Remember when pau ferro...

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by PatriotBadger, May 26, 2020.

  1. PatriotBadger

    PatriotBadger Member

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    ...was first discovered by guitarists when the highly anticipated SRV Strat was introduced, and was a cool-looking and cool-feeling intriguing exotic wood that we all thought was pretty great stuff?

    And how it is now viewed as a cheap, pale, ugly, sub-par substitute for rosewood that probably doesn't have the toanz anyway but if it happens to fall into our unfortunate hands should at least be dyed with extreme prejudice?

    Guitarists. It can be almost embarrassing sometimes.
     
  2. JohnnyRico

    JohnnyRico Member

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    No, I don't remember that
     
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  3. C-4

    C-4 Member

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    I first remember Pao Ferro being introduced to me when the original Schecter Guitar Research company on Sepulveda Blvd. in Van Nuys offered it.

    I had a one piece solid flamed koa Strat built with a solid pao ferro neck on it.

    I liked the wood so much, I had other guitars built for me by them with the fret board being pao ferro.

    Today, for some unknown reason to me, pao ferro is thought by some to be inferior because Fender uses it on some of the lower end models.

    Personally, I feel pao ferro is getting a bad rap, as a result.

    It's actually a terrific sounding, playing, and feeling wood.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2020
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  4. homerayvaughan

    homerayvaughan Supporting Member

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    I had an SRV strat years ago, one of the earlier production models with Pau Ferro. It was always a dull and lifeless guitar. I've played other SRV's with the same results. Not for me.
     
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  5. cvansickle

    cvansickle Silver Supporting Member

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    I've got three Reverend guitars with Pau Ferro fretboards. I wouldn't call anything about them cheap or ugly. They feel good in my hands, they compliment the finishes of the guitars, and I would classify the sound as being between the snappiness of Maple and the warmth of Rosewood.
     
  6. burton56

    burton56 Member

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    Pau Ferro= Rosewood, but with inconsistent looks and color (to me).
    Who cares about the sound, I mean am I right?
     
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  7. Guitarworks

    Guitarworks Member

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    Anytime you threaten to permanently remove a long-time standard popular option in anything and cite scarcity as the reason, the substitute will be cast into a negative light. Consumers want both. Pau Ferro was viewed as an exotic alternative to rosewood, because you could still get rosewood. Consumers didn't want it to replace rosewood. Once you take the rosewood away, consumers don't care what you replace it with, no matter how exotic it might have been. They're going to be p*ssed off that you banned rosewood, and whatever replaces it will become the target of their wrath.
     
  8. Surgeon

    Surgeon Member

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    I remember a time when it was an "upgrade" seen as exotic for some builders and kit-makers.
    To me, what "cheapened" it was the whole "can't export rosewood" situation where it used as a substitute... Considering it does not look the same, many expressed a disdain for it.
    I like it. It does look different but I have a few guitars with it and it's a wonderful fretboard wood that feels/plays great and I can't hear a difference so it's all good to me.
     
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  9. ranchofm

    ranchofm Member

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    I have two Warmoth necks with Pau Ferro boards and SS frets. I love Rosewood, but on these necks the PF feels like a denser wood and with the SS frets they feel smoother and faster than any of my other guitars. I love it.
     
  10. Rocco Crocco

    Rocco Crocco Member

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    It was lifeless because of the Pau Ferro? How do you know that was the cause?
     
  11. Daniel Travis

    Daniel Travis Supporting Member

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    Pepperidge Farm remembers, @PatriotBadger

    I have a buddy that bought a super high end ibanez S series, in the early 2000's.

    For the time, it was COMPLETELY decked out.

    Cocobolo body and neck, Piezo, Dimarzio pickups..... and

    PAU FERRO FRETBOARD?
     
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  12. Zado

    Zado Member

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    I'd rather have a pau ferro board in my top dollar guitar than a basswood body.
     
  13. sixesandsevens

    sixesandsevens Member

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    I absolutely remember when it was an exotic upcharge for superstrats and the like.
     
  14. enharmonic

    enharmonic Old Growth Gold Supporting Member

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    John Page used it on the FCS Tele Jr.

    Good enough for John Page to build with, more than good enough for me. He’s a master luthier, and wouldn’t risk his reputation on substandard materials. :beer
     
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  15. Sirloin

    Sirloin Supporting Member

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    I was around when that guitar came out and remember people complaining about the Pau Ferro fret board back then. Not sure what is so embarrasing.
     
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  16. Stratburst70

    Stratburst70 Member

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    Both my club Strats have pau ferro fretboards. I like the sound and feel of pau ferro; it works for me.
     
  17. tktk

    tktk Member

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    Baked Pau Ferro incoming?
     
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  18. TVa

    TVa Supporting Member

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    One of my classical guitars has Pau Ferro back and sides, and it works beautifully (and is gorgeous!). I've played the fretboards as well, and I think they are exactly the same as rosewood but a little prettier.
     
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  19. Will Chen

    Will Chen Member

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    Pau ferro is now considered cheap? Interesting. If that's the case, all luthiers have to do is give it a new name and it will again be an exotic upgrade that guitarists will be happy to pay a premium for.
     
  20. Bobbyoso

    Bobbyoso Member

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    Like C-4, I own an original 70s Schecter with a solid pau ferro neck and padauk body, a hardtail strat. It's one of the three best guitars I've ever heard, let alone owned, I'd prefer it to any strat I've played.

    And the neck? I've owned this guitar for over 40 years, lived in NYC, CO, UT, Seattle and now Spokane, widely varying climates, during that time. And I have NEVER TOUCHED the truss rod, or adjusted intonation once in all that time. The truss rod cover has never been off. I did have it in for an SS refret about 15 years ago, but my luthier said he didn't touch the truss rod, and didn't even redo the nut because the guitar was so stable.

    Of course, this particular Pau Ferro neck was at least custom shop/wood library etc. quality even in the 70s, by now it's rarer still. But a high-quality, solid pau ferro neck lives up to it's name; it's like machined steel in terms of stability, and smooth as a baby's bottom. Worth a try, anyway.
     

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