Gibson fretboards

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BabonesBabones Frets: 864
I've been looking at some lower range Gibsons, eg Faded, Standard etc and it strikes me that a lot of the rosewood fretboards are bone dry with an almost white grain in some areas. Some seem dyed and after you play them your fingers are black. They're all a bit of a mess. What gives?

Fender meanwhile with their Pau Ferro, which I dislike due to how light brown and streaky they are, means I wouldn't buy any Fender with one, unless it was an exception ie dark and even, but I haven't see one yet.

Note, I am fussy about my fretboards  :)
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  • WezVWezV Frets: 8255
    You are going to have to get over it, dark boards  of common woods are going to diminish.  

    The options for factories are to use the wood people expect but accept some is going to be lower quality.  or use alternatives and know the market will object
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  • ElwoodElwood Frets: 357
    edited January 13
    Pay Ferro is great. Fair enough if you don't like the colour but before Fender used it as a rosewood substitute is was high end wood used in boutique and custom guitars. Tight grain, better feel (imho) looks good. I consider Pay Ferro an upgrade over low grade rosewood.

    Bravo to Fender & exactly what i' d expect from Gibson.
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  • rlwrlw Frets: 1507
    Babones said:


    Note, I am fussy about my fretboards  :)
    Therapy might help.
    Save a cow.  Eat a vegetarian.
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  • I really like the richlite board on my custom. In fact, just sold an ebony board guitar and kept the one with richlite. There were other factors in the decision, sure. I didn't keep it specifically for the fingerboard, but it certainly didn't put me off.
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  • pottolompottolom Frets: 50
    I saw a vintage pre CBS Fender Jaguar on, I think, Reverb recently. In the description, the fretboard species was something I'd never heard of before (I can't remember the term used). When I Googled it, I found it was another name for Pau Ferro.

    So, unless this listing was inaccurate (or the fretboard is a replacement), this suggests Fender were using some Pau Ferro in the 'Golden Era'. Anyone know if this is correct?
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  • TelejesterTelejester Frets: 642
    Babones said:
    I've been looking at some lower range Gibsons, eg Faded, Standard etc and it strikes me that a lot of the rosewood fretboards are bone dry with an almost white grain in some areas. Some seem dyed and after you play them your fingers are black. They're all a bit of a mess. What gives?

    Fender meanwhile with their Pau Ferro, which I dislike due to how light brown and streaky they are, means I wouldn't buy any Fender with one, unless it was an exception ie dark and even, but I haven't see one yet.

    Note, I am fussy about my fretboards  :)
    Gibsons with shitty build quality !!

    You jest sir, you jest......Constable take him away
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  • guitars4youguitars4you Frets: 3936
    stands to reason that a more budget based Gibson will have a lower grade of rosewood than your 'boutique' models - Some can be a touch raw - Try lemon oil for starters - But I've known some players apply a rub/smooth/polish up with a fine grade wire wool or fine grade wet'n'dry to achieve better results - then oil after - Granted Gibson could do this before shipping
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  • Arktik83Arktik83 Frets: 261
    I like Pau Ferro as well, it feels a little bit denser than Rosewood but I always associated it as a "higher grade" type of fretboard material compared to rosewood. 

    I don't mind a fretboard being dry as you can put some oil on it and the oil from your fingers should lubricate it whilst you settle it in, would rather have a dry fretboard than a rough one 
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  • Every new board needs a few goes of oil, but with that and playing it doesn’t stay pale 
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  • edited January 13
    Focuses more on ebony, but given the even more difficult CITES situation with rosewood, this does give a good insight into why players are going to have to get used to a rather different, maybe even 'streaky' look to their fingerboards. 




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  • 57Deluxe57Deluxe Frets: 5407
    surely there are sustainable sources of Rosewood...?

