Fretboard preference

Discussion in 'Ask Anthony Wellington' started by iwearpumas, Dec 19, 2012.


  1. iwearpumas

    iwearpumas

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Location:
    NYC
    I once read somewhere where you own somewhere around 50 basses. I'm sure you have a variety of different specs and woods on your basses. Do you have a favorite fretboard wood?
  2. Ant Wellington

    Ant Wellington

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Location:
    Maryland
    I really like them all. I think I can hear and feel the difference between them. I grew up playing in Fender basses so I'm familiar with rosewood from way back. The first bass that became my #1 was a '78 Jazz bass with a maple fretboard. I bought it new in '82 and I still have that bass.

    I started buying custom basses in the mid 90s. My first custom bass had a pau ferro fretboard. I always thought of that would as being in the rosewood family.

    I have bass with wenge fretboards. They're cool but not really my thing. The craftsmanship never looks good on wenge fretboards and necks. The 'touch' is a little weird too. But the sound is good.

    My #1 bass now, a Fodera Imperial, has a Birdseye maple fretboard. But I also have an imperial with an ebony fretboard. I love that fretboard.

    I have a bass with a coral fretboard. It really nice too. I think that wood is gonna' catch on for its sound and stunning looks.

    If really love to get a bass with pink ivory wood. But there's such a premium on that wood.

    I think I'll just stick with birdseye maple.

    peace,
    anthony
  3. iwearpumas

    iwearpumas

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Location:
    NYC
    Awesome, I was never a big fan of maple fretboards. They didnt appeal to me, I never liked the way the felt, and with some basses, the sound was way too muddy. But after hearing some Fodera with maple fretboards, they are starting to catch on to me. Im used to ebony fretboards right now, but i am open for change. I didnt appreciate the maple fretboard until i saw your videos on youtube.

    That pink ivory seems like it has more of a cosmetic value. I never played one or heard one live, so i don't have much of an opinion or say on the matter.
  4. Ant Wellington

    Ant Wellington

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Location:
    Maryland
    From what I understand, pink ivory wood is more like an 'albino' ebony. Same family. But I think you're right, more cosmetic than anything.

    -aw
  5. phillybass101

    phillybass101 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Brubaker Guitars, Tecamp Bass Players Gear
    Fellas I have been partial to maple boards ever since I can remember. I just recently got a Brubaker Brute Single Cut and at first was a little disappointed because they didn't come with maple boards. I ordered one anyway. Well let me tell you, I like the way the SC sounds very much. The RW board is a non- issue. Things change and people change. The RW is fine with me.
  6. BuffaloBass

    BuffaloBass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Location:
    conditional upon harmonic Hz
    Unsure if it was the bass, the wood or whatever, but had a "medium range" bass with a pretty birdseye neck and board, and it was too sensitive to humidity for me. Again, the neck was birds eye, as well as the board. Maybe something to be said for straight grains. Sold that too pretty bass anyhow. Too pretty for me.

    I freaked out when between sets in a sweaty 90+ degree gig, the board swelled up and there was no clearance left. bzz bzz bzz. Why I always have an allen with me anymore, and dont set my heights to "c-hair splitting" anymore. Not much room for a humidity shift.

    Anthony, do you find that string/fret noise is greater with the maple or ebony "bright" woods?
  7. Ant Wellington

    Ant Wellington

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Location:
    Maryland
    I do think there is more 'grit' with the harder fretboards. But some of us love that 'grit'

    -aw
  8. michricker

    michricker

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Lake Orion, Michigan
    I have had all combos mentioned, even brazillian. My #1 is an mtd535 USA with a Birdseye board and maple neck.
  9. iwearpumas

    iwearpumas

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Location:
    NYC
    I made a comment before that I don't like maple fretboards, but I was open minded to them. i can say now that I like maple fretboards. They sound awesome.
  10. phillybass101

    phillybass101 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Brubaker Guitars, Tecamp Bass Players Gear
    I'm having a Brubaker KXB5 made for me. My first intro into the Custom Build Bass Arena. I specifcally made sure the board was maple. As a matter of fact the whole bass is made from maple. It wil be a little heavy but I'm expecting a very nice slap tone and punchy fingerstyle tone.
  11. a2zbassman

    a2zbassman Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2009
    Location:
    West Fargo, ND
    Philly,

    Just an FYI as to the weight of the all maple KXB. I was expecting the same as you, thinking it would be heavy. But in fact it weighs in somewhere between 3/4 to 1 pound lighter then my Brute. I was pleasantly surprised the first time I played it. As always, YMMV and all that, but here's to hoping you experience similar results. :cool:

    Edit: opps, sorry. Just saw that this wasn't posted in a standard, TB, everyone is involved thread. I'll mind my own business from here on out. :bag:
  12. Ant Wellington

    Ant Wellington

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Location:
    Maryland
    You're more than welcome to comment here.

    -aw
  13. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    Location:
    Southwest Michigan
    Disclosures:
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    The construction method will lend more to the sound than the materials. Neck throughs generally give a quicker attack, while bolt ons generally have very slightly delayed attack resulting in a more percussive sound with slapping and tapping from my experience. Most slap players usually enjoy that aspect of a bolt on.
    As many of us have found, set necks can really become the happy medium between quick attack and percussive attack. By differing the depth of the tail set into the body it can allow you to dictate more or less percussive attack. This is becomming common with bolt ons now also, you see some bolt ons that bolt well past the neck pickup position like a deep set neck to try to improve speed of attack.

    Mind you, this will always be conjecture because of the many schools of thought and myth in the music industry, but I thought it would be good to relay some of the thought behind why there are more deep set and deep bolt necks coming out.

    As for favorite fretboard materials?
    Bubinga, Purpleheart, Katalox and my goto wood is always Granadillo.
  14. Bassman197835

    Bassman197835

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Musiclogic. Only a dumb guess.. But Im betting you at least own a Warwick?? :)

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