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The effect inlays have on fretboard tone/overall tone?


mrjones200x

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Something i was thinking about recently, they say that a different material used for the fretboard can affect the tone quite a bit so i wondered how much having certain type of inlays affect this. They say maple makes your sound brighter and rosewood is more mellow and warm sounding.

 

Now ive not got enough experience with guitar to judge myself so i thought id ask the question here.

 

If you say compare to similar type guitar not exact but quite similar say something like my Gibson Les Paul BFG which has no ilays so the fretboard is just a piece of rosewood and say something like a LP custom which has the large block inlays. My guitar has more rosewood than the custom as id say the custom has around 25% inlay on the board. Would this in your opinions alter the tone enough to notice?

 

I know these guitars are very different as std spec but say there were the same spec just with the inlay differences?

Basically 2 identicals apart from the inlays.

 

Just wondered on your thoughts as epi and gibson use quite large amounts of inlay on some of there guitars and none on others.

 

Cheers

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I don't think anyone could say for certain because there is no way to get IDENTICAL clone guitars. Every piece of wood used is going to be somewhat different and as far as the sound of the fretboard with inlays as opposed to without, I don't think you could ever determine that for sure either. I guess my point is this: dont blame/credit the tone to the inlays, its the quality of the materials used making the instrument that is responsible.

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Frankly, I don’t buy the whole “fret board material makes the guitar sound different” thing. Think about it … how much of the string actually comes in contact with the fret board anyway? On an open string, none. On a fretted string, what … a quarter to a half inch max?

 

A Fender sounding like a Fender has very little to do with maple. Put a rosewood fret board on it and it still sounds like a Fender. In fact, put humbuckers on it and it STILL sounds like a Fender! I would bet that the Raw Power Gibson’s still sound like Gibson’s too! It has much more to do with scale length, pickups and body material that the neck.

 

Now, the TACTILE difference is another story! Pretty big difference there … good or bad depending on your preference.

 

JIm

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A clean car drives better and a clean, oiled fretboard plays better. Most of that is in our head, but all the little subtle things that make us happy and make us think the guitar sounds better and plays better make US more inspired to play better.

 

I have a rosewood fretboard on my Strat and a Maple fretboard on my Tele. I prefer rosewood over maple. Maple is too sticky.

 

I can't tell the difference in the sound, but I've played both fretboards on both Strat and Tele guitars and I'd never pick maple for any guitar, given a choice. I am, however, picky about whether the inlays are flush and smooth. I've seen square inlays where you could feel the transition as you slid your fingers over the inlay.

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Not trying to be an a#@ or anything but sometimes these "does (insert guitar part/material) effect the tone" questions get a little tiresome sometimes.

 

By the way, I keep the nails on my left hand fairly short, if I let them grow 3/32" will this improve my tone on a ebony fret board with 16.35% trapezoid inlay, over set mahogany neck, using a tusq nut, #10 Ernie Ball Super Slinky, Grover tuners, Chrome Stop bar/tun-a-matic bridge, mahogany back (I think two piece, not sure though), 5/64" maple AAAA flame top, nitro cellulose teaburst finish (I believe 4 coats.....could be five though and this really bothers me).

 

Well let me know what you guys think.

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Not trying to be an a#@ or anything but sometimes these "does (insert guitar part/material) effect the tone" questions get a little tiresome sometimes.

 

By the way' date=' I keep the nails on my left hand fairly short, if I let them grow 3/32" will this improve my tone on a ebony fret board with 16.35% trapezoid inlay, over set mahogany neck, using a tusq nut, #10 Ernie Ball Super Slinky, Grover tuners, Chrome Stop bar/tun-a-matic bridge, mahogany back (I think two piece, not sure though), 5/64" maple AAAA flame top, nitro cellulose teaburst finish (I believe 4 coats.....could be five though and this really bothers me).

 

Well let me know what you guys think. [/quote']

 

No you are being a plank!

