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which fretboard would go best with a spalted maple body top

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by reasonbass, Mar 6, 2003.


  1. hi fellow TB's i've been gassing for a spalted maple top jazz bass, and I've decided to finally go along with it. But one thing I can't decide is which kind of fretboard wood would match the spalted maple. I've ruled out Rosewood, but any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    thanks
    rodrigo
     
  2. How about ebony? Looks great on Jeff Rader's 24 fret Sadowsky. The Spalted maple fretboard on Brad Johnson's Brubaker is also a beauty.

    Geoff
     
  3. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    well, too bad you ruled out Rosewood- i really like it on mine ( now gone..) i would think a birdseye maple would be nice as well-
    [​IMG]
     
  4. I tend to agree with an ebony board...

    [​IMG]
     
  5. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    Adrian I think that is probably my favorite MTD that I have seen....you sold it?? :eek:
     
  6. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I think there are several ways you can go, light or dark (Maple, Ebony) or even just plain crazy like I did. Mine is Spalt on top of a layer of Ebony on a Maple neck. Sounds like a Maple board.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. I'd skip "what looks good" and go with what "sound you want" out of the bass.

    My upcoming Sadowsky spalt top PJ4 has an alder body with Brazilian rosewood 'board. I chose the latter for the tone I want from that bass.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    yeah, bro- what can i say- its a disease!! actually , i really miss that one....
     
  9. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    Shame on you man...

    I know what you mean though i.e. the disease...

    That's like the first MTD that I've seen that I KNOW I wouldn't mind owning based on looks alone. As long as the sound and playability was there I mean ;)

    Post 800! such a puny milestone compared to others around here...
     
  10. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    Jared- not only a looker, but the bass sounded awesome- i recently received a finished copy of a cd i played it on- GREAT tone!! but i dont play 6 much anymore- i kep my Roscoe because its so damn pretty and the string spacing is wider, which for me is better-
     
  11. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    Ahhhh its a six. You are forgiven then. Im a five guy myself. I like six for fretless but for fretted...eh.

    How is the string spacing on those MTD's? I prefer a wider spacing myself and based on what you just said it sounds like it's not very wide...are they more akin to the F bass?
     
  12. bassiclybass

    bassiclybass

    Mar 1, 2003
    calif
    brad,who made that single-cut spalted bass? contact #? how much? dave:bassist:
     
  13. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    Brubaker Guitars 410 857 7600- Kevin is great- and fearless.. i really like his modular preamp ideas-
     
  14. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Ebony always looks good.
     
  15. JOME77

    JOME77 Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    Georgia
    Great looking bass Brad! The FB looks great with spalted top body. I'm going to have to check out one of those basses some day. Sure it sounds as nice as it looks.:)
     

  16. it's not that I'm looking at only what looks good, I also want a good sound. I guess I made it sound wrong. The thing is, is that I've already had a bunch of instruments with rosewood fretboards and I was looking for maybe something different. And I should have specified which types of rosewoods I was ruling out, by the way brazilian rosewood is a beautifull wood and has great tone. And your bass looks like its coming along very well.

    And to Adrian, I'm thinking about ordering the body from USA custom guitars. The ash body they made for you looks aswome, congratulations!!:D
     
  17. Sure thing. I guess it's the choice of warm smoother midrangey rosewood tone versus maple's brightness and attack.

    My other Sadowsky jazz 4 string has swamp ash body, quilt maple top, and maple 'board. Hence, the alder body and rosewood board on the PJ4 for a different toned instrument.
     
  18. You really can't go wrong with ebony. It sounds great, it looks great and it's very durable. Make sure, you have some inlays.

    Jure
     
  19. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I don't see why you can't have both;). When Kevin and I were coming up with the design for this bass, playability and sound were the first concerns. I don't own one pretty bass that doesn't sound great... not one. If it doesn't impress me, I don't keep it.

    I wanted the tight sound of an Ash body and underneath that Spalted top is a serious piece of Ash. It's on the heavy side, which I think is part of getting the sound I wanted in this particualr bass. I also wanted the tightness of a Maple board, similar to the first Brubaler I bought, the Bluegreen burst NBS-1 (still have it). I went with the singlecut body style and did the f-hole for cosmetic reasons. I don't know what my bass would sound like without it so I can't make any comparisons.

    Now to the biggest cosmetic feature of the bass IMO, the matching fretboard. Kevin has done some wild stuff in the past with excellent fresults, like the split fretboard so I know he knows what he's doing.

    The solution didn't just hit us in the face. After quite a while mulling over options, Kevin Brubaker came up with the idea of using a matching piece of Spalted Maple, fairly saturated with finish (Spalt has varying densities) for the top board and mounting it on about an 1/8" layer of Ebony (Kevin Walker's idea IIRC), then attaching that to the Maple neck, which ended up with a black satin finish. He ran the idea by me, again with tone being the primary concern and the results were amazing IMO. Not only does it have a killer slap sound, it can also sound very warm while retaining it's articultaion.

    I stopped by his shop yesterday and he has a marble-ish highly figured Maple top on Ash body fretted 5 (black back and neck) with the same top wood on the fretboard and headstock in the NBS double cutaway design available. I'll try to get a pic up later... it plays like a dream and the look is very unique.

    The only trick is being able to tell the luthier what you want and having a luthier who knows how to achieve that. For me personally, first Mike Tobias and now Kevin Brubaker have nailed that for me.