Wood Recomendations for Nordstrand

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by moorebass, May 4, 2005.

  1. moorebass

    moorebass Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2005
    Oklahoma City, OK
    I am in the queue to have a Nordstrand bass built (NJ5 Bolt-On, 35" scale). It will probably be a little over a year before it is finished, so it will be a while before I have to select my woods.

    I have pretty much decided on a Stabilized Massacar Ebony fingerboard and a maple burl top. Everything else is up in the air.

    Any suggestions as far as the tone woods I should use for the body and neck? The sound I am going after is more of an articulate, modern tone. Strong clear lows, punchy low mids, scooped upper mids, and clear (but not harsh highs).
  2. BoiNtC


    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    I'd say try koa/mahogany body, maple neck.
  3. Poon


    May 20, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'd agree with Mahogany. I think maple necks are great too. I'm having a Stambaugh made with Mahogany and Maple, probably. The only other cool wood I might consider for a neck is Wenge.
  4. rusty


    Mar 29, 2004
    Tulipwood body, 5 piece maple/wenge lam neck.
  5. moorebass

    moorebass Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2005
    Oklahoma City, OK
    What do you guys think of a flame maple body?
  6. BoiNtC


    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    Body or a top? I've never heard maple as a body, I'd expect it to be bright and punchier than most woods, but not sure. As a top I'd say beautiful, just curious, how much were you quoted on it? I'm really starting to GAS for a Nordstrand.
  7. moorebass

    moorebass Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2005
    Oklahoma City, OK
    I'm talking about maple as a body wood. Several manufacturers use maple for a body, Jens Ritter being a prime example. From what I have read, Hard Rock maple is generally too heavy, but Western figured maple is suitable in weight and tone for bodies.

    2 reasons I ask about maple:

    1)I want to use a high-gloss transparent finish on the bass and I don't want the body to contrast too much with the top wood, which I have already decided will be burl maple.

    2)I have read that maple really emphasizes the fundamental. I am wanting a super-tight and defined tone, this would seem to be right down my alley.

    Anybody here have direct experience with maple for a body? I can handle a little extra weight, but I am a little concerned about an all maple body making the bass sound too harsh.
  8. moorebass

    moorebass Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2005
    Oklahoma City, OK
    I haven't recieved an exact quote from Carey regarding this bass, because I haven't decided on the the exact specs yet. I was lucky to get my deposit in before the recent price revision though, so any options I get will be at the old prices :D
  9. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    Can't go wrong with Ash-
    Alder is nice and light and warm sounding
    Mahogany, in my experience accentuates the mids. I would use it on a fretless. Not big on it for fretted, but.... what do i know? not much :(
    A maple body would be ok, but maybe kinda harsh. Having said that, Careys bass is Maple bodied, and it sounded great.. confused yet?
  10. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I have an all Maple five that's one of my favorites. It is bright, it is extremely punchy and the lows are excellent. Penetrating sound, pretty much impossible to hide in the mix. If I were commissioning a new bass that excelled at fingerstyle, slap and anything in between, my short list is either an Ash or Maple body.
  11. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Don't know about this for the sound aspects, but I do know that this is one of the most beautiful maple tops I have seen.

    http://www.nordstrandguitars.com/assets/images/gallery/Leo Kishore/leo7.jpg

    I, too, have a serious case of GAS for a Nordstrand.
  12. moorebass

    moorebass Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2005
    Oklahoma City, OK

    I originally was going with an ash body, but I don't know if I would like the aesthetics of the prominent grain of ash with a maple burl top and clear finish.

    How would you describe the tone on Carey's personal bass?
  13. rusty


    Mar 29, 2004
    There's a clip (actually 3 of them) on the thread that Brian posted... you know, the blind test one :) Carey's bass is #4 IIRC.
  14. I have a birdseye maple body and it is definitely never muddy. Quite punchy and clear. Good highs, mids, and lows. Neck is also maple with pau ferro fingerboard.
  15. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Maple is not a bad choice for the body, but if you want articulate, ash is hard to beat!

    As for the neck, maple is good, wenge might be better.

    Does Carey offer ash as a neck wood yet?:D I have heard that MTDs with an ash neck are almost too articulate.:cool:
  16. DubDubs


    Aug 23, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Maple bodies are super bright in sound and super heavy. Mahogany probably wouldn't be a good choice if you want a strong fundimental. Ash andalder are the standards, I prefer alder but ash might be more of the sound you're going for. Alder's a bit mellower.
  17. gruuv


    Jan 23, 2004
    Definitely a walnut body. . .
  18. greg


    Jun 1, 2004
    he actually has made a bass with an ash neck once....its in the gallery on his site, i think it says it was made for Eduardo Gomes or someone..it has jazz pickups i remember that. I also talked to him for a while about making me a bass with an ash neck.
  19. Eli M.

    Eli M. Life's like a movie, write your own ending

    Jul 24, 2004
    New York, NY
    I think the Spruce Goose also has an ash neck (if not ash, it was some other unusual neck wood).
  20. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    If you were dealing with a low-end luthier (a la Wish) I'd have an answer for you, but this is Carey you're talking about. Why not describe in detail the tone you're going for and let him work his magic? It's not like you're going to see the actual body wood for the most part anyway, right?