expensive American guitars not using Indian rosewood anymore?

Craig S

Member
Messages
179
Ebony doesn't sound the same as rosewood. Play a 355 and then a 335 - they sound different. Both are good but they're different. Pau ferro sounds a lot like rosewood, often lighter in color but most rosewood is dyed anyway, as is a lot of ebony. I like all three. We'll have to adapt to whatever's available when buying new guitars.
 
Messages
5
You hear the fretboard wood!? :huh

THAT,...is amazing dude! :dude
Sure. Play a tele or strat with a maple fingerboard side by side with the same model guitar but with a rosewood fingerboard. The one with the maple fingerboard will sound distinctly brighter.
 
Messages
5
I haven't played on an ebony board in quite a while, but I remember it being really nice. I remember thinking then I didn't like it and would prefer maple. And I didn't like the look. But looking back, it was gorgeous... and I didn't really like the softer, oily feel. Now I really miss that and absolutely want an ebony board, even over my rosewood boards. The ebony board also reminds me more of brazilian rosewood, and I read ebony was standard on guitars and instruments in the old days.
Ebony is still the primary fingerboard material on higher end acoustic guitars.
 

John C

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,138
That seems a little weird. So when it was dyed, how dark are we talking...? The rosewood boards I've seen were much, much darker than this, and most certainly not dyed. But not as dark as a vintage BRW board. I have an acoustic right now which I don't know what wood it's made of and can't find much on the model online. Alvarez silver 25th anniversary, but not what you see on google. Might be the whole guitar is rosewood, or something, or just colored gloss. But the board is really cool, it's similar to BRW but not. Very dark, very red. Not at all like the other IRW boards I've seen. Curious what it is for sure. I'd kill to have that wood on a strat.

I don't have a good photo of the 2013 American Standard Strat - I think I took these to show the pickup height so the neck looks blacker than I remember it looking in the light:

6aCOcOBl.jpg


dRvyuedl.jpg
 

kgf

Member
Messages
56
Any examples of woods other than rosewood being used on expensive American guitars? Most imports are using light brown laurel or pau ferro, not rosewood. https://musicstrive.com/indian-laurel-vs-rosewood/ The rosewood fretboard on my 2019 American Performer Tele has some odd streaking and I’m pretty sure it was dyed, but it’s still rosewood — just a little odd looking. The quality definitely seems more inconsistent now compared to a decade or so ago, but it’s an endangered wood species and pieces that would have been rejected in the past for odd streaking are being used now. Same deal with ebony. It’s less an issue of cheaping out, and more an issue of sustainability and overharvesting.

I’d personally be on board with using dark synthetic fretboards if the alternative is subpar pieces of rosewood or ebony. One of my nicest looking and feeling fretboards is black Richlite. I don’t really like the appearance of laurel, and most pau ferro fretboards only look good with a small number of finishes.
You sure that's not the "Pale Moon" ebony that Fender has used on some other models?
 

Black Cat

Member
Messages
200
Sure. Play a tele or strat with a maple fingerboard side by side with the same model guitar but with a rosewood fingerboard. The one with the maple fingerboard will sound distinctly brighter.

Nonsense. Unless you're putting a rosewood board on that same maple neck, you can't say what a rosewood board does to a guitar's tone.

Isn't it amazing how lighter colored wood sounds brighter and darker wood sounds warmer?
 

Bobbybigbucks

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,671
1652117417705.png



Check out this fret board on my '06 R9. I like it because it looks unusual and because it's Madagascar rosewood, which has become virtually unobtainable now.
 

Toppalini

Member
Messages
700
Ebony is still the primary fingerboard material on higher end acoustic guitars.
i remember ebony having a pleasant sort of slick/oily feel, is that correct? or by the time it's a fretboard, all that gone? i'd definitely take an ebony board on my next guitar if i could get it. it's nice. when i was new i thought there was just ebony and maple, didn't know of rosewood, and thought ebony was the cheap option.
 

Toppalini

Member
Messages
700
I installed a wooden handrail in my staircase two years ago and stained it a dark ebony color. It looks great and every time I go up and down the stairs I think of it as a huge ebony fretboard. Is there any reason Fender doesn’t just stain the Pao Ferro to make it look nicer? I think the grain of the wood is nice but that light brown look just looks wrong to me. It’s not like it would add a fortune to the labor, it probably would take 1 minute to stain a quarter inch fretboard slab.
yeah but then when people find out the dark rosewood board they're playing is just tampered pau ferro.. people will be pissed.

i guess i was wrong that pau ferro is being used on american guitars, but i could have swore i saw some. definitely all over the imports... all kinds of weird wood. american g&l is definitely not using rosewood for a lot of stuff, maybe most new stuff.
 

Toppalini

Member
Messages
700
Ebony doesn't sound the same as rosewood. Play a 355 and then a 335 - they sound different. Both are good but they're different. Pau ferro sounds a lot like rosewood, often lighter in color but most rosewood is dyed anyway, as is a lot of ebony. I like all three. We'll have to adapt to whatever's available when buying new guitars.
I played a cherry board that was pretty cool. I'm highly skeptical about the whole uhhh... sound thing.
 

MyLittleEye

Member
Messages
114
Trouble with hardwoods, exotic or not, supplies are finite and not sustainable at current rates of consumption. The imbalance between supply and demand means the rarer the woods become the more profitable they become which accelerates destruction of the pristine habitats where over hundreds of years these hardwoods have grown. Much as I like premium quality guitars I'm happy to try any alternative if it means our primary rainforests are protected and preserved.
 

tone-a-dict

Member
Messages
33
Nonsense. Unless you're putting a rosewood board on that same maple neck, you can't say what a rosewood board does to a guitar's tone.

Isn't it amazing how lighter colored wood sounds brighter and darker wood sounds warmer?
People are widely noticing that maple sounds brighter than rosewood for decades now ... It may be nonsense to you, and that's fine (you are free to buy whatever you want), but the fact that one cannot hear a difference doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

If I want ebony, or rosewood or maple for whatever reason, I will buy exactly that regardless of what anyone says.

Isn't it amazing how lighter colored wood sounds brighter and darker wood sounds warmer?
I don't think "warmer" is the first thought that goes through anyone's mind when considering ebony.
 

tone-a-dict

Member
Messages
33
Trouble with hardwoods, exotic or not, supplies are finite and not sustainable at current rates of consumption. The imbalance between supply and demand means the rarer the woods become the more profitable they become which accelerates destruction of the pristine habitats where over hundreds of years these hardwoods have grown. Much as I like premium quality guitars I'm happy to try any alternative if it means our primary rainforests are protected and preserved.
Since you mentioned "rates of consumption" ... It brings back the rhetorical question: "how many guitars does one actually need ?" Has now a guitar become a "consumable" ? If people would stop at owning 2-3 guitars that they actually *play* for decades, would there be a wood crisis at all ?
 

muzishun

Member
Messages
7,313
Sure. Play a tele or strat with a maple fingerboard side by side with the same model guitar but with a rosewood fingerboard. The one with the maple fingerboard will sound distinctly brighter.

To you it will.

That's what confirmation bias is!.... and does to otherwise intelligent people.
 




Trending Topics

Top Bottom