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Why are Maple Fretboards unpopular for bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mcblahflooper94, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. mcblahflooper94


    Aug 31, 2011
    It seems for every maple fretboard I see on a bass, I see two or more rosewood fretboards. I know that they're a bit snappier (fretboard wood, IMO, is much more of a determining factor to tone, if the body wood type makes any) but I think they look really nice, sound nice and I feel like Maple would be much easier to get than Rosewood or Ebony, but I have no evidence. Is it more expensive? Do they require more maintenance?
  2. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    Maple boards are very popular, and yes the fingerboard wood does affect the tone. I love maple!
  3. Arial Bender

    Arial Bender

    Oct 28, 2012
    Largo Fla.
    Some people think rosewood is warmer, I think maple is more popular than you think it is.
  4. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Maple boards are really popular, maybe a little less common. It is possible, depending on manufacturing techniques, that a neck with second piece of wood for the fingerboard/fretboard is less expensive to produce. With a one piece neck the truss rod is installed through the back of the neck and that slot needs to be filled and smoothed which may be more expensive/time consuming than dropping the truss rod in through the front...again it would really depend on the manufacturing process.
  5. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    There are gazillions of maple fretboards out there. They're extremely popular.
  6. alembicguy

    alembicguy I operate the worlds largest heavey equipment Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007

    I like them!
  7. PaperbackRyder

    PaperbackRyder Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2007
    Maynard, MA
    who says they're unpopular? i see them everywhere. Prefer rosewood myself.
    maybe start a poll?
  8. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    They are not unpopular at all. There may not be quite as many as there are rosewood, but they are plenty popular.
  9. mcblahflooper94


    Aug 31, 2011
    I think I should rephrase my question: Why do you see more rosewood than maple?
  10. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    Aesthetics. Some people simply prefer the way darker fingerboards look.
  11. vegas532


    Nov 10, 2006
    Pensacola, FL.
    I actually prefer Maple for instruments with low tunings. That extra *snap* really helps it to cut through! I used to keep an old G&L SB-2 JJ with a Maple board tuned to Ab, F, Ab, Eb.
  12. It seems for the longest time MIM Fender Standards were rosewood only.

    Around '09 they started offering maple boards. I was all over it and bought two Precisions and a Jazz.
  13. SactoBass

    SactoBass A retired civil engineer who likes all-tube amps! Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Lake Havasu City, AZ
    Maple fretboards are unpopular???

    When did THIS happen???????
  14. drummer5359

    drummer5359 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 10, 2011
    Pittsburgh PA USA
    I have no idea...

  15. I think most mid range manufacturers make them the same way as a rw neck i.e. glue a maple fretboard onto a maple neck and smooth off the edges. I have a maple neck stingray and this was how it was done. You have to really closely though. Some signature p basses are made from one piece. I don't know if there's a difference in the sound but I think the maple neck looks cooler. Unless the neck is lacquered though they can get very dirty. I had this problem with the stingray, it had a very light satin finish and it got very grimy.
  16. SactoBass

    SactoBass A retired civil engineer who likes all-tube amps! Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Lake Havasu City, AZ
    I don't.

    I see equal numbers of both.

    And I like both. I have one of each. :bassist:
  17. I'll take the two on the left. And could you throw in some fries?

    I'm getting to hate rosewood. My warwick has ebony, my squier maple. Take a guess which one is in my hands tonight.
  18. drummer5359

    drummer5359 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 10, 2011
    Pittsburgh PA USA
    I have a MIJ P that has a rosewood board, but I love maple boards.
  19. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Rosewood has a warmer tone.

    I have 8 basses with maple boards, one bubinga, and 4 rosewood.
  20. jet_king


    Jul 31, 2009
    I had the same question long ago. To this day i still have a hard time finding maple neck/fretboards. I find that maple while warm gives your tone a nice high end punch. i own a maple neck silver-tone guitar and a maple neck fender jazz bass. Both my first maples and love them very much.
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