Wenge/Bubinga necks - how do they sound? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-16-2017, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
 
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Wenge/Bubinga necks - how do they sound?

Seems that multi-piece necks with wenge & bubinga are popular ATM at Ibanez, especially in the Premium series.

For many months i have wondered how this would influence the sound. So i'd like to ask everyone who have played those models (like RG1070, or the Marco Sfogli model) - what is the sonic difference in comparison to a normal maple neck w- rosewood fretboard?

I know that a full rosewood neck can warm up the sound of a guitar. Is it similar with wenge/bubinga?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 09:01 AM
 
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Re: Wenge/Bubinga necks - how do they sound?

Ah, a tonewood debate.

Personally, I feel that the percent of tone that comes from the pickups and amplifier far, far, far outweigh the contribution of the wood selection. Certainly construction and craftsmanship matter, too, but it really pales compared to the electronic components.

I will say that I like the feel of the 2017 premium neck and board, and I think that's the key element to different woods in an electric instrument - aesthetic preference and feel/weight.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 09:31 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Wenge/Bubinga necks - how do they sound?

No debate here It has been proven time and time again (in the last years) that the theory holds up in reality. What do people say - "It's physics, b*tch". LOL. My own experience supports this.

But seriously, the neck has a huge importance on tone - more rigidity equals a quicker attack and more sustain, and so on.

Either this forum is quite dead, or there are not many players out there that have some of these new instruments.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 10:29 AM
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Re: Wenge/Bubinga necks - how do they sound?

If the woods you're using are affecting your tone, you're not using enough gain...

I've not played a wenge neck for a while, but dont recall thinking it changed to sound from a normal maple neck all that much. Not to the extent that I could definitely say it was the neck that driving the overall sound more than the amp and the pickups and anything else.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Wenge/Bubinga necks - how do they sound?

Haha, true that. Nowadays i use quite a bit less than in my early years.

I don't know about other people, but when the dynamics are minimally different, i notice it in my playing. So even when the heard difference is minimal, the playing feel changes noticeably.

Somewhere i read that this "dark" necks sound way too trebly, and the warmth of the standard RG/JEM is gone? Not true?
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 12:39 PM
 
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Re: Wenge/Bubinga necks - how do they sound?

The frequency balance is FARRRRRRRRRRRR more contributed from the pickup selection. I guess you can have a differing opinion, but when you're talking about playing plugged in, the pickups and amp settings make up the vast majority of the sound.

Yes, everything matters because physics, but the extent to which those things matter is very small in comparison.

Now, if you're talking about acoustic guitars, that's a very different story.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Wenge/Bubinga necks - how do they sound?

Dynamics is not equal to frequency balance - don't mix up these two. I even agree with you on the latter, but when the dynamics are different, you can't compensate fully with altering the frequency balance (example: when the low frequencies of the 6th string die first, there is nothing to amplify in that region - of course you still have the low mids plus plenty of overtones, and psycho-acoustic effects may trick you into hearing something that isn't there anymore).

Last edited by Marc Dwonn; 09-17-2017 at 02:15 PM.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 08:15 PM
 
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Re: Wenge/Bubinga necks - how do they sound?

I have played a neck made of wenge and loved the feel of it. It doesn't have to be finished and is pretty stable when left raw. I can't honestly say that I have played anything with a significant amount of bubinga. I have only ever played necks that used it as a stripe.

As far as tone wise, wenge is a fairly hard/dense wood so I assume it would be on the brighter side. I dont think wood has a whole lot to do with tone in electrics, that said most of the time I hate the way ash body guitars sound. I dont think it is just a mental thing, but I do avoid ash in electrics.

the multi-wood neck is to me more structural and aesthetics than made for tonal purposes. Wood is a very small part of the tonal equation in electric guitars. If we are talking acoustic guitars, totally different story.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Wenge/Bubinga necks - how do they sound?

Very interesting. But wait...

I hate the sounds of ash bodied electric guitars too - they always have a harshness/brittleness to the tone that i can't stand. All the new ash models from Ibanez sound bad to me. A real bummer.

And here's the kicker: I love the look of ash, the coarse grain is in my eyes the most beautiful wood that i've seen. Nothing comes close to the aesthetics of ash IMO. I tried for years to warm up to the sound of ash just because of the looks. In vain. I think i'll settle some day for a thin veneer over alder or basswood.

I hope you guys get my point.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-18-2017, 09:58 AM
 
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Re: Wenge/Bubinga necks - how do they sound?

Always an interesting discussion! One man's meat is often another man's poison.

Guitar tone is a mix of various things, the woods used in the body, neck, fretboard, the frets themselves, the hardware, strings, and of course the pickups. I don't care much for all the details these days - to me, if it sounds good, it's good!

'87
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-22-2017, 12:01 AM
 
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Re: Wenge/Bubinga necks - how do they sound?

In the spirit of staying on track , we should be comparing the 11 piece Ibanez Wenge neck to a typical 1 or 3 piece Ibanez maple neck. The Wenge neck sounds less wide but more focused . Having the maple board on the wenge neck gives it good balance .Overall, it's a very good neck .
I bought the Premium RG6PCM and it is an excellent sounding Ibanez . Ash bodies on a super strat are excellent . And in the end , you need to know what you are doing when you buy gear so that all the parts of your rig from guitar to speakers work well together . Took me years to figure out all of that and some guys never learn at all.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-22-2017, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Wenge/Bubinga necks - how do they sound?

Interesting, Paul. Thanks for your input.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-22-2017, 12:04 PM
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Re: Wenge/Bubinga necks - how do they sound?

Wish I had something to add, as I have had instruments with all wenge necks and all bubinga necks as well, but both were basses. And 90% of basses these days (that don't day Fender on them, anyway) have preamps in them, so you can manipulate the sound how you want. I think you're seeing companies reacting to the addition of rosewoods to CITES, so some common woods will be disappearing as options over time. It would be good to hear as many comparisons of the new combinations as possible.
Me personally, maple neck/maple board works perfectly
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-22-2017, 03:48 PM
 
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Re: Wenge/Bubinga necks - how do they sound?

Wood DEFINITELY makes a difference on a guitar's tone, though I'll admit that the more gain you throw at a guitar, the less pretty much anything other than the amp colors the sound.

I have a buddy who had a Warmoth with a wenge neck. I can't speak to the tone, but I know he ended up buying a new neck within a year because a one-piece wenge neck was extremely unstable - it would shift if you look at it funny, basically.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-18-2017, 04:09 PM
 
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Re: Wenge/Bubinga necks - how do they sound?

I recently purchased a prototype Premium S series that has the wenge/bubinga neck.

I'll admit I always wanted one since first seeing the S970WRW that was never available in the states, the look of the neck is killer.

After receiving this one I fell in love with it. Slightly thicker profile, but plays amazingly.

Pics below: this thing is killer, and there's only 1 in the world which is pretty awesome.
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