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fretboard material

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by STROMERO, Oct 13, 2017.



    Sep 12, 2016
    I have a Fender Blacktop bass with a P-Bass neck. I love the tone but I prefer the J-Bass neck. I have a Jazz neck on my Precision. I want to replace the neck on the Blacktop and found a pretty good price on one but the fretboard is maple. I know the purported differences in tone between rosewood and maple.

    Has anyone ever switched and how noticeable was the change? I think the maple might complement the humbuckers on the Blacktop. Any ideas? I know it's subjective and I won't know unless I try. Just looking for experiences.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  2. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    A local bass player put a maple-fretboard neck on his Blacktop & said it was brighter, but from the audience I could not hear a difference.
  3. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone

    Feb 23, 2011
    This video demonstrates pretty well what difference body and neck/fret board wood will do for your tone (especially notice how much the brown maple neck/fret board with ash body stands out. The newer Japan made bass with basswood body comes close in snapyness since basswood also is supposed to be mid heavy like ash, but still not quite there, as it lacks the maple fret board which is supposed to emphasis the treble and mids response as well.)

    I guess Killed_by_Death is right though, won't make much of a noticeable difference in the mix.:

    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
  4. Chico Ruger

    Chico Ruger

    Dec 11, 2014
    Western NC
    These dont have the same pickups, do they? What about the pots?

    These comparisons never seem be valid as there are so many variables.

    I will say all three sound fine and if you heard them all in a real mix a day apart I doubt you could tell the difference.
  5. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone

    Feb 23, 2011
    I do realize that the basses in the video I linked to doesn't have the exact same electronics equipped, still the tone that comes out of them sounds pretty much as you would expect from the kind of wood they are made of, and in my opinion it is still one of the best videos out there if you want to hear the difference one could expect from different wood types.

    I also specifically made a note saying that the difference is probably not significant enough to make any big noteable difference in the mix, so honestly I really can't see what your post bring to this discussion.
  6. Chico Ruger

    Chico Ruger

    Dec 11, 2014
    Western NC
    The point was trying to make is that the various combinations of body wood and fretboard materials makes little practical difference when playing in a band situation. Perhaps I could have worded it more clearly.

    I am really sorry you don't like my post. I offer a sincere apology and hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.
    Aqualung60 and DiabolusInMusic like this.
  7. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone

    Feb 23, 2011
    Concider yourself forgiven, but don't let me catch you doing it again! :p
    navijaz likes this.
  8. Chico Ruger

    Chico Ruger

    Dec 11, 2014
    Western NC
    I'll behave. Promise. :)
    NoiseNinja likes this.
  9. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive Suspended Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    IME Maple boards tend to sound brighter and more focused than Rosewood on similar basses. That only equals better if that is what is desired.

    That won't necessarily convey to an audience.
    tfer likes this.
  10. M0ses

    M0ses Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    IME this is utter silliness.
    oren, Aqualung60, -Asdfgh- and 7 others like this.
  11. JPMcGuire

    JPMcGuire Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2008
    Lake Orion, Michigan
    Rw will be much warmer "blurry" on top end. Maple quicker response, brighter up high, tighter in lows.

    Not silly, real
    Brad Johnson and tfer like this.
  12. This question comes up regularly. The best video I've seen is on YouTube by a guy named Andreas Brink under "rosewood vs maple fretboard ". Same bass,strings,amp settings etc., ONLY the neck is changed out.
    nyde7, navijaz and Killed_by_Death like this.
  13. Madhouse27


    Sep 19, 2016
    Which do you think would look cooler on that bass, the maple or the rosewood?
    Old Blastard and Pirate Captain like this.
  14. lug

    lug Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    Take your current bass. Fret a note. Closely look and notice the the string sits between the 2 frets and does not touch the wood (unless you are He-man, Master Of The Universe). Can the material itself make a difference on the way the bass resonates? Sure, maybe a tiny bit, but certainly not as much as the body or the rest of the neck wood.
    packhowitzer and el jeffe bass like this.
  15. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Or Gul, of course. ;)
  16. Dabndug

    Dabndug Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2017
    Somewhere in Oz
    If you're recording, the maple/rosewood debate may just have some meaning, but a good engineer can iron any tonal kinks out even then. If you're gigging, only other bass players with entrenched views on these materials will pay any attention whatsoever.
    bholder likes this.
  17. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Bring Back Edit/Delete

    Nov 30, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    I have an American Standard P that I swapped the neck from rosewood to maple for purely aesthetic reasons. It was a total success. The bass looks different now.
  18. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    the rw skyline and rw highway one were slightly more mellow than the maple LB100, but i'm not sure that i'd be swayed either way to have a preference by the time you add in the guitars and drums
  19. el jeffe bass

    el jeffe bass

    Nov 22, 2013
    New Mexico
    Why would maple be brighter than rosewood?
  20. No sonic difference whatsoever, unless the placebo effect sways you significantly.

    It will look different though, as long as your vision is in full working order.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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