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Ebony Fretboard.. vs.. rosewood vs... baked maple?

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Ebony fretboards... slowly but surely becoming a no no on guitars? why?

Rosewood... Wasn't this confiscated in the big Federal mash up at Nashville?

 

Baked Maple... WTF...

 

 

ok my question is this. Even before the whole raid, wasnt ebony getting harder to get on guitars? WHy?

 

isn't a fretboard just a fretboard?

 

what made/makes ebony more desirable.

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Not being a D!ck Dude, But PLEASE.....

Put down the stick and step away from the dead horse....

Ding ding ding!

Dont judge the maple till you try it baby!

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Ebony fretboards... slowly but surely becoming a no no on guitars? why?

Rosewood... Wasn't this confiscated in the big Federal mash up at Nashville?

 

Baked Maple... WTF...

 

 

ok my question is this. Even before the whole raid, wasnt ebony getting harder to get on guitars? WHy?

 

isn't a fretboard just a fretboard?

 

what made/makes ebony more desirable.

 

Whether you like Ed Roman's style or not, this link does a pretty good job answering most of your questions:

 

http://www.edroman.com/customshop/wood/gaboon.htm

 

In my experience, rosewood is easier to refret than ebony. If you twist the fret tang in the least, ebony wants to flake and tear out along the margin of the kerf that constitutes the fret slot. Rosewood is much more forgiving and pleasant to work with when refretting.

 

Rosewood doesn't have nearly the same tap resonance as ebony. Ebony-boarded guitars are perceptibly "snappier" in both tone and feel. Baked maple, however, sounds and feels a lot like good ebony, to me, at least. Looks, of course, are another story altogether. Inlay work stands off beautifullly from pitch black, and the velvety smoothness of ebony is a joy unedrneath the fingertips, especially at the end of the 5th set. I find bending is easier on an ebony board, because my finger callusses don't hang up in the roughter grain of the rosewood as they move sideways. Richlite is great in terms of working, appearance, and bending, BTW.

 

As elegant as ebony is, there is something almost sensual about the oily waxiness hat a good piece of properly-seasoned rosewood develops over years of playing. The patina of rosewood improves much more than that of ebony, over time. I would rather a good rosewood fingerboard than a second-quality ebony one, were the truth to be known.

 

That's my take on it... [except these long, compound questions are killers to answer!]

 

J/W

[unsure]

 

[EDITED: to correct error referencing ease of bending.]

Edited by JellyWheat

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Not being a D!ck Dude, But PLEASE.....

Put down the stick and step away from the dead horse....

 

D!ck you are, indeed... from the sarcastic wording of your reply. However, I just had a couple questions that others have been kind enough to point me in the right direction for.

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ADDENDUM: maple is GREAT to refret, and is superior to either rosewood or ebony in that regard (an important consideration for a working pro, I might add).

 

J/W

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I like rosewood. It's all I've ever played so I guess I'm biased. Maple is cool, I notice I play a bit differently on it though i.e. faster, and snappier. Haven't had much experience with ebony, but I find it rather "hard" and chalky, which doesn't appeal to me. I prefer rosewood, it feels the most organic to me.

 

I also think that rosewood is the prettiest wood.

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I like rosewood. It's all I've ever played so I guess I'm biased. Maple is cool, I notice I play a bit differently on it though i.e. faster, and snappier. Haven't had much experience with ebony, but I find it rather "hard" and chalky, which doesn't appeal to me. I prefer rosewood, it feels the most organic to me.

 

I also think that rosewood is the prettiest wood.

 

Yeah, I just don't care for the feel of ebony or maple really, but I'm not much of a snob, I'll play anything really. Teles with rosewood boards and double bindings though? Mmmmmm

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I must be in the minority that loves ebony fretboards and their feel. I've got both rosewood and ebony equipped guitars and like both, I would like to try the baked maple and see how it feels.

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At the risk of fueling the fire I believe that Sinner might have thought your question was about something else. I honestly do not think he meant his to reply to be taken the way it appears to have been taken. We have had so many discussions on here about Gibson and the Gvt getting involved in their business. I believe that was his intention and not to pick a fight.

 

At least that's my belief

 

Your beliefs Are correct good Sir......

Ebony is gorgeous on an antique white LP Custom.

That being said I am a fan primarily of rosewood, but maple is nice too, a bit snappier in tone, but it shows it's wear.

It will be interesting to see how these Baked Maple fingerboard age.

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Rosewood on Gibsons and Maple on Fenders. I never liked a Fender with a Rosewood fretboard. They can't do it the way I like it. I did mess with a ES339 with a maple cooked, baked or whatever. Looked like crap, but felt good.

