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Why don't we see more maple necks with color finishes on fretboards?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JimmyM, Oct 10, 2017.


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  1. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Larry Graham, Bootsy Collins, and Prince...they're about the only bassists or guitarist I've seen with necks that were entirely painted in a color. Oh, and me for a time in the 80's...got inspired by seeing Larry Graham's Moon basses and got my brother to finish my 76 Precision in silver metal flake with a white neck. I still have it but I stripped it because I thought it looked too hair-metal for the 90's. Wish I'd have thought to get some pics of it first.

    But I always liked the idea of a painted neck, even though I never did it again. Yet you almost never see it. Makes me think there must be a reason, but danged if I can think of one. So what's the problem?

    EDIT: Didn't make this clear...I'm talking about the fretboards, not just the backs of the necks.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  2. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    The Mission SF/CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    A thin colour sprayed on a fb/neck would be no thicker than if clear, as is done on some maple necks. It's probably just because it would look like that (all one colour) and bass players are pretty conservative in general. (hence; exotic wood attraction) <yes, it sounds like a contradiction, but exotic wood is natural (check out this crazy grain!) and an (all) Fiesta Red P-bass is a statement. This is actually giving me ideas...

    Not paint, not exotic wood - gilding!

    fullsizeoutput_1eb.jpeg
     
  3. bassfuser

    bassfuser

    Jul 16, 2008
    Could be that the finish eventually rubs off. I bet it would be tough to find a finish that would stand up to the strings being ground into the neck. Cool thought though. Maybe if they stained a Maple fret board but Maple is probably too hard to take the stain.
     
  4. crucislancer

    crucislancer Supporting Member

    Dec 25, 2009
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    I had a couple of Ibanez basses with painted necks, SR800 and EDC700. Then of course the Ric 4001 I had. It does seem.to be rare, however.
     
    JimmyM likes this.
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Honestly, I can't think of any reason why a colored finish would be any less rugged than the clear they use now.
     
  6. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    All I can say about it is HELL YEAH! (says the stiff necked and timid guy who owns a bunch of instruments that are all sunburst or tobacco burst... It's a camouflage thing... er, OK, I'm a wimp...)
     
    Dr_Feelgoood212, JJR58 and JimmyM like this.
  7. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 Supporting Member

    Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill have several.
    I have done it to a few over the years
    Dean sells a couple models in obnoxious dayglow colors.
    Maple stains just fine.
    Wow strings ground into the fretboard on a fretted neck?
    You must always sound sharp # on every fretted note.
     
  8. bassfuser

    bassfuser

    Jul 16, 2008
    It could be the mass builders don't think they would sell and the boutique guys wouldn't want to ruin the look of a good piece of wood. I suppose they might make a custom finish.
     
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I assume you meant Dean...that's right, forgot about them. God, they're obnoxious! But at least they do it! Forgot about ZZ Top as well.
     
  10. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    There's always this:
    czoneng.png
    Which I think is pretty great, but I don't have a reason to own anything like that. It comes in four stringed varieties and in pink. PINK!
     
  11. packrat

    packrat Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2017
    Sydney, Australia
    I assume y'all have handled a Bongo? I don't mind that as a finish at all, although the neck finish on a standard Stingray is also quite wonderful.
     
    detroitbasscity and JimmyM like this.
  12. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    A little more Google and here you go:
    30e309309d1bd5838172bb13b9ee02c9.jpg
    Your eyes? Yeah, sorry about that. If they were just a little pointier, and had neon blue strings, they would be even worse/better.
     
  13. bassfuser

    bassfuser

    Jul 16, 2008
    Maybe I'm always flat! Grind might be a little bit exaggerated but I think it's a good possibility that the strings would eventual make the finish wear off.
     
    JimmyM likes this.
  14. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 Supporting Member

    945b96e8e374c342ea01daa91e2118f8--bass-guitars-electric-guitars.jpg
    db199e5667017afa13c6931bb2d95c1b--music-rock-music-music.jpg
    1e4385cc946a9ba2f57a8c1bb3a0f2f1--zz-top-blues-rock.jpg
     
  15. wolfkeller

    wolfkeller Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2013
    detroit
    I've got about 15 basses right now, only 1 has a non painted neck. To me, they look, cheap, unfinished. Mine are most flat or gloss black, my Warlock has a red neck/black body. Soon as I get a bass I paint the neck. No fretboards though. I stain the rosewood darker on some.
     
    JimmyM likes this.
  16. 58kites

    58kites Save a life....adopt a Pitbull

    Oct 21, 2014
    Austin Texas
    Peavey Fury USA built in 1998.
    It's 20 years old now and the black is good and black.
    Same gloss clear coat they put on their regular maple necks.
    I'm sure it will hold up as long as any clear-coated maple fretboard and longer than some rosewood fretboards.
    DSCN2044.jpg DSCN2181.jpg DSCN2185.jpg DSCN2040.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
  17. tlc1976

    tlc1976

    Aug 2, 2016
    Michigan
    I wouldn't like a pigment color, but a color to mimic a different wood would be interesting. Like cedar or mahogany.

    As far as the back of the neck, well if there's a gloss finish I typically sand it off anyway.
     
    tfer and JimmyM like this.
  18. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    The Mission SF/CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    Exactly - and over any wood.
     
    JimmyM likes this.
  19. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 Supporting Member

    True to a point but no more than a standard clear coated maple. Fingernails do more damage. Guitar necks get more abuse due to chording putting nails into the fretboard.
    Vibrato also puts fingernails into the fretboard
     
    JimmyM likes this.
  20. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    The Mission SF/CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    dabbler, JimmyM and 58kites like this.
  21. 58kites

    58kites Save a life....adopt a Pitbull

    Oct 21, 2014
    Austin Texas
    Me too.
    I like a bit of contrast with those items, I like the white dot inlays and white Logo too.
    The first pic shows the original pickguard before I put the black one on there.
     
    Sartori, JIO and JimmyM like this.

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