Patrick Montgomery

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Dec 29, 2020
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I recently purchased a Wood Library McCarty 594 with a ziricote fretboard. The guitar is beautiful, but there is some sapwood on the first fret of the FB. I didn’t see the sapwood in the pictures on the listing, and it really bothers me. I have 7 other PRS guitars and have never had this on any of my other guitars.

Is this normal with ziricote FBs? Is there any potential problems? (Cracking, etc)

Do you consider this acceptable on a $5600 guitar? It just looks cheap to me and was a huge let down as soon as I opened the case. I am considering returning this guitar because of the cheap looking wood. On the other hand, the guitar plays and sounds great, but I don’t know if I can get the FB out of my head enough to love it.

Here are some pics of the guitar:
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bodia

Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved
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Sapwood isn’t just acceptable, I think it’s desirable. Character is a good thing.

Seriously? That fretboard is awesome. Kind of reminds me of the two tone ebony boards. I love those as well. It gives the guitar more character in my eyes. Beautiful guitar!

I’m with these two, I LOVE it!
 

Stephen J.

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Apr 19, 2020
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If you don't like it, ask the dealer if you can swap it for the next one that comes in. I doubt the replacement will play or sound inferior to this one.

Is this normal with ziricote FBs? Yes
Is there any potential problems? (Cracking, etc) No more than normal.
Do you consider this acceptable on a $5600 guitar? Yes
 

docteurseb

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Feb 24, 2018
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As @LSchefman said it is in fact highly desirable for many, not a problem at all, and often typical for ziricote fingerboards (you can certainly go PS and choose your fretboard without sapwood but it's a bit of an upcharge...)
Note: it does look like sapwood to me given how abruptly the color changes.

It's not 'cheap' by any means... whether you like it or not is down to personal taste though.
If it bugs you send it back. The place you bought it from has a no question asked return policy and you'll just have to pay shipping (and incoming shipping is only $20 or so anyways). You only have a handful of days after delivery to decide though, so be quick...

Personally I'm not a fan of sap on fretboard but would actually love to have sap on a guitar top, or an acoustic's back and sides.
Yet, this guitar is exactly the one I thought about buying for the past 6-8months (I'm proud to have resisted GAS for once).
And that's where I'm confused as this was not quite hidden on dealer's pictures, though I can understand this could look more jarring in person up close:
291740ZZD.jpg
 

Patrick Montgomery

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Dec 29, 2020
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As @LSchefman said it is in fact highly desirable for many, not a problem at all, and often typical for ziricote fingerboards (you can certainly go PS and choose your fretboard without sapwood but it's a bit of an upcharge...)
Note: it does look like sapwood to me given how abruptly the color changes.

It's not 'cheap' by any means... whether you like it or not is down to personal taste though.
If it bugs you send it back. The place you bought it from has a no question asked return policy and you'll just have to pay shipping (and incoming shipping is only $20 or so anyways). You only have a handful of days after delivery to decide though, so be quick...

Personally I'm not a fan of sap on fretboard but would actually love to have sap on a guitar top, or an acoustic's back and sides.
Yet, this guitar is exactly the one I thought about buying for the past 6-8months (I'm proud to have resisted GAS for once).
And that's where I'm confused as this was not quite hidden on dealer's pictures, though I can understand this could look more jarring in person up close:
]

I did not mean to imply that it was hidden in the dealers pictures, just that I did not see/notice it in the pictures. It has never been something that I have had to look for before so it didn’t cross my mind.

I am pretty sure it’s sapwood because I asked the arborist at work about it and he had mentioned that since it wasn’t entirely heartwood, it might have been a cheaper cut of wood. It sounds like this is normal for ziricote though based on all of these replies.

Anyways, I think you guys have convinced me to keep it, as it is otherwise flawless, and if its not a “cheap” board, then I don’t have a problem with it - I was just going by what my arborist friend had told me and it spooked me. I cannot find any other 594s with such a nice quilt and rosewood neck, and it plays like a dream, so I think you all have convinced me to hold onto it.

Thanks for all of the replies!
 

JSanta585

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Aug 7, 2017
Messages
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Glad you decided to keep it. I think the entire guitar is absolutely stunning.

I like character on my guitars. Things like mineral streaks in the maple or some streaking in the ebony are subtle reminders that the instrument was made from something that was once alive and unique. The back of my JA-15 has one of the most unique pieces of flamed maple I've ever seen, and a really nice mineral streak running down the entire neck. They are not so subtle reminders of what comprises the instrument.
 

Axis39

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Oct 14, 2018
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Beaumont, CA
I guess I'm the dissenter....

I love the lighter colors in the center of the fretboard. The swirly stuff is delicious!

But, that one light spot by the nut? I dunno. If it had more of them somewhere else, I'd be into it. But, that one little slice just doesn't look right to me. Realistically, playing it, you'll never see it. It doesn't make me recoil in fear and loathing or anything... But, it just kinda bothers me.

Although, you will ALWAYS be able to identify your guitar in a crowd! LOL
 

11top

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Last edited:

Patrick Montgomery

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Dec 29, 2020
Messages
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Nobody is a bigger fan/advocate of sapwood than me. In the good ol’ days, I took ziracote to PRS before they had any to offer. One of the first 2 or 3 ziracote necks they made for me was a two piece so there would be spots of sapwood running right down the middle.



I wouldn’t change your fret board, but if you don’t like it, it may always bug you. So, there’s always this:


https://www.stewmac.com/luthier-too...tints-and-stains/black-fingerboard-stain.html

That guitar looks great! I’m not sure I’d be comfortable staining it, it feels wrong for some reason.
 
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