#1
so i haven't done exhaustive research but so far ive read a lot of ppl hating on basswood.

I wanna know how big of a difference it is to have the body made of basswood, tone-wise and durability wise.
I am primarily a metal player, and am looking into acquiring a 7string (hence the interest)

I'm really into "Djenty" stuff like after the burial right now and would like to replicate that sorta tone. (anybody know what guitars they use btw?)


thanks in advance!
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#2
Woods don't make THAT much difference in electric guitars... Acoustics are a different story though
#3
You will love a basswood bodied guitar. My Schecter Damien is basswood and it gets a great Djenty sound. Basswood resonates really well at lower tunings.
#4
Basswood comes in different variety. There's high quality basswood and low quality basswood. You're not going to find many mid-range basswood guitars. Low quality basswood is pretty terrible though. Basswood isn't a bad at all. Satch, Vai, Gilbert, Petrucci, and EVH all use basswood guitars. It doesn't have a lot of highs and lows. It leaves a strong fundamental tone that cuts through the mix very will. It's great for shred and it's very musical and smooth when using gain. It's very clear and what you play is always heard clearly. It's clean tone isn't great though. A lot of the hate from basswood is because it's characterized by what it lacks. It doesn't have any distinct characteristics that other woods have. Another thing is that it takes a skilled player to get the most out if it. It's not great for beginners. Technique really matters when playing basswood guitars. Playing badly on a basswood guitar will sound terrible, much worst than a guitar made of another wood. But playing well on a basswood guitar can sound amazing, but not better since it comes down to personal preference anyway. I personally love basswood for a lot of things. I've only recently started liking it for metal. It lacks the low-end grind of mahogany and the bite of alder, but it's very clear. It's not really great for clean and very light crunch though. It reacts to dynamics very differently than mahogany and alder.
#5
I like basswood. And since JELIFISH19 said everything and more than what I was thinking I shall share a story.

I remember I went to this guys hardwood store... Gary was his name. I was looking for Basswood 7" wide 2" thick and 40" long. I went to Windsor Plywood (my favorite woodstore), they only had basswood that was 6.5" which would work but i wanted .5" just to have some extra. So they told me to check out Garys place... OR as they call him the "Wood Nazi" like seinfield's soup nazi... We get there and he walks by me quickly asks me what i need before i finish saying the word basswood he is gone... disappeared into the darkness of his wood filled warehouse. I look at some cartoons on his walls, and there is a poster of Hitler, under it saying something like "hitler wanted gun control, as a result 6 millions jews died"... 30 minutes later I hear some banging off in the distance, after walking through a cave of wood i find him hitting a piece of basswood with a hammer out from under some other wood... I tell him i need 7" wide 2" thick and 40" long with no knots or imperfections, because im making a guitar. He says he has a 7" wide but doesnt know if the wood is good enough. Then he asks me why I wanted basswood... I explain to him I want Basswood because it sounds smooth with gain, has a nice mid range and smooth highs. I think to myself, EVH uses basswood, Satriani uses basswood, What does this gary know about the tone of woods... He doesnt understand that I want the wood for how it sounds. He then tells me he does not have time for me, as he is busy and has other people at his store that he needs to help. He then proceeds to tell me he has Hondoras Mahogany, babunga, zebra wood, purple heart, and a bunch of other exotic woods out and ready for luthiers, a bunch of wood I dont want. My mom then asks him if he supplies cabinet makers. He proceeds to explain that he does, that he supplies ship makers, airplane makers, supplies people in europe south america, and that he is flying somewhere for some business concerning wood...

Meanwhile I am think to myself "you do not have the time to tell us your the story of your life..."

We went back to windsor and talked to some of the employees about our experience with gary... and how 30 mins was wasted waiting for him, and how another 30 mintues was wasted from him telling us he did not have time for us...

Edit:
tl; dr

Some Ashole "wood nazi" wasted 1 hour of my time being confused about how basswood sounds good in guitars... and taking 30 minutes of that hour telling me that he did not have time for me.
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Last edited by Ethanb08 at Oct 13, 2009,
#6
Quote by Ethanb08
I like basswood. And since JELIFISH19 said everything and more than what I was thinking I shall share a story.

I remember I went to this guys hardwood store... Gary was his name. I was looking for Basswood 7" wide 2" thick and 40" long. I went to Windsor Plywood (my favorite woodstore), they only had basswood that was 6.5" which would work but i wanted .5" just to have some extra. So they told me to check out Garys place... OR as they call him the "Wood Nazi" like seinfield's soup nazi... We get there and he walks by me quickly asks me what i need before i finish saying the word basswood he is gone... disappeared into the darkness of his wood filled warehouse. I look at some cartoons on his walls, and there is a poster of Hitler, under it saying something like "hitler wanted gun control, as a result 6 millions jews died"... 30 minutes later I hear some banging off in the distance, after walking through a cave of wood i find him hitting a piece of basswood with a hammer out from under some other wood... I tell him i need 7" wide 2" thick and 40" long with no knots or imperfections, because im making a guitar. He says he has a 7" wide but doesnt know if the wood is good enough. Then he asks me why I wanted basswood... I explain to him I want Basswood because it sounds smooth with gain, has a nice mid range and smooth highs. I think to myself, EVH uses basswood, Satriani uses basswood, What does this gary know about the tone of woods... He doesnt understand that I want the wood for how it sounds. He then tells me he does not have time for me, as he is busy and has other people at his store that he needs to help. He then proceeds to tell me he has Hondoras Mahogany, babunga, zebra wood, purple heart, and a bunch of other exotic woods out and ready for luthiers, a bunch of wood I dont want. My mom then asks him if he supplies cabinet makers. He proceeds to explain that he does, that he supplies ship makers, airplane makers, supplies people in europe south america, and that he is flying somewhere for some business concerning wood...

