#1
First of all, try not to flame me: I'm a guitarist and I've only played a bass (briefly) once.

But why does Agathis and Basswood have a better reception here than say, the Electric Guitar forum or other guitar forums? I'm not saying it's a bad wood (I own an Ibanez), I'm just wondering.
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#2
I'm not sure but I believe the tonal qualities work better for bass than guitar. Not great but better.
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#3
Because we tend to judge instruments on what they are like to play and what they sound like, rather than on the spec sheet or the name on the headstock? Because we're not a bunch of fucking morons like the EG subforum or other forums? Because really it's a perfectly good material to use for some instruments?
#4
Quote by smb
Because we tend to judge instruments on what they are like to play and what they sound like, rather than on the spec sheet or the name on the headstock? Because we're not a bunch of fucking morons like the EG subforum or other forums? Because really it's a perfectly good material to use for some instruments?

That's a good answer.
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#6
cheap basswood- bad
expensive basswood- good
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#7
Quote by InvaderTSN
When did they start speaking bad of basswood? I think it's pretty good.

Some people say it's bad because beginner guitars are made out of it.
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#9
Quote by InvaderTSN


Horrible logic. It's almost on par with "all B.C Riches are bad because their budget guitars suck".


Yeah... they're bad for entirely different reasons!
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#11
basswood is too light for a bass IMO. not in sound, I mean in physical mass.
#12
Because basswood (high end) is a good tone wood for bass guitars. And being the tone freaks we are, bassists tend to appreciate this. It delivers a nice warm neutral tone that tends to cut through the mix well.
#13
I personally love agathis and basswood. I have an agathis bass, and even though it's cheap, that's because there's so bloody much of it. I like the transparency of the wood.

And I wonder how many guitarists who hate basswood realise that a LOT of 80's guitars were made of the stuff? As in, top end guitars.
#14
Wait, wait, there's no basswood or agathis hate on this side of the forum!? Man, I must be slacking.

High end basswood is not a "tone" wood, it's just a " " wood. They (i.e. Ernie Ball Bongo, that's pretty much it) use it because it adds absolutely no tone or timbre to the bass. It's just there, allowing the preamp, pickups and strings to do their thing. I would never trust a wood you can't find a trans finish on.

That said, I think basswood is replacing agathis as cheapo tonewood of choice.

*cue guitards posting sub-$500 basswood basses with trans, 3-piece bodies*
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#15
Yes. It was the "shredders" choice of guitar wood in the 1980s since it again, cut so nicely through the mix, a plus for the shredding hair boys of that decade.
#16
Suhr guitars are made of basswood, I think.

But I'm more concerned about agathis: I haven't seen any high-end guitars built with one.
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#17
Guitars, at least historically, somewhat tend to use the woods native to the countries in which they were built (at least this holds for most American companies... basically Fender/Gibson) and this definitely holds well for cheap instruments too. It's a very cheap wood grown in very cheap countries. It holds absolutely no tonal advantages over... anything. But Ben loves it. So there.
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#18
Quote by aznrockerdude
But I'm more concerned about agathis: I haven't seen any high-end guitars built with one.


That's because agathis isn't a very good wood. With basswood, you can have good pieces and bad pieces. Agathis is just a cheapo wood no matter what. It's not that bad, but it's definitely not a quality tone wood
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#19
I don't think there's good or bad basswood per-se. There's 3-4 pieces of basswood, and there's 1 piece of basswood. That's the big thing - you'd be surprised how many cheap pieced together bodies you can make with the leftovers of a one-piece body.
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#20
Basswood is nice for building shredders, but agathis is rather *meh*. I am not sure what my Squier is (agathis or alder, they used both in production O.o ), but it is bloody heavy, sounds decent, and has a nice grain.

