Why Basswood Hate?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JeffJ2112, Mar 29, 2018.

  1. FirewalZ


    Aug 14, 2014
    S.E. Michigan
    I have a 1986 MIJ(FujiGen) Jazz bass, I'm fairly certain it's Basswod, it plays and sounds great and is very light. My 1977 Jazz on the other hand is like 13lbs, and simply to heavy to gig with. They both sound great, different for sure...noticeably different....but both are great JB's. The 77 may have a bit more focused low end, but only a tad...amplification, eq, pickups, etc more than compensates. Due to the weight difference alone..the 77 stays home and used more for recording, etc. But the 86 basswood Jazz lacks nothing....
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2018
  2. Re: Soft Wood

    You ought to see my Son’s MIM JB I bought him back in the mid 90s that was made out of poplar..
    cataract likes this.
  3. look at what you just said .. its not physically possible for a piece of wood to be a ding magnet. sounds like the guy was very careless with the gear.. basswoods in my mind are just as well as any other wood.. depending on what amp and cab you use how you set up your eq all that will affect the sound as well... ive had several basswood basses and they all was nice basses.
  4. I have no hate for it. My most favorite bass I’ve ever owned is an 80’s MIJ Fender PB-58 made of basswood. It sounds incredible. Such a in your face midrange bite. I added a brass hipshot bridge to it because the body was so light it had neckdive issues.
  5. My Squier MF Precision body is basswood. I dig the tone and playability of it. No dings (yet) , but I'm careful with all my instruments. My opinion? I wish it were alder but I'm fine with basswood. IMG_0052 (1).JPG
    lowdownthump likes this.
  6. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    I like basswood....

  7. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    If you think finished basswood is soft, you should see it in its lumber form! I wanted to experiment with different body woods in future builds. And since I'm a fan of some basswood basses (Heartfields, for example), I decided to give it a shot. I built a body blank out of it and it is very light, resonant, and easy to shape. But I rested a tool on it and that left a dent immediately.
    The key with the stuff is to be careful with it, obviously. But having a very durable finish on it doesn't hurt either. And if you intend to build with it and make things able to be screwed in and out of it frequently (battery or control covers, pickups, etc), you should consider installing brass threaded inserts or tool-free covers of some sort.

    It's in some really nice sounding basses of all levels of price. And while it may not be for the spiked bracelet, huge belt buckle crowd, it has its place in resonant instruments, for sure.
    bdplaid likes this.
  8. gt96g

    gt96g Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Philly Area
    I recently picked up an old ibanez made of basswood. I was actually impressed at the resonance when played unplugged. It sounds decent stock but I decided to do an electronics overhaul on it. So I'm excited to see what new pickups and a new preamp will do.

    I agree basswood has a bad rep, and I think it may not really be justified. Lots of times Basswood is paired with less than awesome electronics which may not always give a great representation of the sound.

    Given where cites is heading, I think we are going to see basswood being used more not less.
    bassliner50 likes this.
  9. ScrewDevil

    ScrewDevil Guest

    Feb 18, 2018
    My problem with basswood is mainly that it is a very inexpensive wood but guitar manufacturers are charging premium wood prices for products made from it.
  10. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    But there are so many ways to deal with stripping screw holes. The worst bass I had for stripped screw holes was made of walnut.
  11. JeffJ2112


    Apr 17, 2016
    Nowhere Indiana
    The only basses I've had problems with that were both mahogany.
    bdplaid likes this.
  12. Andii Syckz

    Andii Syckz

    Jan 2, 2011
    My main bass is basswood. Loaded with Duncan Hot for Pbass pickups & it sings like no other. Lots of punch. With basswood since it`s kinda neutral. Not overly bright like maple, not dark like mahogany. Basswood is meant to have high output pickups installed. That's what Ibanez does for most of their guitars/basses. Its basswood loaded with duncans or dimarzios depending xD
    Zoobiedood likes this.
  13. ScrewDevil

    ScrewDevil Guest

    Feb 18, 2018
    Names like "Fender", "Music Man", etc., should never be on something made of wood that inexpensive unless it is reflected in the end price.
  14. Morse_77


    Nov 5, 2014
    I think this answers the OP perfectly.

    I`ll add that bassist concerned with the weight of their bass should consider basswood (since it`s very light).
    JeffJ2112 likes this.
  15. nutdog

    nutdog when I'm a good dog they sometimes throw me a bone

    Feb 19, 2009
    in the dog house
    I’m down to two basses, both basswood. A black SBMM SUB Ray5 at 8.2 lbs and the Fender nutdog signature Precision Lyte at 7.4 lbs which, for unknown reasons, Fender has yet to put into production and send my royalties.

    lowdownthump, Rezdog, Tooned and 3 others like this.
  16. GBBSbassist

    GBBSbassist I actually play more guitar... Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2010
    It dings very easily. That's my only gripe with it.
  17. bobba66


    May 18, 2006
    Arlington, Texas
    Basswood hates me.:woot:
    JeffJ2112 likes this.
  18. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    Yeah, well...if only that worked. Only solution I’ve found that actually works is hardwood dowels. And, it’s a somewhat tedious repair. I stripped out several of those Schaller Strap Locks back in the day. On the Peavey, the problem was the bridge screws. A little bit of glue doesn’t fix that. Would be great if it did. Anyhow, carry on...
  19. FilTurd


    Dec 13, 2015
    Pacific Northwest
    I believe the Guild Pilot was made of Basswood. It was one of Guilds best selling production basses made to my knowledge. The only thing I noticed was the low end was somewhat muffled.
  20. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    FWIW, there's a lot of woods cheaper than basswood that people charge a premium for. Cost of wood doesn't guarantee a quality bass. Quality wood doesn't even guarantee a quality bass!
    What I can say is, just because a wood is inexpensive doesn't make it bad, just because it IS expensive doesn't make it good.
    TrustRod and JeffJ2112 like this.
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