Products > Wood Samples > Fingerboards
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Fingerboards
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On a fretted Alembic instrument, the fingerboard wood is not a huge factor in the tone produced, since the notes are created when you touch the string to a fret. You are free to consider only practical or aesthetic ideals when selecting your fingerboard. If you are are ordering a fretless bass, then the fingerboard wood you choose will greatly affect the sound you make with your bass. Our fingerboards are thick and will take many resurfacings and refrettings before replacement is required.

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Ebony Ebony is our first choice for fingerboards. It's extremely durable and will outlast any other commercially available wood. Ebony is very dense with a consistent touch that is not sticky or tacky. The color is a rich, deep black. The finest orchestral instruments feature Ebony fingerboards.
spacer For fretless basses, Ebony offers the most versatile sound. Unmatched for smooth glissando, Ebony adds a melodic quality to the tone. Growly sounds are possible, but take a little more effort on the part of the player to produce.
spacer We supply our Ebony fingerboards with a light oil finish that needs to be replenished as you play. 100% pure essential lemon oil is recommended about once a year, or any time you notice the wood looking particularly dry or dirty - the oil will clean as well as condition the fingerboard.

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Pau Ferro We supply Pau Ferro on our Excel basses and by custom request on other models. Pau Ferro translates to "iron wood" from Portuguese, so you know the stuff is tough. It's nearly as hard as Ebony, but it has a slightly sticky feel because of the higher resin content of the wood.
spacer If you are looking for a "no-brainer" growly sound for fretless, Pau Ferro is your wood. It's not as versatile as Ebony, but if your tone doesn't require that flexibility, you may be better off with the automatic growl of Pau Ferro.
spacer Care for Pau Ferro is the same as that for Ebony.

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Coco Bolo Part of the Rosewood family, Coco Bolo makes an excellent fingerboard. It's not quite as hard as Ebony, but you still shouldn't have to replace your fingerboard for many years. Our fingerboards are supplied as unfinished, and some people are sensitive to the oils in Coco Bolo. Coco Bolo is not suitable for those with sensitive skin. Like any unfinished fingerboard, Coco Bolo needs to be oiled once or twice a year to replace the heavy turpines and other large molecules that evaporate over time.
spacer As with all Rosewood fingerboards, Coco Bolo wears well and has a very slightly tacky touch. It's a good middle ground between Ebony and Pau Ferro. It offers a fair amount of growl without much effort, but retains access to more melodic sounds.
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Purpleheart Purpleheart is another option for fingerboards. It's nice and dense, so it will wear well. Over time, Purpleheart will darken like most woods. We can supply either oiled or with a light polyurethane finish if you want to protect the color somewhat.
spacer The primary reason for selecting Purpleheart for the fingerboard is for the color. We think it looks especially nice paired with a Maple top and the classic Alembic neck combination of Maple and Purpleheart.

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