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Fretboard Woods

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by FalsehoodBass, Jul 29, 2001.


  1. FalsehoodBass

    FalsehoodBass

    Jul 22, 2001
    Denver, CO
    Forgive me if this has been posted before and please direcct me if so, but i'm looking into buying a new 5 and I'm curious about the tonal characteristics of different fret woods... Im thinking maybe a MIA P-deluxe, or maybe a stingray 5, so that leaves Maple, Rosewood, and Pau Ferro. Could anyone please help by telling me the differences in these 3. The bass I have now has Ebony, so if you could compare that too, I'd be greatly appreciative
    Thanks....
     
  2. From what I know, it has to do with your bass's body wood also.

    Maple would be denser compared to rosewood for example, making it "brighter". Pao Ferro i think is a little denser than Rosewood, but softer than maple.

    The way to think is, denser wood create a more exagerated lows, and highs, and softer wood has more presence in their low-mid to mid.

    Ebony are usually quite dense, creating it's reputation for being bright.

    Some woods are actually pretty neutral, like mahogany, Koa(brighter than mahogany) and etc.

    But just the fingerboard alone has little effect on the tone. So things to consider would be the more practicle stuff...like wears on wood, maintainance etc.
     
  3. An easier way to figure this out would be the brightness test. Basically, the darker a wood is the darker tone it gives out. Maple gives out a very bright tone. Ebony, being almost black, gives out a very dark tone. Mahogany and Koa are in between. Pau Ferroseems around the same as rosewood, maybe a little brighter or darker(I'm not sure which).
     
  4. That is really interesting... It actually does huh? Never realise that.....but thanks Pantera:D

    Great Info!
     
  5. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Actually, the brightness test works well for most woods, except ebony.

    Ebony is almost as snappy as maple, but also has the warmth of darker woods. The best of both worlds IMHO.