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Old 10-19-2012, 02:19 PM   #1
Sliide90027
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Disillusioned with Exotic Hardwoods

As others who might have been entertained by my postings know, I have been around for about 36 years.

I have liked this place because the creators have dispensed with the allowance of individuals who do not think that Wood effects the Tone of what we hear, to have any credibility.

I have 4 basses Right now. All are the Same Manuf. And same Make. 3 are basically the same model and one is a MIJ Fretless Conv. that is generally worth the value used of the other 3 combined.

I found that the MIJ with the Mahogany Core to be considerably darker than its knock off younger siblings. This is OK because I had this $5K custom Instrument that was just WAY TOO Bright for all intents and purposes. I had to turn the Treble all the way off.
That Treble heavy Bass was made of Birdseye Maple. I dumped it for ¼ of its Retail price. (another thing that turned me off, I would never buy anything that devalued so much)

I tried a whole bunch of other Boutique TOL Basses, Fodera, Ken Smith, Specter, MVP, Tobias, Alembic, Warwick… all with things like Walnut and other stuff. No Joy. Nothing. No Inspiration. NO SALE!

Even the Ken Smith that I had esteemed for 22 years was Nothing for me, with those Walnut Tone Blocks on the inside. It took picking up one of his Bolt-ons for me to hear singing inspiration.

It was nice to see the FAQ here talk about Basswood, which my 3 MIK’s have (with Maple Tops).

I have to concur with the opinion so stated regarding the clarity/neutrality of color of this Wood.

I adored the Tone when I first played one of these and many people who hear me smile and keep smiling.

I bought the MIJ Mahogany with Maple Neck and Bubinga Stringers unheard on EBay, and for what a Fretless is supposed to sound like, it is perfect when I back the Treble off 7.5db (halfway), which for modern work with the Basswood and Maple/Walnut I back off the Treble the same 7.5db, but is still a modern brightness. (I suppose this attests to the success of Round Wound String Brightness, what it really sounds like when not blotted out by Exotic Wood coloration.)

The irony of it all…I used to live on a Mountain at 2800ft above sea level. In a decent to Miami which of the Basses needed adjustment? The neck with expensive Bubinga? Or the one of the Walnut necks?

It was the MIJ collectable with the Bubinga Stringers.

No you do not always get what you pay for do you?

I wrote the Bass Company and told them that they messed up an excellent thing by moving from the MIK configuration.

I wonder if people are going to ever stop listening to the siren songs, and ad seduction, and discover that 1 part Walnut, 4 parts Maple, and 4 parts Basswood delivers all the Treble and Lows that a Bassist needs, so as to not have to look for ways to get more?

For me Exoctic is just marketing. I have yet to play one that had Tone off the rack.
(Out of GAS)
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Old 10-19-2012, 03:33 PM   #2
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Maybe you need to try a graphite or other synthetic composite neck? They are impervious to climate changes and seem to last forever, unless you deliberately try to damage them.

Luthier Dan Erlewine said he attributes most of the warped necks he's seen in the last twenty or thirty years to people demanding either unfinished or lightly finished necks. He says that he has yet to see a Fender neck with the traditional shiny lacquer finish warp. He may be on to something.
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Old 10-19-2012, 05:43 PM   #3
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Sounds like an extended form of penis envy to me.
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:21 PM   #4
Sliide90027
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FatalGear41
Maybe you need to try a graphite or other synthetic composite neck? They are impervious to climate changes and seem to last forever, unless you deliberately try to damage them.

Luthier Dan Erlewine said he attributes most of the warped necks he's seen in the last twenty or thirty years to people demanding either unfinished or lightly finished necks. He says that he has yet to see a Fender neck with the traditional shiny lacquer finish warp. He may be on to something.


I am just talking about the wood, and the comparison of experienced performance one to another, even within a Make and model.

I am quite happy with the overall performance of the instruments. Having not spent untold thousands of dolalrs on them, their imperfections are survivable in comparision to the imperfections and problems with Custom/Boutique instruments. For the prices that they are one might tend to expect perfection.

Way too much pressure for people like me who cannot comprehend the term: Disposable Income.

2 year settle in neck failure on Neck Throughs is the most distressing even that one can experience(I have been there and done that, it probably held me back on the instrument for 7 years). But for those interested in NT's the introduction of Stringers, or Ken Smith's use of Carbon Fiber Rod inserts may well rest such horror.

I am fine with Stringers, probably until I finally get a hold of a Status headless 6 with LEDs, Tuner, and Bottle Opener (oops! did I type that?!) I mean Cork Screw.

In light of my current experience being oil type necks, against the horror of my sealed NT bass that was twisting, I am sold on the notion of Stringers in every Neck, especially NT's, and a Sealing Finish is just more insurance.

Thanks for your concern.
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Old 10-19-2012, 09:52 PM   #5
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I feel that the materials used for making bass guitars are NOT important, when considered by themselves, which I agree seems to be a marketing ploy.

I have 3 main basses at the moment. One is a Washburn T14, made of basswood. It is passive and does everything I need it to do. It ran me about £120, so I know my expectations of an instrument of this price!