    I am getting fed-up with all these Millennial Snowflaker oppositions to everything - now they want Friends pulled from Netflix FFS...

    http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/friends-netflix-sexist-racist-transphobic-problematic-millenials-watch-a8154626.html

    <Vintage BOSS Upgrades>
    __________________________________
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  • SchnozzSchnozz Frets: 447
    Babones said:
    I've been looking at some lower range Gibsons, eg Faded, Standard etc and it strikes me that a lot of the rosewood fretboards are bone dry with an almost white grain in some areas. Some seem dyed and after you play them your fingers are black. They're all a bit of a mess. What gives?

    Fender meanwhile with their Pau Ferro, which I dislike due to how light brown and streaky they are, means I wouldn't buy any Fender with one, unless it was an exception ie dark and even, but I haven't see one yet.

    Note, I am fussy about my fretboards  :)
    I couldn't agree more - I remember walking around GuitarGuitar in Glasgow and wondering what the hell kind of fingerboard was on the American Vintage. The Musicmans look alright, but particularly Fender seem to be using shite on the mid-range stuff as well.
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  • WezVWezV Frets: 8255
    57Deluxe said:
    surely there are sustainable sources of Rosewood...?

    I am getting fed-up with all these Millennial Snowflaker oppositions to everything - now they want Friends pulled from Netflix FFS...

    http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/friends-netflix-sexist-racist-transphobic-problematic-millenials-watch-a8154626.html

    There is, sonokeling.   It’s affected by the same regulations as all the rest.  And whilst it’s the same species as Indian rosewood, it’s growing environment leads to a noticeably different wood.
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  • thermionicthermionic Frets: 4561
    I have a streaky ebony board on my Taylor and I think it looks fantastic - like somebody melted some dark chocolate and dropped a couple of tiny pieces of white chocolate in it and gave it a swirl. LUSH.

    The whole species name thing is a bit of a minefield because the names historically used for lumber don't correlate with individual species. Rosewood covers a lot of species of tree grown on at least three different continents.The pale, reddish boards you see on Rickenbackers (Bubinga) is almost always always officially described as rosewood but looks very different to Fender/Gibson rosewood. 

    We're conditioned to like a dark rosewood board by now, but I wouldn't mind a lighter wood as long as it has some character. Give me a slab of streaky Pau Ferro over baked maple or richlite any day.
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  • WezVWezV Frets: 8255

    Arktik83 said:
    I like Pau Ferro as well, it feels a little bit denser than Rosewood but I always associated it as a "higher grade" type of fretboard material compared to rosewood. 

     
    I used it on my first build about 16 years ago.  At that point it was £1 less per fretboard than rosewood and £3 less than ebony.  


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  • edited January 13
    57Deluxe said:
    surely there are sustainable sources of Rosewood...?

    I am getting fed-up with all these Millennial Snowflaker oppositions to everything - now they want Friends pulled from Netflix FFS...

    Bob Taylor is a Millennial Snowflake? o

    I agree with you about all the Guardianista, rad-fem, PC nonsense that is rammed down everyone's throats at every turn, but there are some real issues with illegal forestry.  To my mind a failure to make a proper distinction between such issue is the greatest failing of the left these days - they go all over the place when someone finds something uncouth Trump said decades ago, but the then barely raise a whimper as his policies accelerate the move towards irreversible climate change. Talk about lacking a sense of perspective!
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  • fandangofandango Frets: 961
    57Deluxe said:
    surely there are sustainable sources of Rosewood...?

    I am getting fed-up with all these Millennial Snowflaker oppositions to everything - now they want Friends pulled from Netflix FFS...

