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Would this be too heavy?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by draginon, Jan 28, 2006.

  1. draginon


    Oct 4, 2004
    Mahoghany body with a walnut top.

    My friend's custom tobias bass is the best sounding bass I have ever heard recorded or live and I know that it has a mahoghany body. I luv the look of walnut and so wanted to have the best of both worlds. Would this be too heavy for a body though?

    I can't describe the tone but it is very mellow,warm and very creamy with some crunch.

    I was actually going to order it from warmoth and have them do the hipshot tremolo routings and normal routings
  2. andvari7


    Aug 28, 2004
    It all depends on how large of a body frame you have. But I don't think that's too much. But I'd recommend against the Hipshot trem. Get a Kahler. One, they use less routing than Hipshot. Two, fulcrum-based tremolos on a bass scare me a bit. And three, they have more range.
  3. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    I've got 2 basses, A Takamine Oddball with an Explorer shaped bass which is neck thru mahogany body and neck, and a Peavy Cirrus which has a bubinga face, but the body wings and 3/4 of the neck are walnut (w the remaining 1/4 being maple) and I wouldn't classify either of them as unusually heavy, and the Tak actually has a rather large body and headstock. So as far as your wood choices, you can get lighter, but you can also get MUCH heavier, and I don't think you should worry too much about the weight of the wood.

    And yea, the Tak is a bit of a dog construction wise and it's looks are "Love it or Hate it", but it was my only bass for nearly 15 years, and the mahogany has a tone that just speaks to me, probably why I hate 90% of all other production basses.
  4. draginon


    Oct 4, 2004
    Also tonally, would basswood be decent? Many people down basswood but the Ibanez Roadgears I played were decent sounding and some characteristics I've read about basswood included: warm sounding which is part of what I'm going for.

    warmoth offers to do the routing... also kahler is sooo expensive. I havent been able to get an overwhelming amount of support for either. As long as it can wham a whole step, thats all the range I need. Not sure what fulcrum is but I will look into it
  5. andvari7


    Aug 28, 2004
    Basswood isn't half bad. I played a Roadgear that I rather enjoyed, too. And you're right - basswood does get a bad reputation. Since a lot of the tone of an electric bass is in the pickups, I think it's largely underserved.

    The two points upon which the Hipshot trem pivots. The cam of the Kahler eliminates the need for these, which, as I said, scare me a bit. Two small posts supporting four thick bass strings? I think not.

    And I know nothing of the quality of the Hipshot trem, but I know that Kahler trems (though it sounds like I'm a salesman for Kahler, I'm not - I've done a lot, and I mean a LOT, of research, and I've thrashed a Kahler guitar trem) are made from very high quality metals and last for a long time - Les Claypool has had one on his walnut and mahogany 32" scale Carl Thompson for almost twenty years. This bass, from what I understand, is pretty light and well-balanced. Victor Wooten has also been using a Kahler on his Fodera for many years.

    This is in no way a reflection of Hipshot's products - their Ultralite tuners are fantastic, and I like their Style A bridges a lot. I just don't trust fulcrum trems (like the Hipshot, the Floyd Rose, and the Fender trems).
  6. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    I prefer to put it this way: p-ups are a major factor in the tone, but not the major factor. There are some woods, construction methods and bridges that you can't make up for even with very good p-ups.

    Now, back on topic.
    Absolutely not. Mahogany is not really heavy.
    However, watch the neck material. If you go for something very heavy (like wenge and ebony, as I did), you might still get a heavy bass, and what's worse, you'll even get neck-dive.
    So make sure to have a long upper horn that reaches to the 12th fret and a couple of maple laminates in the neck. Maple would also add some clarity and crunch.