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Woods/Walnut???

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dumfish, Mar 6, 2002.


  1. Dumfish

    Dumfish

    Oct 6, 2001
    Santa Rosa, Ca
    I've got a question about woods, more specifically walnut. I recently found out that walnut doesn't have a sharp, punchy tone. I was planning on using walnut as a top for the bass that
    I'm building.

    I haven't been playing that long and I don't really have a specific style yet. So, a wood that can do a lot of styles would be helpful.

    I just want to know what you guys think about walnut as a top wood. Any recomendations or information would help.
     
  2. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    I'm into the cosmetics of woods as well as the tonal properties, so my comments reflect this.

    If you're intent on using walnut as your body top, you might consider using one of the fancy walnuts, like claro walnut, claro walnut burl, or crotch.

    To complement the walnut's mids and warmth, you might consider northern rock maple. It's heavy, dense, and produces articulate, defined lows as well as sharp, clear, highs. It's very versatile and has several gorgeous figurings if you want something special, (e.g., quilted, flamed).

    Swamp ash could work well, too. It's bright, punchy, strong in the low end while still retaining some warmth.

    Alder is a popular combination wood but I don't care for it. It does everything, tonally, "sort of well", IMO. I like more character. And it isn't much to look at.

    Bubinga (not a true rosewood), or, cocobolo (a true rosewood), hard and heavy woods, could be interesting considerations to mate with your walnut.
     
  3. Wxp4759cb

    Wxp4759cb

    Nov 23, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    I have a walnut cirrus with a bubinga top, and it sounds great. It has plenty of punch. Some other factors might figure into this to however, like electronics.

    Also Ken Smith just opened up a woods thread. Why don't you ask him?
     
  4. CS

    CS

    Dec 11, 1999
    UK
    ditto on asking KSB but I had a 3 piece all walnut body Status that was all you say walnut isnt. As Chris said electronics make a difference. My bass had two kent Armstrong J's with an 18v preamp with a preset bass and treble boost of 12db and a passive tone control. Not typical and it also had a carbon fibre neck . Writing about it makes me wish I never sold it sniff.
     
  5. DEVILMAN

    DEVILMAN

    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    Hey CS,

    Could you please describe your tone a little better? I'm trying to make up my mind on woods for my next ZON Legacy 6 & I am considering walnut or koa as a body wood with ??? top if any. Bubinga also looks like a possibility & personally I prefer a 5a quality piece because of my critical and obsessiveness with my instruments...

    ciao,
    Satan
     
  6. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    Just an FYI he's not talking about a walnut body, but rather the top.

    Also, if it's a neck-through, the top material won't have that much effect on the tone. . .
     
  7. DEVILMAN

    DEVILMAN

    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    Dearest Geshel,

    Did you READ CS' response about having a 3 piece "WALNUT BODY" on a STATUS (graphite neck) bass he'd wish he never sold?!?! Do you think I make questions irrelevant to the thread? Anyway, IF anyone has an experience such as CS", please, let me know...

    sincerely,
    Satan
     
  8. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    1. I wasn't talking to you :)

    2. I misunderstood what the previous posters were saying - they mentioned walnut-bodied basses. But their points were still valid.
     
  9. DEVILMAN

    DEVILMAN

    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    Dear Geshel,

    First off, I didn't mean to re-submit my same thread (sorry TB'ers), anyhow, Geshel, please avoid future responses by 1- cut & paste WHAT you are referring to, & 2- address the person to whom you are directing your response to. It WILL save a lot of time & space on these threads for everyone (thanks moderators) & weed out "wrongfully intended" reprisals...
    later,
    Satan
     
  10. Woodchuck

    Woodchuck

    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    I kinda got lost in all of the flames! :eek: Anyway, my Eshenbaugh has a quilted walnut top with an alder core. It's a great combination. Grumbly lows and snappy highs. Keep in mind, it'll depend on your preamp too. To me, my bass is perfect. I can dail up just about any tone I want. I also have a Madagascar rosewood board, which is harder than American rosewood, so that contributes to the lowend growl that I get. I hope this helps. Here she is:
     
  11. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    1. You can delete your duplicate posts. See the "edit/delete" button

    2. I said "FYI" in my post, not addressing anyone in particular, certainly with no vehemence, I don't understand why you thought I was trying to put you down somehow. All I did was state a simple fact.
     
  12. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Walnut...Mmm!

    (courtest Hanewinckel)

    Fusion/W figured Walnut-
    [​IMG]
     
  13. DEVILMAN

    DEVILMAN

    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    Dear Geshel,

    Just an FYI he's not talking about a walnut body, but rather the top.

    Also, if it's a neck-through, the top material won't have that much effect on the tone. . .



    I responded due to the "he's" (WHO is he) part after I asked CS a question & you responded with this? That is why I had an edgy response towards your misdirected comment. That is all.

    ciao,
    Satan
     
  14. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    :rolleyes:

    move along. nothing to see here.

    as for a walnut bodied bass, my most recent acquisition, my 8 string fretted, has a walnut body and a walnut and purple heart neck and fretboard...

    [​IMG]

    it sounds very punchy, with good mids and an articulate bottom. the walnut and purple heart neck adds some snap, but without the loss of bottom that sometimes maple board/necks suffer.

    then again, there's so much going on on this bass that it's hard to say where the electronics end and the construction begins, tonewise.
     
  15. DEVILMAN

    DEVILMAN

    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    Dear John "Pinhead" Turner,

    You've quite a beast there, must be a handful in the lower registers!

    SINcerely,
    Satan
     
  16. Wxp4759cb

    Wxp4759cb

    Nov 23, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    JT, how do you get all of your fretboards so shiny?
     
  17. Dumfish

    Dumfish

    Oct 6, 2001
    Santa Rosa, Ca
    It will not be a nack-through.

    Woodchuck, I was planning on using alder as the middle wood.

    Any ideas for a fingerboard wood?


    And thank you all for your help.
     
  18. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    They have a hard coating on them. Something like cyanoacrylate or polyester.
     
  19. CS

    CS

    Dec 11, 1999
    UK
    CS Here responding to a walnut question

    My all wallnut Status was very punchy and I included the info on the pups and neck to qualify it.
    Yes my answer is similar to JT's re his shiny bass (never miss an opportunity to post a pic John?)

    BTW when my neck warped (?) Status gave me the prototype to use which was made out of cherry and I also played a mahogany one. I was not so anal at the time but I did not like the mahaogany one at all and mine had that 'certain something'.

    This doesnt help much-re the original posters search for woods, if it were me I would find a bass with electronics I liked that had a range of wood options and try as many as I could. Actually JT owns a shopfull of Conklins with different options...
     
  20. Woodchuck

    Woodchuck

    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Dumfish:
    I highly recommend the Madagascar rosewood, or some harder. I think that'll give you what you're searching tone wise. I think the alder was an excellent choice for the core.
    BTW, mine has a set neck.