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Which fingerboard wood for slap/dance??

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Basso Gruvitas, Oct 31, 2003.

  1. I would appreciate input from those who offer direction in this "Luthier's" area.

    I'm having a bass built (probably a 6-string) that I will be using for jazz, fusion, dance, funk, slap, Latin, top 40, etc. I would like to know what kind of fingerboard you would recommend to add to the recipe below.

    I don't have to have the Marcus Miller sound, but would like something that gets people's heads bobbing. Here's the recipe so far:

    * Alder body (bolt-on)
    * Spalt maple top
    * tone block with flame maple/purpleheart/maple/purpleheart/flame maple
    * 5-piece neck with maple and purpleheart
    * EMG dual coil soapbars and preamp

    The choices I was thinking about for fingerboard(but am open to other suggestions) are:

    1. birdseye maple
    2. macassar ebony
    3. dark colored cocobolo

    Visually I would rather go for something that looks classy and elegant than something "shocking" or that looks like I threw up on it.

    Would love to see what you think.....:)
  2. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE
    Depending on the actual spalted maple top you'll use, I'd say go for a nice stabilized bird's eye maple board from Larry ;)

    I'll try to upload a picture of a spalted maple Zia 6 I'm building with a bird's eye board :D

    Peace, JP
  3. Good morning JP! (Is it morning there?:meh: )

    That would be great. What advantage is there of a stabilized maple board over a regular maple board could not offer? I am aware of the physics of a stabilized board, but what are the sonic advantages?

  4. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE
    Sonic advantages? I can't really see any.
    The fingerboard choice will not dramatically affect your sound anyway. Satbilized board will add stiffness and stability ;) to your neck and it's also great because there will be no need to finish the board.

    Peace, JP
  5. I'm intrigued. I REALLY want a stable board.

    Let's see the picture as soon as you can get it!:hyper:
  6. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    What is a tone block?

    The bass sounds nice.

  7. Hey Bob,
    You USUALLY see tone blocks on neck-throughs. They're on the back of the bass - it's basically the wood plate or block that seals the neck inside the body. It visually breaks up the back of the bass but is also kind of a "wild card" where you can additionally sculpt the tone of the bass by adding an "different" wood to influence what the instrument is going to sound like.

    Look on the back of an Elrick neck-through or a Ken Smith neck-through.

    I'm really looking forward to this bass! I decided on a Macassar ebony board (stabilized - JP!).
  8. gyancey


    Mar 25, 2002
    Austin, TX
    The "tone block" is also known as the "tree saver" in my mind. The real reason is to be able to use less wood for the neck blank. You can save a lot of wood (waste) by using a "tone block" to make up the body thickness difference and a scarf joint on the headstock. My actual neck blanks are only 7/8" thick...its an economic and ecological tool. The term "Tone block" is a sales tool...
  9. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE
    Not a stabilized board here but you get the spalted maple top /bird's eye fingerboard scheme:


    Peace, JP
  10. JP,
    That's REALLY beautiful! It should sound great.

    I'm going with the spalted top but I've decided on the stabilized Macassar ebony board. I want a bright sound, but I like the idea of the slightly compressed, "smooth" sound of the ebony. Plus I think (I HOPE) that should look very classy.

    I saw Carey's new 4-string with the walnut top and the stabilized ebony - that kind of reinforced my decision.
  11. 43apples

    43apples Guest

    Nov 9, 2003

    If you dont mind me asking:

    What excactly is Stabilized Wood? And how do you stabilize the wood?

    Sorry if im asking a dumb question :rolleyes:

  12. 43apples

    43apples Guest

    Nov 9, 2003
    Thanks, i appreciate it :) !

    That is gonna be one NICE bass, btw! Post some pics and sound clips when its finished, please?

  13. I sure will. It should be ready in about a month.

    Can I wait until then?........NO!!