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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by Broyale View Post
    You wanted to smack dude for cleaning your guitar, really?
    don't misunderstand me...i don't mind the tech wiping the instrument down ...but never any polish cos i hate the feel of any substance on the guitar or in this case i mentioned they actually found a way to clean the ingrained stains in the maple fretboard...not sure if they used some kind of chemical or just sanded it lightly ....but these were the stains which took 20 yrs of actual playing to build up...which i really liked the look of....

    so it wasn't just a clean as i a wipe down for dust a big difference between grime and long time build up of finger stains on a maple board... i love a true "road worn " instrument ...would never fake it tho but love true age on an instrument ..especially maple fingerboards
    Keira Witherkay performs as a "Solo Instrumental Fingerstyle Jazz Guitarist"
    & guitarist with the "Retro Jazz Duo " & Indie rock band "The Bad Sheep"
    and is a music tutor....
    last but not least is an avid world traveller
    "have guitar will travel"

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  3. #52

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    No preference on wood. If I play maple, rosewood, ebony and I like it, it goes home with me.

    I just wish the style for HUGE markers would go away... then maybe I would have a preference :-0

    Actually, I have two guitars without markers... a Cort Triggs which has rosewood, and a Pat Martino with Ebony and I find myself playing these a lot, so maybe I'll never have a preference?
    Regards,

    Gary

  4. #53

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    I like ebony on my fingerboard, but that's if I have the luxury to be choosy.

  5. #54

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    Ebony for me

  6. #55

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    Not politically correct, but a Brazilian rosewood board is my favorite. Then ebony, and then rosewood. I don't like maple boards in general, but I've had great guitars with maple boards...

  7. #56

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    Not all rosewoods are equal, even among the same species. East Indian rosewood is very consistent and very porous. Honduran Rosewood is mechanically near perfect and not near as porous as Indian, but the lighter color bothers a lot of people. Same with Cocobolo (a true rosewood), except the color is orange. African Blackwood (also a true rosewood) is denser and has finer pores than most ebonies, very expensive and blunts tools in nothing flat. Madagascar rosewood is awesome, but the sources of it's trade are suspect, as this is what got Gibson at odds with over zealous government agents a few years back. SE Asian rosewood is as close to the old Brazilian as one can get, but governments in that region have restricted it's export. Modern day Brazilian rosewood is all over the place in terms of stability and cosmetics, I refuse to work with it anymore.

    On classicals I prefer ebony, but I have always hated ebony on solid bodies. I have not played enough archtops to properly form an opinion yet, but I could easily see African Blackwood being a premium choice on higher end archtops. It would be my first choice on my classicals if the ebony supplies dried up.

  8. #57

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    Ebony, at least on archtops

  9. #58

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    I don't have a preference, if the guitar sounds good I don't really care what the fretboard is but most of my guitars have Rosewood boards.

  10. #59

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    Bois de Rose, a rosewood which quickly turns almost black and looks like ebony. Daniel Slaman uses it occasionally. Closely followed by old dark brazilian rosewood. Generally I prefer the softer feel of dark rosewoods, though ebony looks consistently good. Ebony boards seem to feel and sound a little harder to me.

  11. #60

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    Ebony. For the aesthetics only. As far as playability, doesn't much matter although Parker's composit fret board with stainless frets is hard to beat. Tone wise, I will get the tone I want regardless so fret board material is not an issue.

  12. #61

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    my guitars are all too different in all the other variables for me to have an informed opinion, but i suppose i like rosewood and ebony; rosewood being the standard, but my ebony boarded guitar definitely have a certain something unique to them.

    i'm generally ok with having my guitars cleaned up because i certainly won't do it. and i don't have anything with maple so it isn't a huge loss. i was a little sad when my first guitar got all shined up without my knowledge, and all the relicing on the crapwood board was gone.

  13. #62

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    Ebony, mainly for it's appearance. I do like the slick feel of it too. I generally don't like rosewood very much, however some rosewood boards I've played on have been very nice. The maple board on my 2011 Gibson L6-S reissue is a joy to play on too.

