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wood's, differnce in tone?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by terms bassist, Jul 15, 2001.


  1. hi everyone, I've got a little question that's been bugging me.
    How much differnce does the type of wood make when on a bass? because there's three models (IbanezBTB) I can choose from and the only differnce is the wood. the cheepist one is made from, Quilted maple and basswood that on cost's $1445, the next one up is made just from mahogany this one cost's $2445 approx, and the next one up is flame mapel top, mahogany body and maple neck. that one is $4000 approx. so do you reckon that that price jump s really justifiable with just the wood differnce? and how much differnce would these wood's really make?
     
  2. From what I hear the differant woods used in the body,neck,and fretboard can have very subtle to not so subtle sound differances.I like Ibanez but I can`t see myself plunking down that kind of cash on one my freind.If you have that kind of money to spend you may want to look into some of the other fine basses out there! ;) Just my $.02 worth! :D
     
  3. Those are Australian bucks, Usul.

    The 405 has basswood back, walnut core, quilt maple top. Basically, a dark sounding wood, a mid sounding wood, and a bright sounding wood, in that order.

    The 515 is made from pure mahogany, a low-mid wood.

    The 1005 is Maple back, mahogany core, flame maple top, bright woods and mahogany.

    So: 405= Mix of bass, treble and mid
    515=just low-mids
    1005=bright, trebly sounding

    So, I'd go for the 515 myself. Nice and dark, and the EQ on the BTB's does favour the treble and mids alot, so that would compensate for the darkness. Use the money you saved from buying the 1005 on bigger amps/better effects!
     
  4. thanks Panterafan. yeah I was talking Australian $ that was really helpfull thanks. I was going to go for the 515 myslef because I've always loved the tone of Mahogany. But I might go for the 405 because I play pretty much every style (metal, rock, funk, slap and pop etc) and the 405 seems to be the most diverse sounding and yeah spend the other money on some better equipment or stock up on strings. thanks again
     
  5. And quilted maple is just better looking then mahogany, and its cheaper, woohoo!
     
  6. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    The wood just isn't going to make much difference in tone if;

    - the bass doesn't have pickups of high enough quality to let those differences get to your amp
    - the wood used wasn't dried properly and/or the finish is so thick it chokes off the tone woods' characteristics
    - the amplifier isn't of high enough quality to let the tone woods characteristics come through
    - the skill used in making the bass and using the woods to their best advantage wasn't there. Luthiers have made instruments out of totally junk wood to prove this point and these instruments have sounded good because of their craftsmanship.

    So, what I'm essentially saying is it would be good if you could take your Jade amplifier with you to the store(s) and find the bass you think sounds best through it, (if the store doesn't have a Jade or similar amp for you to run the bass through).
     
  7. Rick, those are all true points, but all the BTB's I've played have a significant tonal difference between the 405 and 515. Still, trying out the basses on your own amp is always a good idea. And remember- tone can be coloured by strings, pickups, preamp etc., but only the wood cam stay the same. Go for the BTB you most like the sound of.
     
  8. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    That's what I'm getting at - don't limit your bass choices by setting up woods as your criteria; don't limit your amp choices by setting up spec's as your criteria. Let your ear and wallet decide.

    Of course, in the custom world, woods and spec's are two criteria you have to rely on.