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View Full Version : Fender's new "Channel Bound" Rosewood Fretboard


MichaelSaulnier
09-26-2013, 11:41 PM
I stopped in at a local Fender dealer in my area, and got my first look at a new idea for Fender... a Fender Select Stratocaster that had a "Channel Bound" Rosewood Fretboard.

Basically, it's a maple neck routed out to allow a rosewood fretboard to be inserted, with just a bit of the maple neck still in place all around the fretboard.

It looks a bit like the neck has binding, but there's no plastic of any kind.

The neck felt quite nice, and was very easy to play, with no noticeable feel issues.

It was rather distinctive looking, and the store manager shared with me that Fender had patented the process, and was the first to offer this idea.

I researched it a bit more on Fender's site... apparently there's a carved top Jazzmaster in the select series that has a similar fretboard.

http://assets.fender.com/frl/c5abb986e82229167848175a95b1e70c/generated/86ceb3c861ac3d7b0737b2ccde488ca3.png

http://assets.fender.com/frl/b329d1e8ecf298ceb476591569c354c2/generated/6c33d22d769f94f3a8be4d1b5d47c76d.png

It's kinda a cool idea... looked different.

What do you think of it?

M

vortexxxx
09-26-2013, 11:45 PM
I think it's a neat idea.

MichaelSaulnier
09-26-2013, 11:51 PM
Here's a YouTube vid made by Fender that shows the neck clearly.

wSHp0iKSJts

M

VaughnC
09-27-2013, 12:19 AM
Looks cool...BUT I wonder what might happen over time if the rosewood expands with humidity and causes the maple to crack on the sides or the rosewood to unattach itself as it now has nowhere to expand except up.

wes37
09-27-2013, 03:52 AM
Cool!

Pietro
09-27-2013, 06:30 AM
Looks cool...BUT I wonder what might happen over time if the rosewood expands with humidity and causes the maple to crack on the sides or the rosewood to unattach itself as it now has nowhere to expand except up.

yup. My thoughts exactly.

F#m7
09-27-2013, 06:33 AM
Not sure what the point is?

Kentano2000
09-27-2013, 06:37 AM
I like the idea. I think they would look absolutely righteous with a small headstock and in finishes like Lake Placid Blue, Forest Green, Candy Apple Red, and non-flamed bursts.

SPROING!
09-27-2013, 06:47 AM
I like the look but calling inlay a "new process" is a bit of a stretch.
Looks good, though.

Nada
09-27-2013, 07:24 AM
builders like McNaught have been doing this for years, no? this pic is from a guitar built in 2007, for example.

http://greatdaneband.com/Images/MusicalEquipment/2007McNaughtSCJ_Antique/web2007McNaughtSCJ-007.jpg

hunter
09-27-2013, 07:24 AM
Looks cool...BUT I wonder what might happen over time if the rosewood expands with humidity and causes the maple to crack on the sides or the rosewood to unattach itself as it now has nowhere to expand except up.

This setup is probably no different from any glue joint between dissimilar woods. Those edge of the fret board rosewood/ebony to maple joints have survived for many years without unattaching themselves. In terms of durability, this setup is probably much preferable to other binding techniques. Cosmetically it will produce a one dimensional binding effect since, from the side, the look will be solid maple. Not as nice but not a bad way to go if you like the look of binding from the front of the guitar.

At least they are thinking and trying.

hunter

ScottySevins
09-27-2013, 07:26 AM
Wow I really freakin like the sound of that!! I am not really a fan of neck binding, I feel like its never as smooth as a nice rolled/worn edge, but I bet that is really nice clark!!

monty
09-27-2013, 08:56 AM
I like it!

2HBStrat
09-27-2013, 09:08 AM
I stopped in at a local Fender dealer in my area, and got my first look at a new idea for Fender... a Fender Select Stratocaster that had a "Channel Bound" Rosewood Fretboard.

Basically, it's a maple neck routed out to allow a rosewood fretboard to be inserted, with just a bit of the maple neck still in place all around the fretboard.

It looks a bit like the neck has binding, but there's no plastic of any kind.

The neck felt quite nice, and was very easy to play, with no noticeable feel issues.

It was rather distinctive looking, and the store manager shared with me that Fender had patented the process, and was the first to offer this idea............

builders like McNaught have been doing this for years.......

Hmmm, I guess now Fender can sue other guitar makers to stop them from using a process that they failed to patent?......that seems fair!

slap dat
09-27-2013, 09:09 AM
Very cool.

c_mac
09-27-2013, 09:21 AM
builders like McNaught have been doing this for years, no? this pic is from a guitar built in 2007, for example.

http://greatdaneband.com/Images/MusicalEquipment/2007McNaughtSCJ_Antique/web2007McNaughtSCJ-007.jpg

Are you sure that is the same process that Fender is using? That McNaught could simply just have maple binding for the fingerboard. I have an old Alvarez acoustic that has a maple bound rosewood fingerboard. Fender is inserting a rosewood plank into a maple neck, not just binding the rosewood with maple.

vortexxxx
09-27-2013, 11:20 PM
Why does Fender always come up with better ideas than Gibson? Rhetorical question.

C-4
02-03-2014, 05:29 AM
Why does Fender always come up with better ideas than Gibson? Rhetorical question.

Because Fender is a more forward-thinking guitar company where ideas are shared.

MKB
02-03-2014, 05:38 AM
1. That is a cool idea, I haven't seen one but it probably looks and plays very nicely.

2. I hope they do not charge extra for this feature, because if anything it is a labor saver. I would guess this process is a far less expensive way to give a binding effect that binding installed by hand. Just another pass of the neck blank through the CNC, cut the rosewood board to size, and glue them together.