  14. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by DC Ron View Post
    Not politically correct, but a Brazilian rosewood board is my favorite. Then ebony, and then rosewood. I don't like maple boards in general, but I've had great guitars with maple boards...
    I'm surprised at how many people greatly desire Brazilian rosewood fingerboards but would easily pass over other varieties of rosewood in favor of ebony. I own three vintage Epiphone Triumphs from the 40s with Brazilian rosewood fingerboards and several recent production Heritage guitars with current production rosewood boards, and the only reason I know there is a difference between them is that I've researched the materials used and confirmed their places or origin. Had I not known the origin of the Brazilian vs current production fingerboards, I would have thought they were the same wood from similar sources.

    How many of you would be willing to pay the massive premium demanded for Brazilian rosewood? Why?

  15. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzbow View Post
    I like the slick feel of ebony. Rosewood is fine but can take ages to slicken up like ebony. A blues playing friend from 60's blues boom said the trick with rosewood finger boards was to wipe your hands through your greasy hair then rub onto the rosewood to slicken it up! He wasn't laughing when he told me that one. I suppose the closest thing to greasy hair would be lanolin. I found some non perfume soap with lanolin and just recently I've put some on me rosewood and it polishes up a treat. I've seen me use wax, linseed oil and even olive oil! But lanolin seems to work too. What do you guys use?? Someone posted a while back saying he left mineral oil on rosewood overnight
    I wouldn't advocate that, it would be a case of small amount to wipe on, work in then wipe off excess.
    Sorry to hijack this thread but to extend this topic somewhat what wood and treatment do we use and has anyone heard of the greay hair/lanolin urban myth??
    Hey Jazzbow.....

    My current axe is rosewood. About every 3rd string change(about every 3 months), it gets a complete cleaning and a fresh rubbing in of linseed oil. It's a slow process but it's slicking/polishing up very nicely. In my youth, playing in a bar band, I used a slightly different version of the "greasy hair" routine. About every 3rd or 4 song(or if my finger tips started feeling 'dry') I'd rub them along the side of my nose and collect a little skin oil.........

    (edit to add).......wife just mentioned that when I'm playing now, I still do the rubbing the side of my nose after about 20 minutes..........
    Last edited by dragger201; 10-09-2014 at 04:38 PM.

  16. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by Klatu View Post
    I'm surprised at how many people greatly desire Brazilian rosewood fingerboards but would easily pass over other varieties of rosewood in favor of ebony. I own three vintage Epiphone Triumphs from the 40s with Brazilian rosewood fingerboards and several recent production Heritage guitars with current production rosewood boards, and the only reason I know there is a difference between them is that I've researched the materials used and confirmed their places or origin. Had I not known the origin of the Brazilian vs current production fingerboards, I would have thought they were the same wood from similar sources.

    How many of you would be willing to pay the massive premium demanded for Brazilian rosewood? Why?
    Don't think I'd go out of my way or pay much of a premium for it, I just like it when I find it. (See my posts on the L-7 I had.) I like the density, the smoothness and the looks. (I especially like the ones that are reddish brown with dark brown/black stripes.) I agree that some other rosewoods are similar, but haven't seen much that would fool me into thinking it's a 70 year old slab of Brazilian.

  17. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by DC Ron View Post
    Don't think I'd go out of my way or pay much of a premium for it, I just like it when I find it. (See my posts on the L-7 I had.) I like the density, the smoothness and the looks. (I especially like the ones that are reddish brown with dark brown/black stripes.) I agree that some other rosewoods are similar, but haven't seen much that would fool me into thinking it's a 70 year old slab of Brazilian.
    Yeah Ron . . I gotta agree. Some BRW is just beautiful. Here my BRW '61 strat;



    Patrick2 . . Heritage representative (now former)

  18. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    If you blindfolded me, I'm not too sure I could tell the difference.
    This.

    Quite frankly this sort of stuff IMHO falls into princess and the pea fairy tales. How could you tell- swap fretboards out and see if it sounds different? Even then heating, ungluing and regluing in a new fretboard may change other things. Comparing between two guitars with different fingerboard materials brings in too many uncontrolled variables.

