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Difference between wenge ebony and phenowood fret/fingerboards

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by R0VER, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. R0VER


    Jul 25, 2011
    Could someone please help explain the tonal and physical characteristics of ebony, wenge, and phenowood fret/finger boards?

    Many thanks!
  2. philtoler


    Dec 3, 2009
    Ebony & Phenowood are both quite hard so contribute a "thinner" or "brighter" element to the tone. Wenge is soft (softer than Rosewood) so contributes a "fatter" or "warmer" element to the tone. Phenowood is, according to manufacturers claims, less susceptible to problems associated with temperature, humidity and general wear, and also may contribute to better dead spot alleviation, although this latter point is very dependent on how good is the bass builder.
  3. R0VER


    Jul 25, 2011
    thanks for the info philtoler. I'm assuming that in that case Wenge would have a slower attack time as well as a shorter sustain when compared to Ebony and Phenowood?
  4. philtoler


    Dec 3, 2009
    only very minimal effect in both cases because those attributes are mostly governed by the metal frets.
  5. mp40smg


    Aug 11, 2010
    Worcester, Ma.
    Are you talking about fretted or fretless??

    IMO on a fretted instruments, the frets make more of a difference than the fretboard wood.

    On a fretless...completely different animal.
    Wenge, woody/ thumpy(possibly muddy).

    Ebony, the standard fretless sound, a bit brighter than rosewood. Good luck finding any "real ebony" Gabon at this point (if a new build).

    Pheno/ Ebonol/ etc.. Most modern, most brite, most Mwaaaah, will also hold up best to round wounds.

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