Page 1 of 2
#1
Hey, I am wondering what woods you fretless fingerboards are made from. I know ebony and pau ferro are the choice woods, but surely you could use many other types of wood. I'll be using flatwound strings only. so do i really need to be that worried about wood? let me know what you guys have experience with, not what wood selling websites say. they just want my money, so of course they say you can only use a very expensive wood. Thanks.
My name is Greg, use it.

Sarcastic

Angry

Hopeful
#2
Fretless fingerboards need to be made with very dense and strong woods, otherwise the strings (flats or wounds) will just eat into the wood. You need to take that into account if you're planning on building a fretless.

I'd offer you some reccomendations, but I'm not too savvy in the way of wood properties unfortunately.
Quote by skater dan0
Damn you and your ninja-like modding
#4
Quote by fleajr_1412
Fretless fingerboards need to be made with very dense and strong woods, otherwise the strings (flats or wounds) will just eat into the wood. You need to take that into account if you're planning on building a fretless.


This is generally the case with a fretless: as above, a dense, strong wood is the best choice. OP, you mention ebony, which is probably the most prolific fretless fingerboard wood. I've also seen pau ferro (as you mention) and wenge (a la Warwick). You could also use the standard rosewood (it worked for Jaco), though it's not as strong or dense as ebony. I'm sure there are more exotic woods you could choose from, but for most applications, ebony has been the standard.

Quote by askrere
Be cool, go maple


Maple is a possibility. It's rarely done, as far as I've seen.
Back to the classic avatar.

Quote by KISSguitarist
You are the best writer ever Graybass. Sig me for that. But i love you! You should make a book!

Quote by Phil_Bass_Boy
Jesus christ, your avatar is the best I have seen in my life.

Quote by mh400nt
Graybass_20x6 has a better avatar than you
#5
I'm gunna go with desert ironwood if i can find it, mountain mahogany if i can find it, ipe, goncolo alves or bubinga. the first 2 have higher densities than ebony and the last 3 have densities slightly lower than ebony. im interested in lingum vitae but that's so uncommon haha
My name is Greg, use it.

Sarcastic

Angry

Hopeful
#6
if you have enough polyurethane, it'll let you use whatever wood you want.
Quote by FatalGear41
I wouldn't call what we have here on the Bass Forum a mentality. It's more like the sharing part of an AA meeting.

Quote by Jason Jillard
HUMANITY WHATS WRONG WITH YOU.


Warwick Fortress>>Acoustic AB50

http://www.myspace.com/rustingbloom
#7
^+1

Or Epoxy
Damn it! Disable can't use disable to disable Disable's disable because disable's disable has already been disabled by Disable's disable!
#8
polyurethane is waay easier to handle than that damn boat glue.
Quote by FatalGear41
I wouldn't call what we have here on the Bass Forum a mentality. It's more like the sharing part of an AA meeting.

Quote by Jason Jillard
HUMANITY WHATS WRONG WITH YOU.


Warwick Fortress>>Acoustic AB50

http://www.myspace.com/rustingbloom
#9
I know but it sets harder than poly IMO.
Damn it! Disable can't use disable to disable Disable's disable because disable's disable has already been disabled by Disable's disable!
#10
yeh...i got 6 coats on my redwood...hm. i still am gunna look for some hardwoods. i found ipe, goncolo alves and bubinga for under 10 bucks each. im still gunna hold out for a piece of something rarer aha but as for now, those 3 sound good.

well, i really dont need a fingerboard until im done really haha

ANYWAYS. im picking up a big slab of local (new york) black walnut next week. its a rough cut from last fall. its about 2.5 inches thick, 28 inches wide and 4.5 or 5.5 feet long. only an inch and a half sap wood around it.

still need to find some dense hardwood for my fingerboard.

ill just use plastic.
My name is Greg, use it.

Sarcastic

Angry

Hopeful
#11
poly is designed to handle rubbing, being a finish.

epoxy is designed to glue things together, thus being more for pulling.

either one, however, will do for your needs.
Quote by FatalGear41
I wouldn't call what we have here on the Bass Forum a mentality. It's more like the sharing part of an AA meeting.

Quote by Jason Jillard
HUMANITY WHATS WRONG WITH YOU.


Warwick Fortress>>Acoustic AB50

http://www.myspace.com/rustingbloom
#12
Maple sounds a bit too harsh for fretless imho. Ebony is long standing in the upright world for fretboards for obvious reasons.

Pau ferro is less durable but works My Stingray has a pau perro fretboard. It looks as good as rosewood but way more durable.
#13
couldn't you then say (if you believe in wood tones) that maple would then add a bit of the bite you would be missing from the lack of frets?
#14
^ I don't haha i think it'd matter if i had a piezo bridge, a hollowbody, or an upright bass haha in an electric solid body instrument i dont think wood matters one bit.

anarkee = ill check out some prices on pau ferro, but its not exactly common haha
My name is Greg, use it.

