Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by drezdin, May 18, 2006.
Anyone tried a wenge neck or topped guitar? Opinions?
My friend Carey Nordstrand sometimes uses Wenge for some or all of his multi-piece bass necks and likes it. In the bass world, he is one of the newer guys on the block that is definitely here to stay.
I had a Warwick bass with a wenge neck which was cool. I think it'd be too open grained for a guitar though.
Wenge is a great looking wood and gives a nice ringing tone when I move the boards around my basement. The pores can be filled. It just takes a couple applications. It's heavy though and the splinters can be horriffic when you're working it, but it's a beautiful wood that can be found quartersawn or flatsawn at a good hardwood dealer.
I'd like to build a wenge topped guitar with mahogany back someday. The neck would probably be mahogany/wenge sandwich. I think I'd have to chamber the body though.
I have a wenge-necked Warwick frettless that I very much enjoy. It feels nice (it is a sandwitch) and looks great. I've never played a guitar with wenge, but would be curious to do so.
I hadda thinline telecaster at one time that I got all the parts from the Warmoth 'specials' page... the body was all korina (black limba) and the neck was an ebony cap over wenge (Clapton vee). I had pretty standard (US RI) pickups innit, and it was a nice, warm guitar, that would still stand-up and twang. The wenge neck was raw, and felt and played great. I never really bonded with that guitar, probably because of the small neck shape, and partly maybe because it was a little too light.
I wouldn't hesitate to find another wenge neck, however.
check out www.soulmateguitars.com
One thing to keep in mind if you decide to work with Wenge is that the dust is very toxic. This is why Warwick went away from 100% Wenge necks and now only use it for the fretboards.
True! It's been told that in Africa, people would sprinkle wenge sawdust into the water to stun fish!
That said, many exotics have nasty side effects if you inhale or even touch the dust. Cocobolo, Pau Ferro, even Black Walnut have bad chemicals in them.
The neck on my Warmoth is wenge. Its a beatiful wood to hold, has no finish and is now oiled up nicely from my hands. I think it looks incredible. In terms of tone....I'm not really sure of its characteristics, but this guitar sounds sweet to me!
Here`s one I prepared earlier:
Wenge/ ebony neck with rosewood fretboard. Mahogany/maple body (chambered).
Kind of difficult to say exactly what contribution the neck material makes to the tone as the rest is not quite the norm but the neck feels great and the guitar as a whole sounds good to me.
I have an old (1981 / 1982) Schecter strat with a wenge neck. It's turned black in places where the finish has worn through. Very cool looking wood. The guitar has a mahogany body and Fralin '54s. Guitar is on the bright side with smooth mids.
Hope the wood isn't toxic because much of it is exposed since the finish wore away!