The 2nd is an ESP Ltd EX-104(yeah laugh it up!) which again is made with basswood. It has a 2-band active preamp and does EVERYTHING I NEED it to do, whilst looking slick(In my opinion). It ran me about £250 and I know what to expect from the instrument when the price is considered!

The 3rd bass I'm using is a Japanese made 5-stringer by a company called Tune. It is made with bubinga and weighs a TON as far as basses go. It does EVERYTHING I need it to do and feels absolutely beautiful when I play it. It ran me £350 (2nd hand/used) but retails for over £1000.
The 5-string Tune bass is by far the most impressive bass I own. Why? Because it's hand crafted, has a 3-band EQ, looks gorgeous and has a 36" scale length. Notice that I didn't mention the wood! It is not important to the sound of the instrument IMO/IME. The wood used to make a bass guitar is very important to some people, because they consider themselves to be connoisseurs when it comes to the instrument.

I personally think that a bass guitar purchase should NOT be based around the type of wood used. It is, in my opinion, an aesthetic preference which plays a big part in some players lives and gigging confidence and should never be questioned for that very reason.

I love talking about bass guitars and amps, so I have to ask you Sliide90027, why are you bringing this topic into discussion? I'm not having a dig or anything, but the impression I'm receiving is that you're trying to alienate beginner bassists with your experiences in bass guitar playing.

The bass guitar in itself is just the tool you're using to play YOUR music to other people, or for yourself. There are so many different aspects to be considered and experienced before you can start shaping your own sound, therefore I feel that the type of wood used for a bass guitar is about as important to your tone as the thickness of the pick you use, or the length of your fingernails...or even the amount of glucose in your body to transfer the energy from your fingers to the strings (for us attack minded players!). Everything matters when it comes to your sound, so there really is no reason to pinpoint a certain element, such as the material used for your bass,

I've had a few to drink so hopefully I haven't offended anybody with my opinions here.
It's fine to express our opinions, as long as we mention this at the beginning of our posts, or during our posts. We don't want people to start believing certain things when they are purely a matter of personal preferences right?

Peace!
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Old 10-19-2012, 10:33 PM   #6
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So you don't like boutique basses after your experiences with them, multi-laminate necks are more stable, and some people don't like coffee table tops is about all I'm getting here. Where's the thread supposed to go?
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Old 10-19-2012, 11:16 PM   #7
Sliide90027
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impressions, another thing similar to excuses?

The thread is supposed to go somewhere?

I suppose if this thread is supposed to go somewhere, it is directly to the Bass that the Reader has in their home that they are not playing because they are looking at this Forum.

J3G2 - a word of advice. Do not take impressions while drinking, for perceptions are skewed.

Inspiration - the purpose we forget when we get bedazzled with the things that are marketed to us.

Go get that, for it has to be a far and away more useful pursuit than coming up with an impression of someone.

Last edited by Sliide90027 : 10-19-2012 at 11:17 PM. Reason: Sp
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Old 10-20-2012, 09:05 AM   #8
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Okay I'm perfectly sober now and I still sand by everything I said in my last post. Seems like there's nothing else to say on the matter

Inspiration. My band and I have so much of it that it doesn't really matter what gear we use. However it is nice to have guitars and basses that we feel comfortable and confident playing with and the same goes with amps. So, inspiration? If I have any more of it might start to cloud my judgement a bit more than a few beers.

Like I said in my last post no offence was intended by anything I said, including the impressions I get from a wall of text when I've never met you. It's not personal, it's an internet forum for conversation and debate.

Cheers!
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Old 10-20-2012, 10:29 AM   #9
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The finish applied to the wood makes a huge difference. Unfinished lumber will always try to equal the amount of relative humidity in the surrounding air causing it to expand or retract. It should be as dry as possible before a sealant is applied.
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Old 10-20-2012, 11:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J3G2
Okay I'm perfectly sober now and I still sand by everything I said in my last post. Seems like there's nothing else to say on the matter

Inspiration. My band and I have so much of it that it doesn't really matter what gear we use. However it is nice to have guitars and basses that we feel comfortable and confident playing with and the same goes with amps. So, inspiration? If I have any more of it might start to cloud my judgement a bit more than a few beers.

Like I said in my last post no offence was intended by anything I said, including the impressions I get from a wall of text when I've never met you. It's not personal, it's an internet forum for conversation and debate.

Cheers!



Therefore then you proved the point.

The most important thing is inspiration, it keeps us playing and advancing in our Craft.

The most important thing is the presence of inspiration.

While gear might have something to do with it because a Tone inspires, or the thin neck and action brings something out of the player, there are some conditions that are helpful for poor blokes like me who hit the wall.

But, I did not find it in any but one High End Instrument. But found it readily in a a bunch of Mid level Instruments.
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Old 10-20-2012, 05:57 PM   #11
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It doesnt have to be exotic wood, it just has to be quality wood. Maple/ash/alder/mahogany sounds fine on millions of instruments.
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