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fretboard; bird's VS regular maple?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ccdabassman, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. ccdabassman


    Dec 30, 2007
    Hi. Can anyone tell me if there is any difference in the tone between bird's eye and regular maple fretboards. I have been told the (B.E) is denser. This my equal honk on the pluck. Thanks:meh:
  2. msiner


    Sep 2, 2008
    Tucson, AZ

    From my understanding, it is the same as regular maple. Maple specimens with "birds eye" figuring are just put to the side so people can charge more money for the same wood. I am not an expert, but that is the impression that I have received.
  3. There are so many other variables to take into account that i doubt you would be able to pick out differences between wood of the same species.

    I have always heard that Birdseye, Flame, and plainsawn Maple's all sounded the same, it was just a matter of how much/what type of figuring was apparent in each piece of wood.

    Obviously there is some difference between a boring piece of flatsawn Maple, and an insanely figured piece of AAA Birdseye, but i doubt that it would be noticeable tonally.
  4. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    I find the birdseye on my Roscoe and flamed maple on my Warwick to be slightly darker than the plain maple on my Squier VM Telebass or the Geddy Lee Jazz I used to own.

    Disclaimer: I would not be suprised if the tone difference is just in my head as I have not formally done a A/B on similar basses.:rolleyes::D

    I do find that the heavily laquered Geddy Lee neck is brighter than most other maple necks though.
  5. NBingham


    Jan 2, 2008
  6. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    There is no noticeable difference in tone between the birds eye and regular maple.
  7. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    After 30 years of gigging, I'm suspicious of the whole maple/rosewood conjecture, let alone whether the maple has birds eyes or not. Now, has anyone made say 24 necks that are as identical as possible except 12 have maple fingerboards glued on and 12 have rosewood boards glued on, then bolted EACH of those necks to EACH of 24 bodies in rotations, and compared the sounds in blindfold tests? That might tell us that maple boards are really noticably brighter than rosewood.

    When we talk about this stuff we can't just compare a few basses without controlling for as many variables as possible. A one-piece maple neck is going to sound a lot different from a chunk of maple with either a chunk of rosewood or a chunk of maple glued to it.

  8. Hugh Jass

    Hugh Jass

    Oct 10, 2008
    Canada eh
    He he, another one of these :eyebrow:

    So what wiki is saying is that trees which produce birdseye are actually unhealthy and starved for light and nutrients. Hmmmmm.

    It is so much more the bass than anything. I a/b'd two new Fender Jazzes the other day, one maple and one rosewood and they both sounded the same.

    Now maple VS. (insert other wood here) for the whole neck I can see making a difference.

    I prefer maple but thats purely vanity. :smug:

    Sooooo, do block inlays change the tone? :D
  9. I went from maple on a Lakland to bird's eye on a Carvin and noticed not 1 difference.
  10. Maple is maple! Get the one that looks the best to you. (I guess spalt would not be a good idea, since that is soft due to the 'rotting', but flame, birdseye, etc. should behave the same).
  11. Wiki says it's caused by a hormonal response. Add your own punch line here. :D

    FWIW - I *love* the look of birdseye & flamed maple necks!!!
  12. ccdabassman


    Dec 30, 2007
    Thank you guys so much for your input.
  13. Jim C

    Jim C I believe in the trilogy; Fender, Stingray, + G&L Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    I'm certain that birds eye sounds different than regular maple; it's just that humans can't hear this difference; the real question is, which fretboard wood sounds best to the universe?

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