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The sound of wood

Mats Olsson.

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I have been eying a bass* for a while, it is available in two different woods and it would be of great help if someone could tell me the sonic characteristics of Basswood and Elm.


* OLP MM2 (Stingray copy). It will be used mainly as a backup instrument. All raves/rants/opinions on this instument (and the 5-string OLP MM3) are also very much apreciated.





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When do we want it? Later!

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I havent heard ANYTHING about Elm as a tonewood...but basswood has been used for lots of instruments.


They may be using elm instead of ash for their natural finishes to get a nice grain pattern similar to ash at a lower price.


I would listen carefully to both and make your decision based on that...

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there was some discussion about this over at talkbass.com -- elm is very similar to something else, but since i'm not registered there, i can't search for it.


elm is fine. it's the wood used for their natural finishes. i like basswood, as it is very lightweight and resonant. basswood growls a lot.



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OLP's 5-string is on my short list of basses that I'd like to get next. Even though it's passive, it's hard to deny the price/performance ratio this instrument has. My only beef is that the action's too low, and that they put skinny strings on the things, but that can easily be fixed. Maybe if you run it through something like a TubeWorks Blue Tube pedal (esp for solid state amps), then it'll sound really nice. :)
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I've also never heard of elm being used. Basswood is not that popular here either. Are the OLP versions you see being made closer to where you live? Maybe those woods are more readily available in other locations.


I've played OLP MMs here, and generally liked them. I did have one that looked like it wasn't put together properly (or was abused at the store), so take a good hard look. I thought they were pretty cool!!




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Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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Somewhere on the Ed Roman Guitars website there is a page about tone woods. He gives some reasonable descriptions of the color, tone, and nature of different woods for guitars and basses. Maybe there's some helpful info there about basswood and elm? Maybe not?



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I built my P-Bass out of Basswood and it sounds fine. I think I'm one minor pick-up upgrade away from a really fine instrument!!


I've never heard of Elm being used but I bet that would look great with a natural finish.


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