Oh god, I just had an idea. What about a thunderbird made of basswood? A light, tonally neutral tbird? Neckdive would be worse though I bet.
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#21
Quote by kranoscorp
Basswood is nice for building shredders, but agathis is rather *meh*. I am not sure what my Squier is (agathis or alder, they used both in production O.o ), but it is bloody heavy, sounds decent, and has a nice grain.

Oh god, I just had an idea. What about a thunderbird made of basswood? A light, tonally neutral tbird? Neckdive would be worse though I bet.

with a maple neck slapped on, it would be less muddy though...
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#22
Generally if agathis is used on a higher end instrument it's listed as kauri and it's actually a very good wood, it's used a lot in NZ and Australia as agathis is native. If you get a good cut of it then it could sound fantastic, just because it's relatively cheap doesn't mean it's bad. The main disadvantage is that it's quite a fragile wood.

As for basswood, like agathis, if you get a good quality cut it's great. Soundwise I've found it's quite middy and fitzy, the reason trans finishes aren't usually offered on basswood is because it has hardly any noticeable grain to it.
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#23
The fact that basswood isn't particularly resonant is what makes it great for stuff like the Bongo and shredder guitars where oodles of low mids from mahogany or something aren't what you're after.
#24
I don't know where I read this, but apparently Basswood has a penchant for nasty yellow globs and streaks - might have been the Warmoth site. Grain-wise, it's about as grainy as Mahogany to me - which is pretty much ALL trans ALL the time.
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#25
Quote by thefitz
I don't know where I read this, but apparently Basswood has a penchant for nasty yellow globs and streaks - might have been the Warmoth site. Grain-wise, it's about as grainy as Mahogany to me - which is pretty much ALL trans ALL the time.


Grain doesn't equal figuring.

And low grade Basswood can have mineral streaks in it - This isn't a problem with highergrade pieces.

A large problem with the wood and why it isn't used as a transparent finish is because a) It's pale, paler than ash, and so would require a stain to give any real attractiveness to and b) It absorbs a hell of a lot of finish, which may dampen the tone somewhat.
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#26
Quote by kugelspot
That's because agathis isn't a very good wood. With basswood, you can have good pieces and bad pieces. Agathis is just a cheapo wood no matter what. It's not that bad, but it's definitely not a quality tone wood

Then I don't get why people recommend the GSRs over some other low end basses...

A lot of low end 5-strings I've seen are either basswood or agathis. Can anyone give me an exception?
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#27
Quote by aznrockerdude
A lot of low end 5-strings I've seen are either basswood or agathis. Can anyone give me an exception?

What's your point?
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#28
correct me if I'm wrong, but I think they just veneer basswood to get a good transparent finish. that's how they make "vintage wraiths" I think...
#29
Quote by thefitz
I don't know where I read this, but apparently Basswood has a penchant for nasty yellow globs and streaks - might have been the Warmoth site. Grain-wise, it's about as grainy as Mahogany to me - which is pretty much ALL trans ALL the time.


Typical slab of basswood, hardly any noticeable grain, not enough to make an attractive trans anyway and nothing like mahogany.
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#30
Quote by thefitz
What's your point?

Actually, that was just a random question and didn't bother making a thread about it.

Budget, I'd say not enough to get a new Fender.
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#31
My gu*tar is made of basswood. I like it's tone, but then I have a modelling amp...

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#32
Quote by aznrockerdude
Then I don't get why people recommend the GSRs over some other low end basses...

A lot of low end 5-strings I've seen are either basswood or agathis. Can anyone give me an exception?


The squire affinity series is made of alder. The few really good ones are fantastic basses with electronics upgrades.
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#33
Quote by indie-bassist
Typical slab of basswood, hardly any noticeable grain, not enough to make an attractive trans anyway and nothing like mahogany.

My OLP looked kinda like mahogany once it was all stained and finished. A subtle, evenly spread small grain. And even then, what about MIM trans finishes? No grain noticible, but they do it anyway.
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#34
is agathis suposed to be heavy?
beacuse i have the frettless squire VM and it's light as a feather.
and everyone SAYS that agathis