Need to get this basswood aversion off my chest

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by 8barlouie, Apr 2, 2020.

  1. mad dog

    mad dog Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,268
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2005
    Location:
    Montclair, NJ
    I don't much care for basswood in solid bodies. Only one exception so far (two really, two Eastwood Sidejacks.) Most of the folks telling mean not to have that opinion are not experts either. Not much percentage in listening.

    And I should note, more than one expert has dismissed the impact of body wood on sound. Something that goes against my own ears and experience. So even with experts ... gotta pick your spots.
     
    8barlouie likes this.
  2. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    10,322
    Joined:
    May 12, 2013
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    The basswood Fender ST-62 I bought in Japan in February is killer!! I would add quite acceptable looking. It’s a 2001 and the finish has held up just fine. I want to get another fiesta red one before I leave here!! Quite light and super fun to play!

    9D6FBBE3-1756-4741-8A84-F8AE8E234E7F.jpeg C9DC8C7B-0A5D-4E3C-89F3-C3BB59534EDA.jpeg
     
    8barlouie and hollowman like this.
  3. cometazzi

    cometazzi Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    376
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2019
    Location:
    Wisconsin, Das Land von Käse und Bier
    Unrelated: a basswood 12-string kit body that I was putting bog standard Poly on last summer:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    This piece is rare in that basswood doesn't typically show any grain.
     
    8barlouie and 4pickupguy like this.
  4. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    52,424
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Location:
    New Orleans, LA + in the
    Nice.

    Yes, I think nice basswood with real beauty is hard to come by. But that's what we used.
     
  5. LetItGrowTone

    LetItGrowTone Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    211
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2019
    Location:
    U.S.
    If you can, buy a Glarry and learn first hand. Surprised me.
     
    Ronzo and 8barlouie like this.
  6. cometazzi

    cometazzi Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    376
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2019
    Location:
    Wisconsin, Das Land von Käse und Bier
    I bought the kit on eBay and expected it to be plain, ugly or worse. I had plans of painting this guitar white or similar, but when I cracked it open and saw that grain, I was all "oh damn, this is going to get a natural finish".

    It's got an 'oops' on the butt end but I don't care. This will mostly be covered up with the strap:

    [​IMG]
     
    8barlouie likes this.
  7. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,003
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2015
    Location:
    europe
    People were also like "volute=bad" and "Gibson bolt-on=bad". People still follow the second, dealers price them high anyway.
     
    telemnemonics likes this.
  8. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    21,026
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    Are you certain that's basswood?
    I've only seen white, not that grainy brown with orange, pretty piece of wood!
    Light weight?
     
  9. Al33

    Al33 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    63
    Posts:
    19
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2020
    Location:
    El Paso, Texas
    I think basswood bodies sound the best but they are soft and ding easily.
     
    8barlouie likes this.
  10. NWinther

    NWinther Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    52
    Posts:
    1,755
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Location:
    Denmark Solbjerg.
    And the world spins....
     
  11. EspyHop

    EspyHop Tele-Holic

    Age:
    46
    Posts:
    536
    Joined:
    May 28, 2018
    Location:
    Dayton, OH
    Body wood absolutely makes a difference.

    IME, I’ve tried the Seymour Duncan Broadcaster pickup in a poplar, ash, and alder Teles. It sounds best in the poplar Tele (the one in my avatar) and almost as good in the ash. It didn’t work that well in the alder body for some reason, but the American Standard pickup I replaced it with sounds amazing in that guitar.
     
    Jakedog, 8barlouie and mad dog like this.
  12. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,369
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Location:
    South Australia
    Have used at least 6 or more types of woods in builds I favour Ash for electrics and East Indian Rosewood for acoustics. Most Mahogany types are lovely to work with.
     
  13. 8barlouie

    8barlouie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    4,339
    Joined:
    May 9, 2015
    Location:
    Southeast Massachusetts
    Perhaps this should or has already been discussed. I noticed poplar is available for guitar bodies at Warmoth IIRC. And if memory serves me correctly (which is about a 50/50 shot), you save money by selecting poplar. I just assumed since poplar is thought of disdainfully, that it would be a compromise.
     
  14. sk25

    sk25 Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    204
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2013
    Location:
    Alabama
    This. This, so much. And you know what? If basswood was the cheap, plentiful wood of the day, he would have used that, then everyone would be talking about the superiority of basswood over that dull, cheap sounding ash and alder those overseas companies are using these days.

    All the wood does is color the sound of the guitar a little bit. And due the nature of organic material, it's not even consistent between species or even different pieces of the same tree.
     
    Ronzo, Jakedog and 8barlouie like this.
  15. 8barlouie

    8barlouie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    4,339
    Joined:
    May 9, 2015
    Location:
    Southeast Massachusetts
  16. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    21,792
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2003
    Location:
    Ontario County
    If basswood was 20 dollars a board foot, everyone would love it. Being one of the cheaper domestic hardwoods has its disadvantages. Basswood is one of the more stable woods, along with mahogany. It's easy to work and requires no grain filling. Density depends on which board you select. Half of the Charvel and Jackson pointy peghead type guitars were basswood.
     
  17. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    18,352
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Location:
    The North Coast
    Did Charvel and Jackson use Basswood? I’m not saying you’re wrong, just that I don’t remember that. I was WAY into them, and even sold them for a while. I remember the majority of their lines being poplar. But I’m old now, I may be losing my marbles.
     
  18. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    21,792
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2003
    Location:
    Ontario County

    Charvels were more likely basswood and poplar. Jackson's were more high end being neck throughs in the beginning.

    https://www.sweetwater.com/c590--Jackson_Basswood_Solidbody_Guitars
     
  19. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    18,352
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Location:
    The North Coast
    I see them using a lot of basswood NOW. I think most were poplar early on. I’m talking late 70’s - Early 90’s. I think most of the neck thru models (Jackson Soloist, Charvel model 6) were maple with poplar wings. Charvel also messed briefly with full maple bodies on a couple models, but damn were they heavy!

    I know for sure my late 80’s MIA Fusion Pro was poplar. As were all my Charvels from that time period. My 90’s PS7 was poplar. My Charvel TTX was ash, as was my LSX III, but they’re both super rare oddballs.

    I miss my old soloist. One of these days I’ll find an old model 6 to replace it with. They’re more affordable and basically the same guitar. Just MIJ vs MIA.
     
    telemnemonics likes this.
  20. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    21,792
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2003
    Location:
    Ontario County

    That's because it isn't likely basswood, but probably is paulonia. Basswood will show some grain with a coat of oil, but it isn't that distinct and colorful. I used 1000 BF of basswood every year for 30 years and not one piece looked like that.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2020
    telemnemonics likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.