Why are Maple Fretboards unpopular for bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mcblahflooper94, Jan 22, 2013.


  1. mcblahflooper94

    mcblahflooper94

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    It seems for every maple fretboard I see on a bass, I see two or more rosewood fretboards. I know that they're a bit snappier (fretboard wood, IMO, is much more of a determining factor to tone, if the body wood type makes any) but I think they look really nice, sound nice and I feel like Maple would be much easier to get than Rosewood or Ebony, but I have no evidence. Is it more expensive? Do they require more maintenance?
  2. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2006
    Location:
    US
    Maple boards are very popular, and yes the fingerboard wood does affect the tone. I love maple!
  3. Arial Bender

    Arial Bender

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    Location:
    Largo Fla.
    Some people think rosewood is warmer, I think maple is more popular than you think it is.
  4. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Location:
    west coast
    Maple boards are really popular, maybe a little less common. It is possible, depending on manufacturing techniques, that a neck with second piece of wood for the fingerboard/fretboard is less expensive to produce. With a one piece neck the truss rod is installed through the back of the neck and that slot needs to be filled and smoothed which may be more expensive/time consuming than dropping the truss rod in through the front...again it would really depend on the manufacturing process.
  5. smcd

    smcd Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    There are gazillions of maple fretboards out there. They're extremely popular.
  6. alembicguy

    alembicguy Lone Wolf Miner Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Location:
    Minnesota
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1358910123.127981.jpg

    I like them!
  7. PaperbackRyder

    PaperbackRyder

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    Location:
    Maynard, MA
    who says they're unpopular? i see them everywhere. Prefer rosewood myself.
    maybe start a poll?
  8. two fingers

    two fingers Loud Mouth Know It All Blowhard Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2005
    They are not unpopular at all. There may not be quite as many as there are rosewood, but they are plenty popular.
  9. mcblahflooper94

    mcblahflooper94

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    I think I should rephrase my question: Why do you see more rosewood than maple?
  10. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2006
    Location:
    US
    Aesthetics. Some people simply prefer the way darker fingerboards look.
  11. vegas532

    vegas532 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2006
    Location:
    Claremont, CA.
    I actually prefer Maple for instruments with low tunings. That extra *snap* really helps it to cut through! I used to keep an old G&L SB-2 JJ with a Maple board tuned to Ab, F, Ab, Eb.
  12. electracoyote

    electracoyote

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Location:
    Purple Mountain Majesties
    It seems for the longest time MIM Fender Standards were rosewood only.

    Around '09 they started offering maple boards. I was all over it and bought two Precisions and a Jazz.
  13. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento California
    Maple fretboards are unpopular???

    When did THIS happen???????
  14. drummer5359

    drummer5359 Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    I have no idea...

    [​IMG]
  15. Quilbert

    Quilbert

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    I think most mid range manufacturers make them the same way as a rw neck i.e. glue a maple fretboard onto a maple neck and smooth off the edges. I have a maple neck stingray and this was how it was done. You have to really closely though. Some signature p basses are made from one piece. I don't know if there's a difference in the sound but I think the maple neck looks cooler. Unless the neck is lacquered though they can get very dirty. I had this problem with the stingray, it had a very light satin finish and it got very grimy.
  16. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento California
    I don't.

    I see equal numbers of both.

    And I like both. I have one of each. :bassist:
  17. gurensan

    gurensan

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Location:
    Coon Rapids / Anoka, MN
    I'll take the two on the left. And could you throw in some fries?

    I'm getting to hate rosewood. My warwick has ebony, my squier maple. Take a guess which one is in my hands tonight.
  18. drummer5359

    drummer5359 Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    I have a MIJ P that has a rosewood board, but I love maple boards.
  19. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Colorado
    Rosewood has a warmer tone.

    I have 8 basses with maple boards, one bubinga, and 4 rosewood.
  20. jet_king

    jet_king

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago,IL
    I had the same question long ago. To this day i still have a hard time finding maple neck/fretboards. I find that maple while warm gives your tone a nice high end punch. i own a maple neck silver-tone guitar and a maple neck fender jazz bass. Both my first maples and love them very much.

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