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Round or Beveled?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Bob Gollihur, Feb 3, 2002.

  1. Must be beveled!

    3 vote(s)
  2. I lean towards beveled but will own/play either

    15 vote(s)
  3. Doesn't matter much to me

    20 vote(s)
  4. I lean towards rounded but will own/play either

    25 vote(s)
  5. Must be rounded!

    9 vote(s)
  1. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    Cape of New Jersey
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music (retired)
    Just curious -- Do you prefer round or beveled fingerboards on your basses?
  2. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    I have both. After a few minutes, I'm not even aware of what I'm playing.
  3. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Shank has a trick setup on my bass -- called the 'Parker' -- wherein the fingerboard starts out beveled and ends up rounded. He tried it to get rid of a rattle that I was able to get out of my E string, no matter the string height, and has used it on a few basses since to fix similar problems.
  4. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    As long as the E string sounds good, it doesn't matter.
  5. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    I've owned both, I prefer round, but not to the point of dismissing a good sounding bass because it has a bevel.
  6. erik II

    erik II

    Jul 11, 2000
    Oslo, Norway
    I have both types. Since I played the bevelled one for many years first, I was used to pulling the E-string more downwards. That caused some initial rattling on the round fingerboard before I got my plucking technique adjusted.

    I voted 'lean towards bevelled', but it doesn't really matter much.
  7. tsolo


    Aug 24, 2002
    Ft. Worth
    Well, I'll be. I have one of each. Must not make a difference.
  8. Bruce Calin

    Bruce Calin

    Oct 15, 2002
    I've never played a bass that didn't have the beveled fingerboard,but I've often wondered what effect a rounded one would have on the A-string.To me the A has always been more of a problem as far as the string hitting the fingerboard.
  9. That's interesting Bruce. I've found that I get more complaints about the E string when people change from a beveled to a round fingerboard on thier instruments. Personally, I don't find there to be that much difference, but I do think you can dig in a little harder on the E with a beveled board.
  10. Bruce Calin

    Bruce Calin

    Oct 15, 2002
    I have thought about my last post some more & I think what I'm talking about is the tendency of the A-string to hit the ridge where the bevel starts.If I pull the E-string at the proper angle the E won't rattle too much,but fast playing on the A seems impossible to do without the string clicking on the board.It might be from doing recording over the years & be hypercritical about any non-musical noises,but that sound has always bothered me.Would a round board make any difference?
  11. Bruce - If the string is actually hitting the bevel, I think that either your A string is too low or your fingerboard need some work. A properly setup beveled board shouldn't be all that different from a round board for the A string. I would ask your luthier to look it over the next time you take your bass in for work.
  12. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    How does a bevelled fingerboard affect playing in thumb position across E and A? Does the ridge get in the way a bit?
  13. Matthew - I can't give you a definitive statement about this one. There is a lot of variations when it comes to beveled boards. However, most of time, the bevel itself does not get in the way. You are more likely to notice the E string being a little higher distance off the fingerboard. It's more a matter of adjustment on the players part. Some of my customers have two basses - one beveled and one round, and they seem to go back and forth with little or no trouble playing in thumb position. If a fingerboard is properly dressed, you shouldn't have a problem to playing in thumb postion simply because of the fingerboard type.
  14. Joe Taylor

    Joe Taylor

    Dec 20, 2001
    Tracy CA
    Thumb position on the E string, ouch! Make that double ouch!
  15. JazznFunk


    Mar 26, 2000
    Asheville, NC
    Lakland Basses Artist
    Sure sounds nice & fat though... :-D

  16. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    If the action is high, I require a beveled fretboard, if the action is nice and low I prefer a rounded. Why? I severed the tendon to my middle finger and haven't regained complete strength yet. My C-1 at school has a beveled fingerboard and it works well because of a botched neck repair. My EM-1 at home is rounded and is SCHWEET!
  17. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    My old bass was a rounded board, the new bass is beveled. At first, I was a little intimidated by the beveled board, but the more I play it, the more I prefer it. I played another bass just yesterday with a rounded board and was not as comfortable.

    What I have come to like about the steep bevel on the board is fingering the E string, especially with the 4th finger. The steep bevel sets the plane of the fingerboard for the E less perpendicular to your palm. So, the action to stop the string is more pulling your finger into your palm. It just feels like it is easier to use the bigger muscles and is less straining on the wrist.

    I seem to be able to better stop the E without rolling my wrist around the neck.

    As far as the strings hitting the bevel, I do notice that a beveled setup is more sensitive to having the bridge properly aligned. String changes or even the occasional bump can knock them out off a bit to one side or the other. If it happens, the A can clatter on the bevel.

    Although, I think the E is much LESS likely to clunk on a Romberg board.
  18. Nick Gann

    Nick Gann Talkbass' Tubist in Residence

    Mar 24, 2002
    Silver Spring, MD
    First time I played a beveled fingerboard, I made a thread on it here about how weird it was because I'd never seen it before :p
  19. JazznFunk


    Mar 26, 2000
    Asheville, NC
    Lakland Basses Artist
    My old crappy beginner bass had a rounded board, which I figured I'd never be able to give up. However, my new bass has a beveled board and is much more responsive to my playing style. I feel I can "sculpt" the sound of the E string a bit more easily with the bevel there. So, beveled is officially the s***.

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