    I remember listening to a Jim Soloway comparison in which the maple fretboard-ed neck sounded warmer than the neck with a rosewood fretboard, contrary to guitar myth and lore.

    When I read these sorts of discussion I think that if I put this time and energy into learning to play the damn guitar I'd come out ahead. ;-)

  19. #68

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    FWIW I have two Gibson L6-Ss , one with an Ebony fingerboard, and one with a maple fingerboard. THe ebony fingerboard guitar is brighter sounding instrument. The maple fingerboard guitar is quite mellow.
    They have different pickups etc. so it's not a direct comparison, but it is contrary to what one would assume.

  20. #69

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    Maple on Fenders - ebony on anything else. I refuse to own a guitar with a rosewood fingerboard.

  21. #70

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    Maple on my Fenders. Rosewood on my archtops. I've also owned guitars with composite fretboards. I know that the construction of the neck and the materials it's made from are major tone drivers, but don't ask me to tell you what drives what. I do know from neck swapping on various bolt-on guitars that different necks sound different.

    Mainly the fretboard material is of aesthetic/psychological concern to me.

    My conducting professor talked about the wood that the bulb on a conducting baton is made of -- the part that fits in the palm of the hand that NO ONE ever sees -- and how they have different tones, one wood being "warmer" and the other being "cooler" etc. Now that's some serious woo

  22. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by jim soloway View Post
    i'm like that as well. I don't ever wipe off my fingerboard and i don't want anyone else doing it either. In fact i rarely clean anything on my guitars.
    yuk!!!!!!!!!
    Patrick2 . . Heritage representative (now former)

  23. #72

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    My preference on arch tops is ebony. The exception would be the iconic 175. I just would ever change anything about that guitar.

    My preference on strats and semis is rosewood. I once made the mistake of buying a Heritage H555 . . . only because of how beautiful it was. Within the first 5 minutes of playing it, I hated it .. due to its tone. Not sure whether it was the ebony board or the HRW Schaller pup . . or a combination of the two. But, I sold it almost immediately after buying it. My current ES335 and H535 have beautiful RW boards. Couldn't be happier with either of them.
    Patrick2 . . Heritage representative (now former)

  24. #73

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    I am building a Telecaster ® specifically to play Jazz. So far I have an Ash body that I would like to couple with a flamed maple neck with a possibly Pau Ferro fingerboard.

    My questions:

    1. What is the best wood for a solid body guitar intended for Jazz
    My thoughts: Mahogany Back with Black Korina on the front

    2. What is the best combination of wood for a neck that would go on a solid body for a guitar intended for Jazz?
    My thoughts: Flamed or Birds Eye Maple with a fingerboard made out of Pau Ferro or Rosewood

    Please advice.

    Thanks :-)

  25. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    ^^^Agreed. More often than not, it's simply unecessary.

    And I missed the idea of linseed. NEVER. EVER. Anybody who oil paints can tell you why. Shit never dries.

    ALso never use a citrus oil that's actually derived from citrus fruit (most of what is marketed as "Lemon Oil" is actually a mild mineral oil with a mild lemon scent, it's okay)
    Joe Pass had a bad time with linseed oil, his favorite 175 had to be abandoned because he let somebody oil the fingerboard.

    As for me, I always preferred ebony, but find Richlite to be perfectly acceptable.

  26. #75

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    Jim Hall wore out the rosewood board on his 175, had Jimmy D'Aquisto replace it with ebony, and loved it.

  27. #76

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    Maple on fenders .. but not if the headstock is painted to match the body or on offsets


    On other guitars ebony is always good. Rosewood is just fine, tho I don't like very light rosewood on black/dark guitars.

    Hell .. I even like Richlite

    In other words .. whatever!

  28. #77

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    I prefer rosewood. I just like the feel of it and I dig the patina it gets from the oils in my fingers after playing it a while.

  29. #78

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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfie View Post
    I am building a Telecaster ® specifically to play Jazz. So far I have an Ash body that I would like to couple with a flamed maple neck with a possibly Pau Ferro fingerboard.

