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Ash or Alder?

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Woods influence the sound of the bass? Has there ever been any scientific proof or is it just an assumption?

The reason why I ask is that there is lots of nonsense sprouted in the audiophile world of "break-in periods" and such like which don't exist except in the audiophile's mind, or that gold cables influence the quality of the sound.

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15 minutes ago, TheLowDown said:

Woods influence the sound of the bass? Has there ever been any scientific proof or is it just an assumption?

The reason why I ask is that there is lots of nonsense sprouted in the audiophile world of "break-in periods" and such like which don't exist except in the audiophile's mind, or that gold cables influence the quality of the sound.

Whadya mean?  My £9000/metre holographic linear quantised 100% pure unobtainium speaker interconnects are absolutely essential for my listening pleasure!

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I personally think it definitely matters. Even if that’s just in my head, that’s where it matters so that’s all there is to it!

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Wood has no impact or influence on the sound. That's why classical luthier use only recycled cardboard to make instruments.

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40 minutes ago, Hellzero said:

Wood has no impact or influence on the sound. That's why classical luthier use only recycled cardboard to make instruments.

Don't confuse acoustic instruments with solid electric ones. The role that the wood plays in each is completely different.

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Some say wood affects the sound, some say it doesn't. All I can say is I recently built two identical Jazz style basses, both 5 string 35" scale, both with EMG X jazz pickups and same preamp. Only difference was one was ash and the other Alder. Both had a cottonwood burl top, but the ash bass was a little heavier. I really couldn't hear any difference in sound.

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1 hour ago, BigRedX said:

Don't confuse acoustic instruments with solid electric ones. The role that the wood plays in each is completely different.

An electric instrument is before all an acoustic instrument. Many tend to forget it.

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33 minutes ago, Chopthebass said:

Some say wood affects the sound, some say it doesn't. All I can say is I recently built two identical Jazz style basses, both 5 string 35" scale, both with EMG X jazz pickups and same preamp. Only difference was one was ash and the other Alder. Both had a cottonwood burl top, but the ash bass was a little heavier. I really couldn't hear any difference in sound.

Put anything else than active EMG's and you'll hear a difference. Put active EMG's on any bass, they all sound the same.

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5 hours ago, TheLowDown said:

Woods influence the sound of the bass? Has there ever been any scientific proof or is it just an assumption?

The reason why I ask is that there is lots of nonsense sprouted in the audiophile world of "break-in periods" and such like which don't exist except in the audiophile's mind, or that gold cables influence the quality of the sound.

Gold cables do influence the sound(as do silver ones), depending on what audio equipment you partner them with. Some audio equipment does have  a break-in time, some doesn't. And most decent hi-fi sounds better when it's warmed up than played from cold. I know this to be so because I have heard the difference myself at  first-hand. 

Wood is one of many factors that define the sound of a bass. Bear in mind we are talking about nuances, but,  in an aesthetic pursuit such as music ,nuances are really  important. 

 

 

Edited by Misdee

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1 hour ago, Misdee said:

Gold cables do influence the sound(as do silver ones), depending on what audio equipment you partner them with. Some audio equipment does have  a break-in time, some doesn't. And most decent hi-fi sounds better when it's warmed up than played from cold. I know this to be so because I have heard the difference myself at  first-hand. 

Wood is one of many factors that define the sound of a bass. Bear in mind we are talking about nuances, but in an aesthetic pursuit such as music nuances are really  important. 

 

 

Although 40 years of playing bass have left me with cloth ears, even I can tell that my antique Naim CD player sounds shite for the first hour after powering up.

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1 minute ago, martthebass said:

Although 40 years of playing bass have left me with cloth ears, even I can tell that my antique Naim CD player sounds shite for the first hour after powering up.

I bet it sounds pretty damn good after that though!😀

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All this begs the question, if wood doesn't influence the tone of a bass, what does?

On Basschat we periodically debate whether body wood , fingerboard wood, bridges, pickups ect make any difference to the sonic character of any given instrument. There are always those who are dismissive. Something must make a bass sound the way it does! 

Edited by Misdee

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Pickup position is number one in my book. Then the response of the bass is influenced by construction and stiffness of the body/neck. 

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18 minutes ago, ped said:

Pickup position is number one in my book. Then the response of the bass is influenced by construction and stiffness of the body/neck. 

Totally agree with that.

Wiring, too i.e series vs parallel.  A Stingray, for example, sounds the way it does because of the pickup placement , yes, but equally  the fact that it is wired in parallel. 

Edited by Misdee

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9 minutes ago, Misdee said:

Totally agree with that.

Wiring, too i.e series vs parallel.  A Stingray, for example, sounds the way it does because of the pickup placement , yes, but equally  the fact that it is wired in parallel. 

True that, you get a feel for the difference in the Sterling bass. I love the series sound on the Sterling.

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36 minutes ago, Misdee said:

There are always those who are dismissive. Something must make a bass sound the way it does! 

Must admit, I'm firmly in the sceptical camp. I need a fully scientific experiment to test every variable in a fully blind test before I'll agree that wood has anything but the most miniscule effect on tone. 

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Blind tests are not scientific at all and scientific experiments are not scientific either.

Science is not the truth, because science is always late.

Trust yourself, not the others opinions.

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26 minutes ago, martthebass said:

True that, you get a feel for the difference in the Sterling bass. I love the series sound on the Sterling.

Yes, louder with much more prominent mids. 

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I think at the end of the day a bass built from the finest woods poorly will sound poor and a bass built from the poorest woods finely will sound fine. 

Edited by binky_bass
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11 minutes ago, Hellzero said:

Blind tests are not scientific at all and scientific experiments are not scientific either.

Science is not the truth, because science is always late.

Trust yourself, not the others opinions.

What?! No point in discussing this any further, I'm going to 'off topic' where at least you expect this level of nonsense.

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