Sarcastic

Angry

Hopeful
#15
Really, the most affordable and effective thing to do is a rosewood fretboard and epoxy/poly over it, it changes the tone a bit but you'll still get a 'mwah' tone
#16
Quote by bassman10101
^ I don't haha i think it'd matter if i had a piezo bridge, a hollowbody, or an upright bass haha in an electric solid body instrument i dont think wood matters one bit.


Finally someone who thinks just like me
#17
Quote by askrere
Finally someone who thinks just like me



haha for real dude. its such b.s. that websites will try and tell you a certain wood will make a solid body electric bass/guitar sound any better than any other wood. I know a guy who makes instruments out of pine, plywood, oak, or anything he can get really and because he spends the cake to get good electronics they sound really good.

^ and what the heck are you talking about "mwah?" ive seen 8 different people tell me about the "mwah." I play my bass every day and it never says mwah to me...my cat does...but not my bass. the only mwah sound i can think of is when you slide into a note. i guess you cant do that with frets..anyways, mwah sound is an odd description and the last reason i like fretless haha

DIFFERENT:

i contacted cookwood for a price on their mountain mahogany, that ish is just as dense as ebony. if they give me a good price ill get on it, but they also have a good price on ebony haha basically, i got to keep whatever alternative wood under 24.50, which this mahogany has the potential to do.

now i just need to worry about the color...lol
My name is Greg, use it.

Sarcastic

Angry

Hopeful
#18
Quote by the humanity
if you have enough polyurethane, it'll let you use whatever wood you want.


+1

If its good enough for Jaco, its good enough for me
Quote by MetlHed94



Well played, sir, well played.
#19
Density doesn't matter. Hardness does.

Use the Janka hardness scale to find out the ability of your wood to resist wear and damage.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janka_hardness_test

http://tinytimbers.com/janka.htm

I really wouldn't use any species of mahogany for this.
In the bass chat:

<Jon> take the quote of me out your sig plx
<Jon> i hate seeing what i said around lol


Leader of the Bass Militia PM to join!



And now on BANDCAMP!


Officially the funniest member of the Bass Forum.
#20
Quote by bassman10101
haha for real dude. its such b.s. that websites will try and tell you a certain wood will make a solid body electric bass/guitar sound any better than any other wood. I know a guy who makes instruments out of pine, plywood, oak, or anything he can get really and because he spends the cake to get good electronics they sound really good.

^ and what the heck are you talking about "mwah?"


Yup I have several Ply wood guitars, and when People saw mwah I always think of the bass intro to Badge by cream that kind of thick and warm yet nearly staccato slide between notes
#21
askrere = gotcha. ill look it up.

nutter 101 = looks like im gunna use ipe haha most bang for your buck it seems. though id love to get my hands on some lignum vitae...good luck with finding it though haha curupay, ipe or pearwood all look within my financial means.
My name is Greg, use it.

Sarcastic

Angry

Hopeful
#22
You could always try cocobolo. You'd have a beautiful fingerboard and the heaviest bass neck ever created.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#23
i considered cocobolo but i decided against it because of its lovely toxins haha ive worked with it before...its god awful. less i can find it precut...
My name is Greg, use it.

Sarcastic

Angry

Hopeful
#24
If you like toxic woods, then by all means go with Sneezewood!



Pretty sweet! And when sanding it, you'll discover why they call it Sneezewood!
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#25
I am intrigued by the sneeze wood, I wouldn't mind having a bag of shavings
#26
hey everyone, my grandparents will be bringing me some black cherry and black maple next weekend. my grandfather has a mill so the wood is free, im just gunna choose whichever i like more and make sure i put a good amount of clear coat on it.
My name is Greg, use it.

Sarcastic

Angry

Hopeful
#28
I'm surprised there was not shitstorm over someone saying "wood doesn't affect tone on electric instruments". Because it really does, the fingerboard wood does too, even on fretted instruments.

I would like to make a "shoutout" for ebanol. It goes cloudy with scratches after about a week but I love the tone of it. Like Jaco's boat-glue-tone but without the hassle of using boat glue.
#29
Quote by Spaz91
I'm surprised there was not shitstorm over someone saying "wood doesn't affect tone on electric instruments". Because it really does, the fingerboard wood does too, even on fretted instruments.

I would like to make a "shoutout" for ebanol. It goes cloudy with scratches after about a week but I love the tone of it. Like Jaco's boat-glue-tone but without the hassle of using boat glue.



Find me research supporting this that isn't done by people trying to sell you expensive wood. where does the sound in any solid body electric instrument come from? it comes from the strings vibrating and the pickups, not from the body itself. in an upright bass, yes wood makes all the difference and I do believe upright basses made of different woods sound completely different, but that is because the resonance of the strings is amplified by the body, and consequently the wood. Meanwhile, a solid body instrument is amplified through magnets and electricity, not the tonal qualities of the wood. If you want I can provide a sound test of several basses all with different wood, and you use your ears to pick out which bass is made of which wood...it can't be done because there is no difference.
My name is Greg, use it.

Sarcastic

Angry

Hopeful
#30
I don't want to sidetrack so after this post we'll leave is as agree to disagree.

