1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
     
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Ebony Fretboard

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ODDBALL, Jul 31, 2012.


  1. ODDBALL

    ODDBALL Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Salida, CA
    Hello All,

    Is Ebony good for a fretboard? I have been thinking of buying a MM Bongo 5 HH and was wondering if Ebony is a better choice over rosewood. Or visa versa? How do care for a Ebony board?

    Thanks

    Shaun
     
  2. wraub

    wraub

    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    deviated prevert
    Not better, just different.

    I find ebony to be brighter than rosewood, but not as bright as maple.
    Resists wear better than rosewood (for the most part).

    wraub
     
  3. ODDBALL

    ODDBALL Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Salida, CA
    I am trying to figure out if Ebony would be best for my future Bongo or would Rosewood? I plan on getting the Stealth 5 HH.

    Shaun
     
  4. jlepre

    jlepre

    Nov 12, 2007
    Parsippany, NJ
    IF I'm not mistaken, isn't Ebony STANDARD on the Stealth?
     
  5. ODDBALL

    ODDBALL Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Salida, CA
    Yes, but you could also have rosewood if desired.

    Shaun
     
  6. Dan Knowlton

    Dan Knowlton Sarcasm: Just ONE of the many services I offer! Gold Supporting Member

    I like ebony, I like rosewood. I prefer ebony for a fretless and for a tiny bit more up-front sound on a fretted. Rosewood is a bit less alive sonically - BTW - FWIW, all this is IMHO, AFAIK, ALARP, and FYI but it may be FUBAR...

    Dan K.
     
  7. Lo-E

    Lo-E

    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    I concur with the others. A little more upper mids with ebony IME.

    Ebony is alittle more susceptible to cracking as a result of humidity extremes, but that's only an issue if you never care for it.

    As for care and feeding, it's the same with either rosewood or ebony: apply just a little bit of oil once a year or so. To decide what kind of oil to use on a fingerboard, I suggest you do a search and read dozens of pages of people arguing that their oil is the only correct choice and everybody else's is wrong. :)

    I've used lemon oil for 20 years but I might be one of the ones who's wrong, so don't take my word for it! ;)
     
  8. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa

    Dec 25, 2011
    Canada
    Ebony is a very nice wood ... remember ebony was( and still ) used for violin/alto/cello/DB fingerboard and you can find very very old that stood the test of time.

    Also ebony was used for the black touch on a piano with ivory for white touch. They don't do that anymore.

    So ebony is the oldess fingerboard wood avalaible. your Bongo should be fine.
     
  9. jlepre

    jlepre

    Nov 12, 2007
    Parsippany, NJ
    [​IMG]PLus it looks GREAT on the Stealth!
     
  10. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    You betcha! Every one of the bass guitars I currently own has an ebony board. I have a real thing for ebony! :cool:

    A light wiping of high-grade lemon oil, or guitar fretboard conditioner, administered a couple times per year, should do the trick. If you opt for lemon oil, get it from a guitar shop or music store - not a hardware store. Personally, I've also had great results with Gibson's Fretboard Conditioner.

    Best time of year to use? Whenever the climate is the driest where you live (Northeast & Midwest? That would be winter. West Coast & Desert Southwest? That would be summer.)

    MM
     
  11. ODDBALL

    ODDBALL Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Salida, CA
    Thanks all for the info. :) Now the question is which looks better on the Stealth? I am leaning towards the Ebony myself. What do you think?

    Shaun
     
  12. double plus one on teh lemon oil caveat. A lot of "lemon oil" is mineral oil with lemon fragrance added.
    I prefer to use fingerboard conditioner. I usually use Dunlop, or some other major brand.
    I gotta say I am big fan of the Dunlop kit with the the various polishes, cleaners etc. It's about $30 but it will last you for years.
     
  13. happyg

    happyg

    Sep 17, 2011
    I just picked up a stealth hh. I love the ebony. There is just something about the feel.
     
  14. bassbenj

    bassbenj

    Aug 11, 2009
    As far as I'm concerned Ebony always look great and is by far my favorite on fretless. But even fretted it's great. Wears great. Looks good.

    And I'd get Ebony for one other reason. The black Madagascar Ebony is no longer imported and will not be available once current stocks are gone. West African Ebony is available (with lighter streaks in wood) but will be dyed if you want a pure black board. Hence if you have ANY interest in Ebony I'd get an Ebony board while you still can. You won't be killing any endangered trees because the black Ebony has already stopped. Now it's just using up old stock.
     
  15. darkstorm

    darkstorm

    Oct 13, 2009
    I'll take ebony over maple. No finish needed and better tone. More snap then rosewood but without the treble bite of maple. Small diff sound wise but worthwhile. You do have to be more careful with purchasing instruments with ebony boards since cheap companies sometimes dont properly cure the wood causing cracking over time.
     
  16. Ebony for sure IMO. It's also becoming a rare piece of wood!
     
  17. Lo-E

    Lo-E

    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Dude! Would you wear brown shoes with a tuxedo?!?

    EBONY!
     
  18. ODDBALL

    ODDBALL Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Salida, CA
    I am 99% sure I will be going with Ebony. Can anyone post some pictures of basses with Ebony boards.

    Shaun
     
  19. jlepre

    jlepre

    Nov 12, 2007
    Parsippany, NJ
    I did already post pics
    scroll up
     
  20. xed

    xed

    Dec 8, 2007
    Coastal NC, USA
    ebony

    As far as care goes I go by this health food store and pick up a bottle of "100% pure essential lemon oil" for my fretboards. All that means is that it doesn't have anything else mixed in with it that you might not want. I think it's about $5 for a tiny bottle and it goes a LONG way. Just keep it in your refrigerator.

    Ebony fretboards are my favorite but they're not always available. If I have an option I always go with ebony.
     

Share This Page