wood and sound

Wood shapes the sound! Nothing like the sound of real wood! That´s why we only use carefully selected and naturally dried (not kiln-dried) tone woods. To get an authentic jazz bass sound, you have to have the wood types that were used on the originals. For a great slap- and allround bass sound, we use swamp ash for the body, rock maple for the neck and offer birdseye maple or rosewood fretboards according to the player´s taste. On the fretless models we use alder bodies with maple neck and rosewood or ebony fingerboards to bring out the singing qualities of the bass. An additional 8 or 10 mm strong hardwood top on the body can refine the sound even more, depending on what´s required.

the body

The body wood determines the sound, and the neck is equally important. By choosing the right wood for both the neck and the body, we already have a pretty good idea how the bass to be built is going to sound. Our philosophy is that the sound comes from the wood. Choose the right body and neck combination to get the sound required, and pickups and electronics will enhance the tone.

A swamp ash body delivers a clear tone and is not so heavy. The attack is "explosive" and lends itself to slapping techniques.

Color and structure of swamp ash can vary a lot.

Our satin finish "Bordeaux" looks very elegant on swamp ash.

The sound of alder is great for fretless, as alder really "sings", but I have heard great slap tones from alder as well. We have German alder and American alder. Alder has a very tight structure and a rather unspectacular grain pattern, so we like to apply tinted finishes.

This satin "greenburst" finish brings out the beauty of the alder wood very nicely.

A figured maple top on an alder body looks great and adds more definition to the tone.

This crabble maple top makes your heart skip a beat and also makes your sound a bit more brilliant! Using a hardwood top on an alder or swamp ash body is not just for great looks, but also to apply certain sound characteristics.

the neck

The classic rosewood neck produces a warm tone and has more sustain, especially in the lower mid range.

The maple neck adds a bit more "bite" to the sound, slappers love that tone!

Nothing like a great ebony neck for our fretless models. East Indian rosewood is a bit more delicate, with a raw surface, but South American rosewood types often are as dense and hard which makes them a good choice for fretless.

Flamed German maple is lighter than American maple and looks extremely good, it also feels great to the touch and sounds a bit warmer.

Check this out: Birdseye maple fingerboard available if required!

Here we have an exceptional example of a one-off figured birdseye maple neck! Looks great, sounds great, and plays itself (almost).

Block Inlays

Standard dot inlays come in pearl or black. We can do optional block inlays in perloid, also in black perloid or ebony. This is all done in-house by hand. But it doesn´t stop here: we can do your band name or initials or whatever you require. Also, colored LEDs in the neck are possible!

string spacing

The nut width of our five string bass normally is 46 mm allowing for a string spacing of 9,25 mm between the strings at the nut. The string spacing down at the Hipshot or Badass bridge is 18.5 mm. These specs can be varied a bit on special request. We offer a "narrow neck model" using a Hipshot bridge with 17 mm string spacing.

neck dimensions

As we don´t work with pre-fabricated wood parts we are very flexible in terms of neck dimensions. You love the feel of a ´62 Jazz neck? You get excited at the sight of a ´57 Precision? You favour the Stingray neck? You already own a bass with a perfect neck, but you want these dimensions to be integrated on your new HotWire Bass? Measure you favourite neck, send us the exact dimensions, and we can make your dreams come true!