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And yet another FB-wood poll...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Frank Martin, Jun 4, 2005.


Which wood for the fingerboard?

Poll closed Jun 11, 2005.
  1. Ebony

    17 vote(s)
    56.7%
  2. Morado (aka Pau Ferro)

    4 vote(s)
    13.3%
  3. Other (please specify)

    7 vote(s)
    23.3%
  4. Why don't you build the first carrot-FB 6?

    2 vote(s)
    6.7%
  1. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Yeah, that's right.

    I'll soon be ordering the neck for my project, but I still haven't decided which wood to use for the FB.

    The bass will have the following specs:
    Thick figured bubinga top
    Swamp ash back
    some chambers for weight-reduction
    Bartolini 90-P4-6-CBC dual-coils, with series/parallel/sc switch

    Neck:
    Wenge / bubinga stringers, 5 pc
    Carbon-fiber reinforcement bars
    2 trussrods
    brass adjustable nut

    So, that only leaves the FB.
    I'd like the tone to be punchy, growly and fat yet detailed, with some high-end clarity. Not too much, though, I don't like harsh highs, I'm not a pick-and-grind-type: mostly fingers and slap.
    The woods are already chosen for a tone like this (bubinga: strong, punchy and growly lows and low-mids; swamp ash: punchy and bright; wenge: strong and growly low-mids), the one thing that may be a bit lacking is clarity.

    Ebony: I like the simple, elegant look of perfectly black ebony. Would be a nice contrast to the figurd bubinga top, and blend well in with the black hardware.
    The sound is most commonly defined as "Smooth, Strong Low End w/ Definitive Highs" (source: Ken Smith website)
    I have also heard opinions that the highs would be too high for most p-ups...

    Morado / Pau Ferro: seems to have somewhat similar tonal qualities, but a bit lighter; some say it is somewhat like a darker-colour equivalent of maple.

    So far the only FB woods I got to know are rosewood, wenge and acacia. I have not owned or played basses with these FB woods, so I really need your opinions and experience.

    Thanks:
    Frank
     
  2. Time Divider

    Time Divider Guest

    Apr 7, 2005
    Birdseye maple.
     
  3. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    ...

    Ooops, forgot to say that IMO maple looks horrible on a bass with a dark top, dark neck, dark headstock, and black hardware. It's jsut so strikingly out-of-place.

    Anyway, thanks for the votes so far, but may I have a bit more of an opinion than just a click? I'm interested in your reasons and experience, too
     
  4. iplay4-5

    iplay4-5 Guest

    Feb 4, 2004
    rockford, IL
    i;d have to say wenge for the FB i;ve tried ebony over that kind of neck and the words cancel themselves out to much and it doesn't sound very clear like you mite want it to w/ a wenge board you'll twice the growl and alot of attack pao ferro just wouldn't look good at all w/ a nice bubinga top
     
  5. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    So the stand right now is:
    12-1-5-1

    Despite the (please specify), there is only Time Divider, who said what that other is...
    I know, I should've taken that mind-reading course, but it's a bit harder over the net ;)

    So please, share your reasons and experiences and other motivation behind your choice

    Thanks!
     
  6. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Ah at least some care to elaborate.

    I was thinking of wenge early on, but thought it would add too much growl, and I wouldn't gain much clarity with it.
    So ebony was not adding clarity in your case? The tones cancelled each other out? Interesting...
    As for pau ferro, there are some darker-colour pieces, as well.
     
  7. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    I agree that birdseye maple probably won't go well with bubinga.

    Morado might be a little too close in color... that is, not enough contrast. I'd go with ebony: black would look cool, but a nicely grained Macassar ebony board might look cooler.

    FWIW, I always choose by color because IME it's difficult to predict what effect (if any) the fingerboard will have on the tone of a particular bass.
     
  8. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    figured bubinga!
     
  9. Sound Chaser

    Sound Chaser

    Mar 19, 2005
    Lockport, NY
    Wenge is a great sonic and cosmetic compliment to bubinga. I like James' suggestion, as well.
     
  10. Sound Chaser

    Sound Chaser

    Mar 19, 2005
    Lockport, NY
    You know, I have almost that exact same rig...

    Warwick Corvette > Ampeg SVP-BSP > Ampeg BA-210SP

    I just need to get a power amp and a cab in place of my old combo.
     
  11. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    That would be a bit too much :smug:

    The top will hopefully be the pomelé piece in the Bubinga thread at the Gallery Hardwoods subforum :D :hyper:
     
  12. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    so is the one I've got ordered :smug: I chose the figured bubinga board first... then the pomelé top to go with it :bassist: (there is a picture of it here )
     
  13. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    That is one nice busy figuring!
    I think I'd get lost fast on an unlined board with so much figuring distracting me :smug: