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Current Gibson's with Ebony Fretboard and Bridge?


onewilyfool
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I dont think Gibson or Martin are using Ebony.. from what I read somewhere.. Taylor Cornered the market on Ebony.. I dont think Martin or Gibson would be buying from Taylor.. the product which( Im not sure what its called) I have heard though is every bit as good as Ebony that Martin and Gibson is using.. Celliolite? I think thats the name..

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Well, I believe in the scientific method and I believe in scientists (real ones not the politically bought ones) and the ones I've known since 1974 that do field work at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, the ones that collect data and conduct experiments, don't paint a very optimistic picture. Trees disappearing are just the tip of an iceberg so enormous it's almost beyond the scope of human comprehension. Human kind diddles while precious time is slipping away (great song by Van Morrison too). Ebony is the least of our worries. Wait til plants we eat start dropping off.

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Taylor actually owns and operates an Ebony Mill in Cameroon. In an effort to utilize Ebony more responsibly and sustainably, they are now also using wood that has lighter coloration and streaking. Only a small percentage of ebony trees have black wood. In the days when only pure black Ebony was utilized, 90% of Ebony trees cut down were left to rot where they fell, because they were not black.

 

Bo

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Currently Gibson are using Richlite in place of Ebony on premium models from Nashville and Memphis such as the ES355 and Les Paul Custom, so it would seem there is a long term problem for Gibson in terms of Ebony supply. Fortunately the majority of historic Gibson models used Rosewood rather than Ebony, and for new models they can use whatever they think works with the model. There are plenty of alternatives - I have a lovely English made acoustic made entirely from reclaimed Pine and Oak, including an Oak fingerboard.

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Not really .Gibson just isn't interested in using ebony anymore ... They want to be as responsible as they can with the environment .They don't want to keep encouraging the use of ebony .The last model to my knowledge that they used ebony on was in 2012 for the 1930's Golden Era Super Jumbo.Jason Jones(gibson montana) at one point stated that they were looking for alternative materials.

 

If they wanted to they could get the slightly streaked ebony because Bob Taylor says there is 10 times more of that than of the stark black one.

 

 

 

JC

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If they wanted to they could get the slightly streaked ebony because Bob Taylor says there is 10 times more of that than of the stark black one.

 

JC

 

 

I thought you could dye the streaked ebony to mimic the all-black stuff. In fact, I thought they had been doing that for years.

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JuanCarlosVejar,

 

Is it that Gibson isn't interested in using ebony or is it that they're complying with some sort of agreement following the raid? I don't know the details which is why I'm asking.

 

No it's just that Henry J (the guy who runs gibson) wants gibson to be responsible and have good environmental practices

 

 

JC

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JuanCarlosVejar,

 

Is it that Gibson isn't interested in using ebony or is it that they're complying with some sort of agreement following the raid? I don't know the details which is why I'm asking.

 

This is the bit that interests me, without wishing the thread to get overly political. I'm completely behind the guitar industry looking for alternatives to endangered traditional wood species, and I applaud Gibson for their stated commitment to not using questionable materials, but on the other hand I just don't believe that it isn't possible to source legal, ethically harvested Ebony to use on small runs of historic models. Chris Martin has been vocal in support of the Lacey Act, and Martin pulled out of buying from Madagascar at the first sign that there were potential issues with the way timber was being exported from that country so they have a good track record of acting responsibility in sourcing wood - yet they continue to be able to offer Ebony on reissues of any models that traditionally used it. Taylor have made theif own arrangements and Collings and Santa Cruz aren’t reporting any problems. It's pure speculation on my part but I don't think we know the full story where Gibson and Ebony is concerned.

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The last Gibson I've run into with an ebony board was a limited run 2011 ES-335 with P90s. I purchased this guitar new in early 2012, and the serial number indicates that it was made in December of 2011.

 

There probably have been others since then, but to date I haven't come across one.

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Currently Gibson are using Richlite in place of Ebony on premium models....

 

... at least on many models, as is Martin, which has apparently gone 'environmental' in a big way. Richlite looks like ebony, and I've read some reasonably good reviews on it, Not unanimous, of course. :rolleyes:

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When Gibson got in trouble with the Government, it was about claims of illegally imported ebony from Madagascar. The Government agreed to defer prosecution on criminal charges and Gibson, in turn, agreed to certain terms that were, in part, confidential. Nobody knows what Gibson agreed to except insiders, but it almost certainly included certain limited restrictions on the use of ebony.

 

My guess is that they may have agreed not to use ebony for a certain period of time as part of the settlement. Maybe five years, maybe ten years, but probably not forever.

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When Gibson got in trouble with the Government, it was about claims of illegally imported ebony from Madagascar. The Government agreed to defer prosecution on criminal charges and Gibson, in turn, agreed to certain terms that were, in part, confidential. Nobody knows what Gibson agreed to except insiders, but it almost certainly included certain limited restrictions on the use of ebony.

 

My guess is that they may have agreed not to use ebony for a certain period of time as part of the settlement. Maybe five years, maybe ten years, but probably not forever.

 

I agree, this seems like the most likely scenario.

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  • 4 years later...

Just watched a Video from the 2019 NAMM show at the Gibson Expedition,  with Gibson having a new CEO, things change

Gibson Spokesperson stated that moving forward that any GIbson Custom will have an Ebony Fingerboard , no more Richlite

I just sold my 2017 Les Paul with a Richlite board and bought a Custom Shop SG Les Paul with a Dark Ebony Board.  Love it!

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