get this thread moved to the luthier's forum, but this isn't really the wrong forum to put this kind of question in.

  4. lol.. is there one? I cant even find the darn thing, ive been looking for ages :crying:
  5. Thanks for you opinion; in fact, I don't want to get really boomy sound, I just thought that different woods combined with walnut resonate different, so some might produce a sound that might be a bit fuller in the lows.
    Also, I have a maple neck on my Lakland DJ Skyline and I like the bottom of that bass, so I'm not sure if I'd want to change that.
  6. Dbassmon


    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    You should consult the Luthier. What strikes me about your plan is that the woods you have chose are unusual together.
    Walnut is dark and woodysounding, Maple bright and snappy. That is not a combination you see often. I am wondering how you arrived at that? Tight and focused lowend, you might consider Swamp ash for the body and use walnut for the face veneer. Talk to your Luthier.
  7. Mongo Slade

    Mongo Slade Supporting Member

    Dec 1, 2005
    Northern New Jersey
    One of the best-sounding basses I ever played was
    a Ken Lawrence with an ash/alder body with a walnut cap.

  8. Thanks for the reply; I will discuss that with the luthier for sure, I just wanted to hear some other opinions.
    The wood combination at first sounded a bit strange at first, but the bass is supposed to be "singing" way better with the maple neck compared to very similar bass with ash-padauk. I'll compare them together (I hope I'll be able to record the walnut/maple bass so you can hear what does it sound like).
    As for the swamp ash, I like it's sound, but it is not what I'm really looking for in my next bass, which I want to sound more "open" and fuller (compared to some other swamp ash basses, that sounded more "compressed") I like the sound of walnut, its resonance and response, but missed just a tad of the tight bottom some of the basses have. I'll have some fun with the East preamp tomorrow and see if I can dial in the lows I want. I'll let you guys know about it during the weekind.
  9. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    This thread strikes me funny. I'm looking to cover a bass with a Walnut top. I love the Claro Walnut and the Crotch Walnuts the most. The Walnut sound is great too.

    Have fun!
  10. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    The custom fretless I used to own had a walnut body, and the lows were insanely deep and powerful- it's the reason I chose to go with a walnut body again for my new fretless. What walnut bodied bass have you played that had thin lows?

    Also, as said above, a top wood usually isn't thick enough to have much bearing on tone. The electronics you use will be a much larger deciding factor in how well the lows can be brought out. The Nordstrands should do it fine. Never tried a Suhr preamp.

    I would just go with whatever top you like the looks of best.

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