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maple fingerboards for fretless?


alembic1989
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I am considering buying a secondhand G&L L2000 and defretting.The only one I have seen for a good price has a maple fretboard. Do maple fretboards sound the same as ebony or rosewood ones when defretted? I only have experience with ebony/rosewood. I know that maple is softer which might be an issue as I would be using roundwounds.
Your thoughts gentlemen please?

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I wouldn't use roundwounds with any fretless board mate.

And someone on the EBMM forums had two sterlings, one with a maple board and one with a rosewood board. He then swapped the necks on the same bass, same EQ settings and all and recorded both of them and posted the recordings. A lot of people guessed correctly on which was which, but the difference was so minute, if any at all. Point is, it made no real difference that EQing wouldn't do. It's not the sort of thing where you'd hear it and think "ah a maple fretboard, would sound better with a rosewood one". As a rule it was VERY slightly brighter and attackier, but as i say, nothing a slight tweak of your treble knob wouldn't take care of.

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[quote name='alembic1989' post='298949' date='Oct 3 2008, 09:42 PM']I am considering buying a secondhand G&L L2000 and defretting.The only one I have seen for a good price has a maple fretboard. Do maple fretboards sound the same as ebony or rosewood ones when defretted? I only have experience with ebony/rosewood. I know that maple is softer which might be an issue as I would be using roundwounds.
Your thoughts gentlemen please?[/quote]

Physically, it could be a while before the wear affects the performance of the board. If you're using rounds, you're going to cause cosmetically noticeable wear on maple AND rosewood. The wear is uglier on maple though.


You'll be OK using rounds on ebony, though.

Tonally.. as Budget says, I reckon there'll be a barely noticeable difference. Maple will be varnished, and some people don't like the feel of that.

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[quote name='budget bassist' post='298963' date='Oct 3 2008, 10:05 PM']I wouldn't use roundwounds with any fretless board mate.

And someone on the EBMM forums had two sterlings, one with a maple board and one with a rosewood board. He then swapped the necks on the same bass, same EQ settings and all and recorded both of them and posted the recordings. A lot of people guessed correctly on which was which, but the difference was so minute, if any at all. Point is, it made no real difference that EQing wouldn't do. It's not the sort of thing where you'd hear it and think "ah a maple fretboard, would sound better with a rosewood one". As a rule it was VERY slightly brighter and attackier, but as i say, nothing a slight tweak of your treble knob wouldn't take care of.[/quote]

thanks for your input guys.
I always use rounds with fretless..I .just like the sound

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I've got a maple neck fretless Precision, which was converted from fretted. Obviously when you pull out the frets there is damage to the finish of the neck which has to be stripped back so its best to refinish the neck with something hard wearing; I didn't do this myself and got a local luthier to do the work, that was back in 1989 and the neck still looks good and I use roundwounds!

Cheers

Charla

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[quote name='alembic1989' post='298997' date='Oct 3 2008, 10:49 PM']thanks for your input guys.
I always use rounds with fretless..I .just like the sound[/quote]

I have two maple-board fretless basses at present - a '78 Precision and an '80 Roadstar - and have owned several more, these including basses with boards of ebony, rosewood and whatever it is the EBMM currently use. Can't say why, but to my mind and my fingers, maple feels and sounds so much better. There's a sexiness to the tone, this despite what the physics/mechanics might dictate. Probably just taste, but that's what music's all about really :)
C

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[quote name='6stringbassist' post='299032' date='Oct 4 2008, 12:05 AM']Roundwounds are fine on fretless basses, in fact you get far more mwah with rounds than you'll ever get with flats or grounds.

Flats sound too much like a upright on fretless, that's fine if you want that sound.[/quote]

Fully agree! Takes many many years to really wear out a fretless board using roundwounds unless its cheap wood! On saying that I destroyed an old Hohner Arbor fretless when I was 15 - should not have left it on the driveway like that!

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[quote name='Beedster' post='299004' date='Oct 3 2008, 11:04 PM']I have two maple-board fretless basses at present - a '78 Precision and an '80 Roadstar - and have owned several more, these including basses with boards of ebony, rosewood and [color="#FF0000"][b]whatever it is the EBMM currently use[/b][/color]. Can't say why, but to my mind and my fingers, maple feels and sounds so much better. There's a sexiness to the tone, this despite what the physics/mechanics might dictate. Probably just taste, but that's what music's all about really :huh:
C[/quote]
Pau ferro FYI. :) Good to see you back by the way.

