What's your take on Richlite?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by redragon, Sep 19, 2018.

What is your take on the use Richlite fretboards?

Poll closed Sep 22, 2018.
  1. With hardwoods getting scarce, it's inevitable.

    52.3%
  2. Some use, but trailing off soon-ish.

    2.0%
  3. It's already over.

    9.2%
  4. I don't give a rat's a**.

    36.6%
  1. AngryHatter

    AngryHatter Member

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    See, now I am confused.
    A lot of people here spend what I consider an inordinate amount of time looking at wood and making "OoOooOoo" and "Ahhh" and then we get to fretboards and you are really cool with whatever stuff makes them up?
     
    the_Chris, Ampedusa and texrun38 like this.
  2. bluesoul

    bluesoul Gold Supporting Member

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    No Richlite for me. I don't have a valid reason. Just want real wood.
     
  3. Tidbit

    Tidbit Member

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    If all else is equal, I greatly prefer real wood. I can't even explain it really. I just really have an appreciation for the tradition and wood in general. That being said, I really don't want be responsible for the extinction of any species, let alone one as beautiful as ebony, just so I can wank around on an E chord. You have to roll with the changes. If Richlite (or some other product or species) is indeed the way to, then I hope it works out well.
     
  4. guitarjb44

    guitarjb44 Supporting Member

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    The simple fact that you don’t want Richlite is reason enough- no need to justify it to anyone.
     
    bluesoul likes this.
  5. Hank Habanero

    Hank Habanero Member

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    I had a Les Paul Shred with Richlite, and thought it was fine, basically looked like jet black perfect ebony. I'd much rather have that than "low quality" non black ebony, which is a look I don't care for (but I guess you could just dye that properly black instead of doing the Kiesel thing with the "striped" fretboards). I also truly HATE the look of rosewood/roasted maple boards on Les Paul Customs, it really ruins the whole guitar for me. When I was shopping for a Les Paul Axcess Custom I didn't go out of my way to find an older one with an ebony board, but was happy that I actually did end up finding one from 2011 with ebony (just to feel slightly cooler).
     
  6. tylerfreak

    tylerfreak Supporting Member

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    It's more about how it ages, ever played a vintage guitar w an ebony board? Yeah richlite isn't gonna mello and self lubricate like that.
     
  7. rauchman

    rauchman Member

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    Northeast NJ
    I picked up a used Midtown a month or so ago. When I compare against my '92 LP Custom, I don't feel / hear a difference. I like the consistent color of it as well. No issues here either...
     
  8. Yr Blues

    Yr Blues Member

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    I rather have any real wood alternative than something made in a lab. Call me a snob.
     
    modavis99 likes this.
  9. PatriotBadger

    PatriotBadger Member

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    Love it. No fret sprout, no neck tweaks due to humidity and temperature, feels like ebony, needs no maintenance, holds onto frets like the dickens, and cleanly re-frets. The only negative I've ever heard is that it tends to expand pretty dramatically when it's hot out and you're in direct sunlight for a while (like Trex decking does), but I've never personally experienced this, so who knows.

    In the age of the hyper-conservative guitarist, it sucks to be a mfg trying to find alternatives that won't get poo-pooed. In practice Richlite is good stuff.
     
  10. Buck Woodson

    Buck Woodson Supporting Member

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    I'd prefer ebony or rosewood but not that big of a deal UNLESS we're talking Gibson Custom Shop money.
     
  11. Mtt02263

    Mtt02263 Supporting Member

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    There's a new alternative called Rocklite I believe that is very interesting. On new guitars I actually like some alternative woods, etc.
     
  12. edro

    edro Member

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    Da Bakelites have a consistency impossible to have with wood...
    Sheets of paper (from wood pulp), resin, pressure, heat... It ain't going nowhere and is consistent as a board can get...

    My fretless Jazz is great with the whatever they call their version... I just call em all Bakelites... ;)
     
    3dognate likes this.
  13. budglo58

    budglo58 Member

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    I had it on a Midtown Custom a while back. Non issue for me. Yes I like rosewood and ebony . They can look nice , but in the end of the day it doesnt feel or sound any different than anything else. I would prefer it over roasted whatever .
     
  14. edro

    edro Member

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    I can get along with about any board material if done well....

    I have rose, ebony, Bakelite, maple, and BBQ maple... across a bunch of guitars and basses.... I like em all...

    I look at Bakelite as a smoother ebony... But then again, I was preached to while growing up by my big bro, 'play the damn frets not the board'...
     
    Bodeanicus likes this.
  15. jwguitar

    jwguitar Supporting Member

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    From looking at that fingerboard if you were to tell me that was Rosewood with Ebony inlays I would believe it.
     
    sahhas likes this.
  16. edro

    edro Member

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    https://www.talkbass.com/threads/rocklite-the-latest-synthetic-ebony-for-fingerboards.1311057/

    "As a side note, Rockwood is a similar product to Ebanol, made about the same way. "

    "It's made by saturating soft wood laminates with clear or tinted hard resins. Like Ebanol, it machines and feels like a block of plastic. It has a high content of plastic resin, usually a polyester. It's tough to saw, gumming up blades and smoking."

    I don't see it as much of a difference from any of the others... End result is pretty much the same... It's not better, not worse, than any of the other major synthetics...
     
  17. wetordry

    wetordry Member

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    My 2016 l.p. standard is supposed to be rosewood, but it has no grain, and is black.
    I think it might be richlite, but don't care.
     
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  18. Brion

    Brion Supporting Member

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    I just got a Les Paul Classic Player P90 and it has a Richlite board. I honestly have not noticed anything negative about it. Really didn't even think about it at all while playing it. The guitar sounds and plays great and there is no way to quantify the impact that the fingerboard material has in the tone or playability as I cannot switch it out. If the poll was still open I would have chosen the don't give a rats ass option. Sure, I'd like to think that natural resources would last for eternity, but that is not the case so alternatives will have to suffice until we have caused our own extinction. Hopefully I will be long gone before that inevitable occurrence. Meanwhile, I will enjoy all of my guitars and hardwood floors...
     
    crashintou and HERSCHEL like this.
  19. Bossanova

    Bossanova Silver Supporting Member

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    Hard “no” on any classic guitar $2k+

    Yes on everything else
     
  20. Papanate

    Papanate Gold Supporting Member

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    I couldn't care less. I'd say that 99.9 percent of the people who
    complain about Richlite couldn't pick it out in a blind test -
    with the qualifiers being the necks and fretboards are finished
    the same way.
     
    DC1 and sahhas like this.

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