3. It has one possible drawback; the neck may be ruined if you have to remove the rosewood fingerboard as it is probably difficult to get out of the rest of the neck. However Fender is probably inserting the truss rod from the back and the neck has a skunk stripe, like most of their RW fingerboard necks have now.

ixnay
02-03-2014, 06:08 AM
Why does Fender always come up with better ideas than Gibson? Rhetorical question.

If Gisbon did this there would be 15 threads on how out of touch they are and ho Henry continues to ruin the company...

smellycaster
02-03-2014, 06:38 AM
It looks like a bound neck, so in other words, it looks terrible.

dazco
02-03-2014, 07:55 AM
Looks cool...BUT I wonder what might happen over time if the rosewood expands with humidity and causes the maple to crack on the sides or the rosewood to unattach itself as it now has nowhere to expand except up.

Thats what i've always wonders with gibsons that have nibs. Yes, it's a different thing having binding than this channel method, but consider this. The rosewood expands or the mahogany contracts and what happens? The nibs are flush against the frets which won't expand or contract, so why don't we see a lot of gibsons with the binding pushed off and away from the frets/board? I suppose it happens but i've never see that, yet i see a top of new guitars with fret sprout. The only thing i can think of is maybe gobson is more careful to thoroughly dry this wood for necks and fingerboards. Maybe thats what the cheaper models they've been coming out with over the last decade or so have no binding. They can't afford to treat the wood on a budget gibson the same as thier higher end stuff. Look at fender. I have seen countless $1000 and under (list) models in the store with sprout. Never seem to see it on higher end one. Could this in fact be because the kiln drying process is shorter or somehow they are not drying the wood as well? Just a thought.

Terry McInturff
02-03-2014, 08:08 AM
A captured fretboard is an interesting idea. I wonder how good the joinery is and how thick the rosewood is. Somebody pop the nut off and see.

At least it forces them to radius the fretboard after it is glued on. Doing so before the fretboard is glued on is not a great idea.

dazco
02-03-2014, 08:45 AM
I wonder how how thick the rosewood is.

At least it forces them to radius the fretboard after it is glued on. Doing so before the fretboard is glued on is not a great idea.

Thats a good point !I generally stay away from necks (on fender and fender style necks) with thicker rosewood slabs like those with a modern radius because they tend to sound too bright to me in the upper mids. There would be no telling here till you play it, but then again things like that can often be too subtle to hear well till you own it for a while, then subtle can become not subtle at all.

PGrant
02-03-2014, 09:00 AM
I think they look pretty good, definitely would like to feel how they play.

440gtx6pak
02-03-2014, 09:59 AM
It is amazing how any unrelated Gearpage thread can at any time can turn into Gibson bashing. :rotflmao . So for the sake of balance .. I hope all are aware that the current Fender CEO came from of all places Guitar Center and actually said at one point while actually in the position of Fender CEO how he was amazed to learn that Fender really still did so much USA based woodworking and manufacturing. He seemed to think USA made only meant they bolt a few imported parts together at the USA plant with little woodworking/spraying. Doesn't exactly sound like guitars are his passion. If that is the type CEO some want to think is 'better' then carry on.

vanguard
02-03-2014, 12:51 PM
If Gisbon did this there would be 15 threads on how out of touch they are and ho Henry continues to ruin the company...

This idea is in tasteful keeping with Fender's aesthetic. Most of Gibson's recent ideas have been total abandonment of heritage. I always picture Henry smashing that trad SG to make way for the Firebird X.

SPROING!
02-03-2014, 01:04 PM
I like the look.

XmasTree
02-03-2014, 01:05 PM
it looks great and is a good idea

Terry McInturff
02-03-2014, 05:49 PM
I suppose that my thinking is along the lines of how well...on balance...the necks will behave with a captured IRW fretboard. The IRW cannot be very thick, certainly nothing like .250"; the thinner that it is, obviously the less mischief it could cause as regards stability.

It's an interesting idea. It is also a non-trad Fender-style fret job, and so there is that as well. A different production technique for that company in that regard as well. Execution? Fender can do as well in that regard as anyone, given the correct production routine. It's not hard to do, unless moving into the best routine involves abandoning previous in-place methods. It's something that Ive addressed a number of times as an industry consultant.

kenneth
02-03-2014, 06:04 PM
Looks great to me, I would hope that there are no chipping/splitting issues with this thin strip of maple, the nut and all the fret slots, but I'm sure the wood craft people at Fender know what they are doing. I don't really see the practical application, so I'm not sure I would be willing to pay a premium for it. But I suppose it depends on the guitar.

Regarding the patent, they can patent whatever they want, and typically the patent examiner in the USPO like does not know all the past background and details of a particular application. It only becomes an issue if Fender decides to defend their patent in court...then it becomes clear how "valid" the patent really is.

lamentation
02-03-2014, 06:08 PM
If the rosewood is REAL thin, you could scallop it and see the maple underneath. Talk about reliced!

Boogie92801
02-03-2014, 06:20 PM
They are cool. Played two guitars with it. My budy bought one and it feels fantastic.

Samuroot1987
02-03-2014, 06:32 PM
Can i get the reverse with a large tele headstock?

j.s.tonehound
02-04-2014, 04:41 AM
Yep, like this. They should do the same with the headstock as well.

lefthandagenda
02-04-2014, 01:58 PM
The Jazzmasters with these necks look incredible. I want one, but they seem a bit overpriced to me. I'm sure some people are buying these, but I can't imagine a situation where I'd be getting into one that was new.