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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by decadence, Aug 26, 2000.

  1. Hi all.
    I know there are many different types of woods used for fingerboards and bodies, but I have no idea what the difference is between them, as I've only used one bass.
    What are some of the more common types of woods used for fingerboards and bodies, and what are there objective differences? Is it purely in the feel, or are there tonal differences associated with different types of woods too?
    If you want to add a subjective view too, that'd be fine ;)
    Thanks in advance. :D
  2. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    Woods is a very subjective topic. But I will try to give my point of view.

    For Fretboards we have:

    Rosewood= Dard wood, warm, very resistant. (You can find it in most production line basses.

    Maple= Light wood, crisp sound, needs finishing. (You can find it in most production line basses too)

    PauFerro= Somewhat dark wood, warm.

    Wenge = My Favorite, very raw, very hard, dark wood. Best tone. (At least for me)

    Phenolic/Ebonol = Synthetic Material, fast, resistant.

    Ebony = Dark wood, crisp and warm , very resistant. Exellent feeling.

    There arent many woods that in a solid maner can be necks.
    Maple, Wenge, Bubinga, Purpleheart, Mahogany, etc.

    You can use almost any wood for the body, but it has to be capable of taking a block out of a tree.
    You need to dig some about body woods, since there are lots of variations in craftmanship and resonance.

    A link for woods: http://www-eksl.cs.umass.edu/~schmill/fbb/pages/woods.html

    That link is from a Custom Bass Maker, he can guide you too.
  3. MJB


    Mar 17, 2000
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    After about 25 years of trying different basses, I seem to find that I like the sound better, the more maple is included. Although Alder is the classic body wood for the Fender Jazz sound, I have actually preferred the maple sound combined with this style. But I do prefer Rosewood Finger Boards or Pau Ferro which is no different to my ears; but maple boards are too bright for me and I can't get on with them at all. I think woods that are denser than maple are too bright for the body and any artificial materials to me sound especially too bright.
  5. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Maple all the way!

    I have a Pedulla Rapture J2 5 string with a maple neck, birdseye maple fingerboard and soft(curly)maple body. Very bright sounding combination, but also has a ton of bottom end as well.

    I think maybe this all maple construction and resulting sound may be one of the reasons that the
    original Spector was so popular?

    I don't know as much about the effect of body wood, but I believe that maple fingerboard wood is brightest, ebony is almost as bright with added warmth, wenge and purpleheart are a little darker than ebony, and rosewood and pau ferro have the most warmth and least brightness, as always, YMMV.

    I have 3 with maple boards, 1 with wenge, and only 1 rosewood, the rosewood is my fretless, and that is the only way I like the rosewood sound, is fretless. But someday, I'm going to get Warmoth to make me a maple/ebony replacement neck for that one.

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