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Maple or rosewood fretboard

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by EsTeBan, Jan 17, 2002.


  1. EsTeBan

    EsTeBan

    Dec 15, 2001
    Puerto Rico
    I've only played basses with rosewood fretboards. Can you tell me the differences between maple and rosewood tonewise.

    What are the charasteristics of these two woods in the sound department?

    Thanks in advance...
     
  2. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    Maple vs Rosewood?

    Maple = bright
    Rosewood = warm


    That's a short, but accurate, and efficient description. :)

    I choose maple, but that's my personal choice.
     
  3. barroso

    barroso

    Aug 16, 2000
    Italia
    you have to consider the combiantion of neck wood and fingerboard wood more than the fingerboard wood only. if you speak about maple neck you'll have two different kind for maple and only one for rosewood.
    rosewood fingerboard are glued to neck otherwise maple fingrboard can be glued to another piece of maple neck or can be the same wood. this changes a lot the tonal spectrum of the bass.
     
  4. Esteban, Crawling eye and barroso pretty much hit it on the head. To really be able to judge the different woods, it's best to have two of the same basses, one with each type of neck, and play them back to back. I was lucky enough to do this in August. I was in my local Sam Ash, and played two Musicman Stingrays, one rosewood, and one maple, moments apart. I could really hear the difference. The 'Ray with the maple board had a tighter and more focused bottom end; not by much, but you could hear it right away. The highs sang more than the rosewood board as well, but, the rosewood board had a warmer, slightly more percussive type sound which pleases me more. It's just a matter of taste.

    Mike J.
     
  5. One thing t remember is the feel. I don't know if i'm crazy or what, but to me, rose wood and my Warwick's wenge board have a nicer feel than any maple-boarded bass I've played.
     
  6. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    bassman, that is probably due to the lacquer on the maple board. Most maple boards are finished, most rosewood and wenge boards are unfinished. Big difference in feel. And tone.
     
  7. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    I'll chime in here. Music Man doesn't finish their necks, nor their fingerboards, if I recall correctly.

    It certainly adds a nice touch to the feel of things. :)
     
  8. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Actually, Ernie Ball does finish their necks and maple fingerboards, but it is a urethane oil/wax finish, not a hard poly or lacquer finish. Very smooth and fast, that MM finish!
     
  9. MJ - i did that same musicman test, just as you described, and pretty much agree with your results. except that i liked the maple one better. so there it is, different strokes.
     
  10. Tom Crofts

    Tom Crofts

    Mar 15, 2001
    What should the tone be like with a rosewood fretboard and maple and (thin stripes of) walnut neck?
     
  11. barroso

    barroso

    Aug 16, 2000
    Italia
    impossible to say without knowing is the neck is through body or bolt on. approsimativelt it will have the same sound of a neck without the walnut stripes-
     
  12. Paul A

    Paul A

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hertfordshire U.K!
    Hi,
    I have to say I REALLY dislike maple boards.
    They always feel "Sticky" to me!
    :(
     
  13. have you tried a maple board without a heavy lacquer finish? those feel 'faster' than rosewood to me. i don't know why fender insists on the gobs of lacquer... :rolleyes:
     
  14. Paul A

    Paul A

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hertfordshire U.K!
    Hi,
    No I haven't - maybe thats the problem.
    You hit the nail on the head! I WAS referring to Fender Boards.
     
  15. Fender-wise, I like Pao Ferro.... anything else I like Maple, oil finished maple is like one of the best necks I've ever played on.

    Edit: Oh and to answer your question Fender uses liquid laquer becuase its A) Easier B) Quicker C) Costs less and D) They've been doing it for 50+ years.
     
  16. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Yep. My Pedulla has a very light matte finish instead of the liquid plastic that Fender uses, and it is faster than any of my other basses.
     
  17. Tom Crofts

    Tom Crofts

    Mar 15, 2001
    Well it's neck thru. What is the point of the walnut strips then if they don't alter the tone in any way?
     
  18. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    What's the point of a flamed maple top?

    To make it look nicer.
     
  19. Tom Crofts

    Tom Crofts

    Mar 15, 2001
    So just to look nice? Does it make it weaker? Or increase the sustain or anything at all?
     

  20. HA! I knew I wasn't crazy! The voices were right! They're ALWAYS right!:D