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Thread: What are the tonal differences between Maple, Rosewood or Ebony FBs on EBBMS

  1. #1

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    What are the tonal differences between Maple, Rosewood or Ebony FBs on EBBMS

    I guess there may not hard ,definite answer to this question.

    Mine's got a rosewood fretboard which as the cliches suggest does seem to have quite a 'warm' sound, but I have not had a chance to do a comparison with the other two types of fretboard on EBMM guitars.

  2. #2

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    Mostly feel and some tonal differences. Nothing huge but thats subjective. Even feel is subjective as your finger tips really dont frequently touch the finger board or only do so with the string caught between the two. Fret size and fret material are probably more important than fingerboard wood. Using all of my guitars as the basis ebony and maple are quite similar in feel and tone. Rosewood being a bit warmer. Also rosewood absorbs and holds finger oils better than maple or ebony which are harder woods and less porous.
    Last edited by Fusionman; 10-08-2020 at 03:05 PM.
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  3. #3

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    Honestly, for an electric guitar / bass, the difference is minimal, if there is any at all, when the sound comes through the pickups.

    Much more important is the feel that you like on your fretboard.

    Also a thing to consider is that Ebony is far more likely to "tear out" if it needs to be refretted. It is hard, but brittle.
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by tbonesullivan View Post
    Honestly, for an electric guitar / bass, the difference is minimal, if there is any at all, when the sound comes through the pickups.

    Much more important is the feel that you like on your fretboard.

    Also a thing to consider is that Ebony is far more likely to "tear out" if it needs to be refretted. It is hard, but brittle.
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  5. #5

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    Feel under fingers for me. And the look. I just prefer a nice piece of rosewood (or pau ferro, I think that's a beautiful wood). The tonal differences are minimal.

    Warmoth did a really cool video a while back where they changed necks. Have a listen with headphones and blindfold, or screen turned off. Try to distinguish the differences. There are some differences, but they are subtle, and of you are not really concentrating on them, you forget all about them.

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  6. #6

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    To these ears maple is brighter, rosewood is warmer and ebony sits in between the two tonally. The differences are subtle though, especially on electric guitars, but they are there imo.

    I would love for EBMM to offer a pau ferro fretboard. Have they ever made a guitar with that?

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrKev View Post
    Feel under fingers for me. And the look. I just prefer a nice piece of rosewood (or pau ferro, I think that's a beautiful wood). The tonal differences are minimal.

    Warmoth did a really cool video a while back where they changed necks. Have a listen with headphones and blindfold, or screen turned off. Try to distinguish the differences. There are some differences, but they are subtle, and of you are not really concentrating on them, you forget all about them.

    Thanks. I did notice a subtle difference between the maple and rosewood, in the hands of a more delicate strummer they may have been greater.

    I would have thought that the type of wood you are fretting against would influence the frequency which the strings vibrate against the pickups or soundhole.

    As other people have said, probably such differences are academic, unless you are in a recording studio playing a stripped down subtle piece.

  8. #8

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    I know that objectively there's not much of a difference -- yet over time, I've noticed that the maple necks stay around while the rosewood gets thinned out. I do still have a nice American Standard Strat with a rosewood FB but the Cutlass (maple) is keeping it in the case. Both of the teles left in the stable are maple. For me they sound brighter / sparkly and play easier, especially on a hot stage. I couldn't prove a thing, though.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrickGlass View Post
    I would love for EBMM to offer a pau ferro fretboard. Have they ever made a guitar with that?
    The 2012 Honeyburst PDN run had pau ferro fretboards.
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  10. #10

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    I think the wood makes a significant tonal difference, especially with the one piece rosewood necks. Maple has a sharper attack and shorter release, whereas the rosewood resonates more in the low mids.

    There’s a mammoth difference in feel between rosewood and ebony or maple and in the drier seasons, the rosewood can feel “slower”. At least to me.



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