I know because I have good hearing and I have played basses with the same pickups and same strings though the same amp and they sounded different, the reason being onw was made of Bubinga and Mahogany while the other was made of Basswood, the B/M one had much more emphasis on the lower mids while the basswood one was tonally flat. (They were a Schecter Stilleto Studio and a Spector somethingorother, both with EMG HZ pickups and new nickel roundwounds, to anyone interested.)
#32
When playing an electric guitar unplugged the tonal qualities
of the wood are apparent as the ears perceive what the microphone “hears”. These perceptible variations however, appear to get lost when the volume of the amplified signal takes over.


note the conclusion. I'm not sure how many of you play your instrument unplugged and through a microphone. For all those who do, bravo for spending a lot of money one woods based on tonal qualities.

For everyone else who plays plugged in, it seems the university of toledo has proven my point.
My name is Greg, use it.

Sarcastic

Angry

Hopeful
#33
My conclusion from the graphs was different. Note those graphs. There are obvious differences, but as I said: NOT AS PRONOUNCED. The research implies that the tone is made up of the sum of an instrument's parts. I agree with the research, but the conclusion is poor.
#34
Quote by Spaz91
I would like to make a "shoutout" for ebanol.


Is it a sign that you've been her too long when you read that as ethanol?
Quote by skater dan0
Damn you and your ninja-like modding
#35
Quote by fleajr_1412
Is it a sign that you've been her too long when you read that as ethanol?


most definitely haha XD pit junkie...

and delirium, yeh i'm gunna agree with you. it is the sum of its parts, but i do think good electronics will equalize any instruments haha atleast to a certain extent that it's not noticeable without gauges and computers lol.
My name is Greg, use it.

Sarcastic

Angry

Hopeful
#36
Quote by Spaz91
I don't want to sidetrack so after this post we'll leave is as agree to disagree.

I know because I have good hearing and I have played basses with the same pickups and same strings though the same amp and they sounded different, the reason being onw was made of Bubinga and Mahogany while the other was made of Basswood, the B/M one had much more emphasis on the lower mids while the basswood one was tonally flat. (They were a Schecter Stilleto Studio and a Spector somethingorother, both with EMG HZ pickups and new nickel roundwounds, to anyone interested.)


I'm sorry but it bugs me when people say they have good hearing and can hear this hidden world of sounds disbelievers are apparently not savvy to. You might have good hearing but, you'd have to be a dog or something to truly hear the things you describe. Further more anyone who has taken a 6th grade science class knows your testimonial is void because you did it yourself, knowing both, so it's purely opinion/speculation bias. Also it's two different basses, strings not necessarily wound exactly the same, aged, EMG's have pre amps, could be set different, batteries at different levels of charge. One could have linear pots or taper. As well as what bassman said, it's an electric guitar, if anything woods a ground. only piezo's and mics make sense.

Basically sorry to continue this because it's kind of like religion, you can't change people. But if you really wanted to prove it made a difference, you'd need a study, where several blind folded people knew the types of wood coming and a possible unknown wood. Each bass must be the same, you might even need to just have 3 bodies and put the parts from one to the next as you progress. or have them check for very close ranges (pickup output etc). then played through a solid state amp at lower power to avoid any compression, distortion or power fluctuations. Only then could you prove that electrically you recognized a difference.

My opinion? It's industry hype. Think about it, Fender uses the same rather plain woods and paints over them, they are tried and true and no one complains. Other companies use crazy exotic woods, but don't paint over them, cause they are pretty and exotic, and expensive, so they better have a good explanation as to why in addition to being pretty. Electric instruments are extremely archaic, and simple, Leo chose the cheapest woods available to him at the time, he didn't even play, do you think he chose ash because it has a "bright percussive bite that rings out on a telecaster". No, someone probably had a warehouse of blanks and made him an offer.

/rant
#38
Quote by Cb4rabid
I'm a bit late to the party, but didn't Sting use a fretless bass with maple in the video of Roxanne?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2Qad-gaHMg

1:34 you can see it. If it's the bass he used on the recording, it doesn't sound half bad.



i think you're right, but its doubtful he recorded with it haha i just assume no band records with the same instruments they gig with ahah
My name is Greg, use it.

Sarcastic

Angry

Hopeful
#39
Quote by bassman10101
i think you're right, but its doubtful he recorded with it haha i just assume no band records with the same instruments they gig with ahah

they often do.

they just also use other ones too. why would you just use one for one and not the other, especially if you don't have a lot of instruments?
Quote by FatalGear41
I wouldn't call what we have here on the Bass Forum a mentality. It's more like the sharing part of an AA meeting.

Quote by Jason Jillard
HUMANITY WHATS WRONG WITH YOU.


Warwick Fortress>>Acoustic AB50

http://www.myspace.com/rustingbloom
#40
Quote by the humanity
they often do.

they just also use other ones too. why would you just use one for one and not the other, especially if you don't have a lot of instruments?


dunno. if you like the tone of one from the other on the album, but you like the feel and live sound of your gig instrument? i probably wouldnt record with the one i gig with haha too much feedback lol
My name is Greg, use it.

Sarcastic

Angry

Hopeful
Page 1 of 2