    My questions:

    1. What is the best wood for a solid body guitar intended for Jazz
    My thoughts: Mahogany Back with Black Korina on the front

    2. What is the best combination of wood for a neck that would go on a solid body for a guitar intended for Jazz?
    My thoughts: Flamed or Birds Eye Maple with a fingerboard made out of Pau Ferro or Rosewood

    Please advice.

    Thanks :-)
    I'm not a luthier, or expert, so take the following with a grain of salt.

    For a solid body Telecaster, alder might give you rounder highs than swamp ash, which seems to mute the higher frequencies a little bit. For jazz, you might even consider koa, which seems to give a little more vibrant mids, tighter lows, and mellow highs.

    For the neck I'd use roasted maple. Nice and hard and straight and stable, since all of the moisture is already gone.

    For the fretboard, maple is fine with me. Some people like the extra hardness and smoothness of ebony. Whatever looks good. I'd care more about the frets than the fretboard wood.

    In all cases, mahogany seems to give a little warmer sound if that's what you like. I wouldn't bother putting a top on a Telecaster body.

  30. #79

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    This is going to sound kind of contrary to what most people write, so I'll apologize in advance.

    I think I have fairly sensitive ears when it comes to the sound of my guitars. This being said, I have owned quite a few different Telecasters, Stratocasters, and even a 57 Esquire. I have had a mix of maple and rosewood fretboards. When I listen with my eyes, my impressions are similar to the consensus, i.e., maple is brighter/rosewood is warmer. When, however, I listen with my ears, my impressions are that you can't really _hear_ the differences between rosewood or maple fingerboards. Instead, body material, setup, strings, and picks make a much greater difference in the sound.

    My rosewood board Fenders can sound bright, snappy, and funky, and my maple board Fenders can sound warm, round, and jazzy.

  31. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfie View Post

    1. What is the best wood for a solid body guitar intended for Jazz
    My thoughts: Mahogany Back with Black Korina on the front

    2. What is the best combination of wood for a neck that would go on a solid body for a guitar intended for Jazz?
    My thoughts: Flamed or Birds Eye Maple with a fingerboard made out of Pau Ferro or Rosewood
    There is no best. It's all personal taste, and no good way to tell in advance what would sound best to you. I have an alder bodied partscaster with roasted maple neck, a spanish cedar body with RW fingerboard neck, and for a long time played a heavily chambered, swamp ash body tele with a spruce top, maple neck.

    For jazz sound, I'd probably go with that spanish cedar body. It's not far from light, old Honduran mahogany I think. Certainly lighter than most mahogany bodies I've seen. But note that I'm reacting as much to the 2 x P90s pickups in that guitar as I am to wood choice. I have no idea how that combination would sound with other single coil or HB pickups.
    MD

  32. #81

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    I have had guitars with a wide variety of fingerboards: olive, pau ferro, zircote, paduk, cocobolo, EIR, and ebony. I have never noticed a difference in sound that I can attribute to the fingerboard. If there is a difference, it must be so minute as to be overwhelmed by the other variables. To me it comes down to aesthetics and wear. There are beautiful woods that I just don't think would wear well enough. Perhaps I will try resin impregnating something like a quilted redwood or sapele some day for a fingerboard. For now I stick to only naturally tough woods. The ugliest was paduk, which starts off a dazzling red and ages into a dog poop brown. The olive actually smelled a bit like olive oil, so that was an unexpected bonus, and is a gorgeous light colored wood. Mostly I use EIR, as I got two dozen fingerboard blanks a few years back and am slowly working through them.

  33. #82

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    For tactile input I pay attention to radius and fret wire. Width too, and shape. The fret board material is the last of my preferences, but is almost inconsequencial to my feel.

    Someone mentioned cleaning their guitar and how they were irate that the Tech dared clean their fretboard. But if was a worn Fender maple board I certainly understand their consternation.

