Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #117663  by snogaws
 Mon Aug 20, 2012 3:45 pm
Hey guys,

I'm building a bass in the style of the one below, but I don't know what body wood I should use. I'm buying a Modulus 6 string bass neck, and want to preserve the modulus tone, but still have a nice looking bass. I'm also torn between making the bass black, putting carbon fiber veneer on it to look like graphite, or to give it a black tint. Your input is greatly appreciated. This is my first time building a bass. or at least the body.

 #117666  by Rusty the Scoob
 Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:43 pm
Depends on what tone you're after. I'd say Swamp Ash might be a nice match for the graphite neck, it has a nice natural mid-scoop which would be a nice head-start toward Phil's 90's tone. But if you want a warmer tone, alder and mahogany are both nice.

Or you might want to see what Modulus uses for a body wood on the Quantum basses.
 #117897  by Mosfed
 Sat Aug 25, 2012 7:08 pm
Swamp Ash is good for just about anything. If you want to get fancy and black match it with an Ebony top
 #117921  by zambiland
 Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:28 pm
My vote is for mahogany. I made a mahogany body for my Q6 neck and it sounded great. I replaced it with a Modulus body (ash body with burl maple cap), which is ergonomically a bit better but definitely a down grade in tone. My Starfire, Alembic and David King fretless 5 all have mahogany bodies and all sound great.
 #118141  by NorthboundRain
 Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:05 am
The neck of a (bass) guitar has more effect on tone than the body so you can can put that on anything and it will still sound like a Modulus.

Swamp Ash, Alder, and Mahogany are the Big 3 when it comes to solidbody electrics. Describing "Tone" with words is always subjective but Warmoth does a pretty good job here... ... tions.aspx

My recomendation would be Alder since it's less porous than the other two and easier to finish.

As for the top I like the ebony idea but I'd probably go with black dyed Flame Maple and then spray the back black with a very slight burstover on the front.