Anyone have a pau ferro fretboard?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tehuberc, Dec 6, 2007.

  1. tehuberc


    Mar 1, 2007
    What do you think of it?
  2. thombo


    Aug 25, 2006
    Denver, CO
    i have one on my fretless eb/mm stingray V. it is a beautiful medium grained wood, dark reddish color w/ chocolate streaks. softer than ebony but harder than rosewood. honestly, i would prefer ebony, especially for fretless. has a pretty good wood reference page.
    hit me up if i can answer any questions.
  3. Yup, I have one on my Fender Urge Mk1.


    It's a great feeling wood and I really like the colour....
  4. mikopita


    Feb 22, 2007
    I have one on my Roscoe Beck V. I like it a lot. Visually it's not quite as dark as rosewood, and I'd describe the sound as a cross between maple and rosewood.
  5. I have them on my Fender Urge and Peavey Cirrus and Millennium basses. It's a very nice wood. The tone is somewhere between rosewood and ebony. It's not quite as hard as ebony when used as a fretless. It's much less porous, which makes it more weather stable than ebony. When the weather changes, my ebony basses freak out the most. The pao fero ones hold up nicely.
  6. fullrangebass


    May 7, 2005
    my pau ferro basses hold great when weather changes (graphite bars help too)
  7. mikopita


    Feb 22, 2007
    Interesting that you think so. I think it has a bit more snap than ebony which is why I described it the way I did.
  8. Crow


    Oct 28, 2006
    Cleveland, Ohio
    My Fender American Jazz V FMT has one & it's beautiful. Not as dark as rosewood, but the light/dark streaks give it character.
  9. My twenty-year-old pre-Gibson Tobias has a pau ferro board, as do most older high-end Tobias basses. It's waxy and very stable compared to either rosewood or ebony, and the higher grade stuff looks contrasty and colorful, though the lower grades can look a bit muddy and plain.

    IMO, it offers a nice compromise in tone and feel between the harder and brighter closed grain of ebony and the softer, warmer open grain of rosewood. It's not as clear and focused sounding as ebony, but it's much more articulate than rosewood.

    I think pau ferro is an ideal choice for fretted basses (I dislike rosewood boards; the lows often get too bloated and dull for my tastes), but I don't think it's quite hard enough over the long haul for a fretless with rounds. The only pau ferro fretless bass I've owned was a MM Stingray V, and it sounded a bit generic and lackluster, with very little in the way of "muah" or growl.

  10. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I went to high school with a Paul Ferro, does that count?

    My Cirruses have pf fretboards. The grain is a lot tighter than that on my Lull's rosewood fretboard. I can't even begin to A/B them in terms of tone...two entirely different animals!

  11. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    My Roscoe and Cirrus both have PF boards, but like Zoob said, too different to compare.
  12. cosmicevan


    Feb 1, 2003
    New York
    yeah, a fretboard is just one of the many things that contribute to the sound and feel of a bass. the CT i just got has a very soft, low-middy sound to it. way more than any bass i've ever played with a rosewood board.
  13. MobileHolmes

    MobileHolmes I used to be BassoP

    Nov 4, 2006
    I just got my pau ferro boarded bass Wed. Warmoth Super J (alder, maple/pau ferro, nordstrands, audere). I like the feel. Pretty slick, like ebony, looks more like rosewood, but with some nice striping. Tonally, hard to say, given that this bass is wholesale different than any of my others, but this bass on the whole is very snappy/bright (although the strings are still very new). Hands down the best slap tone of any bass I own.
  14. my bongo 5 fretless has a pf board, i very much prefer it to rosewood and ebony in sound and feel and looks.
  15. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    I multiple basses with Pau Ferro, Maple, and Ebony fingerboards.

    IMHO, Pau Ferro has less snap or "ping" as some folks call it, than Ebony* for sure. I also think Ebony has more snap than Maple at the high end. Also, a quality piece of Ebony will not only be just as stable as Pau Ferro or Maple, but will typically have the tightest grain of all of them.

    IMHO, Pau Ferro is well beyond Rosewood (which is also a VERY general term for lots of kinds of similar woods)... somewhat past Maple, but not all the way to Ebony. That's what I like so much about it.

    *Note: There are multiple kinds of Ebony, so I'm assuming we're talking about Gaboon Ebony, the stuff that's typically totally black even without any stain, which is what most folks are referring to, vs something like Macassar Ebony which looks totally different.)
  16. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I have it on my Roscoe Beck and American Jazz Deluxe QMT V. It seems to darken with usage more than rosewood, but otherwise it's comparable in sound.


  17. You bet:






    I just couldn't resist :D

    I really enjoy its look, feel, and tone contributions. Most recommended.

  18. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine

    I concur. More like Maple than what most folks call rosewood... maybe even snappier. It's on my American Deluxe Jazz V and my Skjold, and I love it. Look at how tight this grain is...

  19. mikopita


    Feb 22, 2007
    Vic and all, the tonal qualities of the pau ferro makes for an interesting topic of its own IMO.

    Per Roscoe Beck's website:

    This is Scott Malandrone's writeup on the RBV in Bass Player

    "To our ears, this African hardwood combines the snap of maple with the warmth of rosewood. Pau ferro is also nearly twice as dense as typical rock maple, so it adds stiffness to the neck, which is especially critical for a good B-string sound.
  20. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine