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Ebony fretboard

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by fetfet, Sep 1, 2008.

  1. fetfet


    Apr 13, 2008
    Toronto, ON
    I tried the search, but nothin useful came up. So I must ask, what are the tonal qualities of Ebony fretboards? I'm looking at them because i'm told they are like a combo of rosewood and maple. Looking for soundclips if anyone has. Thanks to anyone who helps.
  2. Just Thumpin'

    Just Thumpin' Commercial User

    Mar 7, 2008
    NE United States
    Manager and Partner, Fodera Guitars (as of 10/14/09)
    I have ebony boards on two of my basses (Fodera Monarch 4-strings) and am having a third built. Interesting, I have never heard ebony described as sounding like a combination of rosewood and maple, but that really isn't a bad description -- tight, punchy lows (much more defined and tight than rosewood, but warmer than maple) with really clear, "bell-like" highs. I love the sound of an ebony board. Of course, if you are looking for a slap-style sound like Marcus Miller, Maple is probably a better bet and if you want a smooth, warm, sound rosewood might be better...

    However, don't forget about the one advantage that I think ebony has head and shoulder over both maple and rosewood -- the feel of the fretboard. It is incredibly smooth to the touch which I find really makes a difference after long hours of playing.
  3. fetfet


    Apr 13, 2008
    Toronto, ON
    Do you have any soundclips?

    And can it get a very clanky sound?

    By this I mean a trebly sound?
  4. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
  5. LDonnie


    Aug 3, 2008
    I think Cort Curbows sport ebony fretboards, I might be wrong though.
  6. Usually ebanol. I can't remember if it's an acrylic or what, but it's artificial.
  7. Just Thumpin'

    Just Thumpin' Commercial User

    Mar 7, 2008
    NE United States
    Manager and Partner, Fodera Guitars (as of 10/14/09)
    I don't have soundclips. But I would certainly not associate ebony with a very trebly sound. For that I think maple or kingwood (although less so than maple)...
  8. RyreInc


    May 11, 2006
    Kalamazoo, MI
    If I remember correctly, ebony is harder than maple or rosewood, and it also has tighter grains than either as well. I could be wrong tho:bag:
  9. perfektspace6


    May 9, 2006
    Ebony is my board of choice but I don't know how much it really contributes to the sound on a fretted bass versus other woods. I like the way it looks and feels and that is what I base my choice upon.

    I think the neck and body wood have a much greater impact. I know there is some debate about that. Just my opinion.

    However, for a fretless I find ebony to be above rest (with the exception of composite/graphite boards which I prefer). Again mostly due to look and feel but also durability. When it comes to fretless bass I think an ebony board stays "fresh" longer and hold up to nickel rounds better than other woods.
  10. AxtoOx


    Nov 12, 2005
    Duncan, Okla.
    Yeah, the fretboard will make a little tonal difference, but technique is vastly more important.
    I play Wenge on my main bass and Ebony on my backup. I think it's just great.

    How it sounds depends a lot on who's playing it.:)

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