Pao Ferro?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by kirbywrx, Apr 23, 2004.

  1. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.
    Ive decided that my fingerboard on the bass im making is to have Pao Ferro. has anyone had any experience with this wood? Whats it like tonally and visually? Pros, Cons?
  2. I played a US Spector in the studio that was maple neck/pao ferro fretboard...and I really like the fretboard on it...very nice sound (not too punchy not to mellow...just right)
  3. VS


    Jun 6, 2002
    Mountain City, Tennessee
    Discounted Gear: Peavey

    My Cirrus has a Pau Ferro fretboard. It's a nice sounding wood,you'll like it. Visually,one of the best IMO. Tonally,I almost want to say a mix of Purpleheart and Maple. -Luke
  4. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    I too have been interested in Pau Ferro as a fingerboard wood, because I like the look of a darker fretboard. I haven't quite solidified all my choices, but I WILL be using it.

    It ranges from rosewood brown, to a little redish, from what I've seen. It also looks like it can have some interesing striping.

    RE: sound. After discussing it w/ alot of folks, the gist I get is: Sounds pretty close to maple, but not quite as bright.
  5. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    My EBMM Sterling fretless has a pau ferro board. The color can vary, and it can be quite streaky, but it generally sits somewhere between maple and rosewood tone-wise. It has the woodyness of a rosewood board but has the brightness and snap of maple or ebony.

  6. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    From my own experience, Pao Ferro is actually half way between rosewood and maple, aesthetically-wise, tone-wise, comfort-wise.

    I tried an AM Deluxe P-Bass V with a Pao Ferro board a few days ago, and I really was impressed.
  7. i also think it has a much smoother grain than rosewood. i guess that's another way in which it is exactly between maple and rosewood.

  8. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    I typed out a nice big reply describing it as well as I could, but I closed the window by mistake.

    Anyways, here's what Ive found.

    Its a really nice punchy bright wood, but without that overly bright top end of maple. Its like if you get a parametric EQ and shift the highs a smidge towards the mids.

    Its on my main bass (used Valenti 4), and I ordered it for my next bass (custom Valenti 5).

  9. Halftooth

    Halftooth Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    Tri-Valley, NorCal
    I have had a few Pau Ferro board basses, and I would say that the tone is definitley between Rosewood and Ebony. I like it a lot because it doesn't have the overly bright snap of Maple or the overly dull sound of Rosewood. It's definitley a great choice for a board, and the one on my Smith is very nicely figured.
  10. Pau Ferro is a nice FB wood, the ones ive seen have been slightlt darker then one JP pictures but nevertheless good all round wood...

    Tho its back to old age question

    Pau Ferro

    etc etc

    Is there acutally any different in tone....Talking to Jon Shuker he says that there very little different sonical between these woods at the top level...alot of what people beleve to be better is physolocial (cant spell :p)....the prefer the look of it there for the often think its better :p.... people often say about the feel of the neck....but again Jon said there isnt much difference between the feel when playing as you finger come in contact with the Strings and frets most of the time...a well setup bass with well crowed frets on any fretboard material will result in smooth playing...!!!

    Wheather this is true or not is..

    My GB has a Black Ebony FB and ive tried the exact same modle with a maple and rosewood... i cannot tell the difference...blind folded...!!!


    get Splated Purpleheart ala Roscoe if u want soemthing purdy.!!!
  11. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    It's good looking stuff. Harder than ebony, but not as clacky sounding.
  12. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    I agree with ZenBass (and Jon Shuker) that the tonal contribution of the fretboard on a fretted bass is debatable. Keep in mind that even at best, it'll have a subtle effect on the overall tone of your bass.

    Anyway: my understanding is that Pau Ferro is actually stiffer than maple. My Fender Roscoe Beck fivers have PF boards. The board on the first RB5 I got, which was very well played, is much darker than the second one, which was in near-mint condition. I do not know whether or not the 1st board darkened because of use or was darker to begin with.
  13. rusty


    Mar 29, 2004
    Well, if it counts for anything, I'm gonna be having it as the fb on my nordie!! :D
  14. Bass7755

    Bass7755 Supporting Member

    Oct 27, 2000
    Roanoke, Va.
    Me too! :D Carey starts mine next week. :hyper:

  15. BoiNtC


    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    I have it on my Roscoe Beck V, and my Jaco Pastorious tribute fretless.
  16. JOME77

    JOME77 Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    You really didn't start seeing many FB's with Pao Ferro until quality rosewood started getting hard to find. I've had it on 3 bass necks and really can't say that it sounds any different than rosewood. I do think that it has a nicer grain than most rosewood you find today.
  17. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE
  18. SlavaF


    Jul 31, 2002
    Edmonton AB
    I love how it looks, but it's a bit hard to move around quickly on IMO. Then again, I played a Fender RB5 that had very high action as my reference bass. :oops:
  19. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    me too! mine has some nice sapwood for contrast
  20. rusty


    Mar 29, 2004
    Lucky you!!! Mine's the batch after yours... still quite awhile till Carey starts on mine... :bawl: