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Fretboards: Maple, vs. Rosewood, vs. ????

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by 98dvl, Feb 27, 2002.

  1. 98dvl


    Jan 31, 2002

    I was checking out my bass the other day and got to wondering why some basses have different fretboard materials.

    I was thinking that perhaps when the string makes contact with the fretboard, that's where the difference comes in. Then, I took a closer look, and when I depress a sting, the string doesn't even contact the fretboard, instead it lays between the two frets.

    So, what are the advantages to different types of fretboard woods. Do they just provide for more stiffness, better looks, etc?

    Just curious. I'm thinking about getting a new bass (Stingray 5) and was wondering. It seems like most Stingrays come with the maple fretboards.
  2. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Different fretboard woods do have a slight impact on the tone. The harder the wood, the brighter the tone. Maple, for example has a brighter sound while something like rosewood would sound a little warmer. Check this out, it will explain the tonal characteristics of woods in detail.

    Remember, however, that this is only a part of the equation, as pickups, body wood, amp, playing style, etc., are probably bigger factors.
  3. DaveB


    Mar 29, 2000
    Toronto Ontario
    Since I've had my Fender Roscoe Beck 5 I've become a real fan of Pau Ferro fretboards. I find it to be a nice hybrid between maple and rosewood. It has some of the maple "snap" yet some of the rosewood "warmth".
  4. The Pau Ferro has my vote too. It came on my RB5 and I really like it. Maple turns me off because it requires a finish, and when the finish wears off the wood has problems. Rosewood and Pau Ferro have no finish coat, and respond well to occasional treatments with lemon oil.

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