    Bob Taylor is a Millennial Snowflake? o

    I agree with you about all the Guardianista, rad-fem, PC nonsense that is rammed down everyone's throats at every turn, but there are some real issues with illegal forestry.  To my mind a failure to make a proper distinction between such issue is the greatest failing of the left these days - they go all over the place when someone finds something uncouth Trump said decades ago, but the then barely raise a whimper as his policies accelerate the move towards irreversible climate change. Talk about lacking a sense of perspective!
    Climate is changing all the time. Most people confuse weather for climate change. Neither is caused by Trump.
    TANSTAAFL
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  • TheMarlinTheMarlin Frets: 1263
    The composite 'resinator' fretboard on my Hagstrom Super Suede tremar P90 is really very nice.  Way nicer than the baby poo brown rosewood fretboards on some low to mid-range guitars.  The ebony fretboard on my Gretsch Annie (masterbuilt) is just beautiful.
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  • I ended up with an instrument with a lighter than expected rosewood board. Couple of days later I’d forgotten that it bugged me, now I don’t think it’d influence my buying decisions at all if I otherwise liked the guitar.
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  • BabonesBabones Frets: 864
    WezV said:
    You are going to have to get over it, dark boards  of common woods are going to diminish.  

    I actually don't mind richlite as an alternative. It gives the dark look. I had it on a Midtown and thought it was absolutely fine.
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  • WezVWezV Frets: 8255
    Babones said:
    WezV said:
    You are going to have to get over it, dark boards  of common woods are going to diminish.  

    I actually don't mind richlite as an alternative. It gives the dark look. I had it on a Midtown and thought it was absolutely fine.
    i would rather have pale rosewood, streaky ebony and a nice bit of brick red pau ferro

    Richlite is fine.   wood is better,
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  • notanonnotanon Frets: 207
    Try a Hagstrom with the resinator wood - impressive stuff:

    http://www.hagstromguitars.com/electric-guitars/tremar-viking-deluxe.html
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  • I've never played a Pau Ferro board - how does the feel and note attack compare to ebony?
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  • richardhomerrichardhomer Frets: 17964
    I've never played a Pau Ferro board - how does the feel and note attack compare to ebony?
    Used to have a Suhr with a pau ferro board - it feels more like rosewood than ebony - and sounded more like maple than either to my ears.
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  • pottolompottolom Frets: 50
    edited January 13
    fandango said:
    57Deluxe said:
    surely there are sustainable sources of Rosewood...?

    I am getting fed-up with all these Millennial Snowflaker oppositions to everything - now they want Friends pulled from Netflix FFS...

    Bob Taylor is a Millennial Snowflake? o

    I agree with you about all the Guardianista, rad-fem, PC nonsense that is rammed down everyone's throats at every turn, but there are some real issues with illegal forestry.  To my mind a failure to make a proper distinction between such issue is the greatest failing of the left these days - they go all over the place when someone finds something uncouth Trump said decades ago, but the then barely raise a whimper as his policies accelerate the move towards irreversible climate change. Talk about lacking a sense of perspective!
    Climate is changing all the time. Most people confuse weather for climate change. Neither is caused by Trump.

    Quite a few people also use weather as evidence that climate change isn't happening, including Trump who recently cited the very cold weather they've had in parts of the US as proof.
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  • WhitecatWhitecat Frets: 1566
    Dark rosewood costs extra on Fender Custom Shop builds now... 
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  • skunkwerxskunkwerx Frets: 936
    There is, sonokeling.   It’s affected by the same regulations as all the rest.  And whilst it’s the same species as Indian rosewood, it’s growing environment leads to a noticeably different wood.
    I tried sonokeling once, but the water kept going down my pipe. 
    The only easy day, was yesterday...
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  • skunkwerxskunkwerx Frets: 936
    I had an epiphone les paul plus top pro a few years ago. It was completely unplayable for me due to an issue that could be biological, but I’m sure the fretboard didnt help. 

    Long story short my fingertips feel like rubber after playing for more than 10 minutes. Worse on some guitars than others but that Epi was just a no go.
    Couldnt bend nor slide at all. 

    At first I blamed the fretboard because it was so dry, dyed and the grain was so open. 

    My own finger issue aside, I didnt like how the fretboard was anyway compared to my esp ltds. They seem much tighter grained, though initially they did leave my fingers pretty black for a while. 
    The only easy day, was yesterday...
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