Fretless lovers.... What is your favourite fingerboard and why?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Baird6869, Mar 28, 2014.


  1. Baird6869

    Baird6869 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Disclosures:
    Nobody is stupid enough to actually pay me to play their gear.
    Very curious as to the TB community's though on fretless fingerboards. Do you like ebony? Rosewood? Ebonol? Maple? Coated? Something more [DEL]erotic[/DEL] exotic such as diamondwood?

    What do you prefer? Why?

    Personally a coated board (in the Pedulla Buzz style) is my favourite. Mainly as I am predominantly a fretted player, so I can slap roundrounds on a coated board and cover almost all fretted and fretless bass tones.

    I also love ebony with flats or tapes for that old school or upright sound.

    I have owned rosewood and maple fretless basses (generally Fender P or Stingrays) and wasn't a huge fan.
  2. SamanthaCay

    SamanthaCay

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    Nov 16, 2008
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    Denver, CO.
    Gloss coated, although I'd really like to try polished aluminum.
  3. Marial

    Marial Proud Papa Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2011
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Depends on the tone I'm going for. I have one with a bocote fingerboard and a Pentabuzz with the standard Pedulla coated fingerboard. Very different sounds, but I dig them both.
  4. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

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    My current fretless are ebonol and Dymondwood, although I had a Macassar ebony for a time.

    Although I liked the ebony with the flats (TI and D'Addario HalfRound) I like the idea that the Dymondwood and Ebonol (pretty much equivalent hardness, from what I've read) can stand up to rounds -- expecially with a light touch and as often as I can play. I -really- like the sound of FlexSteels on my Dymondwood Roscoe.

    So the short andwer is - i donno, haven't tried 'em all...

    There are plenty who say ebony can take rounds for your lifetime, and it's easy enough to re-sand for the next round. Don't know that I'd dare stainless rounds tho... So for me, because Dymondwood is attached to my favorite bass - that gets the nod... (The Ebonol bass has tapewound flats that will I'm sure outlive me. So no complaints there either...)
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  6. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Don't just TalkBass - PlayBass! Supporting Member

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    Apr 11, 2006
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    NE Ohio
    Ziricote - best (IMHO) sounding fretless and mwahhhhhh.
  7. The Nameless

    The Nameless

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    Apr 12, 2009
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    I spent years wit coated boards. Just recently switched to ebony. So far? Better tone, identical sustain, better swell to notes an the wear? Is same on both. Nonexistent. I play lots, gigs of all styles. Rounds. Steels if I feel like it. Tony Franklin my fretless guru. The man is a monster. An yes, I can slap on it, too... :)
  8. zontar

    zontar

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    I have no preference for bass-fretless or fretted.
    My fretless is rosewood, my fretted is finished maple.

    I do prefer ebony & rosewood on guitar, but that's due to feel.
    On a bass the string is too thick to really feel the board.
  9. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Don't just TalkBass - PlayBass! Supporting Member

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    It's not about feeling the board, it's about tone.
  10. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

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    I have an ebony fingerboard coated with epoxy and I absolutely love it!
  11. zontar

    zontar

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    I know, but I don't have a preference that way-and I stated that.
    So on guitar I can feel the board, so that is something I have a preference for.
    With bass I can't feel it, so I can't base my preference on that either.

    I honestly don't have a preference.
  12. kevk

    kevk

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    Location:
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    Snakewood (Warwick)...Pro: beautiful unique tones, gorgeous look. Con: vulnerable to cracking (one of the hardest woods on the planet!)
  13. Matthew_84

    Matthew_84

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2010
    Location:
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    Same as you Baird, coated board for rounds. Ebony for anything else.

    I like coated boards because I love keeping my basses looking like they are being played for the first time. Even though rounds leaves surface scratches on ebony that you can't really feel, I just hate the look... Plus, If I'm using rounds on a fretless, I'm looking for that nasally mwah tone a coated board caoxes out so well.

    If I'm using flats, I want a woodier tone, and raw wood it is.

    Tried ebonol with two different necks - don't like it. When string scratch it, the scratches are white, which looks way worse that any scratch in natural wood looks.
  14. Baird6869

    Baird6869 Supporting Member

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    Nobody is stupid enough to actually pay me to play their gear.
    A rosewood board and an epoxy coated board sound completely different. Feel has nothing to do with that.
  15. Thunderbroom

    Thunderbroom

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    Illinois
    I like the look of unlined fretless basses with a maple board. I tried unsuccessfully to find one in a 5 string, so I'm having someone make me one for a G&L M2500 Tribute. It's under construction currently.
  16. zontar

    zontar

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    And I said I have no preference-is that so hard to understand?

    There are things on basses and guitars I do have preferences for, and things I do not.
  17. lokikallas

    lokikallas Supporting Member

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    My Alvarez Dana supposedly has a ceramic fingerboard. I love it. Seems like ebanol to me. My schecter has a rosewood, and has a much more organic tone and feel. I prefer the harder surface myself. I'd love to get it clear-coated.
  18. Baird6869

    Baird6869 Supporting Member

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    Nobody is stupid enough to actually pay me to play their gear.
    Yup. Very hard to understand.

    If you played a Rob Allen with an ebony board and a Pedulla with an epoxy coated board, the difference in tone is bigger than the difference between a Strat and a Les Paul to put it into guitar terms. How wouldn't you have a preference?
  19. Marial

    Marial Proud Papa Supporting Member

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    The difference between my Pentabuzz and my bocote (think rosewood) fingerboarded Squire VM Jazz are very different too. I do not have a preference, I like them both, and, as I wrote earlier, it depends on the tone I'm going for.

    Are you saying one has to have just one fingerboard that's preferred above all others? Seems a bit limiting.
  20. Baird6869

    Baird6869 Supporting Member

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    Nobody is stupid enough to actually pay me to play their gear.
    If you are saying you like both but for different tones/reasons, I am with you.:)
  21. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

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    ebony, oil finish. With nylon tape wounds (Rob Allen) or nickel rounds (Fodera). Had synthetic on my old Zon Lightwave that sounded quite good. In general though I'm not crazy about the coated boards - a little too much quack/clack for my taste.

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