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Semi-hollow Bass Wood Options: Help!

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I'm going to build a semi-hollow 4 string bass for a friend. opting for a vintage precision style sound but with a bit more "mojo", "spank" or whatever you want to call it.

the certain things till now are:


tru-oil finish.

wenge neck, and a figured walnut top.

passive electronics.

still undecided, help needed:

I have two body blanks lying around to choose from: swamp ash and black limba.

I'm tempted to use the swamp ash but I'm afraid that combined with the wenge neck it will produce a midrange growl and brightness thats just too modern for such an instrument. will the semihollowness counterweight this? or should I just use the black limba?

for the fretboard I was thinking either ebony or ziricote, just to add a bit of clarity and highs, but I'm totally open to other suggestions.

what do you think will be the best sounding combination of woods?


Edited by avdekan
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I would be tempted to say swamp ash on the basis that (IIRC) Limba has similar tonal characteristics to (most) Mahoganies. However, I think that the options you're discussing will take the instrument out of the traditional P-Bass territory into a different zone, and you're trying to figure out which other additional options will take it back into that territory. I might be wrong, and perhaps you can balance out these factors to achieve the aim, but I think it'll be somewhere away from the destination mark you've set.

An interesting project though, and I wouldn't worry about it not achieving the sound you expect. I bet it will sound awesome however. What pickups and hardware are you planning on? These will be a major factor also.

Looking forward to seeing this one progress! Welcome to the board by the way - I know this is your eleventh post so i'm perhaps a little late :-\

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thanks for the warm welcome.

this is not my first project. I've alraedy built a guitar, a lap steel, and another guitar is on the way.

I was thinking on probably using a hipshot fixed bridge and ultralite tuners to avoid the dreaded neck dive (wenge is HEAVY).

for the pups I was thinking either haeusse (precision and humbucking jazz set) or q-tuner, though I think the former will give me better resaults for my aim.

What would you say about using the swamp ash for the body, and "taking the edge off" with rosewood fingerboard?

Edited by avdekan
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