D

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I love the look and feel of an ebony fretboard with dot inlays. By far my favorite. Rosewood is OK and since my A#1 guitar has a rosewood board, I am learning to love it more. Maple wins the trophy for aging the best. Nothing cooler than a thirty year old Tele with that blackened maple board.

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I'm personally not that into which wood it is if the neck has a certain sort of feel overall that I like. Somehow whether a classical or "board" guitar, some necks and overall "feel" of a given instrument felt "right" to me and some don't. I don't personally feel that the specific wood is that big a deal, although I've never had a maple fingerboard except on Fender bass machines...

 

I will say this, though. Judging by the rosewood quality I've seen on recent guitars in the only store I've got in reasonable drive time, I get the feeling that it's not as dense a material as back in the 1970s.

 

In the early through mid 1970s I made a few hunting type knives to fit friends' hands. I used rosewood for the handles. They seemed about as dense as what the Ed Roman article was claiming for ebony - probably less dense than ebony of that era too - but mostly I was taking a lotta time to ensure a proper fit for a working knife. You could hold up the blank and get a bell-like tone from it. I have a hunch I'd not hear that today.

 

OTOH, does that "bell like tone" make a guitar sound better? I dunno. I tend to doubt it although it may make a difference on some sorts of bridge designs. You can get into a fight on a guitar forum, I'm sure, arguing what sorta bridge is best on an archtop... so... i dunno.

 

So... I wonder too whether some of the synthetics and "treated" material available today might not be better than "the real thing" that's available today regardless of "law," whether anybody may particularly like that idea or not. Times have changed - again, whether "we" may like it or not - and it's a different supply chain and marketplace even aside from politics and legalities cutting into availability.

 

m

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i fell in love with ebony fret boards a while back and havent looked back since, i have a mustang with a rosewood and a stratobanger with a maple but the explorer and lespaul have these tight feeling ebony fretboards that i just cant turn away from.

the baked maple. will make its way into the collection. thats for sure. its just a matter of time.

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Yeah, I just don't care for the feel of ebony or maple really, but I'm not much of a snob, I'll play anything really. Teles with rosewood boards and double bindings though? Mmmmmm

 

Same here many, I'll play anything really I just prefer rosewood.

 

I love Tele's man, I just can't play them :( I've got really big hands and they slam up against the controls while I'm strumming.

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I have 13 guitars with many type fretboards...ebony on maple, ebony on mahogany, rosewood on maple, rosewood on mahogany, rosewood on bamboo (Yamaha FG-B1), baked (Torrified) maple on mahogany (GibsonLPJrSp). They're all nice. Stay away from "select plywood" though.

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Something that has always been funny to me about this whole subject is that, as far as fret boards go, Rosewood was originally the cheap crap material. They were cut offs from acoustic guitar sides that were used on the bargain range of guitars. 50 or 60 years ago a quality guitar would have had an ebony fretboard.

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Its also about what is sustainable.. Ebony is becoming an endangered species.. soon there wont be any left..

 

Also Ebony is as said really crap to work with.. its hard to shape and will chip easy.. BUT it feels and looks amazing which is why a lot of people like it..

 

Baked maple makes a great board...

 

Plain maple boards I don't like so much as they need a finish.. Rosewood doesn't.

 

Personally im not that bothered whats on the neck as long as it feels smooth and is a hardwood.

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I must be in the minority that loves ebony fretboards and their feel. I've got both rosewood and ebony equipped guitars and like both, I would like to try the baked maple and see how it feels.

 

 

Minority? really? Well if it is a minority I am also in it.

 

The best fretboard by far that I own is my 80s Hamer Chaparral ebony board. I can't recall where it was sourced but I do recall being told when I bought it that it was no longer going to be available.

 

After that it's my baked maple Custom Classic. Which I will take over rosewood any day.

 

I also have rosewood boards which I like very much and to me, a Strat or a Tele has to have the maple.(still on my gas list)

 

So I pretty much like them all and can get on with any material.

But ebony is easily my favorite.

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I'm increasingly convinced, though, that over the next 5-10 years we'll see an increase in various sorts of alternative material fretboards. Me, I don't think much about it anyway as long as the neck overall is comfortable to play. I'm not so sure that the qualities of the frets aren't of greater importance.

 

m

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I have ebony, maple and rosewood. Honestly I really can't tell the difference in their feel. The tone maybe, I guess, but I would think that is one of the last things that contributes to the overall tone. I guess I'm not that good enough of a player to feel and hear the difference. Ebony does look great though.

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