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To Bevel Or Not To Bevel ?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by iPlay15151515, Apr 23, 2005.

  1. I'm considering replacing my fb in the near future. I play mostly bluegrass and some country.

    My current fb is not beveled.

    Should I consider an E bevel for the new fb?

    How will it affect playability, technique and sound?
  2. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    Playability: If the neck is correctly done, it will play fine eiter way.

    Technique: No real biggies there either. My first bass round. My Shen is beveled. I personally think it is a little easier to get a clean stop on the E string with a beveled board, but I am sure that it's just a personal thing.

    Sound: Not really. If you play flabby strings, you may have less problems with the E clattering with a bevel. But it will not do anything to the sound of the bass.

    If you play all the time, you can switch back and forth and not even really notice it. I could pick up a bass and play it for an hour at a festival or open thing and if you ask me 10 minutes later if the fb was rounded or beveled, I might not be able to tell you.
  3. mrpc

    mrpc Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    I'll second that!
  4. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Much ado about nothing. Makes no difference. Get what you like.
  5. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    My Chrissy came with a beveled FB when I first bought it. Since then, it's been back to the lutheir for FB work twice: a dressing the first time, and improvements for playing pizz and getting rid of some high spots the second time several months ago. I read this thread a few weeks ago and the other day I looked at the FB again. The bevels are gone and I didn't even notice it til now. :D

    They were removed on the second trip to the luthier and I couldn't tell the difference. I just assumed that I always had bevels. Now only the E string has a bevel. The rest is rounded. I doubt if I'd notice it even if the E isn't beveled.
  6. M_A_T_T


    Mar 4, 2004
    That's what a beveled fingerboard is. I've never heard of the other strings having flat bevels under them.
  7. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    Erm, I coulda sworn my FB was beveled under every string. There are still high spots where the bevels used to be. I had an Ergo EUB ordered beveled and it came like that too. Maybe I'm crazy.
  8. Martin Sheridan

    Martin Sheridan

    Jan 4, 2001
    Fort Madison, Iowa
    Bass Maker
    The original intent of the bevel was to allow the E string more vibrating room which was needed in the old gut string days. So as a bluegrass player you might want to consider this if you use gut, otherwise it shouldn't matter. Why do you think you need a new fingerboard?
  9. Martin:

    My ccfb had some high spots at each end that reminded me of a ski jump. They prevented me from setting the string height correctly and often I felt I was playing a dobro.

    Yesteday I planed the fb down and made some adjustments to the nut slots which made quite a difference in the tuning and playability. Today is bridge trimming day.

    I was considering replacing the fb, but since things have taken a turn for the better, I'll play the old fb for awhile longer.
  10. Martin Sheridan

    Martin Sheridan

    Jan 4, 2001
    Fort Madison, Iowa
    Bass Maker
    Bass fingerboards usually start out at 10mm depth on the sides of the board, so unless your fb is really thin it just needs to be planed. Get a long metal straight edge. The relief under each string should be about the string diameter or even less with no bumps.

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