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If Brazilian fretboards were cheaper and more readily available- would you prefer it over....


I've got a Hamer with a Brazilian rosewood fretboard (which wasn't unusual when it was made).

I don't really prefer it to my other rosewood fretboards. As long as the piece of wood doesn't look somehow wrong or goofy, can't say I care much one way or the other.

Now the dye job rosewood board on my new Fender American Performer P Bass is kind of cheesey in that globs of dye come off on the rag when oiling it. One of the best P Basses I've ever played, so I'm more than happy to look past it.


Assuming this refers to Les Pauls, Brazilian since it was used on the originals, but otherwise the darker / more uniform looking fretboard.
That’s an odd assumption given that in the 60s and earlier, even student model guitars had Brazilian rosewood boards. One of the most beautiful BR boards I ever owned was on a 63 Melody Maker!

The only BR board guitar I currently own is my 1951 Epiphone. It’s lovely but a nice, dark Indian rosewood looks very nice as well. But overall, yeah, if BR were cheap, plentiful, and sustainable; and looked as nice as the old growth BR of days gone by, we’d probably use nothing else, just like they did when it was plentiful.

Maybe someone should develop a synthetic, Brazilian lookalike. If it was done well enough you couldn’t tell the difference, that’d be best of both worlds. Of course a bunch of guys would claim it doesn’t sound or feel the same regardless.


Silver Supporting Member
Depends on the quality of the board . The only reason BRW is desirable is because it is hard to attain. I dont see BRW as something that unlocks mojo that EIR doesnt. If all things are equal and BRW was cheaper, sure, im saving money right ?
"The only reason BRW is desirable is because it is hard to attain."

This is a demonstrably false statement.


Silver Supporting Member
Depends on the quality of the board . The only reason BRW is desirable is because it is hard to attain. I dont see BRW as something that unlocks mojo that EIR doesnt. If all things are equal and BRW was cheaper, sure, im saving money right ?
Bingo. It depends on the quality of the piece of wood. I have a Warmoth neck with a BR board that looks pretty good but it has a tight grain and is super smooth, so it should be a great player. It will go onto a Strat build and I'm really looking forward to playing it. I paid around $200 for the neck but don't think I would pony up current new prices.

Then again, I have a neck with a kingwood board that has an even tighter and smoother grain, and I still prefer pau ferro most of all.
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Tony Done

I don't care that much, but given a choice it would be guayacan (lignum vitae). I've had a guayacan board and bridge on my old L-00 for about 25 years, and it is the best I've ever used, hard, attractive, not prone to splitting

Dana Olsen

Platinum Supporting Member
In around 2001 I went by a guy's house in LA who collected Braz fboard PRSs - he had a number of them for sale - a total of 7 PRSs, 5 w/ Braz fboards.

1 of those had a noticeable tonal difference - it sounded great! Another had enough tonal difference that you could tell with your eyes closed, but didn't sound as good as the excellent one.

The other 5 were indistinguishable - whether Braz or East Indian. All the guitars sounded good, one sounded a little better, and one was 'that sound'.

What did I learn from this? I learned, once again, that it's NOT the species of wood, it's the individual pieces of wood that make the perceivable difference. A really good Braz fboard sounds great, but not all Braz fboards sound great. A really goos EIR board also sounds great, but they ALL don't sound great.

IMO, Tone is about the individual pieces of wood, not the species, as well as the builder and design. I think one can speak in generalities about some designs - there are characteristics of Les Pauls, for example, that are pretty consistent between models and years as far as the overall tone. That said, I have a mahogany body Tele that would fake out anybody thinking it was certainly ash - It faked ME out, I thought it was ash initially! I have several ash body EIR board Teles that sound similar, but one can easily tell them apart from one another.

I personally think individual pieces of wood, design, and construction style and pickups make the biggest differences.

YMMV, Thanks, Dana O.
I have a couple of vintage Fender Duo Sonics with BRW necks and I like the sound and the feel, so yes. But I’d be much more excited to have a BRW back and sides acoustic.


Has anyone else ever thought of the upcharges to get Brazillian to be one of the poorer investments in a guitar you can make? I wonder if it won't prove to be so. It boosts the new price by far more than you'll ever be able to charge as a used premium, and I doubt if youngsters 20 years from now are going to coo over Brazillian, something most of them have never played, don't have a nostalgic attachment to, and wouldn't really care about.

I know, on TGP we put everything we splurge on into the "I'll never sell it" category, which is usually a statement that lasts as long as a popsicle on the sidewalk today would. ;)


Silver Supporting Member
Ive used a lot of it over the years. I really like how it smells when you cut it, it's very distinct.
It seems a little harder and smoother than other EIR but I don't think it's superior to any other fretboard really.


Silver Supporting Member
My solid rosewood neck is fine for me, and my 2 other strat necks are from guitars from the 80s... they are fine to me.


It really doesn't matter to me because I prefer --- Ebony > Pau Ferro > Rosewood.

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