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[quote name='Beedster' post='299004' date='Oct 3 2008, 11:04 PM']I have two maple-board fretless basses at present - a '78 Precision and an '80 Roadstar - and have owned several more, these including basses with boards of ebony, rosewood and whatever it is the EBMM currently use. Can't say why, but to my mind and my fingers, maple feels and sounds so much better. There's a sexiness to the tone, this despite what the physics/mechanics might dictate. Probably just taste, but that's what music's all about really :)
C[/quote]

Well hello!

Are STILL wearing that cap? It must be stuck to your head by now... :huh:

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[quote name='6stringbassist' post='299032' date='Oct 4 2008, 12:05 AM']Roundwounds are fine on fretless basses, in fact you get far more mwah with rounds than you'll ever get with flats or grounds.

Flats sound too much like a upright on fretless, that's fine if you want that sound.[/quote]
I would disagree that you more mwah with rounds than grounds. You will get more mwah with some rounds than with some grounds, but my experience with grounds is that some sound like flats and some sound like rounds and everything in between. It can get a bit costly finding the right ones. I am using Status Hotwire halfs at the moment - lots of mwah :)

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[quote name='bass_ferret' post='299016' date='Oct 3 2008, 11:30 PM']Maple necks are normally lacquered so like the man says you will need to refin after pulling the frets out anyway so just use a tougher laquer.[/quote]

I think what I'l probably do when the frets are pulled out is not to laquer as I don't like the feel of shiny laquer under my fingers...I will do my best to wear out the neck...(.by practising more)..and then get an ebony board put on it at a (much) later stage..when I will hopefully be able to afford it....unless of course I have totally fallen in love with the feel of maple under my fingers....just a thought.

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[quote name='Charla' post='299002' date='Oct 3 2008, 11:00 PM']I've got a maple neck fretless Precision, which was converted from fretted. Obviously when you pull out the frets there is damage to the finish of the neck which has to be stripped back so its best to refinish the neck with something hard wearing; I didn't do this myself and got a local luthier to do the work, that was back in 1989 and the neck still looks good and I use roundwounds!

Cheers

Charla[/quote]

Thanks for that. BTW...we share the same birthday

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[quote name='bass_ferret' post='299016' date='Oct 3 2008, 11:30 PM']Maple necks are normally lacquered so like the man says you will need to refin after pulling the frets out anyway so just use a tougher laquer.[/quote]
You can get some two-part yacht varnish which sets diamond hard in about an hour. I know someone who used it on a staircase, which must surely take more punishment than a neck.

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[quote name='alembic1989' post='299131' date='Oct 4 2008, 09:14 AM']I think what I'l probably do when the frets are pulled out is not to laquer as I don't like the feel of [size=3]shiny laquer [/size]under my fingers...I will do my best to wear out the neck...(.by practising more)..and then get an ebony board put on it at a (much) later stage..when I will hopefully be able to afford it....unless of course I have totally fallen in love with the feel of maple under my fingers....just a thought.[/quote]

By the way, lacquer doesn't have to be shiny! you can knock the shine back to a lovely satin feel using fine scotchbrite or ultrafine wet and dry paper. Worth considering for the best of both worlds...

Edited by MoonBassAlpha
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[quote name='alembic1989' post='299131' date='Oct 4 2008, 09:14 AM']I think what I'l probably do when the frets are pulled out is not to laquer as I don't like the feel of [size=3][b]shiny laquer [/b][/size]under my fingers...I will do my best to wear out the neck...(.by practising more)..and then get an ebony board put on it at a (much) later stage..when I will hopefully be able to afford it....unless of course I have totally fallen in love with the feel of maple under my fingers....just a thought.[/quote]

By the way, lacquer doesn't have to be shiny! you can knock the shine back to a lovely satin feel using fine scotchbrite or ultrafine wet and dry paper. Worth considering for the best of both worlds...

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I would go and try out some fretless basses first. It's the only way you'll find out what you like.
Usually maple has a brighter tone than ebony or rosewood. If you want a bright sound you should try some with a graphite neck too and see if you like that.

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