Malabass Woods Page
First of all let's start off by saying we really love wood. Our concept is: We believe that in the construction of electric instruments, wood should be a density, and an aestetic choice. Every piece of wood will have different properties in both sound and looks anyway. And despite the fact that many will say they can predict woods tonal qualities, we believe in leaving that subjective content to others. If you have opinions on specific wood tonal qualities, that is fine and we will provide our suggestions. But it is your choice on what woods and combinations we use to build your dream instrument. Custom instruments are just that, every one made will be unique and have it's own tonal signature. We are not arrogant enough to ever claim we know it all, that is what drives us, that first time we plug it in and play, that's the moment we live for.
Let's start with the neck, or really the core of the instrument. We truly feel the neck thru design to be the best feeling design to really feel the sustain in your hands.
We have 3 very specific woods that we favor in our builds. Hard Figured Maple, Wenge, and Purpleheart make a very stong neck that really keeps it's shape well. They are all very dense woods that even in 6 string basses only ever need a single truss rod. And we also tend to not need Carbon Fiber implants in our necks, thanks to using these very dense woods. But should you want to use a less dense/stiff neck wood, we can easily provide extra stiffness with the use of Carbon Fiber or Dual Truss Rods. We can vary the thickness of the various woods to help customize the look and feel of your neck. Here are a few of our favorite combinations:
Maple/Purpleheart/Wenge/Purpleheart/Maple (Malabass Standard 5 Piece neck)
Wenge/Purpleheart/Maple/Purpleheart/Wenge (Malabass Standard 5 Piece neck)
Maple/Wenge/Zebrawood/Purpleheart/Zebrawood/Wenge/Maple (7 Piece neck)
On to the fingerboard itself. There are many choices available, we have suggestions here, but again there are many possibilities.
You will notice we tend to use darker woods, but would have no problem using a lighter wood if you prefer. Our favorites we have used are:
Now let's talk about the body wings. From solid to multi laminates, again it's up to you. We also tend to put the wings on at a slight angle away from the playing hands, that we find is very ergonomic. That way the back tends to curve in a bit, again fitting the body more naturally. We also will provide nice cut away on the top for the right arm, and a bit of a "belly" cut away on the back making the bass almost hug you. We often use a top wood of figured stock in a multi laminted body, that can be from mild to wild, local to foreign. We also tend to like alternating dark and light colored woods in bodies and necks, this tends to make the laminates really pop in appearance.
1 piece solid Zebrawood
2 piece Walnut and Maple
3 piece Walnut, Wenge, Mahogany
3 piece Ovankol, Purpleheart, Ovankol
4 piece Masser Birch, Purpleheart, Mahogany, Wenge
4 piece Maple, Purpleheart, Zebrawood, Wenge
Lastly our favorite ways to finish an instrument is to do it as naturally as possible. Our favorite finish is using multiple coats of Danish Oil which is a Polymerized Linseed Oil. We exclusively use Tried & True brand that sports some amazing credentials, Non-Toxic, Safe for the Environment, No Petroleum Distillates, No Pertroleum Derivatives, No Heavy Metal Driers. After the finish is cured we put on several coats of Beeswax and Orange Oil to give it a nice shine. We have and can use other finishes like Polyurethane for clear coats and Tru-Oil as another option.