Choosing the Right Woods for a Custom 7 Baritone?

Discussion in 'Sevenstring Guitars' started by Carl Kolchak, Oct 7, 2020.

  1. Carl Kolchak

    Carl Kolchak Last of the famous international playboys

    Messages:
    1,872
    Likes Received:
    752
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    I have a custom build starting in a couple of months. It's a 7-string with a 27" neck that will be tuned to G standard and hit with a lot of gain. I was thinking of going with a basswood body and a maple neck, as I'm not digging swamp ash or mahogany atm on account of the extraneous flub.

    So might there be a better choice than basswood for more focused mids and highs?
     
  2. _MonSTeR_

    _MonSTeR_ SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,068
    Likes Received:
    827
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    Location:
    England
    I always worry that folks who go for a custom instrument and then feel the need to ask for advice have probably bitten off more than they needed to chew so to speak.

    That said, I always think that in general, alder tends to be a bit more focussed in mids and highs than basswood which tends to sound more spongy to my ears, but I also think that having the right pickups for the woods help as well.

    Questioning the general consensus on woods, but so many djent machines are made from swamp ash because it fights the flub, that I wonder what sound you’re going for that you think it’s a ‘flubby’ sounding wood?
     
    soldierkahn, odibrom and Wolfhorsky like this.
  3. TimSE

    TimSE Contributor

    Messages:
    4,499
    Likes Received:
    1,259
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2007
    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    Your pickups are vastly more important than the woods, so I wouldn't stress over it too much.

    As for Basswood, it would be a good choice. I used to hate it on the old ibanez guitars I had but completely 180'ed when I got a JP7 (all basswood body) with a BKP miracle man bridge pup. I had that down in A and was a monster! Basswood with a high output pickup will be just right for what youre after I think
     
  4. budda

    budda Do not criticize as this Contributor

    Messages:
    26,012
    Likes Received:
    7,155
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Location:
    London ONT
    Ask the builder?
     
    mastapimp and bostjan like this.
  5. akinari

    akinari SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    627
    Likes Received:
    507
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2013
    I have a basswood guitar with a maple neck tuned down to Ab and it's one of the most aggressive sounding guitars I have. You should be fine, just get a badass pickup.
     
    Carl Kolchak likes this.
  6. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire thy fart is murder

    Messages:
    15,205
    Likes Received:
    15,337
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2015
    Location:
    Minnesota
    wood really doesn't matter for solid body guitars ime. Pick woods for aesthetic reasons. I've had bright and tight mahogany, swamp ash, alder and limba guitars. I've also had dark and murky sounding mahogany, basswood and pine guitars. All of which were either helped or hurt by pickup swaps and amp settings.
    It's hard to figure out how to tailor the sound of a guitar until you spend some time with it.
     
    Vyn, Masoo2, xzacx and 2 others like this.
  7. The Spanish Inquisition

    The Spanish Inquisition Unexpected

    Messages:
    2,326
    Likes Received:
    646
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2012
    Location:
    Utrecht
    Honestly, wood doesn't matter as much as you might think. However, swamp ash or similar looks killer, especially with a porous finish.
     
    Masoo2 likes this.
  8. Lorcan Ward

    Lorcan Ward 7slinger

    Messages:
    5,850
    Likes Received:
    2,945
    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    Location:
    Ireland
    Construction? Pickups?

    With baritones bright woods + pickups can quickly get harsh and very hard to dial out. I see a lot of people order baritones and then end up selling them when they didn't spec them out right. If you're looking for tight hi-gain in low tunings I'd recommend a black limba body. It doesn't have the flub mahogany can have.
     
    Themistocles and Carl Kolchak like this.
  9. Carl Kolchak

    Carl Kolchak Last of the famous international playboys

    Messages:
    1,872
    Likes Received:
    752
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    This is good, because "old basswood Ibanez" is what I'm shooting for.
     
