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Woods, what in it?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Samie, Dec 26, 2000.

  1. Samie


    Dec 13, 2000
    Madrid, Spain
    This is something I've always wanted to know. What are the different sonic properties associated with a specific type of wood?

    I mean does an ash bass sound different that a swap ash bass? Which woods gives better sound? which one sounds brigther? is there a diference?
  2. notduane


    Nov 24, 2000
    Hi Samie. Welcome to TalkBass. Geez...Madrid huh? KOOL!

    There are a few posts here discussin' various woods and their tonal properties.
    Here's a good one ~ http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?threadid=9477

    Hambone (the "Setup" moderator) is a good source.
    He just finished a real sweet lookin' J-type bass.
    There are pics floatin' around here somewhere.
    We're tryin' to talk him into goin' into business.
  3. Samie, there are about as many "sonic" properties associated with wood as there are woods to make the sounds.

    Generally, harder woods are brighter, and softer woods are have more warmth. How a wood is finished and how it is used in construction can also affect it's tone. Where a wood is used like necks or bodies affects how the wood sounds also.

    I've just gotten a very neat catalog from Luthiers Mercantile that has a tremendous wood section. Of course, most of their clients are acoustic builders of some sort, but they really do a nice job describing the exotic woods in their stock. They even have Ziracote! I'll probably be pulling it out when one of you guys has a specific question.

    If you want to gain an education on hardwoods do what I did - Go to your search engine and enter "exotic hardwoods" and take a look at the web page entries. There must be easily 50 or so great sites, some with pics, and all with info regarding the different species available.
  4. Samie


    Dec 13, 2000
    Madrid, Spain
    I'll do that although there is a problem with transalations. Woods have very different names from one language to another. I happen to know names and properties of woods in different languages, I am sure some are the same woods.

    I visited west africa some years ago, and was amazed by this wood the used to make "marimbas"(wooden xylophones). This wood was amazing, the would just cut it into blocks, and each block had a a musical note when you hit it with a slightly padded stick. By taking off wood from the block you could tune it. I think this wood might make a beatiful bass, it was hard and stiff, not to heavy, the called it "palo rojo"...red stick!
  5. Boy, you're right about the different (regional?) names for the same wood. I've been studying lots of sources and they overlap in their designations. Some are better than others though and give you alternate names for the species.

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