Fingerboard Wood

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Lance Jaegan, Jan 2, 2001.

  1. Lance Jaegan

    Lance Jaegan

    Dec 23, 2000
    So, what kind of wood do you like on your fingerboard? Does it really make a difference? Does pau ferro sound different than ebony? Maple your shtick? Love that rosewood? In your opinion, does it change the tone much? Do fingerboards on a fretted bass really matter? What's your fav fretless wood?
  2. I personally like the rosewood on my fretted instruments. IMO gives it a warmer tone. Definitely ebony on fretless, if not for any other reason, just for durability. It's a very hard wood that stands up to wear and tear very well.
  3. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    I'm in the process of making a few basses using Purpleheart as the fingerboard wood. Conklin is the only name bass that I know of that uses it in this manner. Several years ago, while making another bass using Purpleheart as a facing wood, I noticed that it was pretty hard, (definitely took it's toll on my tools!!!), and thought that it might serve pretty well as a fingerboard.

    While shopping for wood for these basses, I came across some nice Maple for the necks, but the cost of Ebony or Rosewood was more than I wanted to spend at the time...Saw a nice piece of Purpleheart for really cheap and picked it up. The only fear that I now have is of the wood checking as I cut and plane it to size...Wish me luck!

  4. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    I like maple for fretted and ebony or polyester/epoxy coated whatever for fretless.

    I really dislike rosewood, but I will take it with a thick poly coating for fretless(like a Pedulla Buzz).

    I also like wenge and purpleheart, almost as bright as maple, with a less pronounced warmth than rosewood.
  5. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Dayton, Ohio, USA
    I like the warm sound of rosewood, but I'd probably use maple if I slapped a lot. I play fretless, and I have 2 with ebony and one with rosewood. I love the durability, feel and look of ebony, but sometimes it can be a bit "clacky" sounding to me. Rosewood sounds a little warmer, but is much less durable, so I will stick with the ebony.
  6. i have always played rosewood, tried maple a little while ago for "better slap tone" and sold the bass 6 months later.