Fretboard Woods

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by Matthew Marsico, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. Matthew Marsico

    Matthew Marsico New Member

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    I recently had an epiphany, if people say ebony is such an amazing fretboard wood then why doesn't PRS use it? There's obviously a logical explanation but I am really interested in the difference. Oh and I know that PRS does use ebony sometimes, but why not in the regular production line. If anyone has any personal preferences, please be free to share. Thanks.
     
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  2. jxe

    jxe babe en der wood

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    ebony fretboards make everything look like a shred machine, and dentists are scary enough as is.
     
  3. shallbe

    shallbe New Member

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    PRS probably uses it as much as anyone these days as far as electrics go.

    I think Paul got his inspiration from older instruments with Brazilian boards. And that is another hardwood that is very smooth, hard and sounds great.

    I have 3 PRS with ebony boards because they are so amazing in terms of tone and response. I also have one with Brazilian.
     
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  4. merciful-evans

    merciful-evans New Member

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    Ebony is not only scarce but abused. Bob Taylor here reveals that 10 trees are/were cut down to get one black ebony tree. Until they are felled they dont know what colour wood it is. So 90% of ebony was left to rot.



    This is also informative
    http://solutionsfordreamers.com/art...to_know_before_you_buy_your_next_acoustic_gu/

    Ebony is my favourite fingerboard wood. I do like like rosewood at all. I have worn out two rosewood fingerboards in my lifetime so far. I will not pay more than £1,000 for any guitar with a rosewood fingerboard.

    I am perfectly happy with torrefied maple (heat treated maple) as a substitute. I also have guitars with artificial fingerboards. They are fine. Hagstrom resinator, Flaxwood, and now ebonite. In future we may have to make do with artificial materials. The good thing is that they are available now and work as well (or arguably better) than wood.
     
  5. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I believe you, but goodness, how does that even happen? I have a 1965 SG Special that’s got a perfect fretboard despite being in my family since new, and played by my brother, by me and by my kids with no special treatment.

    I’ve never had any wear on any rosewood fretboard. I’ve played tons of vintage guitars with perfect rosewood boards.

    You must be pretty hard on your guitars!

    Oh, in answer to the OP, PRS has offered ebony as an Artist Package upgrade on many models, but they’ve always used rosewood as a standard because it has a tone quality that Paul Smith likes. It’s a very traditional fretboard wood for Gibson, Fender, and others.
     
  6. 11top

    11top Cousin Eddie's cousin

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    I prefer ebony, too.
     
  7. rnodern

    rnodern Just one more.....

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    I only have one Ebony board. It's on a rosewood neck on my 2017 408. I quite like it, but to be honest, I wouldn't say I favour it over rosewood.
    I had no idea it was so scarce, so thanks for the info @merciful-evans .
    I love the look and feel of a maple fretboard (on my 2007 CE 22 & 2012 305), but i don't like how easily they tarnish or discolour with use - even with proper care.
     
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  8. WeFixFlats

    WeFixFlats Respect The Clave

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    Taylor has an incredible story about their Ebony Cameroon factory and their commitment to renewable tone woods worldwide. If you get a chance, check it out.
     
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  9. Lee B.

    Lee B. I stitch my wings and pull the strings.

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    I prefer rosewood, but ebony fingerboards also feel very nice. Crazy that so much of it goes to waste. I’d love to try a katalox board sometime.
     
  10. mad monk

    mad monk New Member

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    I absolutely love ebony boards.
     
  11. Casi1

    Casi1 New Member

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    I prefer a Brazzy board, but second choice would be ebony, and third, good ole maple. I have had 3 PRS guitars with brazzy boards and to me, nothing compares to its clarity, depth, and feel. The ebony board is on my Custom 24 and notes seem to leap off of the thing. The ebony board also looks really cool against the maple neck. I’m always afraid of the ebony board cracking in temp changes though.

    I don’t care for regular Indian rosewood (fretboard nor neck) because it doesn’t seem to offer any significant contribution like the other boards, however, people are always mistaking the Indian rosewood board on my DC3 for ebony because it’s so smooth, hard, and dark.
     
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  12. jxe

    jxe babe en der wood

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    i like ebony best because old jazz guitars and les paul deluxe pros, but haven’t tried all the great stuff prs puts on a neck these days.

    never had ebony crack on a guitar but seen some sad violins.
     
  13. Andrew Paul

    Andrew Paul New Member

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    The Bob Taylor video was quite an eye opener. Funny I prefer color variations in a fretboard. Yes, all dark is nice but color variations is unique. PRS liked Rosewood and has always mentioned the tone quality, he would mention it's what marimba's are made out of.
     
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  14. toothace

    toothace At least I'm good at dentistry

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    Ebony fan here
     
  15. alantig

    alantig Sassyless pants

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    Love ebony. Rosewood is a close second.

    I've changed tempo many times with no issues. Sometimes even on purpose. Some might say my timing is not good. But I don't think it's that bad. After all, the secret to com-

    TIMING!!!!
     
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  16. DreamsiclesPlz

    DreamsiclesPlz New Member

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    Maybe I'm crazy but the only time I've ever felt a difference with fretboards is a maple fretboard. I own both ebony and rosewood equipped guitars and I can't say I've ever noticed anything in feel.
     
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  17. Peet

    Peet New Member

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    Thanks for this post. The acoustic I bought 40 years ago is ebony and I love it, but cutting 10 trees to get 1 is really sad. I liked the appearance of the fret board he was holding in the video. I wonder if they can reclaim the rejected felled trees?
    Using "B" grade ebony might have been a readily identifiable feature for a "Forum guitar" ,,, :)
     
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  18. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I’ve got ebony, Madagascar rosewood, Indian rosewood, Brazilian rosewood fretboards on my current PRSes, and African Blackwood in the works. Also have had maple and would get it again.

    I like them all - each does something special.
     
  19. Tosca

    Tosca Death by a million mini-toggles...

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    This is kind of like asking what is your favorite food group...you may have a favorite...but you need ‘em all.
     
  20. Fireball XL5

    Fireball XL5 New Member

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    New member here and looking to get my first PRS.

    I’m specifically interested in the MCCarty 594 and see guitars on dealers sites that have caught my interest with not only the already mentioned Brazilian Rosewood and Ebony, but also with a Ziracote fretboard??

    Curious to hear any thoughts/opinions on Ziracote as a fretboard wood as well?
     

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