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Most durable fingerboard wood for fretless?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by jar240, Aug 17, 2005.

  1. I'm looking to buy a new Warmoth lined fretless J neck, and I'm having a little trouble deciding which material is best for the fingerboard. My upright bass of course has an ebony fingerboard, but I don't know if it's because it's the most durable, or just the most traditional wood to use.

    What wood should I get for the fretless fingerboard?

  2. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    As far as what's available from Warmoth I'd say that ebony is probably the most durable.
  3. Which was here first - the wood or the tradition?

    That's why ebony is the first choice. I concur with Geoff.
  4. andvari7


    Aug 28, 2004
    Ebony. Although not the hardest hardwood in the world (that would be snakewood, but that's A. unavailable through Warmoth, and B. a pain to work), it is the hardest that most luthiers (I know of the controversy surrounding the use of that word here at TalkBass, but for the purposes of this reply, I think it's okay) are willing to work. And even that's a pain.

    Unless, of course, you're talking about the wood plus the coating. Then, it doesn't really matter, since it's the coating that's going to go first, not the wood. I still like ebony, though, since it has a nice growl to it and it just feels nice in my hand.
  5. It's too bad someone isn't offering the acrylized fingerboards in a quantity high enough that could satisfy Warmoth's requirements. I'm seriously considering rolling my own neck, using acrylized hardwood, selected for it's aesthetic.

    Thanks for the replies... there's a lined, fretless, maple/ebony J neck at Warmoth at the moment, but it's still a little pricey at $350 with clearcoat. Plus their ridiculous shipping price to Canada, plus the ridiculous brokerage fee UPS will charge for crossing the US/CAN border, plus GST & PST (15%), plus conversion to CAD. That's about $600 CAD all told. Pretty pricey for a neck. Oh, and plus installation, and plus the gamble that it's going to be a tonally good neck for the bass it'll go on.