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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Vinnie Boombatz, Mar 6, 2013.
...most of the high-end expensive boutique basses seem to have multi-piece bodies?!
Snobbish bragging rights.
If you have a clear ("natural") or transparent tint (like suburst) the dividing lines between pieces are more or less evident. In this instance, fewer pieces (with one piece being optimal) are better, and matching of the grain and color of the pieces determines how good or awful your bass will look to those who evaluate such things.
Something more to @itch about on TB?
Two reasons..either aesthetics like scottbass mentioned or structural stability..a multi-piece body is far less prone to warping and grain-splitting than a single slab.
Years ago I owned a stock 1973 Fender Jazz that had a five piece body (it looked like they didn't even attempt to match the grain between the pieces) under the original natural finish.
It was also was one of the best Jazz basses that I had ever heard. I sold it because someone offered me a ridiculous amount of money for it; if I had the chance again, I would keep it...
I would be the first say that I believe that a one piece body would sustain/resonate more than a multi piece body; that 73 Jazz is proof to me that it is not always the case.
This is exactly my point. People made a big deal about 3-4 piece bodies on p-style basses and everyone seems to think less is more, with the ultimate holy grail being the elusive 1-piece body! But my understanding is a multi-piece body is stronger, will not warp, etc. And in all honestly, think it really has no effect on sound. If single piece bodies were THAT much better, or even two-piece bodies for that matter, I'm sure all the high-end makers would be doing that.
My '76 P is a 3-piece sunburst body and you can clearly see that grain matching was not a priority, but the bass sounds HUGE compared to my 2-piece 50's Classic P. (The 50's Classic sounds great, just different. Plus I think the 50's Classic is Alder with an Am. Std. pup and weighs 8.8 lbs, while the '76 P is Ash with a '62 RI pup, and weighs 10.0 lbs.)
someone make me a bass with the most knotted gnarly lookin pine board you can find. then stain it translucent purple.
There's a guy local to me that makes some pretty sweet custom Tele's from knotty pine and cedar,and my fav of his finishes is a deep translucent plum ..I've been curious about such a bass myself.
I had a bc rich warlock that when I stripped the paint off it clearly was one piece of plywood........
Correct on all points..
Not REALLY true. A good eye when matching up the grains can lead to a seamless looking body, no matter how many pieces. It's just easier with a 2-3 piece body than it is with a 5 piece.
That being said, my MIM P has better grain matching on its 5 pieces than my MIA P5 did. I could see the lines on the P5 from 5' away, but had to look from about 2' to see them on the MIM.
I don't think it is nearly as cut and dry as you think. You seem to be of the opinion that most people prefer one piece bodies. I don't find that to be the case at all. Sure, there are plenty of people who do. But I find almost as many who prefer multi-piece bodies, and the vast majority don't care one way or the other. It's similar to bolt-on vs neck through basses. The ones who have a preference will tout the "advantages" of their favorite. But the ones on the other side of the debate will as well. So your question kind of seems to me to be asking "Why do most people prefer one piece bodies?" And my answer is that I don't find that to be the case at all. A majority don't care, and a certain percentage actually want a multi-piece body.
Agreed... I've got a Squier VM Jazz with excellent wood grain matching. You have to look closely to see the pieces. It looks very nice.
I've seen them with terrible grain matching too. So much so that it would prevent me from a purchase.
To me, the whole idea of a natural or see thru finish is to showcase some awesome woodgrain..
my hwy one had matched grain also, so i guess sometimes you luck out
BIG tone difference between a one solid piece vs. 2 piece - VERY BIG!
in all honesty - its just more rare, thats all.
anything more rare is more desirable
Sometimes manufacturers will apply a thin veneer cap which will negate the necessity for the number of laminate pieces underneath to match up grain-wise and remove the issue of any wood defects, join lines showing, etc.
This body is from a Squier Affinity Jazz bass 5. This one was not even transparent, it was a solid blue color when I stripped it. I just found it (pleasantly) interesting that it had a veneer cap on it. I guess it is more cost effective sometimes to apply the veneer on ALL the bodies at the factory (even the solid colored ones) not just the bodies marked for a transparent finish?
Most of the high end basses with laminated bodies have different woods in it with the intention to achieve a specific tone, stiffness, vibration transfer, etc.
Another thing is to build a 5 piece body of the same type of wood because you dont find or want to pay a piece of tree with the size of a bass body...
When was the last time anyone has seen a warped bass or guitar body???
And even if it did, big deal. Adjust your saddles and pick ups and play. If it effects the neck pocket, rout it square.