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Who else has a gripe with Maple?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jontom, Dec 11, 2002.

  1. Jontom


    Mar 11, 2002
    New York
    I can't stand the sound of a maple neck bass! The highs sound as brittle as all getout and the lows don't punch like wenge. (Which is why I made a wenge neck/walnut body Warmoth J that KILLS!!) Is it just because its cheap that Fender uses maple?...
  2. I hated maple neck basses until I found my 74 P. Now I love them. Much smoother and cleaner. Now I think rosewood boards are too brite and clickie sounding. That's my 2-

  3. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Maple is my preference, for fretted basses.
  4. I have not found maple necks I like yet. I played a 60s J that had a maple fret board and that was pretty damn good, but it was gunked and funked to hell and I bet that has a lot to do with it.. Age makes it better.

  5. Jontom


    Mar 11, 2002
    New York
    Embellisher- Do you play a lot of slap? I can see where that "sproing" would be beneficial to that style(Marcus Miller), but other than that I can't really get it to fit into a mix other that "sticking out" on the treble side. What makes it your preference? The only way I can compare it is to say that playing with wenge is like playing in a concert hall(warm and blossomy)and playing with maple is like playing in a gymnasium(tinny and hard). I can agree with the ageing factor, all wood mellows over time...
  6. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    Generalizations don't work. Generally.
  7. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    I have A/B'd maple versus rosewood on a freted bass. 3 different models each paired with rosewood and maple and I could not tell a difference in tone. At least in regards to fretboard.

    I noticed a "feel" difference.

    I think a lot of it is a trick to the ear. Or am I missing something?? :(
  8. FalsehoodBass


    Jul 22, 2001
    Denver, CO
    the thing i hate about maple is how hard it is to keep clean..

    it's worth it to me for the sound though.
  9. Ebony , IMO , beats them both anyway. I just don't like the look of maple fretboards........ugh.
  10. Sinker


    Dec 4, 2002
    Newark, DE USofA
    That's amazing!

    You're saying that if two rigs are exactly the same (same model bass, same brand and age of strings, same p-ups, same chords, same amps, same EVERYTHING) except the type of wood used to make the neck, that you could not only tell them apart, but that you would find one sound pleasing and the other horrible?

    That is simply amazing.

  11. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Good point. I've found some basses by some great luthiers whose maple seems to sound wildly different from one another.
  12. Paul A

    Paul A

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hertfordshire U.K!
    I Hate the feel of a maple fretboard,they always feel "sticky" to me, give me rosewood (or ebony,pau ferro) every time!
  13. neptoon

    neptoon Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2000
    Melbourne, FL
    i've never played an all maple necked bass that i really like, but a birdseye board is just :eek: awesome...and i have no beef with multi-lam necks that use maple as a primary wood or as stringers.
  14. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    I would prefer Ebony on just about every bass I own, but since it's not always an option, I prefer maple to rosewood.

    Except for my Spector of course. :D
  15. IMO the influence of fretboard material on the overall sound is slight when compared to the influence of the body wood type and the electronics. I own 2 basses with maple boards and 2 with rosewood. For example: I am able to get nice fat, warm tones out of my Lakland 4-94 (maple topped ash body, birdseye maple board and Barts) yet my Wal Mach III 5er (maple topped mahogany body, rosewood board and Wal electronics) is one of the snappiest and midrangey sounding basses I have ever owned. But as always YMMV.....
  16. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I don't play a lot of slap. Maybe 15% of what I do is slap. I just prefer the clarity of a maple board. Rosewood sounds dull and lifeless to me. Ebony, wenge and purpleheart are good hard fingerboard woods as well.
  17. Jontom


    Mar 11, 2002
    New York
    I guess my main gripe is with maple-on-maple, but even the rosewood-on-maple basses that I've had just haven't filled up the whole audio spectrum like my wenge-on-wenge neck basses have.
  18. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    I'll bet you have quite a few differences... pickups, bridge, body wood, electronics, paint, strings,...

    So it should be pretty difficult to blaim it all on the maple.
  19. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I once ordered a Fender '57 RI P-bass with the Mary Kay finish. With the ash body and maple neck I thought I'd get a very bright clicky bass, but it actually turned out to have very soft top end, and very sweet singing midrange.

    ZoomBoy is right that tone of a fretted bass will primarily be influenced by electronics, body wood, and construction type (neck-thru, bolt-on, etc). The effect of fretboard material is down the list aways.
  20. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Just adjust the preamp on the bass & amp. :D

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