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thegummy

2 Precisions, 2 Fretboards and 2 String Types

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If you had 2 P-basses; one for flats and one for rounds, and one with a maple fretboard, one with rosewood (or similar)...

Would you put rounds on the maple board bass to further exaggerate the brightness and flats on the rosewood to further exaggerate the warmth?

Or put the the rounds on the maple board bass to slightly tame the brightness back in and the flats on the maple board bass to "brighten" it up?

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I'd play both sets on both basses and see which I prefer, there's plenty of characteristics of each instrument over and above the board material that could affect that decision. 

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String choice aside, I can't hear a great deal of difference between Rosewood and Maple fretboards in a band context.

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1 hour ago, Jean-Luc Pickguard said:

I'd try stringing each bass with both flats & rounds in turn to see whether I had a preference.

My instinct would be rounds/maple, flats/rosewood, but my ocd would mean trying the above, which is the most logical approach.

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14 hours ago, thegummy said:

If you had 2 P-basses; one for flats and one for rounds, and one with a maple fretboard, one with rosewood (or similar)...

Would you put rounds on the maple board bass to further exaggerate the brightness and flats on the rosewood to further exaggerate the warmth?

Or put the the rounds on the maple board bass to slightly tame the brightness back in and the flats on the maple board bass to "brighten" it up?

The string makes contact with the fret, not the fingerboard. That the fingerboard material makes a difference to the tone is a myth IMO. The only thing that might make a difference to the sound is the fact that maple fingerboards are usually lacquered and will potentially resonate less, but the difference would be marginal.

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Everything within the bass from material choice to construction methods to player technique affects the resulting tone.

As has been stated above try the strings on both basses and see what your ear tells you. 

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6 hours ago, Jono Bolton said:

The string makes contact with the fret, not the fingerboard. That the fingerboard material makes a difference to the tone is a myth IMO. The only thing that might make a difference to the sound is the fact that maple fingerboards are usually lacquered and will potentially resonate less, but the difference would be marginal.

Even if we talk about Precision basses, as a long time Musicman enthusiast I cannot agree with you. Fingerboard makes a big difference (I even swapped necks sometimes to be sure). (most of maple Musicman FBs are not lacquered).

Edited by totorbass

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21 hours ago, thegummy said:

 

Would you put rounds on the maple board bass to further exaggerate the brightness and flats on the rosewood to further exaggerate the warmth?

Or put the the rounds on the maple board bass to slightly tame the brightness back in and the flats on the maple board bass to "brighten" it up?

I think you got confused in the second line, am I wrong? 

 

By the way I'd more go rw -flats, but mixing is interesting too: I like my Stingray with dead Rotosounds and NYXLs. (sorry I just have a RW precision)

Edited by totorbass

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59 minutes ago, totorbass said:

I think you got confused in the second line, am I wrong? 

 

By the way I'd more go rw -flats, but mixing is interesting too: I like my Stingray with dead Rotosounds and NYXLs. (sorry I just have a RW precision)

Ah yeah sorry, meant to say rounds on rosewood in the second like.

Thanks for replies everyone. It does seem sensible to try both out.

After spending a good chunk of last night swapping my only current precision to rounds (because it needs to be set up for the differing tension and my bass has the fairly annoying neck joint truss rod adjustment) I was looking for a shortcut but I suppose I only have to do it at first and make a decision.

Cheers

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I’m in a similar position, but slightly different. I used to have these two as my five-strings, so had the Super J strung with rounds and my Super P strung with flats.

0B6009A0-E373-4CA5-896A-D8549186B448.thumb.jpeg.897d19a1b18e560a56870225c71243d1.jpeg

However my Super J got stolen a couple months ago, so I now have a BB435, and I’ve had a Sadowsky preamp put into the Super P. The question is now whether I should string that one with rounds and maybe the BB with flats? Not easy to swap strings between them. Decisions!

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I've recently bought another Jazz bass with a rosewood board, ( I always play on maple boards exclusively)

I wanted to see if if this one would produce a brighter sound than the last 2 or 3 did. All I seem to get is a sound like dead strings. When I tried the new one it just thumps and stops a bit like flats do so I've realised that finally rosewood boards don't ring out like maple do. I even put new rounds on it with no change in the sound.

There really is a big difference between maple and rosewood, but I've played maple for many years so I do notice the change.

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I've never been a believer in in fretboard wood types having a huge influence on tone - there are just too many other variables in play that just swapping the necks wouldn't even be definitive. 

In terms of aesthetics I've always associated rosewood with being vintage & maple with punk so would go rosewood-flats & maple-rounds. 

Having said that my precision is maple, strung with flats & I played it in a hardcore band... 🤔🤷‍♂️

Edited by Lw.
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10 hours ago, tom1946 said:

I've recently bought another Jazz bass with a rosewood board, ( I always play on maple boards exclusively)

I wanted to see if if this one would produce a brighter sound than the last 2 or 3 did. All I seem to get is a sound like dead strings. When I tried the new one it just thumps and stops a bit like flats do so I've realised that finally rosewood boards don't ring out like maple do. I even put new rounds on it with no change in the sound.

There really is a big difference between maple and rosewood, but I've played maple for many years so I do notice the change.

Surprised to see how big of a difference you feel it makes, usually it seems to be debated between none and subtle

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I’ve had both maple and rosewood versions of the same basses over the years, and have always found that the maple ones were slightly “snappier”. I doubt I’d be able to tell in the mix tho.

Also a few years back we did a blind maple/rosewood test at the Herts Bass Bash. In every case the overwhelming winners were the rosewood versions.

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5 hours ago, Lozz196 said:

I’ve had both maple and rosewood versions of the same basses over the years, and have always found that the maple ones were slightly “snappier”. I doubt I’d be able to tell in the mix tho.

Also a few years back we did a blind maple/rosewood test at the Herts Bass Bash. In every case the overwhelming winners were the rosewood versions.

Do you happen to have any more details about that test? Were there enough examples used that a coincidence could be deemed unlikely re: the rosewood preference?

I'm guessing the test was solo bass though; your point about the mix is a very good one - bass more than any other instrument sounds completely different in the mix to solo.

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On 06/02/2019 at 22:33, therealting said:

I’m in a similar position, but slightly different. I used to have these two as my five-strings, so had the Super J strung with rounds and my Super P strung with flats.

0B6009A0-E373-4CA5-896A-D8549186B448.thumb.jpeg.897d19a1b18e560a56870225c71243d1.jpeg

However my Super J got stolen a couple months ago, so I now have a BB435, and I’ve had a Sadowsky preamp put into the Super P. The question is now whether I should string that one with rounds and maybe the BB with flats? Not easy to swap strings between them. Decisions!

I am sad to hear you got ripped off... :(
My Super P4 is a fantastic passive bass - P-basses should be passive i.m.o. - but I took out the rather useless two-way tone control and installed a Stellartone Tonestyler. That is the best retrofit for a P-bass ever made. Passive switch from fully open to mega dub roll-off without losing the distinction. No wet blanket, just nice tone. Try that before getting a preamp.

BTW...
I don't use flats anymore, even if I have a set cut for quick swap on my Super P. The Tonestyler and right playing style can mimic the flats tone rather well, and I prefer rounds seven days a week...

Edited by bassmayhem
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@bassmayhem The ToneStyler sounds great! Might have to do some more research into one for my BB435...

I really do like the feel of flats, apart from for slapping

Edited by therealting

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