#1
How durable and reliable is basswood? It is better/worse than mahogany/maple etc.? If so, in what sense?
#2
It's a pretty soft wood. I wouldn't drop it, if I were you. It's also pretty light compared to mahogany and maple. Tonally, it's nice and warm, but not quite as warm as mahogany. Good, bad, you be the judge.
#3
basswood is like the low of the low on woods. its the cheapest wood guitar companies use, which is why its always on the beginner-esque guitars. never had a problem with it tho.
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#4
Quote by COBHC_Erick429
basswood is like the low of the low on woods. its the cheapest wood guitar companies use, which is why its always on the beginner-esque guitars. never had a problem with it tho.

don't ibanez use it for a load of their guitars though?
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#5
It's not as high quality as mahogany or maple, but its not like plywood or anything like that. It'll do the job. Just take care of it.
#6
My RG has it, I don't have any problems with it but it is soft....I have one indentation on the back.
#7
It's cheap, is the main thing. It's as good as ash, alder, or mahogany for what it does, but since it's so cheap lots of people won't use it even when it's appropriate. Joe Satriani and Eddie Van Halen both insisted on it in their custom guitars, as did Kurt Cobain (which is not such a great endorsement) because of its strong midrange resonance. I find it makes cleans seem a little muffled, but for thick distortion its awesome.

And as observed, it's easily dented.
Money beats soul every time.

Money beats soul...every time.

Money...beats soul...every...goddamn...time.
#8
the low-quality guitars use low-quality basswood, i've seen £500 plus guitars built with basswood. You shouldn't base your opinion of a guitar on the wood
#9
Quote by COBHC_Erick429
basswood is like the low of the low on woods. its the cheapest wood guitar companies use, which is why its always on the beginner-esque guitars. never had a problem with it tho.

Loads of 3000 dollar plus Ibanez guitars have it.

Its a perfectly good and usable wood.

Quote by AeolianSeventh
It's cheap, is the main thing. It's as good as ash, alder, or mahogany for what it does, but since it's so cheap lots of people won't use it even when it's appropriate. Joe Satriani and Eddie Van Halen both insisted on it in their custom guitars, as did Kurt Cobain (which is not such a great endorsement) because of its strong midrange resonance. I find it makes cleans seem a little muffled, but for thick distortion its awesome.

And as observed, it's easily dented.


+infinity.

My MH is basswood, whereas my H is agathis. The MH has this tight aggressiveness that the H just cant get- the H sounds flubby and excessively dark in comparison.
Last edited by GS LEAD 5 at Aug 23, 2011,
#10
Quote by TokaiEX
the low-quality guitars use low-quality basswood, i've seen £500 plus guitars built with basswood. You shouldn't base your opinion of a guitar on the wood

This. Dean use Mahogony on a lot of their lower-priced guitars, and you can bet your seven buiscuits it's not the same kind of wood Gibson uses on their higher-end models.

Likewise, Basswood can sound really cool. I much prefer the tone of basswood to alder or ash, and find that depending on what style you're playing, it sounds better in a band setting than mahogany, based on guitars I have played with those woods that were in similar price ranges (about 1k$)

In other words, you cannot make sweeping generalisations about woods in all price ranges.
#11
Quote by TokaiEX
You shouldn't base your opinion of a guitar on the wood

Subliminal Messaging!!!!!
#12
Basswood is fine, sure it's softer, but it sounds good.
I think we should instead be complaining about plywood, or agathis.
Or that incredibly cheap junk they make those ugly Dean XM things out of.
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#13
Basswood could be good or bad. I have an Ibanez Prestige RG with a basswood body, and I love it. I'd take it over any other body wood any day if I could only pick one.
#14
soft wood... can be cheap... can be expensive... every wood is the same way (cheap and expensive cuts)... blah blah blah. all been said before. I have a Schecter with basswood. I like it.
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#15
Here's something to think about, John Suhr regards basswood with a maple top the Holy Grail of tone.
2003 Music Man Axis Pacific Blue Burst
#17
Quote by randomhero93
soft wood... can be cheap... can be expensive... every wood is the same way (cheap and expensive cuts)... blah blah blah. all been said before. I have a Schecter with basswood. I like it.

Warmest, sweetest guitar I've got is a basswood Schecter!
Money beats soul every time.

Money beats soul...every time.

Money...beats soul...every...goddamn...time.
#18
Quote by AeolianSeventh
Warmest, sweetest guitar I've got is a basswood Schecter!

my Schecter's my everything guitar. I own a Fender MIM strat that I barely use, but I'm getting a PRS really soon (shipping now) and we'll see which I like better for gigging and such.
Quote by pedromiles101
you're not gonna want to take a dump in a gross, off-colored, vintage toilet. you want something that is white and pearly; something that shines. something that you can put your cheeks against and say, "f*** yeah"
#19
A lot of metal guitars use basswood because it's a rather flat and soft. It allows your amp and pickups to have a more exaggerated effect on your sound.
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#21
better and worse is subjective. theres low quality and high quality. LTD's for example on the lower end of the spectrum are made with low quality basswood. High end prestige Ibanez'es are also made of basswood but much higher quality. this will also affect the tone in terms of it "shinning" more. the wood is very bass and mid concentrated and still has treble to it, but the a great amount.
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#22
I'm not a fan of basswood simply because of how soft it can be. That being said, as others have noted there are different grades to the wood (all woods for that matter) I have seen some really cheap basswood guitars dent from just knocking on the body with my knuckles, then again I've seen some higher quality basswood guitars seem pretty hard.
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#23
wow flashback to the late 80s for this discussion. basswood is a proven wood for guitars at this point and is used in many high end guitars these days. just because it's cheaper to buy doesn't mean a damn thing. alder is hardly an expensive wood and maple is certainly not. as for mahogany there are over 20 different species and they are not all the same. sure you can find mahogany used for intermediate level guitars (and more and more cheapies) but as mentioned it's no the same wood used for high end Les Pauls or the like.

it is true that basswood isn't as dense as say mahogany but it's still a reasonably sturdy wood. if players like EVH and Satriani who can have anything they want feel its good wood for guitars then who are we to argue.
#24
There is no better/worse. There is bad quality pieces of every species of wood, and there are good pieces of them too.

Good basswood is a very nice wood. Its light, fairly resonant and quite neutral tonally.

To say that basswood is a bad wood is ignorant. Suhr, EBMM, Ibanez and plenty of other high end manufacturers use it.