 

Like i stated origanally, i wanted to know not because i wanna improve my tone or say no inlay fretboards are better i just wanted to know if it would make any difference at all. Ive never heard it discussed on here before so thought id ask other peoples opinions.

I got my BFG as it sounded great through the amps i played at the store not because i though it had better tone due to lack of inlays.

Just a general enquiry like do you think epi std pickups are muddy? Everyone has there own views on stuff which is why we have a forum.

 

If you dont like people asking will this improve my tone if i do this....................... THEN DONT CLICK ON THAT THREAD!!

 

](*,)

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Not trying to be an a#@ or anything but sometimes these "does (insert guitar part/material) effect the tone" questions get a little tiresome sometimes.

 

By the way' date=' I keep the nails on my left hand fairly short, if I let them grow 3/32" will this improve my tone on a ebony fret board with 16.35% trapezoid inlay, over set mahogany neck, using a tusq nut, #10 Ernie Ball Super Slinky, Grover tuners, Chrome Stop bar/tun-a-matic bridge, mahogany back (I think two piece, not sure though), 5/64" maple AAAA flame top, nitro cellulose teaburst finish (I believe 4 coats.....could be five though and this really bothers me).

 

Well let me know what you guys think. [/quote']

You didn't mention what kind of nail polish or fingerboard conditioner you use. And what

about ambient temperature?

 

And to answer the OP's original question: No

 

Note: The term "Tech Weenie" is registered to me and its use is protected by copyright.

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No you are being a plank!

 

If you dont like people asking will this improve my tone if i do this....................... THEN DONT CLICK ON THAT THREAD!!

 

](* [/quote']

 

Woah name calling already??? ( I assume "plank" is derogatory ... is that like calling someone a "berk?). It could also be stated that if you don't want to hear the answers ... DON'T ASK THE QUESTION!!!

 

Now that we've simmered down ... clearly bvarsel was being satirical in his post and did not mean to offend you, mrjones. Judybat brought up the great point that we are not talking about acoustic guitars here. With an electric guitar there are so many factors that can effect the final outcome of the sound produced ... starting with the volume and tone controls on the guitar itself. You have a good half dozen effects units listed on your signature, mrjones, so you obviously take tone pretty seriously.

 

Bottom line: tone is in the ears! If you hear a difference ... then the difference is there. If you don't, then all the spec sheets and opinions in the world are not going to make it so.

 

Jim

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Woah name calling already??? ( I assume "plank" is derogatory ... is that like calling someone a "berk?). It could also be stated that if you don't want to hear the answers ... DON'T ASK THE QUESTION!!!

 

Now that we've simmered down ... clearly bvarsel was being satirical in his post and did not mean to offend you' date=' mrjones. Judybat brought up the great point that we are not talking about acoustic guitars here. With an electric guitar there are so many factors that can effect the final outcome of the sound produced ... starting with the volume and tone controls on the guitar itself. You have a good half dozen effects units listed on your signature, mrjones, so you obviously take tone pretty seriously.

 

Bottom line: tone is in the ears! If you hear a difference ... then the difference is there. If you don't, then all the spec sheets and opinions in the world are not going to make it so.

 

Jim[/quote']

 

Thanks Jim....I did preface my poor attempt at humor with the "not trying to be an a#@" statement. Wow never been called a "plank" before!

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Me too' date=' bubba! These things have a way of getting out of hand when someone feels they are being ganged up on. I hope you don't mind my speaking for you on this one ...

 

Jim[/quote']

 

No problem......I think I'll keep my comedy relief to the "Andy Kaufman was a Tone Monster" forum!

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Thanks Jim....I did preface my poor attempt at humor with the "not trying to be an a#@" statement. Wow never been called a "plank" before!

 

I'll avoid the obvious reply of ' Surely you must have!!'

 

A peculiarly English expression (mostly south and SE England), similar in meaning to 'Plonker' or 'Pillock'. Generally used as an affectionate rather than aggressive or derogatory term of abuse.

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