ebony, ebonized, and maple

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by englehart blues, Dec 18, 2001.

  1. englehart blues

    englehart blues

    Nov 30, 2001
    Hi, I am going to buy my first UB at some point and want to ask a question about fingerboard woods.

    At the price range I will be shopping ($1000-2000) the cheaper basses in the range have ebonized and maple fingerboards. The higher priced basses in my price range use ebony for the fingerboad.

    Can someone(s) compare and contrast these three woods and give the ups and downs as well.

    My feeling is that ebony is the most desirable but just the fingerboard alone is about $400.

  2. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    It's like the difference between "Corvette" and Chevette." Their both made by the same company and perform the same function but you can tell the difference right away.

    Ebonized is usually maple. If it ain't maple, it's something softer. IMO, That means it's going to sound less focussed, get dug-out sooner and need more work.

    Some may disagree, but I think there's a dramatic sonic difference with ebony. It sounds focussed, feels great, is highly stable through the seasons, and needs less work.

    I don't know whether better grades of ebony perform better sonically or wear-wise, so I don't know how that investment pays out. But you'll probably find a chorus of folks telling you that when you upgrade from map-oid to ebony, you get what you pay for.
  3. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    Samuel is on target, in my opinion.

    I always got a kick out of manufacturers who would describe their product as "featuring ebonized wood". Uh-you mean you painted it black?
  4. Trying to post a picture of an ebonized finger board
  5. I have a great picture of an ebonized finger board that is about 160 to 180 years old and would like to post it except I am a computer illiterate.

  6. My sole bass is a Englehardt with a "soft" fingerboard. Since it looks like I'm going to be stuck with it for while, I'd like to soup it up a little.

    I know it's subjective, but would a luthier think I was nuts if I wanted to put an ebony fingerboard on it? Or am I trying to make the proverbial silk purse? The fingerboard would be worth more than the bass at this point I suspect.
  7. englehart blues

    englehart blues

    Nov 30, 2001

    Yes, pictures and links are what makes these boards great!

    Just hit "reply" at the top of the thread page like you did to reply to my message. Then type something saying you are
    posting a pic of an ebony fingerboard in the "Your Reply" box. Then, at the bottom where it says "Attach:" click on the "browse" button. Then you have to browse your hard-drive to locate the picture. When you find it (your pic) click on it and return. Then, you are done and click on "submit".
    Good luck!
    -Lucien Hehn