    Depending on the wood, some fretboards need to be oiled at least once a year with linseed oil, (which is what Gibson uses at the factory), or lemon oil as some people prescribe, or mineral oil (which is what string cleaners are usually made of). NEVER use silicone based products as silicon is a molecule that can never be removed successfully from your wood or deep down in the grains of your wood which is where it ends up. It's not healthy for the wood , some people believe it is and they use it
    I would rather have a product that actually lubricates rather than shields the wood from getting any lubrication whatsoever.

    Oiling is necessary but, before you oil your fretboard you should make sure that your finger dirt and residue is removed around the fret wire. Use wooden toothpicks and a light cleaner such as Simple Green, once the cleaning is accomplished remove all the simple green, let it dry natually and then oil.

    For general cleaning I use Naphtha, which is essentially lighter fluid. Some states do not allow naphtha sold however they do allow lighter fluid to be sold... Don't ask me why. Naptha is generally located in the paint section at home repair stores.

    Why do I use lighter fluid or naphtha to clean grease & grime and other residue off of my guitar, including the fretboard? Because naptha does not harm any finishes. I've seen demonstrations and you can find them on your own on YouTube. You can use naphtha on nitrocellulose, you can use naphtha on polyurethane, polyester, you can use naphtha on fine violin varnishes. Naphtha will not harm the finish, that is why luthiers and violin makers use naptha to clean instruments.

    If you have a polyurethane finished guitar you don't need to wax it... you're wasting money waxing polyurethane, but if you feel better about waxing your polyurethane finish guitar feel free. It has no protective value on top of the polyurethane.

    I do have a couple of maple fretboard guitars. However, if you need to refret the instrument Maple is very difficult to remove the frets without damaging the fretboard. Other woods such as Rosewood and other similar fretboard materials it is generally not the case but with Maple it is brittle and it will chip. Fixing the chips in maple requires wood fillers. With the cost of refretting a maple neck being what it is, and the real possibility of damage to the Maple and then the use of fillers to repair damage to a maple neck, it is almost worth it to just replace the neck all together. Which might be something to consider if you had a vintage instrument (i.e. Replace the neck with a new neck before the original neck is damaged saving the original neck for display or future sale of the original vintage instrument in its original condition).

    FYI, new maple necked Fenders usually have coated and sealed necks, the chemical used is polyurethane. Oiling a maple fretboards that is sealed with a poly does nothing for the wood. Only fretboards that are unfinished such as Rosewood (et al) benefit from a light coaster of rejuvenating and proper oils.

    I cannot stress enough to NOT use silicon based products to treat fretboards. Read the labels. Many "waxes" contain silicon.
    Last edited by geogio; 06-25-2019 at 08:12 AM. Reason: Syntax

  34. #83

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    Quote Originally Posted by docbop View Post
    funny story my old luthier did work for all the big names at one point or another. Clapton brought his famous Blakie strat to my luthier for a refret. My guy's standard mode of operation is to clean up the fretboard of guitars he refret's so he cleaned Blackie up. When Clapton comes to get Blackie he freaks no more dark spots on the neck. Clapton plays Blackie likes the fret job and hands him back the guitar.... Now get my black marks back on the neck, I worked hard for them. So my guy had to relic the dark spots back onto Blackie.
    The man to go for if you want black marks (scroll Down the page)

    Kelton Swade Guitars - Replica Guitars, Relic Guitars | Kelton Swade Guitars

  35. #84

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    Ebony for sure. It’s both the feel and the sound. The difference isn’t so notable that I would turn my nose up at rosewood but I definitely prefer ebony. I’ve never liked maple as much though, partly because I don’t like finish on the fretboard. I do like the sound of maple necks on bass guitar though and right now my only fretted electric is maple so I can deal with it.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  36. #85

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    My guitars include ebony, rosewood, maple and richlite fingerboards. I cannot identify any differences in sound that I can attribute exclusively to the fingerboard material. Aesthetically I prefer the dense grain of ebony on my 1978 Ibanez MC400N, and it feels more like a continuous piece that more loosely grained rosewood - although the dark, tight grained rosewood on my 1961 ES175 comes close to this feel, as does the richlite on my Martins.

