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Lakland 5: Rosewood vs. Maple Fingerboard

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ThumpNPluck, Jul 2, 2001.


  1. ThumpNPluck

    ThumpNPluck

    Jun 22, 2000
    New York City
    I have a Lakland Standard 55-94 with a maple fingerboard (and Bartolini PUs), and I'm thinking about getting the neck replaced for one with a rosewood board. I was wondering if there are any players out there who've either owned or used both rosewood and maple fingerboarded Laklands, and if they might comment on the differences.

    After working with my Lakland for a while, I feel that the maple doesn't have enough of a low-end thump for my tastes. It has great mid- and upper-midrange, but I'm wondering if changing the fingerboard to rosewood might give the instrument a little more low-end warmth and depth.

    Thoughts, anyone?
     
  2. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    AL/GA
    I have one of each. My personal opinion, but I don't think the fretboard makes any difference at all.

    My Deluxe 55-94 has the rosewood board, my 55-63 Dual J has the maple. The 55-63 is a brighter, more "present" bass but I think it's because it's a passive bass with Basslines J pickups. The 55-94 has the Barts, which are definitely a softer, warmer tone. However, I've played 2 55-94 Deluxes side by side, each identical except in color and fretboard. I couldn't tell enough of a difference to choose based on sound...I chose the rosewood because I liked the looks of it better.
     
  3. SCT1422

    SCT1422 Supporting Member

    I have 2 Lakland 55-94 deluxes, one rosewood and one maple.. There is a slight difference in sound and feel, the rosewood obviously being alittle warmer and the maple brighter.. But with the electronics you can pretty much cover what you may lose in highs, mids and lows... From what you asked though, you are headed in the right direction.. Best Of Luck.... Steve....
     
  4. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I've played a few of both, the differences are subtle. I have a Maple board on a 55-94 and I'm happy...actually very happy.
     
  5. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    And you almost sold it!
    :D
    it would have been a mistake a guess.
     
  6. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Yeah, I was gonna say I don't think the fretboard wood is going to make a lot of difference on a bass with that much tonal range available by EQ. My fretted is maple, which, they say, is brighter than the rosewood. My fretless is ebony, but I don't think I can compare, since it has flats on it. I'd bet that string choice will have a bigger effect on tone.
     
  7. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    You are so right, Yvon...but something wouldn't let me;)
     
  8. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    My vote? Ebony.
     
  9. Larry Kaye

    Larry Kaye Retailer: Schroeder Cabinets

    Mar 23, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    What is it about your maple fretboard Lakland that has you even thinking about another fretboard wood?

    LKaye
     
  10. phil_chew

    phil_chew

    Mar 22, 2000
    Asia
    I believe a maple fingerboard gives you a tighter sounding low B. But generally, the rosewood version is warmer, and the maple is brighter. I bought a 55-94 with rosewood about two years ago. A week later I exchanged it for the maple version, as on balance I wanted a brighter sound. But some days I miss the warmth of the rosewood.
     
  11. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Maple board, Nickel strings;)
     
  12. ThumpNPluck

    ThumpNPluck

    Jun 22, 2000
    New York City
    Thanks to everyone for their input. You've inspired me to stick with the maple board for now, and try some other things before swapping-out the neck. As suggested, I'm going to try some different strings (although I've already tried quite a few different brands on this instrument). Currently, I'm trying the Lakland Nickels again (wasn't thrilled with them the first time around, but they're growing on me), and soon I'd like to try one of the light gauge nickel sets as well--it may be that part of what I'm experiencing may have to do with the additional string tension caused by the 35" scale neck, so the lights may help there.

    For anyone who's interested, here's a pic of the instrument being discussed:

    http://www.bway.net/~cdsands/lakland/front.jpg

    Charlie
     
  13. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    So far I'm sold on the light Lakland Nickel rounds...because they work very well. They sound great live, cut very well in the mix.
     
  14. ThumpNPluck

    ThumpNPluck

    Jun 22, 2000
    New York City
    Brad,

    The mediums aren't bad either. I usually prefer stainless steel strings, but they're a bit coarse-sounding on the Lakland, to my ears at least. One thing I really like about the Lakland nickels is that the low B doesn't have a lot of weird harmonic overtones that just about every other kind of string I've tried has.

    The low B on the lights is still a .128, right?

    Charlie
     
  15. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Right, 128's on both.

    I like the flexibility of the lights though the mediums are nice, too.

    I order them direct from Lakland @ $22 a set through the website. Painless.

    I haven't tried stainless steels on anything in a long time, they do tend to sound coarse (to me).
     
  16. I have a 55-94 with rosewood and a fretless with ebony. I've been using the Lakland nickels on the fretless and stainless steel on the fretted rosewood. With the rosewood, I like the bright overtones stainless steel brings. FYI- You can now get DR Highbeams from the Lakland site for $30. I haven't bought any myself (I still have three sets) but I did email Dan Lakin concerning them. They fit the Lakland 35" scale bass and the do have a taper wrap on the B string.
     
  17. ThumpNPluck

    ThumpNPluck

    Jun 22, 2000
    New York City
    Bassin' -

    If you get around to trying the DRs on your Lakland, let the rest of us here know what you think of them. I've tried DRs on a couple of my other basses and wasn't crazy about them, but you never know what string's going to work best on a particular instrument...

    Charlie
     
  18. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I'd be very surprised if they didn't still sound like DR's:)

    That's neither good nor bad...depends on whether you like DR strings.
     
  19. I'm actually using DR Hi-Beams on my fretted/rosewood Lakland right now and I think they sound great. I like that round, 'piano like' sound and these really fit that. I had bought them custom, before I found out that Lakland carries them. I do think the rosewood mellows out the brightness a bit and I would wonder if the DRs would be too bright for a Lakland with a maple fretboard. I also think the Lakland stainless steels sound real good also. The DR's seem to have a little more bottom end though.
     
  20. Thumper

    Thumper Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Layton, UT
    Contrary to everyone else, I found a world of difference between my maple board dlx 55 and my rosewood board dlx 55. The maple had minimal bottom, great mids and highs. I tried everything, on board eq, DR highbeams, nada. So I got the rosewood board and sold the maple. For me at least, the rosewood board is better for classic rock. BTW, it was S/N 263. I'm sure some jazz, punk, or R&B player is using it too good advantage, sure was purty.