rotosounds and rosewood: place your bets!

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Captain_joe6, Aug 22, 2005.

  1. So I'm toying with the idea of stringing some good ol' Rotosound Swing's on my nice new fretless with a brazillian rosewood fingerbaord. Seeing as these Rotos are just about the roughest strings I've ever felt (from my experience with them on my Kramer fretted), how well do you guys think the FB would hold up against them, considering I play 2-3 times a week for about 3 hours at a time and with a moderate to mildly-heavy touch. Thanks!
  2. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    I used RS Swing Bass rounds on my Yamaha fretless with rosewood board for about 5 years, no apparent ill effects other than very minor surface scratches. A lot of the wear on fretlesses is caused by lateral string abrasion (string bending) rather than longitudinal (sliding). Not sure I'd take the chance on a more expensive bass though - I'm using Dean Markley Fretmasters (roundwounds, burnished over the fingerboard section, unburnished over the pickups for the "zing") on my Jazz fretless at the moment and they're pretty good strings, if a little pricey here in the UK.
  3. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    Do you know what the species name is for your fretboard wood? "Brazilian rosewood" is not the same stuff as traditional rosewood used in fretboards. It depends on exactly which species you're using, but more than likely it's going to be quite a bit harder than a traditional rosewood fretboard.

    The company I work for imports brazilian hardwood flooring, so I'm pretty familiar with this've probably got tamarindo, or a darker piece of jatoba. (most jatoba is referred to as "brazilian cherry")

    Regardless, fretboard wear is going to depend mostly on your vibrato method. With a fretless, you should be wiggling your finger along the length of the string, not bending it side-to-side. Bending side to side does still work just like on a fretted bass, but using "cello" style vibrato is much more effective - you can probably do it a lot faster and with more precise control. And of course, bending side-to-side will wear the fretboard a lot quicker.

    Even if you do everything wrong - play super-hard, lot's of two-step bends, etc., you'll still probably get at least a year or two out of it without need for resurfacing.
  4. The FB is made of Dalbergia nigra.