  37. #86

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    The most comfortable necks I own are on my two Parker Niteflies. I am not sure what exactly they are made of but they are fast and easy to play on. Best of all, they don't need adjusting, which is miraculous living in New England. My Tele's neck needs lots of tweaking. The Niteflies necks stay perfect.

  38. #87
    I favored maple for a very long time, but some periods I preferred rosewood, now I just play There is no difference between the woods, from a tonal point of view.
    I am playing a solo over my buddys new song, King of Lego

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKUeMfR0hgc

  39. #88

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    Still no preferences nowadays
    Regards,

    Gary

  40. #89

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    Maple on Fender - ebony on everything else. Rosewood is a deal breaker for me - I think it looks cheap.

  41. #90

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    I bought the guitar new over 30 years ago and don't know the particular kind of rosewood on mine, but it is way darker than any other rosewood I've ever seen. During string changes I rub plain ChapStick on the fingerboard and then wipe it off.

    I've tried lots of things and have determined that oil based stuff is "too thin" - it tends to linger even after having been wiped off and it penetrates the finger tips and makes them soft (so the strings feel tighter and thinner, not good). ChapStick is more a type of inert wax that is "thicker", wipes virtually completely off, and what little lingers is so similar to the waxy oils in one's hands that it feels perfectly natural, does not penetrate the finger tips, and so does not make the strings feel tight or thin... it makes them feel good.
    "Bent my ear to hear the tune and closed my eyes to see."

  42. #91

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    ebony. any thoughts on the addition w/gibson using richlite?

  43. #92

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    Over the long run, Rosewood has won me over. There's a softness that I like.

  44. #93

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    Do we really touch the fretboard with our fingertips? No.
    Does the sound of the note come from the fretboard? No.
    I have played maple, rosewood and ebony.
    I don’t hear any difference through the amp.
    I do prefer maple and ebony to rosewood.

  45. #94

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rdg178 View Post
    Do we really touch the fretboard with our fingertips? No.
    Of course we do! The rosewood fingerboard of mine when sighted from the bridge reveals slight fingerboard scalloping between the frets up to and fading out about the 15th.

    Have you never seen a maple fingerboard rubbed to bare wood blackened from playing?
    Do you have a preference for fingerboard wood?-worn-jpg

    Quote Originally Posted by Rdg178 View Post
    Does the sound of the note come from the fretboard? No.
    Part of the sound of the note is its pitch, which is determined by string tension and sounding string length of the scale length, determined by the bridge and fingered fret.

    The shape of the fret surface determines how precise is the sounding string length and so pitch precision around it's center frequency. Worn, wider, flatter topped frets will have a more imprecise termination of string length at the fret surface and the resulting sound of the note will have a quality of slight pitch diffusion about its center frequency, which is a more complex warm tone quality, superior for Jazz.

    Another part of the sound comes from how quickly the various frequencies are damped from the string; part of this comes from finger proximity to the crown of the fret, part from the conduction damping of the fret, finger board, and neck.

    If you listen with a stethoscope and strum your guitar unplugged you will find that one of the loudest parts of the guitar is the head, the loudest part of the head being the tuning machines, the loudest parts of those being the keys themselves (would you have guessed that?), while the quietest in that area is the nut. People that invented clip-on tuners knew this... those that keep clip-on tuners clipped on while playing may not realize they are damping contribution to the string's attack, decay, sustain, release profile.
    "Bent my ear to hear the tune and closed my eyes to see."

  46. #95

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    Archtops: Ebony
    Semi/Solid body: Rosewood or Ebony
    Another favorite of mine for solid body guitars is Pau Ferro

  47. #96

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    If I check out the Guitar first ...then less important if it sounds and plays excellently.

    BUT - when ordering a Guitar - it seems like Ebony fingerboards are more even sounding all over the neck ...not a hint of dead spot.

    You guys ever notice this ?

    I always have liked Pau Ferro on any Guitar I have played (never owned a Pau Ferro fingerboard Guitar )with it - a little less friction than Rosewood.

