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 Post subject: Fender Japan - Basswood vs. Alder
PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:21 pm 
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I just put together a 62 Jazz Reissiue in Fiesta Red from all original Fender Japan parts.

My question is bodywood. All of the Fender custom colors have Basswood specified as their body wood. The Sunburst and solid colors have Alder specified as their body wood. But, I hve seen for sale many recent custom color basses that are said to have Alder bodies and that Fender Japan is using Alder for all of their bodies now.

First question. Does anybody know if the current body wood on Japan made 62 Reissue Jazz Basses in custom colors is Alder or Basswood?

Second question. What is everyones feelings about Basswood? I have one AM 62' Reissue in Alder and one MIJ 62' Reissue in Basswood. I definately like the tone of the Alder one better. It has more growl and that pronounced Jazz Bass midrange tone. The Basswood sounds more mellow with less growl to it. That is why I was hoping Fender Japan did indeed switch to Alder.

Thanks for any information anyone has.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 1:52 pm 
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Hi:

I was told basswood is similar to Alder for tone and weight, but it's not a "Pretty Wood" there is not a lot of grain pattern.

I've been playing a MIJ P-Bass for 21 years. Mostly the colored guitars use Basswood, Alder for the Sunburst to see the grain

There might be a slight tone difference but I have never noticed it


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 2:30 pm 
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guido - thanks for the reply.

I went online to the link below that has quite a bit to say about guitar body woods. Not much on how it affects a bass guitar, but probably similar in tone.

http://www.jemsite.com/jem/wood.htm

Here is an excerpt:

Body Woods

Basswood:
Basswood is a soft wood with tight grains. Its relatively inexpensive of all the usual guitar woods, and it’s easy on router bits in the factory, easy to sand, and easy to seal and finish. The softness of basswood means that sharp highs are dampened and smoothened. That helps offset the tinny sound associated with knife edged tremolo contacts. The softness also fosters a weaker low end. It’s light in weight, but not because of large pores. Rather it’s low in mass overall. Deep, breathy sub-lows aren’t resonated in Basswood. The reduction in these outer frequencies leaves the mids pronounced in a hypothetical response curve. Its very suitable for the typical guitar range, and very suitable for lead guitar, because of its pronounced “out front” sound. Complex overtones are muted along with the highs leaving a strong fundamental tone.

Production notes: Japanese factories like Ibanez seem to get a tan colored, more uniform Basswood while other Asian factories get a more flawed yellowish basswood. And there seems to be a big difference in tone. A clearer, darker Basswood should produce more sound, while the yellowish lower grade seems to have more of the undesirable tonal qualities of Poplar. A hardtail emphasizes the reduced dynamics of the outer frequencies.


Alder:
Alder is light in weight with soft tight pores like Basswood. But there is a large swirling grain pattern to it with harder rings and sections. So imagine a Basswood type texture but with harder rings peppered throughout. That adds to the stiffness, and the complexity of the tones. It retains more of the highs that Basswood softens, but also gives some room to the lows. You have a broader spectrum of tones, which leads to the perception of a little less mids than Basswood.

Production notes: Not much difference between factories, production


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 4:50 pm 
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That's some great info there. Thanks...

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