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Woods of your neck in your neck of the woods?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by The Mule, Mar 25, 2005.


  1. I can't remember seeing a similar question being asked around here. I'm very curious about wood recipes for the neck (apart from the fingerboard) and in what way they IYO affect tone, sustain and (quite importantly) visual appeal of your bass(es).

    Hippie sandwiches, laminates, stringers, figuring etc. etc. tell us all about them! Pictures are welcome off course...
     
  2. Tash

    Tash

    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    I've had really bad luck with necks on several basses. So far my ESP has given me no trouble at all, so I'm sold on the laminate concept. Its a 5 peice neck, maple with walnut inserts.

    All the basses I've had with neck issues were solid, either maple or walnut.
     
  3. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Maple and purpleheart is my favorite combination.
     
  4. +1. I've also gotta mention Purpleheart and Wenge. Very nice and natural feeling.
     
  5. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    I tried an experiment a few years back that yielded some good results. I have 2 basses with necks made of douglas fir. A luthier friend of mine and I had a discussion years ago about what makes a great bass neck. We both thought that the standard; maple, was merely OK. While I respect and love Leo's vision and ideas, his selections were often based more on economics than what is really best. Maple will do the job, but is it the best choice? Well, we all agree that stiff is good; maple can certainly be flexed easily and tends to twist as it dries. Spruce came up; after all, it works for acoustic guitar tops...it's very light and super stiff. It's soft tho, and won't hold a wood screw. But no one would build a neck of spruce; it's crazy. So we tried it.

    He couldn't find any spruce that was nice enough, but we found a great batch of douglas fir from old wine barrels. Worked out very nicely. Has that graphite tightness and woody warmth...very light too. I ended up having a 5 string built that weighs in at 6 lbs with a swamp ash body from Warmoth.
     
  6. bwbass

    bwbass

    May 6, 2002
    WA
    I remember having that neck in here - very cool! I've always thought about doing a spruce neck myself. Aircraft Spruce has some really nice quartersawn tight-grained stuff for making, you guessed it, airplanes! Should work great for a neck. I'd definitely want to reinforce it, though.
     
  7. Snarf

    Snarf

    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    +100 on the thread title.
     
  8. I'm(very slowly)building a pair of 5-string EUB's- one w/a mahogany neck, the other ash. I have no idea how they will sound; I totally went on a whim. Coincidentally, I also have some clear Doug Fir that I'm using for tops. It's very straight- & tightly-grained, so I think it should have a good tone. Or it might just suck completely. We'll see.
    JP Basses do their necks in a slightly different manner, & they have some real nice pics of their construction methods. I think they're in the 'archive' section at bunnybass.com.
     
  9. Thanx! Just being silly... :)

    I totally forgot my own contribution to this thread, I have two basses with maple necks, one set neck 3 maple with 2 walnut stringers, one neck through 5 maple with 3 ebony stringers. The ebony in my experience adds some fundamental sustain and stiffness. Oh, and I love the feel of Warwick necks; I would probably never buy one, but I always stroke their necks when I'm in a music store. Call me pervert... :smug:
     
  10. Selta

    Selta

    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Pervert!
     
  11. Call me a pervert! I love the feel of Warwick necks- as long as we're talking wenge. Ash has a similar feel to it.
     
  12. :D
     
  13. MAJOR METAL

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member


    Very Interesting. A 6 LBS 5 string bass, that is really something. :bassist:
     
  14. Selta

    Selta

    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    In all reality, I love the way my wood feels. I love just gliding up and down on it. My girlfriend loves it too. 35" of wood is always good to carry around. Nothin' like a Spector's neck...

    Ray :bag:
     
  15. Tash

    Tash

    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    +Infinity...this needs to be on a T-Shirt.
     
  16. I'd definitely buy one :D
     
  17. Snarf

    Snarf

    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    All my basses have maple necks with poly finishes. My workhorse precision gets a little gunky and sticky, so I just wipe it with a cloth. That's a little annoying. But my incoming Carvin B4 has a tung-oiled maple neck. Really interested to see how this feels. Ebony fretboard, of course.
     
  18. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA!
    get Firk to design it!
     
  19. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Sandwich anyone?

    [​IMG]

    Here is the finished bass:

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    The neck had a truss rod, but we've tried some experiments, and it could work without one, but it's tricky. We used threaded inserts to bolt it on, since the fir is so soft. Scratches up easily, but I just treat it like an acoustic guitar, and just be more careful with it.

    Amazing but true. When I ordered the body to go with it, they (Warmoth) asked for the neck for a good fit. I told them I wanted a swamp ash body as light as I could get, and bot back a slightly downsized J body with "3.4 lbs" written in the pocket. That coupled with the Hipshot aluminum hardware makes for one light 5 indeed.