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Cost of a new fingerboard in 2006?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by RadicalDad, Mar 7, 2006.


  1. RadicalDad

    RadicalDad

    Mar 6, 2006
    Portland, OR
    I see the old "sticky" thread about fingerboard replacement. Problem is, that thread is 6 years old. I am considering the purchase of a German "factory built" carved base. The current owner guesses that the bass is 40 to 60 years old. Asking price is $6,500. However, the fingerboard is very thin, probably from repeated planings & dressings over the years. What should a replacement fingerboard cost in the year 2006?

    I also heard mention that replacing the fingerboard would change the tone of the bass. Is there any predictability to knowing how the sound will change? (Generally more shallow, deeper, more pronounced high end, etc). The old fingerboard is ebony. Needless to say, the new fingerboard will be ebony too. I like the way the bass sounds now, but don't like the thin neck (due to the thin fingerboard - the non-fingerboard portion of the neck measures to within 1/64 of the measure I took on two other basses).

    Any help appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. The cost in Southern California is $800 to $1200. Your profile does
    not have your location, so..... it cound be be more or less depending on where you live. I'm having some work done by Jon at the World of String in Long Beach, Ca, including a new FB. He really knows the bass, having played one for years. Make sure they hollow out the end of the FB(underside) it's critical to a proper FB set up!

    Good luck!
     
  3. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    $800-$1200 is a good ballpark. A new board usually results in more sustain, and a fatter low end. Have a new nut made, as well.

    Also consider that you may need to have a new bridge cut, or wood added to the legs. The new bridge height will be a lot higher than the old one. Raising the adjusters up 3/4" (all the way out) is not a good solution.
     
  4. JJBluegrasser

    JJBluegrasser Wannabe Snazzy Dresser

    Apr 17, 2003
    USA, Raleigh, NC
    Listen to Nick. I just had this done to my bass. Listen to Nick.
     
  5. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    I just do whatever my crystal ball tells me...
     
  6. Eric Rene Roy

    Eric Rene Roy Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2002
    Mystic, CT
    President: Upton Bass String Instrument Co.
    Jeeze, I guess we need to raise our rates!
    How do people feel about boards that have zero scooping underside? Some pretty rep names do this.
     
  7. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    I've never tried it, as I always work from a pre-made fingerboard blank. But I know some people, like Gary Karr, swear by it. My problem is with the added weight. I might not be able to match my BO.

    How's the finger healing?
     
  8. Eric Rene Roy

    Eric Rene Roy Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2002
    Mystic, CT
    President: Upton Bass String Instrument Co.
    Gary has some on order...we are going to play with it a bit. I'll let you know when they arrive...maybe you can play too and we can compare notes.
    Thanks for remembering! it's a month today...amazing what the body can do! Besides the oddly shaped fingernail and the huge numb spot...you can barely tell I did it (although from some perspectives it is VERY flat!).