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dtrice
Intermediate Member
Username: dtrice

Post Number: 111
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Thursday, September 06, 2007 - 1:17 pm:   Edit Post

Hey, I'm considering a few different woods for my future custom. I think I've narrowed it down to probably either Coco Bolo (obviously very popular) or Redwood Burl (I think it looks great). My wildcard choice would be a Maple. I was hoping to get your opinions on these woods, especially tonally. If you want to bear in mind that I am planning on Triple-Omega body with 3 ebony laminates.
fasteddy
New
Username: fasteddy

Post Number: 9
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Thursday, September 06, 2007 - 2:20 pm:   Edit Post

Old man's recollection:
Coco Bola is heavy, man .. and real Hard with a capital H = hard to machine or cut or sand or smooth.
Redwood Brul is light weight ... but spotty in hardness, some areas are soft, others are harder.
Maple is also quite light weight compared to central american hard woods, and relatively uniform as to hardness, but pretty easy to machine (and scratch).
Fortunately I'm more into electronics than woodworking, otherwise I might try to convince you to use Maple for the body and Coco Bola as a veneer ... or something else
flaxattack
Senior Member
Username: flaxattack

Post Number: 1657
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Thursday, September 06, 2007 - 7:00 pm:   Edit Post

coco bolo sounds the best....
end of story
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 5496
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Thursday, September 06, 2007 - 8:18 pm:   Edit Post

I don't have a Coco Bola bass; but my Maple S1 sounds wonderful.
the_8_string_king
Senior Member
Username: the_8_string_king

Post Number: 763
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Thursday, September 06, 2007 - 8:22 pm:   Edit Post

Hi Daniel.

Here are some of my thoughts, to help you with your request for input.

First off all, I'm going to provide you with two links pertaining to you question (all on this site) that you may or may not have seen:
(1): http://www.alembic.com/info/custom_options.html -read "tone woods" at the very top.
(2): http://www.alembic.com/info/woodsamples.html -scroll down to "body woods" and click on each of the individual body woods for a description of the sound of each wood.

In case you don't know, as a rule, on Alembic neck throughs, with their construction methods, the neck woods have the biggest impact on sound; then the body woods; then the top/front and (if applicable) back woods.

I see you intend to get Ebony neck laminates. This is an excellent choice, and will have a dramatic and massive effect on the sound. It increases both the overall sustain, and -in particular- the sustain of the fundamental/lowest partial substantially. You have to hear it to appreciate it.

Mica tells me that they currently tend to recommend just 1 or 2 Ebony laminates in general, 3 at most. This is because the influence/effect on the sound is so substantial, it's almost overwhelming. And they say you can get virtually the same effect (of a full complement of "every other laminate" of Ebony) with only a few laminates.

So keep this in mind. The more Ebony you have in the neck, the more it will influence your overall sound, and (conversely) the less relevent other top/back and body wood choices will be. If you really want to hear the effect of your top (and back woods -if applicable) you may consider reducing the Ebony laminates to one or two. For further info, consult the experts -Mica and/or Susan.

If you click those links, you'll see that Maple tends to sound very bright, and Mahogany -the standard "default" body wood tends to sound warm/rich/neutral. They call Coco Bolo "the Crown Jewel of tone woods" and hold it in regard -especially in conjunction with a Mahogany body -though many club members have their custom Coco Bolo basses built with Maple bodys.

I have no experience with Redwood... but the description(s) I've seen on the site refer to it as having similar tonal characteristics to Maple... very Bright.

Will Gunn has an absolutely stunning custom Burl Redwood Balance K 5-string for sale. There is a picture of it if you scroll down in this thread. Note the Ebony laminate in the middle: http://alembic.com/club/messages/631/34682.html?1168461535

Hope my thoughts are helpful to you, and good luck on your future custom!
mica
Moderator
Username: mica

Post Number: 4798
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Friday, September 07, 2007 - 12:24 pm:   Edit Post

Your three wood selections are very distinctive tonally. These are three woods that most people should be able to distinguish.

Maple is generally a bright sounding wood. Eastern Maples are brighter, Western Maples (so-called "soft" Maples) have more "shimmer" on the decay.

Redwood is a relative newcomer to our build list, but we really like it. It's sort of the opposite of Maple, with a big bass response. It sounds very much like Schedua, a wood we used in the 70's alot, but it's much more attractive.

Coco Bolo is our "house wood" because it's both bright and dark sounding, very complex tone. This makes the instrument versatile.

The neck has the most to say wood-wise on an Alembic bass, especially on the neck through models. You're planning on 3 Ebony neck laminates, and that will pretty much dominate the sound. The other woods will have some influence, but you will mainly hear the Ebony in the neck.

Unless you're selecting a hollow core option, the main body wood has the next greatest impact on the sound.

