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Rosewood or Maple top?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by TimothyGroovy, Aug 24, 2001.


  1. TimothyGroovy

    TimothyGroovy Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 3, 2000
    Hong Kong
    Owner: Uni••Sound
    Hi everyone! I have question about the wood of fret board. What is the differnce between a fret board which made by rosewood and maple? Is it maple sound more bright then rosewood? and the lowB sound of maple is not clear? I want to know more about it. Thanks for your help!
     
  2. I find Maple necks are faster, but I prefer Rosewood.
    I like the tone and sustain in it more, I find maple sounds more artificial. Some may disagree, but that's what I think.
     
  3. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Some people say that they can't hear a difference, but IME maple is brighter and snappier while rosewood is warmer and less defined.

    Ebony combines the best traits of both woods, IMHO.
     
  4. Everyone is going to give you a different opinion on what fretboard sounds and plays the best. The fact is the fretboard is only one factor in many on what makes a bass sound and play great. Certain fretboards are going to sound better with certain body woods, hardware, electronics, strings, etc. You need to decide for yourself what's best for you. I read somewhere that the body wood provides the foundation for the tone of the bass and the fretboard wood colors it. What I'm saying is when you isolate the fretboard you may be ignoring the big picture.

    BTW: I like rosewood!:D
     
  5. Freakapotamus9

    Freakapotamus9

    Jun 20, 2001
    Nebraska
    i like them both. at the moment maple is my fav. its fast, clear, snappy, etc. i do like the darker, 'boomier' sound that rosewood has. i havent played much of anything else ( or i have and didnt even know :rolleyes: )
     
  6. jasonbraatz

    jasonbraatz

    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    i like wenge the best, ebony second best, then rosewood as a close 3rd.


    i've never played a maple fingerboard that really struck me.


    jason
     
  7. Maple is my fave. Also has anyone else noticed that you rarely if ever see maple fretboards even offered on less expensive models it always seems to be rosewood. That says something to me
     
  8. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    I don't know exactly what it says to me, Rick, as much as I disliked the Indian rosewood boards, (which is used almost without fail), I've played in comparison to maple and ebony. I've seen some pretty high end basses and guitars with rosewood boards. But I wonder if they're trying to cut corners.

    My guess is that is boils down to the grade of the Indian rosewood the various makers use. Lots of souces talk about "master grade," "premium," "1st," "2nd," "AAA" in relation to Indian rosewood. So, I would hope higher end makes that use rosewood on some of their models, like Pedulla/Godin/Ken Smith/Fernandes,et al, use the best grades.

    Bottomline, Indian rosewood started to be commonly used in the 60's when Brazilian started getting scarce. Today, what's happening is that the stuff graded "master grade" would have been considered a much lesser grade a few years ago as the demand stretches the Indian supply.

    There's an awful lot of junky, oily, porous, Indian rosewood fretboards out there. I stop looking at a bass if I see it. IMO, there's no excuse for not using a different wood if the instrument is towards the mid-high to higher end with so many different and better woods available for fingerboards.