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  1. #1
    Eruption
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    07.13.12 @ 05:20 AM
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    Default 5150 Kramer Body wood

    I bought a light swap ash body and built a psuedo frankie with it. I used my preferred hardware and color etc. My finish work is not bad but the color is not right and the guitar is just stupid light weight

    I am thinking about replacing the body with a rear routed 1 bucker setup and going with the 5150 guitar as the model but was debating what wood to go with. Frankie is Ash by most reports but I am not sure what the 5150 Kramer is made from. My other build is a mahogany Strat body that I really like so that is a thought as well

  2. #2
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    11.25.17 @ 09:06 AM
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    Hey!
    Yeah, we were just discussing this the other day. I spoke with Paul Unkert years ago (One of the guys who built the 5150) and he said he was pretty sure it was basswood. Jimi also is on the side of basswood. The grain on the arm relief does look kinda like ash, but then, that just depends on the cut of wood. Basswood has very soft cell structure, and light rings, or what is known as the skeleton, so paint can sink into the grain, or more the soft area, giving the illusion of a heavier grain.
    The tone certainly says basswood to me given it's midrange percussive nature, yet the sustain is more associated with typical tonewoods like ash, but that was probably more to do with the toneblock on his Floyd which I believe was brass.
    Jimi can certainly confirm or deny that though.
    Keep in mind also that the 5150 has a larger headstock, and I firmly believe that headstock mass can influence tone and sustain. The neck was also a one piece maple with a skunk stripe. Again, this can have subtle effects. I had a small headstock Fender 2 pc. maple neck (Glued down fretboard over the truss rod), and I swear that when I swapped it for my banana kramer neck, the tone changed a great deal. The Fender neck was a little more percussive; a little more "thud" in the bassier notes, but the Kramer neck was still percussive, but had a smoother more singing sort of tone.
    So a lot can influence the final product.

    Long story short, basswood is a safe bet. It's a great wood that responds well, is light, and broadens your personal choice in components without getting too muddy or to bright.
    JJ

  3. #3
    Eruption
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    06.30.17 @ 01:26 AM
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    definitely not ash. i have seen it up close and its light. basswood or alder for sure.

  4. #4
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    Not sure I can go with basswood. That's what the Wolfgang is made of and other than High gain sounds I am not a big fan. Good be the pickups though. Not sure what I am going to do yet

  5. #5
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    01.16.13 @ 12:11 AM
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    I really, really, really hope it's poplar.





    Mine is made of poplar.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheArchitect View Post
    Not sure I can go with basswood. That's what the Wolfgang is made of and other than High gain sounds I am not a big fan. Good be the pickups though. Not sure what I am going to do yet
    If your only experience with Basswood is a peavey wolfgang, either go out and play some more basswood guitars, or don't eliminate the wood just because of that guitar. I love the my wolfgang, but the pickups are VERY 'stylized' and actually kinda dark and growly sounding in that guitar. For example, listen to Ed's tone with the EBMM and then with the Wolf. Both are made of the same materials, but the pickups make them sound completely different. I've even tried a duncan custom custom in a solid basswood guitar, and it was almost too bright and responsive to picking, etc.

    I think if Ed would sell a Kramer 5150 pickup exact clone, then we could put this one to rest for sure. The problem is that no one that I know of knows 100% exactly what pickup is in that guitar. But if we had access to that pickup, I think it would become fairly obvious what wood is the correct wood.
    Last edited by mrjstudios; 03.31.11 at 11:47 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjstudios View Post
    If your only experience with Basswood is a peavey wolfgang, either go out and play some more basswood guitars, or don't eliminate the wood just because of that guitar. I love the my wolfgang, but the pickups are VERY 'stylized' and actually kinda dark and growly sounding in that guitar. For example, listen to Ed's tone with the EBMM and then with the Wolf. Both are made of the same materials, but the pickups make them sound completely different. I've even tried a duncan custom custom in a solid basswood guitar, and it was almost too bright and responsive to picking, etc.

    I think if Ed would sell a Kramer 5150 pickup exact clone, then we could put this one to rest for sure. The problem is that no one that I know of knows 100% exactly what pickup is in that guitar. But if we had access to that pickup, I think it would become fairly obvious what wood is the correct wood.
    He has always claimed its a Duncan 59 in the 5150 axe. Meaningless coming from Ed given his love of lying about gear

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjstudios View Post
    If your only experience with Basswood is a peavey wolfgang, either go out and play some more basswood guitars, or don't eliminate the wood just because of that guitar. I love the my wolfgang, but the pickups are VERY 'stylized' and actually kinda dark and growly sounding in that guitar. For example, listen to Ed's tone with the EBMM and then with the Wolf. Both are made of the same materials, but the pickups make them sound completely different. I've even tried a duncan custom custom in a solid basswood guitar, and it was almost too bright and responsive to picking, etc.

    I think if Ed would sell a Kramer 5150 pickup exact clone, then we could put this one to rest for sure. The problem is that no one that I know of knows 100% exactly what pickup is in that guitar. But if we had access to that pickup, I think it would become fairly obvious what wood is the correct wood.
    Exactly!
    I have several basswood guitars, and none of them sound like the Wolfgang in any way. My pickups are lower gain. I have one that I attempted at rewinding in my VH style Strat, and it sounds real sweet. I lucked out. it sounds pretty close to the Franky except it IS a little noisier. I have a JB in a rear routed single P/U job, sounds real defined, and I have a 59 in another single P/U basswood guitar. I don't think Ed's 5150 P/U is a true 59 though. My guess is it's a 59 magnet with more windings.
    Like I said, Basswood is not as huge an influence on tone as some other conventional tonewoods. I kind of think of it as more of a blank slate, and the component combo you use is a much higher factor, whereas say mahogany; Just a pickup or bridge change can make it sound either too muddy or bright. Basswood isn't as dramatically affected because of it's natural tendency toward midrange response.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommytom11 View Post
    definitely not ash. i have seen it up close and its light. basswood or alder for sure.
    Yeah, I think you're right. I'ts funny. I think there's still a lot of people that have a hard time accepting basswood as a true tonewood. I guess it's justified in a way. I mean in it's initial use in guitars it was more considered as a cost cutting thing. Basswood was super cheap back in the day, like nato, and it's primary use was in kids blocks, and even some culinary wooden bowls. So when people started seeing it used in guitars, it just wasn't taken seriously. I remember vividly when the EVH EBMM guitars came out. I was in my local shop, and the sales guy was talking about them, saying stuff like " I guess their saving the good wood for their real guitars"
    Or when I went down to Tom Lee where I used to get bodies. I'd ask what they had in. They'd say "Oh...nothing good...Just a bunch of that basswood crap!"
    Oh how times have changed!
    Basswood aint' so cheap now either.

 

 

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