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arched upright-style fingerboard?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SummerSoft, Jul 12, 2005.

  1. SummerSoft


    Jun 17, 2005
    what is arched upright-style fingerboard?
    I saw it at
  2. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    I'd assume they mean it has a large radius like uprights, to allow to for bow playing.
  3. SummerSoft


    Jun 17, 2005
    Does anybody know if it has any effect on a sound?
    Thank you
  4. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    No, just playability. If your radius is small like an electric, the strings are too in-line to use a bow. Thats the only reason to have a large radius on the board AFAIK.
  5. I'm not sure that's entirely true, at least when the fingerboard gets extremely arched--the string would come into contact with a smaller section of the fretboard as it's vibrating. Don't know for sure what impact that would have, but it seems like it ought to do *something*....

  6. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    I dont see how thats true, but maybe you are correct. I dont play upright, so maybe those folks can help more.
  7. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Everything said so far is right, it makes it easier to play with a bow, that's about it. As far as a smaller piece of wood coming in contact, that difference is so minimal if at all, it would hardly make a sonic difference.
  8. It might be one of those intersections between playability and sound, I guess. On my recent fretlesses (Curbows with very flat boards), plucking right over the end of the fretboard for a sort of "upright" tone tended to sound a little buzzy, with the string motion vibrating against the board a lot--an excess of "mwah" almost, when plucking in that position. By contrast, playing the Takamine B10 ABG (which has an upright-style board) and the uprights I've fooled around with had a rather different sound when plucked over the end of the fingerboard. I'm not sure if it's because the arch tends to make you pluck at a different angle in relation to the surface of the board, or makes it more comfortable to pluck with the side of your finger rather than the tip (more the way you would pluck an upright)...or maybe something else entirely. I did find myself playing slightly differently, though.

  9. nahhh...the string doesn't vibrate where it comes in contact with the fingerboard, it's anchored there...besides the minute difference of contact surface of a round string on a much LESS round surface is negligable.
  10. The phenomenon you are talking about has more to do with where the end of the fingerboard is in relation to the bridge, as a function of the scale length...

    But yeah, the arch will sure make you pluck at a different angle, fo sho.
  11. BassFelt


    Mar 26, 2002
    You guys have it reverse: a larger radius is flatter, a smaller radius is rounder. But that's just nitpicking.

    As mikezimmerman mentioned, on my B10's the fretboard is rounder, and combined with playing it in upright position, it makes you play different, more upright-style.

    I severely doubt if you could hear the difference between a flatter and a rounder fretboard when played the same way.

    When you compare a B10 with a flatter-boarded solid body, you don't just compare fretboards though: the hollow body also affects the tone and sustain. Plus, likely the solid body had a lower action cotributing to more mwah?
  12. I'd say the 'mwah' you get is more a result of setup and strings than radius. In fact, I'd gather radius has little to nothing to do with it. Ever listen to Rufus Reid play DB? He gets as much 'mwah' as any fretless player can coax. FB relief has a lot to do with it.

    BTW - AFAIK, DB radiuses are around 5-8 inches. EB radiuses range from 14ish (I think I haven't seen anything smaller) to infinite.
  13. True enough, the B10 is really a whole package, and you can't really just isolate one particular detail and attribute the sound to that. I just know that I found myself playing rather differently on it than I did my regular fretlesses.

    'Mwah' alone is not really what I'm talking about. However, I'm curious why everyone is so convinced that fretboard relief is critical but fretboard radius is completely unimportant to the sound? Both affect the amount of fingerboard surface that the vibrating string comes in contact with beyond the fixed point where you're fingering the string. Sure, that's a very small difference beween a large and small radius--but the difference when talking about relief is also very small. But that's just speculation on my part, and the only way to know is to compare two otherwise similar instruments.

    I wonder if the folks at Azola have played with that stuff? The Nouveau, for instance, is offered with both regular fretless and upright-style boards, and the body shape would make it impossibe to bow even with the arched board... It'd be interesting to know if they hear any sonic differences.

  14. Well, to answer to why I think relief is important, but not radius (I'm no engineer, mind you):

    The change in string-to-FB contact between different radii is along an acess perpendicular to the length of the string while the change for different reliefs is along the length of the sring, affecting the string as it oscillates.

    Again, speaking only to the 'mwah' or 'growl,' I've always understood that to be a function of relief/action. If the distance between the string at rest and the fingerboard is less than the displacement of oscillation at that particluar point, the string will come in contact with the fingerboard, creating a buzz which will either be pleasant ('mwah') or annoying ('BUZZZZ').

    For me, I don't see much use for a small radius on an EB fingerboard. The benefits I see for it on DB are bowability and to keep the distance between the thumb and the fingers a bit more uniform, assuming the thumb does not move laterally on the neck.

    I hope that made sense.

    edit:: Should this be in SETUP?