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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by phoenixdown, Nov 12, 2002.

  1. phoenixdown


    Oct 17, 2002
    how much does it affect the sound and ive noticed fender puts pao ferro on its 5 strings whats the reason for this is it cheaper or does it have a better sound or what?
  2. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    My advice it to go to a music store and try a bass with a rock maple fingerboard and one with a rosewood.

    If you can't hear the difference, you may qualify for medical insurance on a hearing aid.

    Plus, the feel, the way the strings "snap" so quickly off of a rock maple or a bubinga fingerboard is so different than a cheap (as in "low end"), mushy rosewood board.

    Personally, I really like pau ferro a lot. Caveat - As with any wood specie, there is "junk" and there is "the good stuff."

    Here's what the fine luthier John Suhr says about it -

    Quarter sawn Pau Ferro has the good properties of ebony but seems to be more reliable and stable. Pau Ferro is a tight grained hard wood with excellent clarity on the "chunk" tones when using gain, especially when teamed up with an alder body. In overdrive mode it has a fatter low end and more pronounced sparkle when compared to maple. It adds excellent definition to the notes especially when using overdriven tones. Strong in the lower mids and bass, scooped mids.
  3. phoenixdown


    Oct 17, 2002
    i would but theres a distinct lack of bass guitars around my area and i have no chance to try pao ferro or ebony but i think theres a couple maple ones in the shop sumwhere
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Well, that's why all of we good boys and girls on Talkbass spend two minutes to fill out our profiles so we can get more intelligent responses......(hint, hint).

    I wouldn't be surprised at all if you couldn't find basses with pau ferro, buginga (Rickenbacker), or ebony fretboards. But rock maple and rosewood are very common and worlds apart in how they affect tone.

    Of course, many other factors come into play, string design just being one of them.
  5. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    Quality being equal, maple will be brighter or more "alive" to your ears. Usually better for percussive styles. A good rosewood board always sound more sweeter and warmer. This will differ from bass to bass and builder to builder. You need to sit down and trial some for yourself:)


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