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Is maple fingerboard good idea for fretless??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Lorenzop, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. Lorenzop


    Oct 23, 2012
    I'm thinking of defretting one ( on a fender jazz).

    What kind of sound might I expect? Why is it rare to find fretlesses with maple fingerboards? Rosewood even though softer seems more common, and course ebony ....
  2. steve f

    steve f Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2009
    Toxic, Maryland
    I've owned and played maple, rosewood, and ebony.
    I don't think I'd get anything but ebony from here on out - unless, of course, whatever catches my eye next is something else...


    i just love the feel and the tone with an ebony board - it really works with the piezo bridge, too.
    Try 'em all if you can and see what works for you, although it may be hard to find a maple in your local shop.
    If you've got a suitable victim already - I say go for it!
    I don't think you will regret it.
    Good luck!
  3. Rumbledom

    Rumbledom Inactive

    Jan 19, 2013
    It seems odd that maple is rare for fretless, but it makes sense. It's harder than rosewood and a bit brighter. With nickle strings, wear should be minimal.

    I agree with steve about ebony. It's the most solid sounding wood, though, as strange as it may seem to some, I think "ebonol" (essentially a synthetic fiberglass material used to make bowling balls) sounds amazing for fretless. The Squier deluxe uses it and it sounds awesome, especially considering the price.
  4. Lorenzop


    Oct 23, 2012
    What do you make of Resin fingerboards? Is it same as ebanol?
  5. Go through the finish on a maple neck and the board turns black.
  6. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    Wow. Using round wounds?

    I've has my maple fretless for twenty years and never went through the finish.
  7. 86097926.jpg
  8. Lorenzop


    Oct 23, 2012
    Ah ye the famous live... Heard he'd just bought it in NY prior to concert. Maybe that's why it's so clean!

    But wouldn't then putting epoxy solve the problem on the maple??
  9. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    No need for epoxy. It won't make you sound and play like Jaco and it affects the resale value of your bass.

    If epoxy was really needed, I'm sure Sadowsky, F-bass, Mike Lull, Fodera would be lathering up necks big time. But they don't.

    I must be a lucky guy to have not had any finish problems with my 1975 maple necked fretless precision. That bass is 38 years old and the neck has never been been refinished.
  10. steve f

    steve f Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2009
    Toxic, Maryland
    I'm envious - here's my maple fretless precision back in 1985. Sold it like the fool that I am, many years ago.
    Check out those glasses!

  11. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    You have the Klaus Flouride look down pat.
    greenklang likes this.
  12. iualum


    Apr 9, 2004
    Any wood. Tone's in your fingers.
  13. SlingBass4


    Feb 28, 2009
    Kansas City
    Ebony does have a little more 'zing' to it, but in the end...it's all good (and I've used/owned most everything, including graphite) ;)
  14. zfunkman


    Dec 18, 2012
    maple is too soft for a frettless. Get, at least, rosewood. But ebony is even better.
  15. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    That's nonsense.
    Jmozz60 likes this.
  16. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    Pau ferro is a good fretless choice too.
  17. steubig


    Jul 17, 2001
    locustland, ca
    mark egan's first fretless was maple.

    and then there were a lot of maple p-bass fretlesses from fender as stock. th guy in frampton's band used one, so did boz burell. i'm sure there a ton more.

    i like the sound.

    for what it's worth, about fodera and epoxy, vinny *insisted* that they epoxy a maple fretless they made for me in 2009.
  18. bass12

    bass12 Have you seen my tonsils lately? Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Yeah, Sting just points and tone comes right out of his fingers.
  19. ma4rk


    Jun 28, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    John Deacon in Queen had a fretless P bass with a maple fingerboard. Mind you he only used it for a couple of songs in the acoustic part of their set in the mid to late 70's.
  20. steubig


    Jul 17, 2001
    locustland, ca
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