Bass Body Weight vs Neck Weight... What's the ideal balance?

PrestonSF

Active member
Messages
56
Hello,
I'm a new builder, and I'm confused.  I've only played one bass ever that I didn't think was "heavy."  It was the Fender Aerodyne J Bass...  Anyways, it seems like everything I read about Warmoth basses is all good, but pretty much every review or just-finished post I read says "sounds great but sooo heavy," or "neck much too heavy for body"...

So, what's the ideal balace?  It seems like around 5.5 lbs for a J bass body seems like the middle of the road.  I realize the sound I'm going for plays a part, but are there any "definately bad" combinations of body vs. neck woods?  Do you not want "ultra light" tuners unless you're already experiencing neck dive?  I was thinking an Alder g4 with padouk or wenge neck and fretless pau ferro fingerboard... 

Thanks for the responses, and sorry for being such a newb :)
 

line6man

Senior member
Messages
6,443
PrestonSF said:
I was thinking an Alder g4 with padouk or wenge neck and fretless pau ferro fingerboard... 

Dude seriously, you have the same idea in mind as the bass i am working on  :icon_biggrin:...

I am pairing a 5lb 8oz Alder Jazz body with a Padouk/Pau Ferro neck (unlined fretless) with Hipshot Ultralites.

I was really freaked out about neck dive, but everyone here pretty much convinced me that i would be fine, but i am still a bit uneasy.
I guess the only thing i can do is just wait and see, but hopefully it will balance out ok.
If you can wait another month, i will probably have an answer on how well the woods balance.
 

PrestonSF

Active member
Messages
56
Dude seriously, you have the same idea in mind as the bass i am working on  :icon_biggrin:...

If you can wait another month, i will probably have an answer on how well the woods balance.

Cool thanks for the info.  Yeah, I was thinking, I like everything about an Alder body and maple neck, so I guess I want something with classic balanced voice, but with an exotic woods twist.  Too many Alder fretlesses out there with maple necks and rosewood boards....

And, no.  I can't wait!  I need it now!!!  :laughing7:
 

GoDrex

Senior member
Messages
3,619
well don't forget that line6man was talking about playing sitting down mostly - it's a whole other thing when you're standing up, with a strap.
 

SlingBass

Senior member
Messages
609
Another truly subjective topic  :dontknow:

*I* love the sound and vibe of alder bodies. My main go-to Jazz has a bubinga/ebony neck. Neck dive? You betcha - BUT it matters not, as (standing) the neck usually points to 3 o'clock...where I often play. I wear the bass slightly high, and it works for me. My 2nd main-stay alder bodied P-Bass has a bloodwood/bloodwood neck, and is less prone to dive. It doesn't matter sitting/standing as I'm constantly shifting a bass around on my body and where both hands are on the instruments.

IF you're really that worried about balance (as opposed to tone and posture) find a heavy alder, ash, or (enter choice) and use lighter neck woods - the weights are provided when ordering. I buy tuners for stability in tone and tune - how much they may add in mass is neglible.
 

line6man

Senior member
Messages
6,443
I do all my playing sitting in a squeaky armrest-less office chair in my home studio.

Damn, do you guys really think that i was going to base my entire experience on sitting down?
Obviously i am going to try it both ways to see how bad the neck dive is.
 
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