Has this been done? Bass with different fretboard woods for sharps?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by kirkdickinson, Oct 8, 2016.

  1. Yah, when Kirk first posted his idea, I was also looking for a piano-like, ebony-n-ivory kinda contrast. But no-one I talked to was willing to use all wood for the fingerboard. They didn't think the different blocks would be stable, and different woods expand and contract differently. The suspicion was that after a while the whole thing would start to fall apart.

    So Moses was the only company/luthier who would even consider the idea, using wood inlays embedded in their carbon fiber material. Steve at Moses was very gracious with his time in working through the details with me. I already have two Moses Graphite fretless necks on two Warmoth bodies, and I love them, so I knew the result would be good. Unfortunately, the only inlay material Moses had available was either Paduk or Cocobolo. I wasn't thrilled with either choice, but went with the Cocobolo. Fortunately, the usual reddishness of Cocobolo is pretty much absent in the inlays they used for my neck.

    The boundary in between the inlays will serve as fretlines. It will probably take a little getting used to, but I have 9-10 fretless basses, and each takes a little getting used to when I first pick it up, but I find I acclimate fairly quickly.

    The bass will be semi-hollowbody, with piezo saddles and a hexpander preamp. It will have a dual centerblock so that the bridge sits over chambered space and is anchored on either side to the two centerblock walls underneath. Hopefully, this will maximize its acoustic resonance while still avoiding feedback issues. There will also be a gap between the top woods and along one of the sides, serving as sound holes.

    Here's the basic design, which will probably undergo some modification once we work out the details. I'm still not sure if I'll include a magnetic pickup, but it's depicted in the photo. I will probably go with Douglas Fir as the lighter wood, framed by the Morado (shaded dark in the drawing).

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018
  2. Slidlow

    Slidlow Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oshawa, Canada
    Check out Richter Electronics in Germany. They have piezo preamp with onboard gain for each string. I will be using one in my new six string. I passed on the graph tech preamp as it is voiced for "acoustic" and I wanted full spectrum so I could EQ it to taste.
    Bare Bass likes this.
  3. Thanks for the tip! I'll definitely check them out.
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