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Question about fingerboards on a fretted bass...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by White_Knight, Sep 1, 2000.


  1. White_Knight

    White_Knight

    Mar 19, 2000
    USA
    I notice that a lot of people say that the fretboard material (rosewood, maple, wenge, etc.) on a fretted bass doesn't make a huge ammount (some state that it only makes a "slight" difference) of difference because the string never physically touches it. Is this true for most of you out there? I can tell you that my experience is totally different, my bass is only two years old and there are marks/grooves where I play a lot. I've even stopped after fretting a note during a song and when I press the string down it definitely touches the fingerboard. Is this common or am I some sort of weird exception?
     
  2. rsautrey

    rsautrey Banned

    Jul 27, 2000
    How is your fretwear?
     
  3. Deynn

    Deynn Moderator Emeritus

    Aug 9, 2000
    Iowa
    When you play a note...the string does not actually touch the fretboard, between the fretted fret and the bridge. The part of the string that is being picked up and amplified...
    therefore is NOT directly affected by the wood in the fretboard. I believe that this is that, to they are refering.
    As to whether different fretboards affect the tone.....it depends on, to whom you speak....:)
     
  4. Warrior

    Warrior

    Sep 3, 2000
    Yes, your fingerboard material does make a difference in you tone, but not like your thinking. it doesn't matter if your string touches the wood or not. The fret is press fit into the wood, and the transmission of tonal vibration is still there, but thats not the way fingerboard wood makes its difference.
    if you visualize the strings running parallel to the neck and the neck wood ,body and bridge as a "circut" then you can start to see the affect fingerboard material can have on the "Total tonal resonance" of a given design.
    it is generally accepted that a instrument made from a given wood will have a specific tone relative to the material. (ie) ash, alder, mahogany or wenge. all have known tonal contributons to the overall tone of the instrument.
    It is also known that laminations of material will have an affect upon the tonal resonance of the instrument. The specific effect of certain laminations and construction techniques are known also, but this information has been kept secret from the general musician public.( luthiers are NOT going to give away their discoverys)
    All material has a resonant frequency. that freq. can be manipulated to suit a given application by carefull consideration of the construction methods and lamination schemes(including the fingerboard)
    the real question is; What wood will give you the tone your after?
    Just ask Micheal Tobias or Nick Holloway at Warrior instruments.
     
  5. Deynn

    Deynn Moderator Emeritus

    Aug 9, 2000
    Iowa
    Well, I knew that someone would have a better answer than mine...:)
    Welcome to TalkBass, Warrior. Your post was excellent..and also had a personal significance for ME. I'm looking forward to more of your contributions in the future.
     
  6. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    There are quite a few people who will say it makes no difference or a minimal difference in sound. I know I hear a difference between basses with Maple and Rosewood boards. I'd swear I can hear a difference between basses of similar construction with Maple and Wenge or Pau Ferro,etc.

    If "you" like the difference, it's not "minimal":D
     
  7. White_Knight

    White_Knight

    Mar 19, 2000
    USA
    I knew that it would make a difference, I just wasn't sure in what way. Thanks again, all.
     
  8. ".....if you visualize the strings running parallel to the neck and the neck wood ,body and bridge as a "circut" then you can start to see the affect fingerboard material can have on the "Total tonal resonance" of a given design."

    Preach it Brother! Testify!

    Chris
     
  9. DarkMazda

    DarkMazda

    Jun 3, 2000
    NJ
    *Claps for Warrior* :D