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Question about fingerboard.

Discussion in 'Ask Adam Nitti' started by olegsulimov, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. Hello, Adam.
    You've got basses with different fingerboards. I was told that ebony gives more compression and all the tiny details in fast playing are heard. So Alain Caron and Victor Wooten moved to ebony from the maple. Do you feel the same when you play non-maple fingeboard?

  2. adamnitti


    Nov 29, 2001
    hi oleg-

    i suppose my ebony fingerboard 5 string (yamaha) does exhibit somewhat of a different quality but to my ears it's not as much an issue of actual compression as it is color. the ebony fingerboard on my bass sounds darker overall but does have decent articulation throughout the range of the fingerboard, like you have mentioned. of course, all basses are a little different and sometimes you encounter instruments that are an anomaly compared to others with similar configurations. a perfect example is my '57 reissue P-bass, which for all intensive purposes looks like a bass that would be somewhat bright and 'clacky'. (maple neck, maple fingerboard, alder body, with a finish, etc...). however, this particular one is dark-sounding as can be... it's really surprising, but that's how it sounds. the wood that has become one of my favorites for fingerboards is purpleheart, and i spec'ed it for my custom ibanez and warrior 6 string basses. kind of in-between the sound of rosewood and maple... fantastic definition over the entire range without sounding brash or top-heavy. i also have a lot of basses with maple fingerboards that i love for different reasons. my latest custom ibanez which is built to sound like a 70's jazz bass has a maple fingerboard and it cuts like a knife! :)

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