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2014 Gibson Les Paul Custom


Brez
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I recently ordered a Gibson Les Paul Custom Silver Burst and I didn't even think to look at the Description of the fingerboard before I placed my order. So last night I'm telling a friend that I finally pulled the trigger on a Custom Shop Les Paul when he told me about Richlite. Now I'm getting cold feet and I'm considering ordering a 2016 Standard instead. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

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I'd play it first.

 

I think some folks make too much of the richlite board. Sure, Ebony would be preferred, but if you can't tell the difference?

 

Personally, I SHOULD think that the high-end models should have to have ebony. But if the guitar is in front of me, and ESPECIALLY if it cost a good amount, I'm going to be caring how it plays and sounds. And regardless of cost, I am not going to turn away a good guitar because it has a richlite board instead of ebony.

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There is an extensive discussion on Ebony in more than one thread on this board. Ebony is a beautiful wood. It is disappearing faster than most people realize. A lot of people also feel Ebony is the holy grail of fingerboards, they are beautiful; but I've been playing a -355 with Richlite for 11 months now. The guitar sounds great. The fingerboard looks similar to ebony and feels smooth to the touch... and no oiling is required. Something I noticed a few weeks ago on my last string change is the Richlite is taking on some character from my playing.

 

Only you can decide what is right for you. Have you tried a Richlite board? Have you tried an Ebony board? If you feel that strongly against Richlite, maybe finding an older Custom with an Ebony board is better suited to you. Good luck.

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I have not tried the Richlite figerboard yet but I have played a few ebony fretboards. I have a Warwick bass with an ebony fretboard and it plays like a dream. I was surprised to find out that my dream guitar didn't have an ebony board. I'm going to give the Richlite board a chance and see how it is. Thanks for the input.

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There's a Richlite board on my Gibson SG Supra and an ebony board on an Ibanez Artist AR 720 of mine. Compared to lots of rosewood boards, Richlite and ebony feel much smoother and still have some grip. I can't feel a difference between them except the different inlays. :) The baked maple fretboards of mine feel close but already with feelable grain. The touch of the finished maple boards strongly depends on the finish: While all are smooth when dry, nitro feels sticky when wet, polyester and polyurethane are slippery when wet.

 

Hope this helps.

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My old man has a 82 silverburst custom with a ebony fingerboard,,, I have a 2014 custom with a richlite fingerboard.... To be honest, they both play beautiful, and I'm very hard pressed to tell the difference between the two,,, Until I play my 2012 custom with a rosewood fingerboard!!!! If I were you, I'd be soooo pumped to have a new silverburst no matter what the fingerboard is!!!!! When you get it make sure you let us know what you think!!!!

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I have four Les Paul Customs. Three older ones; '78, '81 & '87. They all have the ebony board. My newest one; the '14 have the richlite board. And must say: The richlite board have really supriced me: Both tonally and with it's stability. I live in a much dryer climate WAY UP North. And have always had to worry about the ebony boards when i have em' out of the house. No big issues -only some T/R trimming due to weather changes. On the '14 = Nothing at all. This thing is stable like a rock! Been using it as my main road guitar since i bought it.

 

Tonewize: Have Heard many players say that the ebonyboards have a tighter tone compared to the richliteboards. And i can relate to this. But i have found out that this DOES NOT have anything to do with the fretboard on the guitar -but the Electronics on it. I always replace the thinner multi cable between the elctric cavity and the 3-way switch on all my LP's -to Three single braided ones. (The main hot from the bridge goes directly to out jack.) THIS ALWAYS does the trick on getting that bigger and ballzier tone that customs are known for. This and making sure that both the string grooves on the bridge saddles -and the string groves on the nut match the string gauge you use -makes a very big difference on any Gibson guitar with a traditional nut. (And besides getting that older "worn in" -tone out of the guitar: it also gets rid of the anoying string squirks when tuning.)

 

I can honestly say that the new Gibson richlite boards really are so much better -than many give 'em credit for. To get a fair comparison between them -and a older guitar: You have to set em both up just right to get the best of them. When doing that: The differences many are talking about between theese different two boards; are so small that it's almoust impossible hear the diffence in a blild test. I have accually tried this myself: Of eight different guitars -4 with ebony board and 4 with ebony boards in a controlled studio envoirement; i GUESSED only HALF right. And that's how close these things are -when set up correcly bu a pro.

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Don't be concerned about the Richlite. I played many Gibsons for years and always preferred Rosewood boards (even over Ebony), but had a Classic Custom with the Richlite and it was no problem at all. When you get it and play it you most likely will have no objection to it.

 

My LP Supreme and Midtown Custom have richlite, I have no problem with it. But your post surprised me, what years did Gibson have richlite on the Classic Custom? My 2011 has rosewood.

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  • 1 month later...

Richlite on expensive guitars is not acceptable. Not unless Gibson takes the price a bit down a hair for using a knock-off, an imitation board. I would be more cool with replacing ebony with rosewood, than having this fake piece of recycled paper as a fingerboard.

 

Richlite would be a good alternative as an option. But if you spend 6000 dollars on a guitar, you need to get the real deal. I have played a Richlite board, and it plays fine. It's not the material that I'm having a problem with. It's that I see these boards being glued on necks of really expensive guitars. It's a matter of principle.

 

I get the people that don't mind the Richlite, too. It does look like ebony and it's not going to affect the sound that much anyway, as the properties are pretty much identical. Both materials are quite hard and dense. I'm just a man of principle. Maybe, one day, I will warm up to Richlite.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've been playing for 35 years I always go by how it plays i've seen studio's play better then customs

but if a custom is right you cant beat it

I own 6 Les Paul's ( 2 custom LP., 2 standard. LP., a traditional LP. , and a studio LP. they all play a little different

so I would go by they feel, and how it fits you

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Richlite on expensive guitars is not acceptable. Not unless Gibson takes the price a bit down a hair for using a knock-off, an imitation board. I would be more cool with replacing ebony with rosewood, than having this fake piece of recycled paper as a fingerboard.

 

Richlite would be a good alternative as an option. But if you spend 6000 dollars on a guitar, you need to get the real deal. I have played a Richlite board, and it plays fine. It's not the material that I'm having a problem with. It's that I see these boards being glued on necks of really expensive guitars. It's a matter of principle.

 

I get the people that don't mind the Richlite, too. It does look like ebony and it's not going to affect the sound that much anyway, as the properties are pretty much identical. Both materials are quite hard and dense. I'm just a man of principle. Maybe, one day, I will warm up to Richlite.

 

Completely agree with this; one should not be spending that money without getting the appropriate stuff for it. Ebony is, AFAIK, not that hard to get hold of, when considering all the different variations of the species. I'd much prefer something like Macassar ebony, which often has fluctuations in the grain and colour (sometimes being a lighter brown) than having a fretboard with this man-made cheap "equivalent".

 

Might be snobbish; don't care.

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  • 2 months later...

Recently bought an 800.00 Yamaha acoustic -AC3M - with an Ebony fretboard. So when I just bought my LP Custom M/M weight relieved with a Richlite fretboard I just figured that the guys in the Custom Shop knew what to do. I find the guitar to be perfect, I don't see how Ebony would make it any better. I doubt that they are cutting corners for cost or some such thing, they went all the way to make every other aspect and component of this guitar absolutely perfect. Why would they put a cheap fretboard on it? I've been playing for 60 years, and this LPC-F in Natural is the finest instrument I've ever played. I'm not worried about Richlite.

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