Basswood vs Mahogany w/maple top! which is better? - Jemsite
All Other Guitars (including Prestige) Discussion about other Ibanez Guitars not covered in the above topics. Includes J-Custom, USA-Custom, Prestige subforum.

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-29-2004, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 56
Basswood vs Mahogany w/maple top! which is better?

hey everybody

i am deciding on my next guitar.

which one is better for the vai/petrucii/evh tone?

basswood or mahogany w/maple top?
both with the same pickups and 1 piece maple neck/maple fingerboard?

all the j-customs have mahogany w/maple top
so hard to pick.

thanks again
vejiita is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-29-2004, 07:18 PM
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Connecticut, USA
Posts: 406
Petrucci has been using basswood guitars for quite a while. Vai has used his Charvel,miscellaneous guitars, and his Jems which are supposed to be Alder. And EVH has been using whatver over the years.I believe that EVH has recorded with Les Pauls and such.

So being that they all play different guitars with different woods, you'll likely have a hard time finding one guitar that can be like all 3 of these artist's signature guitars/tone.

I can tell you that mahogony has a more extended low end than basswood but basswood has a tighter low end response.Mahogony also has a broader midrange than basswood but basswood's midrange response is more focused.

I can't recommend one over the other unless i know what pickups you use,what amp,gear and cabs you use as well. it would help us if you gave us more info
Paul Secondino is offline  
post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-30-2004, 10:20 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 882
Paul's description of the tonal differences, between basswood and mahogany, sound right. I've also heard them described more simply, by saying that basswood has a similar tone to mahogany, but brighter.

Some of Reb Beach's Surhs are basswood, with a maple top. So are Ty Tabors Zion, and Yamaha signature models. Alot of other guys also swear by this combination.

Eddie Van Halen's Ernie Ball, and Peavey, were also use these two woods.

I suggest going to the local shop, and playing as many guitars as possible, to get a better idea of what will do the trick for you.
whatshisname is offline  
post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-30-2004, 10:54 AM
kennydoe's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 3,422
i have both a basswood jem and a mahogany/maple J-C. The sounds are comparable when cranked up with distortion...however, the J-c wins hands down for pure, clean tone.

I'd say the J-C overall puts out a bit more/warmer low end, which is what the Vai tone is all about. I never dissected the EVH or Petrucci tone.

kennydoe is offline  
post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-12-2004, 12:17 PM
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Va Beach, VA
Posts: 1,416
I've got a JC 1680 (mahog w/maple top) with a tone zone, blue velvet and Paf pro in it. Also have a JC RG Art with TZ and Air Norton (basswood with maple top) and an all basswood UVPWH.

The 1680 has the better clean tone to me, especially with the neck middle split position, it is really nice. High gain on the TZ in the bridge it is very mid focused with a tight low end resonse, really quick. Haven't played this guitar in a band setting yet, but I'd imagine that it will cut through the mix perfectly.

The Art is more even tempered and smoot. It sounds better to my ears with high gain, but the clean tones aren't as inspiring as the 1680...could be the lack of the middle single coil. It's brighter in the split positions which is more petrucci like and it might be your cup of tea. Remember that the top and the fingerboard on this one are both maple, so that may accentuate the brightness a little bit.

My UV is all basswood. This one is a freak of nature, it sounds simply massive. Had a lot of basswood guitars and several other UVs and this one just crushes them all. Don't know why, don't care. With gain it just smokes, big fat tone but even all the way through from low to high. This one is something special.

I tend to like basswood better in general because it seems to be more neutral as a rule. Apparently there is a difference between American basswood and other species. The old jems and UV are made of American basswood (according to Darren at ATD). The Japanese or Asian variety tends to be brighter and more shrill in the top end...but who really knows?
Gresh is offline  
post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-19-2004, 06:05 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Leeds, UK
Posts: 314
I've owned guitars made of Basswood, Swamp Ash, Mahogany and Alder..

i'll describe each one as i can.

Basswood, Very even simplistic guitar tone sits exactly in the middle of what a guitar should sound like, not too bright, not too deep.. fantastic wood.

Swamp Ash, Interesting tone gave this green kind of overtone very lush and warm very very warm!.. great wood.

Mahogany, had a few guitars made of this it kinda dampens the high end responce to my ears but really does go well for chunky playing and killer low end, just think Slash/Zakk Wylde kinda sound when saturated with gain.

Alder, snappy brittle sounding wood with lots of click in it's sound, great for clean tones infact nothing better for clean guitar imo! but not my cup of tea for playing lead.

but like everyones said just try a guitar from each species of wood if u can.. and get an idea which speaks to you the most! for me.. it's Basswood.
ukwan is offline  
post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-25-2004, 06:27 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 916
I just got an RG7CT today and it has a maogany body and a maple top, with blaze pickups and it sound a lot better than my UV777BK does with the same pickups. So I guess I would have to say that mahogany and maple are the best.
phlame is offline  
post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-28-2004, 03:00 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 395
Frank's wood guide may come in handy.

maple on basswood is regarded by some as the best tonewood combination possible. Whereas some prefer the les paul combo.
power freak is offline  

air norton , basswood guitar , basswood guitars , blaze pickups , clean tone , eddie van halen , ernie ball , fat tone , les paul , les pauls , maple fingerboard , maple neck , paf pro , signature guitar , swamp ash , tone zone , van halen , zakk wylde

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Jemsite forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address

IMPORTANT: You will be required to activate your account so please ensure that your email address is correct.

If you do not receive your activation check your spam folder before using the CONTACT US form (at the bottom right of each page).

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mahogany or basswood? marshall_SL12301 All Other Guitars (including Prestige) 15 04-24-2011 11:24 AM
Same pickup in Basswood and Mahogany body hp29 Pickups & wiring 5 10-31-2010 12:24 PM
the difference between alder,mahogany and basswood body? Canadian_Vai_fan All Other Guitars (including Prestige) 11 09-11-2003 06:48 AM
Light Ash, Basswood, Mahogany & Ash? F*Rocker All Other Guitars (including Prestige) 2 12-23-2002 02:02 PM
Basswood vs Mahogany - Can anyone tell me how each of this w Anonymous All Other Guitars (including Prestige) 23 10-04-2002 11:18 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome