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Why No Neck Binding on Your Bass(es)?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jim T., Mar 22, 2004.

  1. I've noticed that the great majority of boutique/luthier built basses haven't had neck binding or purfling (wood binding) selected as an option.

    Was it for one of these reasons or something else?

    Anyone with a wood purfling(ed) neck, I'd like to hear how you keep the purfling looking clean.

    If you do have some trippy abalone/mother of pearl bound basses in your closets, let's see 'em please! I need more ideas for mine if I go with binding.

    Reason for you?:

    l. Looks

    2. A more expensive refret job?

    3. Additional cost and wait time for a new build order?

    4. Shell bindings proved to be too fragile for gigging?

    5. Something else?

    I'm considering a block inlay with neck and peghead binding or purfling so I'd like to know why others haven't gone this route much.

    Thanks, Jim T.
  2. Dunno why more folks don't do it. My Shuker fretted has FB binding, but it's done with ebony against an ebony FB, so it's all but invisible. Most people just notice that they can't see the ends of the fret tangs.
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Don't like the look.

    More expensive refret.

    I prefer oil/wax finish anyway.

    Wood shrinkage in the neck will make the fretends rip the binding.
  4. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    I've never found any reason why I should get one with binding, other than looks. The cons outway the pros.
  5. gyancey


    Mar 25, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I'd probably charge less for a refret on a bound fingerboard. I'd much rather spend the time undercutting the frets than having to worry about messing up the neck finish while filing the tangs flush.
  6. hippiesandwich


    Aug 29, 2003
    San Jose
    Affiliated with Looperlative Audio Products
    Custom Benavente 219B with custom neck inlays AND LEDs. Why??? WHY NOT!!! :D

    Benavente 219B pics

  7. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i have two basses with wood binding on the fretboards. very nice, i must say. :)
  8. I do like the look of neck binding and purfling, but it doesn't really add to the sound and playability, so it's not a priority for me. Plus, I love Fenders, and most of them don't come with any fancy binding and purfling unless you get a custom shop job.
  9. I think it depends on the bass. Some look better on others.
    I think binding on the neck looks great on Ric's for instance.
  10. Thanks folks. Interesting idea that hadn't occured to me... using matching ebony purfling not as decoration per se, but just to hide the fret ends...

    Any other opinions, examples, pics.? I appreciate the feedback and examples. Jim :hyper:
  11. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    I just don't care for the look, personally. And I think its fair to say that we ALL have different and varying tastes, none are more valid than any other. To me, neck bindings remind me of velvet paintings - don't know why, they just do - same era, I suppose.
  12. gyancey


    Mar 25, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Binding can be good for contrast as well. Here's one I just finished up:
  13. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Nice! I like the thin layer of black (if I'm seeing it right), and the way you did the corners "correctly" (to my point of view) as opposed to the way Chris Benevente does them.
  14. That looks great to me. I'll chalk that pic up as one reason to get binding.
  15. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000

    I just had to comment.

    That is my word of the day.

  16. Very, very nice. :bassist:
  17. gyancey


    Mar 25, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Hey thanks a lot! You are seeing correctly - there's black between the bubinga and birdseye maple. Its more obvious in person. "Correct" is kind of subjective (as you've noted) but I personally like to miter.
  18. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Right. I wasn't putting down Chris's work, just saying that you two make different choices at the corners, and I prefer yours.
  19. I'd like to bump this up again, seeing as it's the weekend and all...any other experiences, binding examples to share?

    I'm seriously considering a Celtic Knot "block-ish" inlay pattern for my fingerboard and would like to consider some shell binding or wood purfling alongside. :cool: From the audience the inlays would look pretty much like "fancier" block inlays but up close their artistic "merit" would be made apparent.

    Thanks all, Jim T. :hyper:
  20. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Not quite. The FMTs had a bound board. So do the Marcus Miller, '75 Jazz and Geddy Lee models.

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