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Fingerboard wood: Are you maple or rosewood (or light v. dark)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Megas3300, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. Maple or light wood

    126 vote(s)
  2. Rosewood or dark/red wood

    132 vote(s)
  1. I myself have always leaned heavily towards maple or other similarly light shaded woods for my neck and fingerboard. But I am curious as to that other people prefer.
    Preferably with pictures and explanations as to why. I want to know how you guys feel aesthetically about necks. :bassist:
  2. No pics. But I have 5 basses including one I built myself, and two guitars as well.
    They are all different types of dark fingerboard woods.

    I guess I like the sound?
    I mean, honestly, the issue has never come up with me so it might just be a coincidence.
    But thinking back to the only lights I can remember playing, I didn't like them too much. Granted I don't rrmember if that was the reason mind you.
  3. I like my Ebony, it plays so smoothly, as does rosewood (to a lesser extent).

    For some reason, every maple fretboard I've played feels "sticky".
  4. allfiller


    Feb 21, 2007
    My favorite basses have always had rosewood or ebony fretboards (aside from my T40). I don't know if it has something to do with the hardness of either wood or what, but my T40 is just stuck with a plunky tone unless I do a lot of knob turning.
    Also, in the wrong lighting the fret markers on the side of a maple neck become completely obscured, making for some pretty drunken-sounding performances.
  5. Duckwater


    May 10, 2010
    USA, Washington
    I prefer Rosewood for the soft feel, I never noticed much of a tonal difference.
  6. KaKu


    May 29, 2011
    Montreal, QC, Canada
    I'm in love with the wenge board on my ibanez
  7. SVE


    Dec 20, 2010
    Go Maple or go home.
    pbassrules likes this.
  8. Jrutt


    Dec 11, 2011
    I played on both and the only difference I have found is the looks. Some bass guitars look better with maple and some with rosewood. Me, I play on a rosewood. Just grew up playing on then.
  9. One neck, one wood... when I'm playing electric. Double bass is a different machine and should be commented on in a different forum.

    And that's just my opinion.

    On an electric, there are so many things that affect the tone in the amplifier, the wood on the fingerboard is a very minute difference. If you have a $10,000 rig, the fingerboard wood might make that little bit of difference that mean the difference to you, but no one else will notice.

    I've never lost a job by a playing maple fingerboard.
  10. Basso54


    Jul 22, 2003
    Dalhart, TX
    Prefer Maple Myself, Check the link in my sig. Have one of each right now. Like them both, but I prefer the maple board. Seems you have to pay more for them though.
  11. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    I've always had basses with a rosewood fretboard until last month. Bought a Fender American Standard 5 string Jazz bass with a maple fretboard. Did a lot of comparing on and off since last summer before I bought and the tonal differance is marginal. It's there, but slight.

    But the one thing I couldn't help but notice (and I still don't know why) was how much better the maple fretboard models played, be they 4 or 5 string on all of the newer Fenders that I tried. I knew what I wanted in terms of playability, had no preferance as far as neck materials and I wasn't going to settle for less. That's why I bought the one I did. It was the best player that I found and it also sounds very, very good!
  12. SBsoundguy


    Sep 2, 2011
    Los Angeles
    I much much prefer maple and lighter woods.
  13. The Crow Hailer

    The Crow Hailer

    Jan 20, 2012
    Ebony. I've played Ebony, Maple and Rosewood and I like them in that order.
  14. this
  15. ustabawannab

    ustabawannab Caesar's palace, morning glory, silly human race. Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2006
    Greenfield, WI.
    Purely cosmetic to me. With my style of playing (and string choice) I get just as bright a sound out of rosewood as I do maple.

    I prefer look of the lighter Bubinga on my Ric 4003 over my darker Indian Rosewood on my JB Deluxe. Never cared for maple FBs as when they get older, some areas get discolored.
  16. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Aug 12, 2005
    Willow Street, PA
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
  17. parsons


    Feb 22, 2008
    3 out of 15 are rosewood, the rest are maple in my stable.
  18. Gord_oh

    Gord_oh Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2008
    im sure there are hundreds of threads regarding this topic. but it has been awhile since ive see one, so ill play.

    i prefer maple for looks and sound. i have been liking the sound of rosewood lately, but real picky about how it looks with a bass. 90% of my basses have a maple fretboard.
  19. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Aug 22, 2011
    Poll needs a "both" option!

    Actually, I guess statistically I gravitate towards the darker materials. I usually prefer the look of dark fingerboards, and of all the basses I own or have owned over my life I seem to prefer the ones with dark fingerboards

    ...but it honestly never occurred to me that the fingerboard had anything to do with that preference! Maybe I should pay more attention to this stuff...

    I currently only own one bass with a maple fingerboard. All the others are ebony, rosewood, or phenolic.
  20. brotherbassj


    Sep 20, 2008
    Jim Dunlop USA, King Kong Cases, Golden Eagle Energy Drink
    I have been playing fretted electric instruments for over 25 years now and can only comment on personal experiences. I agree with an above post that if you have a mega rig in the top end of bass amplication, then it might not matter as much what fingerboard wood you play.

    Having said that I would like to add that the longer you have played, you develop your own personal "tone" to a degree. I am sure some understand that. I can play a $5000 bass and a $500 bass through different amps and people still know its me because of how I play or how I have grown to hit the strings in my own personal style.

    Now I think I might contradict myself a bit but I do think wood can color sound to a degree. Proof positive....play a warwick with a wenge board, then play a warrior with a maple board.

    I will say this. I have played the following fingerboard woods:
    ebony (several varieties)
    maple (all varietys curly, birdseye etc)
    rosewood (many varieties)
    and more

    I notice one thing........and maybe I am wrong..........but slapping and harmonics seem to pop JUST A WEE BIT MORE to my ears on a maple neck and maple fingerboard.............just an opinion.........

    For the record, I prefer darker wood.......for my own reasons, partially because I don't slap...........but I do own about 12 basses and 7 guitars and have a variety of fingerboard woods.

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