Fretboard for Custom Build Question

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by steevo124, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. steevo124

    steevo124 Member

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    Hey all. I'm just about to order a Masterbuilt strat from the Fender Custom shop and wanted some advice on wood choice for the fretboard. I am a big John Mayer fan, and I've owned his signature model and liked the way it played and sounded. I noticed that there is an African Rosewood fingerboard on his signature model, but I'm shooting for the sound he gets on his black relic guitar. I don't know if there is a rosewood or an ebony fingerboard on his relic, but I gotta think rosewood since the sound of that guitar is pretty mellow. Problem is, I like the look of ebony better, which brings me to my question. Has anyone heard of using African Blackwood for a fretboard and what its tonal characteristics are?? I know it's a member of the Rosewood family so it should sound mellow, but I heard it's dense and durable like ebony. Can anyone provide some input on this, and would you choose this wood for a Custom Masterbuilt Strat?? thanks

    P.S. Can anyone tell from the picture if the fretboard looks like dark rosewood or ebony??

    [​IMG]

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  2. atquinn

    atquinn Supporting Member

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    From the second picture, it looks like rosewood. Can't help you with the rest of your questions I'm afriad.

    -Austin
     
  3. Michael T

    Michael T Member

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    If you can hear the diff b/w different species of rosewood you are CURSED. Hearing that sensitive would be terrible.
     
  4. Joe_Steeler

    Joe_Steeler Member

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    I have a MB Mark Kendrick that I specified with Madagascar RW.
    I settled on it after much research and what I was looking for.

    I specified a maple neck with an alder body topped with a flame maple top. Pups are CS fat 50s.
    I wanted a fretboard that will balance the maple neck & maple top and not make it to treblely. When I talked to Mark he agreed with my decision and the result is a balanced very sweet sounding Strat. It is not a quacky Strat, but I find it tonally between a '65 Time Machine and a '54 MB Time Machine.
    If that makes sense to you.
     
  5. Joe_Steeler

    Joe_Steeler Member

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    I do not have experience with a Strat with a BRW.
    But I have played and own Strats with Ebony FB and find them to be a bit trebbly, so I always have to adjust the amp EQ a little bit. When I say a bit, I mean it. It is not overwhelming but I hear it.
    For instance, I found the SRV sig a bit harsh to my ears so I changed the pups to CS '69 single coils and what a difference they made. That Strat is quacky but I find the range even and find some beel like tones with that combo.
     
  6. Brett Faust

    Brett Faust Member

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    Steevo,
    You are correct sir! African blackwood is in the same family.
    Having worked with Blackwood I can say it is very hard,as hard or more so than most Ebony. It rings like a bell when you tap it and is very abrasion resistant.
    If you assume it will be mellow because it is a rosewood you would be surprised with a brighter sound.
    That said, a masterbuilt guitar can be altered to your preference ,ask your builder for more input from his perspective.Good luck and enjoy your new guitar
     
  7. gunnar1104

    gunnar1104 Member

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    Hey Steevo, how longs the wait gonna be for the masterbuilt? What will it look like? Specs?
    At least you have the new Guild, Charley, and Classic Reverb to keep you occupied.
    Best of luck to you!
     
  8. steevo124

    steevo124 Member

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    Thanks everyone for your input. This will better help me to make a decision.... It looks like a two year wait for a Cruz Masterbuilt. It's going to be a cross between The Muzic Zoo's Ultimate Relic and a JM signature. Basically it's going to have a standard 60's C shape maple neck, 6105 crowned jumbo frets (I play with my thumb on the low E a lot, so crowning them will save my thumb), African Black/Rosewood (not sure yet) fretboard, Cruz Select Alder body (Black relic), Gold Hardware,Pearloid tuners, aged plastics, no backplate with 5 spring tremolo and finally I'm going to ask Cruz to hand wind a custom set of Big dippers and make them a little weaker (lower output ) as well. That my friends, sounds like the perfect strat to me!
     
  9. gunnar1104

    gunnar1104 Member

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    Can you ask Cruz more about the spec's on JM's relic, or at least what the pickups are closest to?
     
  10. steevo124

    steevo124 Member

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  11. John Hurtt

    John Hurtt Supporting Member

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    I didn't know that John Cruz wound pickups, I believe that the orders get kicked over to Abby and her group. Also, keep in mind that the Big Dipper p/u's are pretty low output anyway. Last, that board on Mayer's strat is rosewood. I would be careful ordering wood that you're not familiar with on a guitar, you could find yourself with something other than what you were looking for.
     
  12. DanielT2

    DanielT2 Member

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    Steevo, it sounds like a really cool guitar. Can you post some pics when you get it? BTW, can you give a ballpark on what it's going to cost (no offense though if that info is private).
     
  13. BattleAngel

    BattleAngel Member

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    ::cough::why don't you get a danocaster?::cough::
     
  14. jamison162

    jamison162 Supporting Member

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    Just specify Dark East Indian Rosewood and if it isn't dark enough....put some Fret Dr. on it.

    Some of the nicest boards I've ever seen have been dark EI Rosewood, I've even seen some that blew away some Brazillian boards.
     
  15. steevo124

    steevo124 Member

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    Should I go with East Indian Rosewood or African Rosewood thats on his signature model?

    P.S. Guitar is going to run in the 6-7K range
     
  16. Quarter

    Quarter Member

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    I'd probably go with a nice dark E Indian board. It is a proven and known good wood that will deliver the tone and look you want.
    African rosewood can be a generic name, but is most used when referring to bubinga. Unless I had a pic and a true species name, I'd be cautious with anything labeled as just African rosewood.
     
  17. atquinn

    atquinn Supporting Member

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    Just a suggestion, but you might want to try out some more guitars (buy used, play for free!) to figure out what specs you like before spending 6-7k on a guitar.

    -Austin
     

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