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Leonard McCoy

The Temptation Is Great... Should I Do It?

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The Richlite would be a non-starter for me.  Have never liked Micarta or Richlite B&Bs going back to Martin’s mid-year intro of it in 2001 on 16-Series instruments (replacing striped ebony).  I weakened once, purchasing a new 2011 Gibson Midtown Custom with a Richlite fingerboard.  After about six months, it had developed a backbow in the neck that would not allow for proper relief adjustment of the truss rod.  Traded it in on a 2011 ES-335 w P90s, and an ebony fingerboard.  Felt like going from the outhouse to the penthouse!

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1 minute ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

Gibson's Richlite is probably better. 

It was Gibson’s Richlite that was involved in the neck failure I mentioned above.

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45 minutes ago, bobouz said:

It was Gibson’s Richlite that was involved in the neck failure I mentioned above.

I don't think Richlite had anything to do with your previous guitar's backbowed neck. That material never shrinks, twists or warps even for a longer period or exposure to changing weather conditions. It is an extremely hard and durable compound that withstands refretting without any chip-out whatsoever (unlike rosewood for instance). In fact, neck bow issues are less likely because you don’t have two different wood species expanding and contracting at different rates, and frets don’t loosen due to wood shrinkage.

Edited by Leonard McCoy

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2 hours ago, Leonard McCoy said:

I don't think Richlite had anything to do with your previous guitar's backbowed neck.

Indeed Leonard, the Richlite fingerboard may not have been the cause, but the situation worsened over a short period of time & was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced with any other guitar I’ve owned (forward bows, sure - backbows, no).

So after having avoided the stuff for the previous ten years as it filtered into the market, my one & only shot at a guitar sporting it in 2011 was disappointing to say the least.

If I were looking at the model you’re considering, I’d feel cheated if I didn’t get the version with the ebony B&B.  Out of the thirty guitars I currently own, four Gibsons, two Martins, & one Guild have ebony fingerboards (& corresponding bridges where applicable), and each one noticeably feels soooo right to the touch - even if it’s all in my head!

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I'd be concerned having a somewhat flexible neck (natural wood with a truss rod inside  -   strongly attached to a completely inflexible fretboard.  

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DO IT, DO IT!  Richlite is no cause for concern, I have it on a CS 356 and it's great.  I don't get the picture immediately above though, looks like someone put a swath of white house paint on the side of the headstock??  

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I've been doing a lot of research on this Richlite thing the past couple of days. It seems there are very limited suspicions of negative functionality. It's been mostly about the "why spend $5k on plastic?", if I'm allowed a bit of generalization.

The finger is starting to tingle a bit. Still, some of those new Historic models are sounding wicked nice on far too few web sites. Then again, so are the regals and deluxe versions of a couple models from two years ago.

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On 6/23/2020 at 7:07 PM, Twang Gang said:

DO IT, DO IT!  Richlite is no cause for concern, I have it on a CS 356 and it's great.  I don't get the picture immediately above though, looks like someone put a swath of white house paint on the side of the headstock??  

That's a reflection of light.

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Pretty cool that it was inspected by James Taylor!

Congrats, and I hope it meets all your expectations.

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26 minutes ago, bobouz said:

Pretty cool that it was inspected by James Taylor!

Congrats, and I hope it meets all your expectations.

I thought John Thomas was moonlighting.

 

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It's a done deal. I myself am actually not a fan of the finish (not dark enough) or the overabundance of abalone appointments, either, like some of us here, but I just couldn't let her go. I would have bought a J-45 Standard sooner or later if only the fretboard was bound... Anyways, this one just looked too smooth and the price was too right to pass up on especially for a south paw. An NGD post will be next, and perhaps a separate Richlite post (?) since for the latter there seems to be more potential for discussion.

Edited by Leonard McCoy
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Great choice!! I have no issue with Richlite. I had a Martin 00DB Tweedy for some time and loved the silky feel of the Richlite board. That's a guitar I really regret parting with, it was superb all round. 

Keep us posted on how you get on with this peach!

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On 6/25/2020 at 2:25 AM, Leonard McCoy said:

It's a done deal. I myself am actually not a fan of the finish (not dark enough) or the overabundance of abalone appointments, either, like some of us here, but I just couldn't let her go. I would have bought a J-45 Standard sooner or later if only the fretboard was bound... Anyways, this one just looked too smooth and the price was too right to pass up on especially for a south paw. An NGD post will be next, and perhaps a separate Richlite post (?) since for the latter there seems to be more potential for discussion.

Congrats on your newest. I hope it servers you well.

I snooze, I lose. 2 of the 3 HB Regals with richlites are gone. Truth be knownst, I think I still want a baked top.

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On 6/24/2020 at 7:28 PM, Dave F said:

I thought John Thomas was moonlighting.

 

I'm Gibson's Richlite inspection specialist! No synthetic fingerboard leaves the Bozeman facility unless it has the JT stamp of approval. 🙂 

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1 hour ago, jt said:

I'm Gibson's Richlite inspection specialist! No synthetic fingerboard leaves the Bozeman facility unless it has the JT stamp of approval. 🙂 

That's good to know. I always figured you were the BBQ shack owner from the Planet Terror movie. (J/K)

You folks would have obviously had to had an internal discussion on longevity before deciding to continue, given lifetime warranties and such. Anything you can share that sold everyone on the idea?

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Congrats!  

With Richlite, I am one of those who does not worry about neck stability but just does not like the feel of it.    But Grover Rotomatics  still just look so wrong on a J45.  Then again, I am Old School and with all the additional "appointments" (I like this way of describing them) this is not your granddaddy's J45.

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