The connection between this marvelous wood and the Electric Bass was born in the early 1980s when, a very young Hans Peter Wilfer, patron of the Warwick house, decided to use it in the construction of the neck of his first electric bass, the Nobby Meidel, blatantly inspired by the headless bass designed by Ned Steinberger. Wenge (technical name Millettia Laurentii) would shortly thereafter become the trademark of the famous German manufacturer’s typical “sound of wood,” especially with the more famous Streamer and Thumb Bass.

In recent years, given also the annexation to the Red List of the IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, there has been a significant decline in the use of wenge in the making of bass guitar necks and fretboards, which, precisely for reasons of supply, is reserved only for mid/high-end instruments.

Among the largest users of Wenge in the world are MTD and Mayones.

Michael Tobias almost chose it as the “titular” wood for making the beautiful 535 and 534, while the Polish company uses it for its Custom Neck Through Body models such as the Patriot and Viking.

I would like to give a technical explanation of the “snarl” that wenge gives to the instrument on which it is used but, unfortunately for you and especially for me, I am not able!

I have been a Warwick bass aficionado for many years and have owned several top models including a beautiful 1987 Stage One and a Thumb Bass 5 NT body, both with Wenge neck and fingerboard, and have shaped my “bassistic” ear with this type of sound. Although they were two completely different models, they possessed a common characteristic: notes that felt like punches in the stomach, an incredible attack and a “woodiness” that in my opinion is impossible to find in basses built with more canonical woods.

Should you feel like deviating from the sounds of Jazz, P, or MM, you will find in Wenge an excellent ally to give your sound an edge! 😉

 

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