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What do you guys think of ebony fingerboards with striping?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by dbstrat, Oct 13, 2006.

  1. dbstrat

    dbstrat Member

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    Particularly when it is not very symmetrical or consistent but perhaps just one light stripe that varies a little bit as it runs down near one edge of the fingerboard?

    Do you find this to be very interesting "character" of the wood...or do you perceive it as an imperfection that you wouldn't want to live with on one of your guitars?
     
  2. PB Wilson

    PB Wilson Member

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    I like it in most cases. Over time it should darken as your fingertips oil the board. The thing is, we'd better get used to it. Pure black ebony is getting more and more rare and is becoming more expensive compared to the stripey stuff.
     
  3. Luke

    Luke Senior Member

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    Many builders dye their fingerboards to reduce the striping. If you see a solid black ebony board these days, it was dyed.
     
  4. -CM-

    -CM- Something Clever Here Silver Supporting Member

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    I think fretboard grain patterns are difficult to generalize about, perhaps moreso than other visual characteristics of guitars. Sometimes the grain pattern can be very distracting if it's not symetrical, while other times a crazy pattern really adds to the visual appeal of the guitar.

    FWIW, I really like this striped ebony fretboard:

    [​IMG]

    There's a thread on BAM about fretboards you might find interesting.
     
  5. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

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    Manufacturers have been dying fretboards for years. The supply of jet black ebony is getting dear and it's a very spendy option nowadays. I'm a proponent of "let wood be wood" so I welcome figure in fretboards. Macassar ebony is a prime example of ebony with real grain. That's a nice looking board there -
     
  6. PB Wilson

    PB Wilson Member

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    I just bought a gorgeous jet black ebony board from Luthiers Mercantile International for a guitar I'm building. I did pay extra for the 1st grade stuff, but it is out there.

    For production guitars, you are absolutely correct.
     
  7. Antz_Marchin

    Antz_Marchin Member

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    I don't mind the striping, I don't have any with it, but I like that pic you have there. As long as it is flat smooth and fast, any grain (or knots in the back, sapwood on the sides) in the wood anywhere gives the guitar character as far as I"m concerned. That's the reason I'd never buy a colour dyed acoustic. The wood is just too pretty :)
     
  8. K-man

    K-man Member

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    They don't sound as good as the ones without striping...:roll
     
  9. billv

    billv Member

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    I love the look of "pure" black ebony, but I also believe in "let wood be wood". I'll take sound over looks any day of the week, and color variations don't change the sonic characteristics of ebony.
     
  10. pickaguitar

    pickaguitar 2011 TGP Silver Medalist Silver Supporting Member

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    I don't own one but I really like striped ebony...it adds character.
     
  11. davess23

    davess23 Member

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    I really like the look of good ab inlay, especially the trad designs, against jet black ebony.
    That said, I have nothing against the idea of striping and I'm sure there are luthiers (Grit Laskin comes to mind) who could work with the wood's natural colors to create some very cool inlay designs.
     
  12. waxnsteel

    waxnsteel Member

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    That looks like rosewood.
     
  13. dbstrat

    dbstrat Member

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    Well I ended up picking up a Taylor 414ce that has a stripe kinda similar to the pic included on this thread...but there is more black and less striping...but it does have one distinct stripe on it.

    Can't say that I wouldn't prefer it to be jet black all the way through...but I'm growing accustomed to the stripe and for all the mojo that this guitar has, I'll certainly overlook it. :)

    Went through about 15 Taylors at 3 stores from 410 up to 914 and this one was simply the best of the bunch (thankfully it was a grand cheaper than the upper models too).
     
  14. pickaguitar

    pickaguitar 2011 TGP Silver Medalist Silver Supporting Member

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    Striped ebony is not inferior.
     

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