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Real diffrences between fretboards?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jtc_hunter, Aug 18, 2007.

  1. jtc_hunter


    Feb 16, 2007
    I have only owned basses w/ rosewood fretboards. can someone tell me the real world diffrences between rosewood and maple fingerbords? Thanks
  2. Maple is snappier, and brighter. I prefer maple, in both tone and feel.

    And post in basses next time....It's okay i posted an offtopic question in amps for sale last week
  3. jtc_hunter


    Feb 16, 2007
    sorry I really meant to put this in "basses"
  4. +1, it looks mint too!
  5. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Rosewood is denser than maple, so you get better definition and sustain with rosewood, but not much, as the fingerboard only comprises a small percentage of the instrument. My bass is 100% rosewood, and it will sustain indefinitely. Really.
  6. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    But maple fretboards are normally finished while rosewood aren't, which makes comparisons difficult.
  7. Maples harder to keep clean :) But in all actuality it depends on the bass to me, I prefer maple on the Stingray.
  8. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    That doesn't affect density, and the difference is quite a lot. Maple averages 40 pounds/cubic foot, rosewood 60 pounds/cubic foot.
  9. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    No, but surely whether a fretboard is sealed or not by a finish can have an effect on the tone of an instrument, as much as the density of the wood. So for the purpose of this thread I thought it was germaine to the discussion.
  10. ROON


    Aug 5, 2006
    Sydney, Australia
    The maple on my Stingray is very snappy, is significantly brighter and more defined than the rosewood on my other basses. When you play a maple equipped bass, you WILL hear a difference. ;) Only problem is having to wash your hands thoroughly before playing, keeping a maple FB clean is a challenge.
  11. Masher88

    Masher88 Believe in absurdities and you commit atrocities

    May 7, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    At one time, I had a G&L L-2000 with a rosewood board and one with a birdseye maple board. I've since sold the rosewood one. After having them both in my dirty little grasp for over 2 years, the sound differences between the 2 was very subtle...VERY! However, the feel was much more prevalent. Hard to describe as to what that actual difference is, though. Both were/are great basses with great sounds and feels.

    Now, when I say that the difference in feel was prevalent, I mean that it is noticable, but not annoying in any way. The 2 basses felt good to play.

    I think a lot of it is just personal preference. For the longest time, I had a predjudice against maple boards...I still don't like them unless they are finished with like an oil tint or like a vintagey vibe...straight maple board looks "un-done" to me. But the sounds I hear from them is always pleasing. I guess it comes down to looks! :)
  12. Eric S

    Eric S

    Jul 19, 2005
    Paris, France
    I asume you guys are talking fretted here. Maple boards are rarer on fretless basses where warm sustain is generaly favorable to "bright and snappy".
  13. Rumblin' Man

    Rumblin' Man Banned

    Apr 27, 2000
    Route 66
    I've seen ebony used on quite a few fretless electric basses where it's known for being rather "bright and snappy".
  14. Maple fretboards have always felt sort of...sticky to me.
  15. I think maple has a more OPEN sound.

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