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Advice needed on fretless bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by stevenmriley, Mar 9, 2005.


  1. I am looking to piece together a fretless electric bass by purchasing a Mexican made Fender and adding a Warmoth neck and eventually new pickups, but I see on Warmoth's website that there are several different options for wood used on the fingerboard and the neck. Anyone have any input on which combination of woods would sound the best? Thanks.

    Steven

    www.warmoth.com
     
  2. In my opinion, ebony is the best for a fretless.
     
  3. bmc

    bmc

    Nov 15, 2003
    Switzerland
    It depends what kind of sound you are after. I have a rosewood and a maple fretless bass. Both strung with GHS Boomers. The rosewood gives me a mwah sound. The maple does not. I use the maple necked one all the time for rock music. The other is too jazzy sounding.
     
  4. I am looking for that Jaco, 70's Freddie Hubbard funk sound.
     
  5. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    You're looking for this my friend.
     
  6. That is a nice instrument, but I don't have $800 and I am not a big fan of the lined fingerboard.
     
  7. MrWalker

    MrWalker Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2002
    Norway
    I think your best option is ebony. The wood is hard enough to allow you to use roundwound strings for a long time without having to sand down your fingerboard. You also get the "mwah" with ebony, no doubt about that.

    Maple fingerboards don't posess the same sound, at least not the ones I have tested. They also require a hard finish, as the maple would be chewn up much faster.

    Rosewood is also a hard wood, but not nearly as hard as ebony. In my experience, you will also get "mwah" from this fingerboard wood, but it will not last quite as long as ebony.

    Ebony is the fingerboard wood used for violins, cellos and double basses for a long, long time (we're talking centuries). It's a proven concept and should serve you well.

    There's also something called ebonol, which is not wood. It has much the same properties as ebony (hence the name), and is used for many cheaper basses (such as the Cort Curbow). It also gives you the mwah, but it looks plastic-like, at least when compared to ebony.

    So, my recommendation is to get an ebony fingerboard on a maple neck. :)
     
  8. Thanks for your input, I am leaning toward the ebony I believe. My double bass has an ebony fingerboard and I love it.
     
  9. I have a fretless Ibanez with an ebonol board on a maple neck, and it sounds pretty good. I play with a light touch, and still have the original Elixir nanowebs on it after almost two years, and there's hardly a mark on it. No grooves whatsoever.

    And yes, it does look plastic-like, but gets slightly duller the more you play. My bass also smells like gasoline, but only if you put your nose very close to it. (luthite body)

    If I had to choose a wood, I'd choose ebony.

    Mike