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rosewood or ebony

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Rafterman, May 8, 2001.

  1. Rosewood

    31 vote(s)
  2. Ebony

    42 vote(s)
  1. what do you guys prefer?...what sounds better and has good sustain?
  2. rosewood is my friend
    ive never really owned a bass with an ebony neck to say if its better or worse but i prefer rosewood over maple
  3. notduane


    Nov 24, 2000
    Black Ebony, Cocobolo, Satine, Pau Ferro...
    the more endangered, the better :p .
  4. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Maple. Birdseye to be exact. 2nd choice would be wenge, 3rd would be purpleheart.

    For fretless, I prefer Diamondwood or Phenowood, then wenge, and then ebony.

    Ebony would be my 4th choice for fretted or fretless.
  5. snyderz


    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    Pau Ferro
  6. cole


    Sep 14, 2000
    I like maple, but oddly enough I haven't had any basses with maple fretboards. they've all been rosewood or ebony.

    let's face it, the fretboard isn't gonna affect the sound much, unless you're playing fretless.
  7. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    I think ebony looks cooler. Especially if you have an unlined fretless.
  8. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
  9. I prefer ebony. To me it feels solid, steady. Rosewood would be my second choice- smooth and softer. I've not played to many pau boards so I don't have much opinion on it yet. I've had a couple of fretless Ps with maple, and just never really liked them. But I'm not sure that it was the maple board rather than the fact that I prefer a Jazz neck (so the maple didn't matter).
  10. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Big 10-4 on the Rosewood. Seems more organic to me. Don't know why.
  11. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Real, gaboon ebony is the ultimate fingerboard wood, it is hard enough and still flexible enough.

    Pau ferro seems to be a fairly nice substitute, hard enough but slightly stiffer.

    The manmade wood reinforced resins Embellisher mentioned also seem appropriate.

    Just as long as the board isn't (at least doesn't feel) plastic :(
  12. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Definitely ebony. Why do gear reviews always note that an instrument has an ebony fingerboard, and rosewood fingerboards just get mentioned in the spec's? (and why you see rosewood on all the bargain basement instruments).

    When it was legal in the US to import Brazilian rosewood, that was the real deal. The other varieties are usually characterized by actual gaps in the grain that collect crud, and it has a mushy feel compared to ebony or maple.

    I'm wating to hear from the luthier now on the bass I have spec'd with a peroba rosa fingerboard, (hard and gorgeous wood!)
  13. Actually, I think the fretboard has a major factor on how a bass sounds. I've played numerous fretted basses with maple, rosewood, and ebony fretboards and although they all had their distinct characteristics, each bass with the same fretboard had similar qualities. Rosewood has a more midrange punch to it while maple and ebony have a more 'high/low' snap to it. My feeling is since rosewood is a more open grain wood, it actually absorbs some of the sounds that would normally bounce off an ebony or maple fretboard. That's why people often call rosewood "more organic." The wood actually creates a natural EQ.
  14. jbass27


    May 4, 2001
    St. Louis, MO
    Ebony for sure, especially on a fretless.
    However maple sounds great on same basses, especially alder body jazz basses. Fingerboards do make a difference in the sound. Go to a shop with a decent selection and play a jazz bass with a rosewood fingerboard, and ash body, then maple with ash, then alder with rosewood, and alder with maple. You will hear the difference. Its subtle but there. Now, on the other hand, does the drunk chick watching you from the bar notice a difference in the sound? Not likely.
  15. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    From the small choice to vote from, I'd have to go with Rosewood. But my friend at the mo' is wenge.

    I think it is personal preference at the end of the day. I personally don't like maple boards, esp when they've got a ton of laquer on them, they just feel very sticky to me. But there are a lot of people thst swear by them.
  16. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    wenge all the way!!!!

    it feels cool
    it sounds great
    it plays great
    it looks beautiful

    and it has such a cool name! :D

  17. Rosewood, but, if her parents weren't home, would Rose?

    Mike J.
  18. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    Neither prefered.
  19. Maple. :)
  20. i like rosewood, maple is another one that goes up there. i like wenge also. ebony another honorable mention. havent tried pau ferro, guess i need to :)

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