Meanwhile I am think to myself "you do not have the time to tell us your the story of your life..."

We went back to windsor and talked to some of the employees about our experience with gary... and how 30 mins was wasted waiting for him, and how another 30 mintues was wasted from him telling us he did not have time for us...

Edit:
tl; dr

Some Ashole "wood nazi" wasted 1 hour of my time being confused about how basswood sounds good in guitars... and taking 30 minutes of that hour telling me that he did not have time for me.


I want my time back for reading that!
#7
Quote by DerAj2
You will love a basswood bodied guitar.


i think so too.

my ibanez is basswood, and i've owned a few other basswood guitars in the past too. it definitely conveys every little thing your pickups hear. it's a very literal wood, if that makes sense i guess i mean that its pretty responsive. it isn't heavy though. actually pretty light, and it's soft. lots of mids, which i think are perfect for metal.
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#8
Basswood sounds just fine used in an electric - especially if you're going to use active pickups - it is light and decently responsive, but tends to dent and ding easily in my experience.
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#9
If you get a guitar made of good quality basswood (typiclaly only found in guitars that cost over a grand) then it's a good wood. It's fairly balanced but just a touch deeper-toned than alder.
If you get a guitar made out of poor quality basswood though (which frankly, is what most basswood guitars are made of since good quality basswood costs quite a lot) then there's really no difference between it and cheaper poplar or agathis.

And yes, in all cases, it does dent and break easily.
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#10
Quote by DerAj2
You will love a basswood bodied guitar. My Schecter Damien is basswood and it gets a great Djenty sound. Basswood resonates really well at lower tunings.


Sorta true. This is because basswood has very little low or high range, but a very prominent mid range. So it is quite good for alot of steve vai and stuff (i think he uses it anyway). But when you downtune because it has a big mid range it gives the notes more clarity.

PS this is also from my personal experience.

Basswood isnt bad, its just different. Mahogany has a warm fat low range, alder has a bit more of a bity high range and basswood has a big mid range. Choose to suit you
Last edited by shredder408 at Oct 13, 2009,
#11
Quote by MrFlibble
If you get a guitar made of good quality basswood (typiclaly only found in guitars that cost over a grand) then it's a good wood. It's fairly balanced but just a touch deeper-toned than alder.
If you get a guitar made out of poor quality basswood though (which frankly, is what most basswood guitars are made of since good quality basswood costs quite a lot) then there's really no difference between it and cheaper poplar or agathis.

And yes, in all cases, it does dent and break easily.


Companies make their cheap guitars in asia. Basswood is cheap in asia. Asia has poor QC and lower standards. Put 2 and 2 together

PS - sorry for double post!
#12
Quote by shredder408
Companies make their cheap guitars in asia. Basswood is cheap in asia. Asia has poor QC and lower standards. Put 2 and 2 together

PS - sorry for double post!

Not all, Korean and Japanese guitars are some of the best guitars I have ever used. Even China is stepping up in QC.
#13
Quote by darkcheef
Not all, Korean and Japanese guitars are some of the best guitars I have ever used. Even China is stepping up in QC.


Winrar!!!! Not too sure on the China part myself but the first part I can definitely say is full of win.
#14
The Japanese and Korean factories that actually put in the effort and have the top materials though are the ones which also cost just as much as any American, German or British-made guitar. When people talk about 'the asian guitars', 99% of the time they're talking about the low-end budget ones where next to no care is taken over them and they're just slapped together out of crap parts in China because labour is cheap. If someone wants to know if a £400 basswood guitar is any good, we're not talking about a Japanese-made precision instrument with laser-cut inlays, we're talking about some production line pile of wank put together by people on minimum wage.
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#15
Quote by MrFlibble
If you get a guitar made of good quality basswood (typiclaly only found in guitars that cost over a grand) then it's a good wood. It's fairly balanced but just a touch deeper-toned than alder.
If you get a guitar made out of poor quality basswood though (which frankly, is what most basswood guitars are made of since good quality basswood costs quite a lot) then there's really no difference between it and cheaper poplar or agathis.

And yes, in all cases, it does dent and break easily.



I agree with this- very well said.

For a mid range guitar at a decent price- try Alder. Its a bright, solid wood.
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#16
since we're talking about wood, my two LTDs listed in my sig are both mahogany. the AX is totally covered in black paint and the FX is not painted and has a spalted maple top. the AX is full of low tones while the FX lacks lows and is a bit sharp on the high end.

i guess what im asking is does the wood make any bigger of a difference than the paint (or lack thereof) and the body shape? FYI the AX is korean and from 2004, the FX is indonesian and from 07 or 08.


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