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Is roasted necks and fretboards better and worth the extra money?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mickebas, Aug 17, 2019.

  1. Anyone with experience of the difference between a roasted neck and an ordinary one?
    I'm thinking of buying a bass with roasted maple neck and fretboard but are having trouble finding one to test so I have to buy it without physical test and that's always a risk.
  2. Roland GR 88

    Roland GR 88

    Sep 16, 2013
    IMO...they look nice, if that's your thing but the claims of stability and other 'improvements' are entirely subjective.
    But again, they look nice.....:)
  3. Yes, I think so but most important to me is the feel of the neck, and of course, the sound. I love the feel of old vintage bass-necks. I was thinking that the roasting sucks the moisture out of the wood and makes it more like an old neck. But then, of course, that’s what I’m thinking and hoping but it may not be that big a difference.
    I was hoping to get real hands-on information from someone owning a bass with a roasted neck.
  4. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Also lighter, that alone is worth it for many. @jlepre, your thoughts here? ;)
    rollie 55, Wisebass and mickebas like this.
  5. Roland GR 88

    Roland GR 88

    Sep 16, 2013
    I have a Tele with a roasted neck on loan from a friend at the moment and yes, it feels great. The neck is very smooth and fast feeling but I'd guess that's because to the type of finish Fender chose rather than the moisture content of the wood. Or maybe a combination of both.
    I have a hard time accepting the marketing claims put out there as there's been great guitars built and sold over the last 70yrs without anyone wishing their neck was dryer than it was when it was made.
    Considering your love of old necks however, I'd bet you'd be pretty happy with one. The Tele is going to be hard to give back.....:meh:
  6. Dee-man

    Dee-man Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2004
    SF Bay Area
    I have a Landing T bass with a roasted neck. It's light (no neck dive), beautiful and fast. Don't know what the upcharge is, but I'd happily get another.
    mickebas likes this.
  7. :)
    My impression comes from trying a P-bass with a roasted neck a couple of years ago (the limited edition that unfortunately isn't available any longer). But at that time that neck felt so good compared to the other ones in the store that my GAS has remained. Then of course it might have been other factors than the roasting but I'm attracted to the look and the idea and even if it's mostly a feel thing rather than something someone would hear in a blindfold comparison, it's still a thing that would make playing it more smooth and inspirational and that's worth a lot.
    rollie 55 likes this.
  8. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    It adds a process to the manufacturing which adds cost. It makes the wood lighter, so a lighter bass. It promotes resonance because it drys all moisture out of the wood and caramelizes the resins increasing stability, and as a bi-product it enhances the look of the wood. Depending on how fresh it is, it smells good.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
  9. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Constant state of flux
    Except that the improvements, at least according to people who actually know about these things, are far from subjective.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
  10. My idea was to hear if someone owned a bass with a roasted neck and could confirm my thoughts about the roasting process making it more nice playing-vise and maybe sound-vise as well.
    When all I can do is look at pics of them it makes me kind of build up an imaginary idea of what these necks are like. I know from my experience that having the chance to walk in to a music store and actually play one might make me realize it was all in my mind and kind of a hype. That’s why I thought it would be good to hear from someone with hands-on experience of one... before actually buying one over the internet.
  11. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    Wood is dynamic. If expose it to a humid environment for long enough it will absorb water. It's probably the finish.
    Roland GR 88 and bobyoung53 like this.
  12. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    There is no bad or wrong choice. 99% of the stuff sold at GC is fine.

    But members here are those who want to eek out every last iota of performance possible. So I say go for it!
    Mugre likes this.
  13. bass12

    bass12 Say "Ahhh"... Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Sound-wise you'd have to play the same bass pre and post roasting to really know the effect on tone. I could tell you that bass x with a roasted neck sounds amazing but that would have absolutely no bearing on how bass y with a roasted neck will likely sound. Buy a bass without trying it first and it's always the same thing: a crap shoot.
  14. Hand slap

    Hand slap

    Feb 14, 2016
    I have had both the same model a Stingray HH, 2015, and the roasted Special, the latest and greatest, they both to me seem nice? A little different feel, IMO, but I like the MM necks regardless.
    mickebas likes this.
  15. Timmy-Watts

    Timmy-Watts I like bass. And airplanes. Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2010
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    From now on every bass I order to be built will have as many roasted woods as possible. My Clement has a roasted maple neck and it is amazin . Texture and stability are supreme, looks great, does not have to be finished but takes it well, and usually lightens the weight.
  16. Great! That what I want to hear
    TonyP- likes this.
  17. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    If the only downside for buying it is extra cost, then it only comes down to if you choose to pay that additional cost - or not. It will look, feel and sound as good or better than a same bass w/o that option. I have only heard that people with roasted necks like the way they sound but I have made basses with roasted ash bodies and they all sound, feel and look great. Better? There's always a chance of better and in my personal opinion - at that point it's the player who makes a bass sound better.
    DJ Bebop, Wisebass and mickebas like this.
  18. True. Of course I know in the end it’s the player that makes 98% of the difference but I’ve been around so long that I know how much a good feeling neck and fingerboard does to me personally as far as wanting to play that particular instrument. I have an old 61 jazzbass that has that dried, smooth texture and feel, it actually looks a bit like the roasted ones on the backside of the neck, and I love it. All the new ones I’ve tried with satin finish and similar feels ok but they’re not even close to an old vintage neck.
    So I’m hoping this roasting process that’s getting popular might give a closer to the worn in, vintage feel.
    JIO and Mastermold like this.
  19. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Constant state of flux
    I owned a Musicman Reflex PDN with a roasted neck, it was spectacular. The wood was incredibly smooth and stable and looked great too! I don’t know what the additional cost per bass is to roast the neck, but it should be mandatory for all new guitars and basses.
    craig0316, JIO and mickebas like this.
  20. PunkRocker33133

    PunkRocker33133 Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2008
    Northern VA
    I have a Warmoth Tele bass that’s roasted swamp ash with a roasted maple neck and it’s fantastic. Probably the most stable bass I’ve ever owned and the neck is completely unfinished.
    TonyP-, CalBuzz51 and mickebas like this.

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