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. Yr Blues

    Yr Blues Member

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    I don't like the wording of the poll. I'm in the, "it's great for whoever likes it, but not for me" camp.
     
  2. musicman1

    musicman1 Member

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    There are so many gtrs using ebony why is Gibson not?
     
  3. Starshine

    Starshine Member

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    Just bought my second richlite Gibson which has confirmed to me it’s an excellent fretboard material. I wonder how many people fretting over richlite (pun intended) are “It’s all about the music, man” when it comes to other things.

    Of the big three fretboard woods, rosewood is by far my least favorite and if I can get an ebony work-alike and save a tree (or a 20”x1.75x.1 piece of one), why not?
     
    DC1 likes this.
  4. Stev0Griffin

    Stev0Griffin Trendsetter

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    I’ve got no complaints of my richlite Gibby. In fact, I think it’s one of the best fingerboards I’ve played on. Feels just like ebony, except I’d read that it’s less likely to shrink and grow, so no fret sprout. (I don’t know if that’s 100% true or not, just what I’d read)
     
  5. sub rosa

    sub rosa Member

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    In principle I have nothing against richlite, in practice I prefer the idea of wood. Just set in my ways I suppose.

    Plus in general I prefer rosewood boards anyway.
     
    Yr Blues likes this.
  6. gunslinger

    gunslinger Member

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    I just don't trust the chemicals it's made from. I'm not sure I want it in contact with my fingers.
     
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  7. edro

    edro Member

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    How about the guitar its on?
    All that nitro...that lives in a case with all them chemicals in it...
    Some Lesters are put together with deadhorse instead of TB glue... Dead critter juice...
    Think about all that while you're drinking out of plastic water bottle...which is a chemical compound... Think of your strap...touching you... Use deoderant/antisweat?

    Just joking.... Kinda...

    :anon
     
  8. KissTone

    KissTone Member

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    I don’t know. Maybe. But the first Fender Jazzmaster (the George Fullerton Jazzmaster) from ‘57 had a Richlite board and it still looks great.

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. sahhas

    sahhas Supporting Member

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    there is this bit:
    The process of creating Richlite is both simple and complex. Rolls of paper are saturated with a thermosetting resin before being cut to length and laid up by hand. Each sheet is carefully stacked, and the direction of the paper alternated, creating the ultimate balance and stability. The stacks are then pressed under even heat and pressure, which bonds the layers of paper together and cures the resin. Slowly cooled, the cured panels produce a solid, stable sheet of material. Richlite can be pressed in many various sizes and thicknesses, from ¼” (6mm) to 3” (75mm) thick and sheet sizes up to 5’x12’ (3660 x 1525mm).

    this vid:


    honestly, the piece of richlite i got for my next guitar project's fingerboard, the stuff is VERY hard. i sort of wonder why it's not just glued together and used as neck material. and the board does look like ebony. like some have said: if i didn't know what it was from the name, i'd think its just ebony...
     
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  10. sahhas

    sahhas Supporting Member

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    see if i can post my pics of it, it's hard to photograph, b/c it's black:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    what does it feel like: hard wood! it doesn't feel like plastic or smell like plastic. it does have a vaguely "woody" smell. I haven't cut into it yet, but it feels ok as a material...like i said, it feels very hard.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2019
  11. gunslinger

    gunslinger Member

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    I wonder what a whole guitar made from richlite would sound like?
     
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  12. sahhas

    sahhas Supporting Member

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    I'm not sure you'd need a whole guitar...i'd be curious what a neck made of the stuff would sound like.

    a whole guitar i would think it would be very bright sounding! my guess....that and it would be black!

     
  13. sahhas

    sahhas Supporting Member

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    i just looked up to see if the co. has a FB page, they do, it appears to have lots of applications:
    [​IMG]
    cladding for buildings, so the stuff must be pretty durable!!!!
     
  14. kingrazor

    kingrazor Member

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    No problems with it, but I feel like you should get a discount on guitars that have it (it is cheaper to produce than rosewood fingerboards, is it not?)
     
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  15. sahhas

    sahhas Supporting Member

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    my piece of fingerboard blank of richlite was $20 + shipping (and it was well packaged!)
    i don't buy a lot of guitar/luthier supplies, but just looking at Stew Mac, fingerboard blanks for them go from:
    maple-$14.95
    up to: Madagascar Rosewood at $52.95 or master grade of Madagascar Rosewood is $72.95.
    ebony is $33.95
    indian rosewood is $22.95.

    just for a basic cost comparison. I'm sure there are other places to buy stuff, i'm just using a familiar name, and i have no affiliation with them.
     
  16. sahhas

    sahhas Supporting Member

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    i should probably curb my enthusiasm for this stuff, since i don't even have it on my guitar project yet!

    I should note that my fave guitar, my #1 guitar is my solid rosewood neck guitar in my signature, the rosewood on that just feels soo awesome...
    i do have an ebony guitar in storage, haven't played in a while. and a maple necked guitar that is out, but not feeling it as my favorite.... if i ever get this guitar together, i guess i'll see how i feel about this sustainable material....
     
  17. Rod

    Rod Tone is Paramount Supporting Member

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    I love Richlite fingerboards.! They are used on both my Martins... extremely stable and hard, no shrinkage, no fret sprout.....Feels like Ebony....and they exude a nice high end, which my acoustic ears love....
     
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  18. Yamaha 350

    Yamaha 350 Member

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    It is rich and very light. :bonk:confused::spit
     
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  19. buzzard blues bird

    buzzard blues bird Member

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    I come from a time when new l.p. customs were $650- new. WITH EBONY fingerboards. Do you think I'm gonna pay $4,500 for a guitar with some formica **** for a fretboard lol!? fa' getta bout' it!
     
  20. monty

    monty Member

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    Have it on a Martin, no complaints.
     
    sahhas likes this.

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