Finally, the top and back laminates come into play. Depending on what you choose for the neck and body woods, you can be more free to choose the top and back based on looks. I'd need to know more about what sonic goals you have to give more specific advice.
dtrice
Intermediate Member
Username: dtrice

Post Number: 114
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Saturday, September 08, 2007 - 8:07 pm:   Edit Post

Understood, Mica. My current Alembic has a Walnut core and Flame Maple laminates. I like that it seems to have a very quick response, but I find it a little lacking in the bottom. Is the 'bright' Maple causing this?
dtrice
Intermediate Member
Username: dtrice

Post Number: 127
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Thursday, September 20, 2007 - 1:00 pm:   Edit Post

I am leaning towards a Triple Omega body shape, but I have never played that shape. What are the reviews of this particular body shape?
mica
Moderator
Username: mica

Post Number: 4826
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Thursday, September 20, 2007 - 3:23 pm:   Edit Post

Best for standing. If you practice alot sitting down, it's not particularly comfortable on the thigh.
bigbadbill
Advanced Member
Username: bigbadbill

Post Number: 397
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, September 21, 2007 - 2:57 am:   Edit Post

As Mica says, it tends to dig into your thigh when sitting. Fine for standing though, although as with any of the bigger-bodied Alembics, it doesn't make for the world's lightest bass. Still, assuming you can cope with a 10lb+ bass,the aesthetics are worth it. :-)
jacko
Senior Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 1360
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Friday, September 21, 2007 - 4:16 am:   Edit Post

How are you getting on with yours now Bill? Have you found a way to support the weight without hurting your back?

graeme
the_8_string_king
Senior Member
Username: the_8_string_king

Post Number: 824
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Saturday, September 22, 2007 - 8:38 pm:   Edit Post

Here's a thought: Get a Coco Bolo top, bookmatched to center, with a Flame Maple body, and Burl Redwood for the back!!! That would make for a visually and sonically stunning recipe!

And maybe Mahogany neck laminates for the outer neck pair -to get some of that great warmth in there!

Hey... the Triple Omegas a cool shape, but it'll be heavy -especially if you have Coco Bolo and Ebony neck laminates.

Have you considered a Scorpion body? It seems similar to the Triple O -but is most surely lighter, and would be easier to play sitting.

Another club member recently got an incredibly bitchin' 10-string custom Scorpion with Coco Bolo and Ebony neck laminates:
http://alembic.com/club/messages/631/21834.html?1182300784

(Message edited by the 8 string king on September 23, 2007)
dtrice
Intermediate Member
Username: dtrice

Post Number: 128
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Monday, September 24, 2007 - 9:41 am:   Edit Post

You know, Mark, I was actually considering that in the back of my head. Maybe I'll settle on bookmatched to center Coco Bolo front/back (for the reputation of great tone). Mahogony or Walnut body. Ebony/Mahogony Neck. I'd like a binding of a sort to outline the great outline of it. Maybe Flame Maple laminate around the body? I think that the light beauty of the Maple would really accent the curves of the dark Coco.
dtrice
Intermediate Member
Username: dtrice

Post Number: 129
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Monday, September 24, 2007 - 9:43 am:   Edit Post

Man I can't wait to get out of school and start pulling some real money down. All this talking is making me go crazy with anticipation.
fasteddy
New
Username: fasteddy

Post Number: 10
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Monday, September 24, 2007 - 10:11 am:   Edit Post

" Man I can't wait to get out of school and start pulling some real money down. ..."

Me too ... and I just turned 63.

Hey, man, stay in school as long as you can ... Its where the women are.
dtrice
Intermediate Member
Username: dtrice

Post Number: 130
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Tuesday, September 25, 2007 - 11:35 am:   Edit Post

"Its where the women are." -- Truer words were never spoken.
dtrice
Intermediate Member
Username: dtrice

Post Number: 131
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2007 - 11:37 am:   Edit Post

I was looking at a beautiful series 1 76-572, I think. It had a Lacewood top. To me Lacewood (at least this particular piece) greatly resembles birds-eye maple. Is this common? How do they compare tonally?
the_8_string_king
Senior Member
Username: the_8_string_king

Post Number: 904
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Tuesday, October 30, 2007 - 5:26 pm:   Edit Post

It's well-known that the Maples tend to be bright; I don't know about Lacewood... but Beaver Felton at Bass Central has owned a Lacewood Series I for a LONG time... and he's played/heard/sold a LOT of Alembics.

So if you don't get a satisfactory answer, he might be a person to call to ask... he even has a toll-free #.

If you click "Alembic dealers" on the main page, and look for dealers in Florida, you can easily find his info.

Mark
briant
New
Username: briant

Post Number: 8
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 10:07 am:   Edit Post

I'll echo what others have said about the triple omega body shape: it's pretty heavy and it isn't very comfortable to play sitting down.

That said I do three hour+ sets a night with mine with no problems. Plus it looks bitchin.

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