Aesthetic/style question

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by geoff, Nov 5, 2001.

  1. geoff


    Nov 5, 2001
    Los Angeles, CA
    Hi everyone from the new guy here.

    I have an "aesthetic/style" question. I have a '36 Kay blondie plywood bass that I got a couple years back from a family friend (retired player). It came with the old gut strings and in bad need of a overall setup. So I got it setup when i first bought it, and being new to UB, it seemed fairly good. Well, since then, I've only noodled with it (being primarily an EB player), but recently decided to take "real" lessons to finally learn how to play it correctly. My first lesson, the older teacher I found looked my Kay over and pointed out that the curvature of the strings wasn't enoughf (for correct bowing, etc), and that the action was too high, mostly because the rosewood fingerboard has been sanded down quite a bit when it was rid of the deep grooves it gained over the years.

    So he recommended a new ebony fingerboard and setup. That brings me to my question. Would it be a stylistic "faux pas" to get an ebony board for this blondie Kay? Should I instead get a new rosewood board? Whats the real difference feel/sound wise between the two type of fingerboards? And mainly, would I look stupid puting a shiny new dark black neck (and tailpiece) on an old classic light colored Kay, or is it silly to be worried about that? Am I making sense?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur In Memoriam

    Mar 22, 2000
    Cape of New Jersey
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music (retired)
    The sound between the two isn't that far afield - a lot depends on what flavor of "rosewood" you get, since there are a lot of varieties that are currently being sold as rosewood family woods, some harder than others.

    I've seen Kay Swingmasters with ebony fixtures (if that's how blonde your blonde is) and the Engelhardt ES9 Swingmasters come with ebony boards these days.

    So it's really up to your own taste. I don't think the Kay Police will come get your bass.
  3. Eilif

    Eilif Grooving under the MDW runway.

    Oct 1, 2001
    A dark ebony fingerboard rules no matter what the bass. Go with Ebony.
  4. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    I have to agree that ebony is the way to go. I've never played a rosewood fingerboarded bass that didn't sound like it was stuffed with styrofoam peanuts (a.k.a. ghost-poop where I'm from). I did play a '42 (war time) Kay with a walnut fingerboard. I guess ebony wasn't available. Wasn't too bad.
  5. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Ebony is not a fox pass at all; it tells everyone who matters (i.e., other bassists) that you know what's best. By the way, not all ebony is black. Brownish toned ebony has the same physical properties and it's cheaper.
  6. Tim Ludlam

    Tim Ludlam

    Dec 19, 1999
    Carmel, IN
    Ebony and Kay "blondie" go together in perfect harmony. Side by side on my dou-ble bass, so why can't we?.........ah hell, nevermind.