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Cocobolo fingerboards

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Ben Rose, Apr 11, 2005.


  1. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    Oakland
    I'm interested in any descriptions of cocobolo as a fingerboard wood, particularly with a wenge or ash neck. Does anybody have this combination? I think that cocobolo is closely related to rosewood, but does the sound lean more towards ebony or maple, or something else entirely?

    Thanks in advance,
    Ben
     
  2. Juneau

    Juneau

    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    Taken from here: http://www.cbguitars.com/woods.htm

    Cocobolo is probably closer in tone, color and figure to the finest-grade Brazilian Rosewood used on the classic guitars of yesteryear than any tone wood available today, and for far less money than the inferior-quality Brazilian currently available. Cocobolo offers everything Brazilian Rosewood offers, and more: increased power, increased sustain, increased volume, along with beauty of color and figure not available in Brazilian Rosewood for years.
     
  3. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    Oakland
    Thanks for the link, Juneau. Nice meeting you at guitar show on Saturday.

    -Ben
     
  4. hippiesandwich

    hippiesandwich

    Aug 29, 2003
    San Jose
    Affiliated with Looperlative Audio Products
    I've got 3 cocobolo boards (2 Benaventes and a Stambaugh). The holly Benavente has a bubinga/ash neck. Cocobolo is very dense and the feel and tone of the cocobolo board is much closer to ebony than rosewood. It gives nice snap/attack and clarity. Looks KILLER too!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    Oakland
    Beatiful basses, HippySammich.

    I played an (almost) all wenge Bene this weekend and I loved it, but it was too heavy. I'm thinking about having one built with an alder body, wenge neck, and cocobolo fingerboard built. But if it won't sound *good*, then I may just get a cocobolo top instead of fingerboard.
     
  6. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA!
    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
    I have cocbolo for a FB on my fretless. The neck is a 3-piece Wenge and Purpleheart. I think that the combination is really cool. The bass sustains for a long time and the tone is very dark and moody... kind of what I wanted in a fretless.
     
  7. Halftooth

    Halftooth Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    Tri-Valley, NorCal
    I've actually played the "All-Wenge" Benavente SC-BO bass that was at NAAM. The sound was awsome, really clear and defined, but the thing weighed a ton, and it was even chamberred!

    As far as Cocobolo goes, I have it for my facings on my Smith, and as a fingerboard for my Roscoe SKB-3005. I'm very pleased with it as a FB wood. It probobly falls between Maple and Ebony in terms of its brightness, but it definetly has a nice, warm midrange that other Rosewood FBs have. It's also a tad brighter than Purpleheart which is also a type of Rosewood. So far, it's right up there with Wenge as my favorite FB wood.
     
  8. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that certain luthiers/builders would not work with cocobolo because the sawdust from it is apparently very health hazardous for some reason.

    Any info regarding this?
     
  9. hippiesandwich

    hippiesandwich

    Aug 29, 2003
    San Jose
    Affiliated with Looperlative Audio Products
    My Benavente 219B (the teal one with all the abalone) has an alder body, wenge neck, and ebony board and it sounds a-m-a-z-i-n-g!!!
     
  10. sgt.floyd

    sgt.floyd

    Dec 5, 2004
    basston
    I'm looking at an almost all wenge Bene 5 string that was at the NAMM show- can you give me your impressions (aside from the weight)?

    TIA
     
  11. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I've read that it's extremely toxic, and can cause long term, if not permanent respiratory ailments. Here's a link to a website showing a partial list of toxic woods.

    http://www.hobbithouseinc.com/personal/woodpics/_toxicity.htm

    This is also of interest...

    http://www.lotzdollpages.com/lwdtyp.html#cocobolo
     
  12. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    Oakland
    Sound:
    The sound of the wenge bass is incredibly articulate, and the maple fingerboard gives it just enough sheen. Each note was even, with major changes in sound or volume from string to string. Both pickups sounded full. On some basses the neck pickup sound hollow IMO, but that is not the case on the Bene's I played. I didn't experiment too much with the electronics, so I can't comment on how flexible the bass is in that regard. It did respond well to a variety of right hand techniques (fingers, muted thumb stuff, slapping). If I had to sum it up in 2 words: articulate and solid

    Playability:
    Umm...dat base play reel perdy. Low action, thin neck. No problems reaching the lowest or highest frets.

    Weight:
    I don't want to give the impression that the bass is ungodly heavy, in fact it was not too bad with a strap. It just wouldn't work for my playing situation. I play long gigs (4-5 hours) and lots of 'em. If you are comfortable with the weight of a Wal, then the weight this bass shouldn't present a problem.
     
  13. hippiesandwich

    hippiesandwich

    Aug 29, 2003
    San Jose
    Affiliated with Looperlative Audio Products
    see and hear for yourself :D :
    http://www.lowenddistribution.com/namm05w/mcox.mpg

    GO MIKE!!!
     
  14. sgt.floyd

    sgt.floyd

    Dec 5, 2004
    basston
    bummer- I was kinda hoping for "it plays like a squire and sounds like your playing through a rogue practice amp ALL THE TIME"

    I'm in a pretty deep stage of GAS over this thing right now, and you said all the right stuff. My six stringer is pretty heavy, I'll have to weigh it for comparison.

    Thanks a ton for the info.
     
  15. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    Oakland
  16. Phil Mastro

    Phil Mastro

    Nov 18, 2004
    Montréal
    I've used it for a neck on a guitar i built, and i didn't have any problems with it. You might get more answers from the guys in the Luthier's section, regarding both tone and toxicity.
     
  17. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    Oakland
    Jraj,

    That FBB looks sweet. I especially like the pic of the side of the neck.

    Hippie,

    Does your blue bass have the special pyramid neck laminate construction? If so, do you notice any differences in sound or stability with it?
     
  18. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA!
    Thanks man!

    TB'er schulyer built that one for me.

    Here is a pic of the original cocobolo that we were going to use:
    [​IMG]

    ...and here is a pic of the cocobolo that we used, prior to the bass' completion:
    [​IMG]
     
  19. tekhna

    tekhna

    Nov 7, 2004

    Thats beautiful! Is that a wenge/purpleheart/wenge neck?
    If so, that is what I am thinking of building right now.
     
  20. hippiesandwich

    hippiesandwich

    Aug 29, 2003
    San Jose
    Affiliated with Looperlative Audio Products
    My teal bass has the "B" neck as does the holly. The teal has the wenge core with maple surrounding it while the holly has the bubinga core with ash surrounding it. Feels great and is very stable. I'd like to think constructing the neck like that gives more of the "true tone" of the primary neck wood - maybe Brian B. or Chris B. would want to comment on this.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    and that FBB looks KILLER - keep'em coming!! :)