    I also really liked the Fingerboard on a Joe Bonamassa Studio Les Paul - it was a little slicker than Rosewood- later learned it was Granadillo - really nice (now that Rosewood will be limited) substitute .

    I always felt too much friction from lacquered Maple 'Boards - roasted Maple should be nice if unlacquered- have not tried it yet.

    So I always preferred the Rosewood to lacquered Maple...

    With higher frets I can tolerate a lot of different fingerboards but generally Ebony , then the slightly slicker than Rosewood substitutes , then Rosewood etc.

    I use vibrato though less bending than before so I like a little slicker woods - with frets about .047 to .050 tall all woods can probably work for me ...
    Last edited by Robertkoa; 07-05-2019 at 09:51 AM.

  48. #97

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    Growing up, my aesthetic ideal for fretboard choice was created by the fact that the premium gibsons (Customs Les Pauls vs Standards) were always ebony.
    This poster was on my wall when I was 14 years old:
    Do you have a preference for fingerboard wood?-gibson-bb-king-1981-lucille-ad-jpg
    How could B.B. be wrong? - Also the older guys I knew who had the Les Paul Customs were quite convinced of their superiority.
    In the 1980s, I think the Kubiki ad transferred that same desire over to fenders. A ebony fretboard strat with violin like striping in a thick poly finish. Surely this must, like the ad said, "Feel so good"!:
    Do you have a preference for fingerboard wood?-kubicki-ad-jpg
    But actually I have never had an ebony board on any guitar, be it Gibson or Fender or PRS. Played plenty though ... and liked them. I also liked that they were so black with very little grain in evidence.

    I got a tele partscaster which had original Fender 50s maple neck and an original bridge pickup and everything else far from original. But that neck felt great. I kept it about 20 years.

    I don't remember it as being any brighter sounding than my rosewood board Fenders.

    I built a Telecaster in a course from scratch, shaving down the neck from a square piece of wood.

    While working on the frets I made a small error and scratched the maple fret board slightly. I cleaned it up so you couldn't feel it but you could see it ...forever. Conversely, the fellow working on the Precision bass with a rosewood board next to me did the same, wiped it with some lemon oil and it disappeared.

    It seemed that rosewood was a much more forgiving material to work with.

    It also didn't sound any brighter than my guitars with rosewood.

    I had that maple necked tele also for 20 odd years but although I didn't play it any more than the vintage tele I had, it didn't age as well and started to resemble PaulN's photo.
    Do you have a preference for fingerboard wood?-worn-jpg
    It not only looked awful (to my eye) but I could feel the coarseness of the worn maple.

    From then on I swore off maple boards and moved toward rosewood board strats as I assumed they sounded darker, fatter and I was happy.

    Then two years ago, I bought these cheap but solid CV Squiers for a Charlie Christian pickup project.
    Do you have a preference for fingerboard wood?-img_20180602_184034-jpg
    Holy smoke! The immediacy of the attack on this thing was disconcerting. I did not actually like it. I felt in the first few days I had to adjust my playing a bit to not inadvertently be getting side of the pick harmonics and what not.

    Then I put in the darker sounding pickups and I would say it is my best sounding instrument. Hyper responsive to stuff I am doing with my hands and notes just jump off it. I don't know if it is the maple board, though.

    Sometimes I think it might be the thick poly finish enclosing the neck. Sometimes I think it might be the brass barrel saddles or the pine body.

    Whatever it is, I have gotten used to having it and feel, once again that maple really has something going for it!

  49. #98

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    For those who don't really know, Ebony is often stained to look uniformly black. In fact you can buy the stain at online luthier supply sites. Ebony can even slightly resemble Rosewood with the unevenness of coloration.

    And some lower-cost Gibson models sport Maple fretboards stained black.

  50. #99

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    Rosewood is my favorite.
    Ebony is second.
    Maple, referring to the Fender design, is dead last.

    All that said, I'm not at all sure that I could tell them apart in a blindfold test. Maybe rosewood would seem more comfortable.

  51. #100

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    Clapton on why he preferred maple necked strats