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Fender Precision Bass question: Does the fretboard material make any difference in sound or anything

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Sean775, Feb 24, 2018.

  1. Sean775


    Mar 19, 2015
    New Jersey, USA
    I'm finally getting around to buying a P Bass, which I'll buy once I get my tax returns back. Should I pay much attention to the fretboard, or just buy what I think looks better?

    I didn't have a choice with my Jazz Bass, because the model I wanted only came in one option, and that had a rosewood fretboard.
    jamro217 likes this.
  2. MMiller28

    MMiller28 Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2003
    Here we go
  3. woodyng2

    woodyng2 Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2015
    Oregon Coast
    Between Rosewood or maple? I think it makes a difference. The maple is going to be brighter sounding.
    osv, godofthunder59, jamro217 and 9 others like this.
  4. Ampslut


    May 15, 2017
  5. MMiller28

    MMiller28 Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2003
  6. kinopah


    Oct 19, 2014
    Really depends who you ask. I mean different woods will CERTAINLY vibrate in different ways. But the extent to which you perceive that difference through the strings/electronics/amplification/etc gets complicated. Can you consistently pick out which is which in a blind test with so many other factors in play? But in terms of PLAYING, I think you absolutely get a tangible response from the fb wood. More about feel than sound (I think).

    Maple is hard and has always felt kind of "clacky" and bright to me in a way that I really love for most situations. Rosewood feels softer and more "lush" to me, with less articulation but taking up more space. Haven't played enough pau ferro basses to generate an opinion.

    Plenty of people will say that's all bs, but if it's something that feels clear to you, it makes a big difference in preferring one bass over another.
    Ampslut, slugger, triode6L6a and 5 others like this.
  7. ScrewDevil

    ScrewDevil Guest

    Feb 18, 2018
    Short answer: "yes" with a "but", long answer: "no" with an "and".
  8. superdick2112

    superdick2112 Mile High Bassist Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2010
    The Centennial State
    And there it is.
    End of thread.

  9. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music.

    Especially if the bass is fretless.
    togril, joebar, 4dog and 2 others like this.
  10. Wisebass


    Jan 12, 2017
    Lost in Space
    You should pay attention to buy what you like the most! :D

    Your bass should look and sound good to you!!!


    ...poor guy :p:p:p:p:p ;)


  11. Snaxster


    Nov 29, 2008
    Sean, this is a topic that is questioned and debated perennially and ad nauseam on TalkBass:
    BillMason, GregC and lz4005 like this.
  12. Kmrumedy


    May 12, 2004
    Montreal, Canada
    Jesus....is the search button broken again??
  13. mcarp555

    mcarp555 Guest

    Jul 14, 2013
    Many people think it does, because it does matter in a purely acoustic instrument. But wood has no effect upon a metal string vibrating in a magnetic field. Your amp plays a much bigger role than whatever the bass is made of.
  14. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    The choice of fingerboard woods can make a huge difference psychologically. I would be surprised if anybody could successfully identify fingerboard woods consistently based on listening to sound samples. The possibilities of that fall pretty much to zero once the instrument is heard in a band setting.

    I used to believe it made a huge difference, and I insisted on rosewood fingerboards. I still maintain I can hear subtle differences, but strangely, I can only correctly identify those differences if I can see the instrument.
    BillMason, gebass6, Thisguy and 5 others like this.
  15. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    This subject is.............................

    Flogging a dead horse (alternatively beating a dead horse, or beating a dead dog in some parts of the Anglophone world) is an idiom that means to continue a particular endeavour is a waste of time as the outcome is already decided.


    Fretboard makes no difference at all.

    Buy what you think looks best.

    The kind of strings that you use has the biggest effect on sound.
  16. Kukulkan61

    Kukulkan61 Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2011
    Northern Arizona
    I think that with all the arguments whether there’s a difference or not, I would just go by looks and feel...
  17. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    Have P basses with both. They all sound like P basses.
    BillMason, Kijuer, eff-clef and 3 others like this.
  18. DavC


    May 17, 2005
    Tallmadge , Ohio
    fretless = yes/maybe

    fretted = the note is sounded between the fret in front of your finger and the bridge ... the part of the string that is vibrating over the pickups is not touching the fretboard .. !?

    i would think various woods will affect the sustain ,... as some vibrate , or transfer vibrations better than others ...
  19. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Your tax return is the form you filled out. You don't get that back. And you can't buy a bass with it.
  20. RattleSnack


    Sep 22, 2011
    If you forget about tonal difference for a moment, I have noticed that gitars with lacquered-maple fretboard are more stable than open-grain rosewood fretboard when air humidity changes. (Less truss rod tweking require)
    Now, I admit my experience is limited to having owned 20-25 guitars, but makes sense scientificaly, right?
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Apr 12, 2021

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