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I have a theory about maple fingerboards

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jazzbass1967, Nov 27, 2010.

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  1. I have a theory about maple fingerboards- while maybe not as warm as rosewood, it allows the tone of the bass to "breathe" more. Thus, allowing the more subtle nuances of the bass to come through. It can always be dulled down by turning the tone knob down. Thoughts?
  2. T. Alan Smith

    T. Alan Smith Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    Good. The Skjold I ordered will have a maple board. :D
  3. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    If this is repeated often enough it will become internet truth.
  4. kjpollo


    Mar 17, 2008
    Maybe on some basses but not necessarily on others.

    You might be right about the beautiful Warmoth birdseye maple neck & FB on my franken 5er. But when I think about hearing "subtle nuances" in my tone, I really dont approach my T-20 and T-40 that way! :D:p
  5. plangentmusic

    plangentmusic Banned

    Jun 30, 2010
    I think it's cross sensing. It's lighter and therefore registers "brighter." I doubt anyone can tell the difference blindfolded if the bass were exactly the same except for the fingerboard.

    Now, ebony, graphite or ebonol -- THAT feels different. Sounds sharper.
  6. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    Concerning fretted basses: Can there be a tonal difference if the strings don't make contact with the wood?
  7. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford

    Feb 15, 2008
    Ive been saying this for years, but I gave up, as according to TB, Im totally wrong.
  8. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    I could understand a subtle difference on a fretless bass. I don't know the answer, just curious.
  9. I always found maple boards to be warmer and rosewood to be more aggresive
  10. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    Wut's teh best fingerboard for metal? Sorry, couldn't help it.
  11. I'm not inclined to believe this. Fist of all there really is no way to come close to testing it. Because of the inherent differences from one bass to another even another of the exact same type simply getting one with a different fingerboard could hardly attributed to any massive shift in tone (if there is any).
  12. selowitch

    selowitch Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    If there is a difference, it has to be a very subtle one. The main reasons for adding rosewood fingerboards to guitars are 1) for a small increase in overall strength of the neck; 2) aesthetics.
  13. I've been seriously considering this as well. I believe that every part of a bass can affect the tone but it's a matter of degrees and not nearly as blatant as so many seem to suggest. Nothing can be completely discredited but by the same token nothing can be absolutely proven. Keep in mind none of the wood on a bass ever comes into direct contact with the strings unless the bass is fretless and even then it's only the fingerboard not the body or neck woods.

    Put shortly, I think that all wood in a bass affects the tone of a bass but I think that considering the comparatively small quantity of fingerboard wood to the neck or body it doesn't have as large an effect as so many seem to believe.
  14. It's maple a denser wood than rosewood? How would rosewood increase the strength of a bass?
  15. Barry Demay

    Barry Demay

    Feb 18, 2009
    Akron, Ohio
    Wood on a bass (and bass neck) resonate. None of it actually changes 'tone'. Your pickup's change tone.
  16. Proof? If not you might want to qualify this with an "I think." somewhere in there ;)
  17. OPBASSMAN1994


    Jul 30, 2010
    With Jazz Basses, I'd go maple all the way. I have experienced many a J, and I've always found that when they've got maple boards, they are more comfortable to play, look cooler, and I've sometimes noticed a very slight subtle tonal differenece. However, it's so insignificant that it wouldn't really matter to anyone but a tone-nut who probably would be buying some 10K boutique bass anyway.

    With a Ric, I'm fine with rosewood (don't really have a choice do I? :D). A Ric actually carries a brighter tone than a jazz, and a more, clanky sound, and has rosewood.

    When it comes down to it, it's all about hardware (bridges especially), strings, pickups and the hands. The woods only do a little bit of the job. Unless you play upright, in which case you're on the wrong half of the forum my friend.
  18. Drifta


    Sep 13, 2006
    South Florida
    I can't hear a difference, and if you do, I think you're just tricking yourself.

    Maple looks so much better imo. thats my theory.
  19. Here we go, one more time! Right on schedule too.
  20. Barry Demay

    Barry Demay

    Feb 18, 2009
    Akron, Ohio
    Kwesi, we did a study in 1998 at Miami University on sound waves through solid objects. (wood, metal, plastic, etc...) It is proven somewhere in research papers at the library.(but then again, that's just one study)

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