    TimSE likes this.
  10. Wolfhorsky

    Wolfhorsky Regular idiot

    Messages:
    1,575
    Likes Received:
    920
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2014
    Location:
    Wadowice, Poland
    Construction and pickups play far more important role. The neck wood and construction have vastly greater influence on the final result. The alder is one of the most consistent woods out there. It is quite important to point out that when we compare the different pieces of the same wood species we have a big varietyof resonance frequencies, stiffness, density etc. Maple-alder or maple-ultralight swamp ash is my fav combo.
     
    Carl Kolchak and _MonSTeR_ like this.
  11. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

    Messages:
    15,772
    Likes Received:
    4,192
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Location:
    St. Johnsbury, VT USA
    Just have fun with it!©

    I mean, get a used prestige.®

    Seriously, though, I'd talk to the builder first and go from there. Honestly, different specimens of the same species of wood can colour your sound in vastly different ways, and your builder will likely know best.
     
    cip 123, Vyn, mastapimp and 4 others like this.
  12. chance0

    chance0 SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    25
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2005
    Yup. Tonewoods aren't really a thing for electrics. Just get what looks best.
     
  13. Señor Voorhees

    Señor Voorhees SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    2,092
    Likes Received:
    670
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Woonsocket, RI
    If you don't even know what woods you want, don't buy a custom.
     
    _MonSTeR_ likes this.
  14. Masoo2

    Masoo2 SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,184
    Likes Received:
    417
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2014
    Location:
    NC, USA
    I put woods (other than top and fretboard woods for aesthetic reasons) at the bottom of priority list when it comes to judging or speccing guitars. Heck, I'd argue I don't even consider it practically at all.

    See no problem in ordering a custom without caring about the body wood when there's other more essential specs you're concerned about, such as scale length, fretboard radius, neutral fret, neck profile, body shape, weight, top wood/finish/aesthetic, electronics/wiring, bridge, ergonomics, etc. all of which are much more legitimate of reasons to order a custom than "yeah but what if this Ibanez had a swamp ash body?" imo.

    That being said, go aesthetic if there's something that catches your eye. Black limba, deep mahogany, roasted ash, or see through/porous/sandblasted ash are my favorites assuming it's not a solid finish over the back. If not, stick with the classics like basswood, swamp ash, alder, or mahogany.
     
  15. Bearitone

    Bearitone SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    4,719
    Likes Received:
    2,076
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Different woods won’t fix flub but pickups will.

    The best guitar woods are the ones that give you a very light weight but, very rigid overall construction. In my experience at least.

    I would do the body out of roasted ash and the neck out whatever is lightest but, have him add carbon fiber or graphite reinforcement rods
     
    budda likes this.
  16. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    4,094
    Likes Received:
    4,287
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    china
    Wood is wood.
     
    Iamcam likes this.
  17. syndrone

    syndrone You Must Listen To SYNDRONE

    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    73
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2010
    Location:
    BS, Switzerland
    In my opinion it is not about the wood per se but more about the density of the chosen piece. A dense piece of swamp ash will sound significantly different than a very light one.
    Construction, setup and how you play that instrument will probably have the most influence on how it sounds, though. :2c:
     
    Jonathan20022 and Carl Kolchak like this.
  18. Carl Kolchak

    Carl Kolchak Last of the famous international playboys

    Messages:
    1,872
    Likes Received:
    752
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    stfu
     
  19. Carl Kolchak

    Carl Kolchak Last of the famous international playboys

    Messages:
    1,872
    Likes Received:
    752
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Not always.

    I swapped the stock pups (Lithiums) out of a flub prone Kiesel DC700 with a BKP VHII. That, according to the magic pickup proponents, should have fixed things, shouldn't it have? Yet it didn't. The Kiesel still sounded, for all intents and purposes, tonally the same, except now it's noticeably clearer sounding thanks to those BKPs.

    So no, in this case, pickups did not fix the flub.
     
  20. budda

    budda Do not criticize as this Contributor

    Messages:
    26,012
    Likes Received:
    7,155
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Location:
    London ONT
    What did the builder suggest?
     

Share This Page