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Wood for Bass

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Hi LeeM,

Not that my opinion is worth much, but there are lots of woods that look and sound good for bass guitars. Take a look at the Warmoth site. They have lots of pix of basses that people have built that look great. Find the style you like and go with that.

Guitar Ed

Advice worth what you paid for it. Nothing.

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Claro Walnut if you can find a piece.  It is the best looking walnut and is used mostly in gun stocks which has driven the demand high and the cost as well.

Um, WWW, have you seen Circassian Walnut? Puts Claro to shame. Rolls Royce uses it as their trim pieces. However, this is WAY out of the typical guitar maker's budget. Circassian Walnut makes ebony seem CHEAP.

$2800.00 gun stock blank

I do think walnut'd be a good choice though, and Claro is a nice wood.

Not sure what you mean by a "natural finish", but if you mean that you will clear the wood, then I still agree with the walnut concensus.

I think maple's not bad either :D

Here's my maple bass:


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MMMMM... Bass! Iwas looking at Claro and the price has gone up so much because of the gun collecters. As far as I'm concerned they could make the gun stocks out of balsa wood and leave the good stuff for the guitars. :D

I like the Circassian Walnut, but at that price it makes Claro seem absolutely inexpensive.

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  • 4 years later...

I'm currently building a bass.

From my experience so far, a solid maple body has given me very very bright tone. Not too good for the kind of low, deen-ended bass tone that I want. Also very heavy.

I've currently a single-piece slab of white ash that pings so nicely when I tap it with a screwdriver. It definitely resonates. So this light open-grained ash is gonna give me tons of deep low end resonance. For a 5-string bass, this wood's gonna crack building foundations with rumble.

My only true concern with woods for bass is using an open-grained light wood. Hard dense woods like walnut and maple and wenge are great for guitars and their tonal range. For bass, try some lacewood, zebrawood, cocobolo, swamp ash, white ash, alder and some lighter spalted maple.

Don't forget, a laminated top on a cosmetically ugly body wood can make a great combo. Who cares if that alder blank has ugly grain, slap a quilted maple plank on top and make it purdy!

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