Earlier this year, Fender teamed up with Guitar Center to make a special run of 350 American Professional guitars with a feature that would make them stand out from the rest – ebony fingerboards.. And for years, Fender has applied ebony fingerboards to the popular Jim Root Jazzmaster, Stratocaster and Telecaster.. Here for an excellent video on specific instructions for cleaning a rosewood fretboard. There are typically two species of maple used in creating maple fretboards: hard maple and silver maple. In any case the choice of wood for the fretboard and bridge doesn't make or break the tone of a steel string guitar. Copyright © 2020 Dawsons Music & Sound Ltd. All rights reserved. This aside, there are certain tonal qualities that all guitarists can agree on. Ebony has been a popular fretboard tone wood choice for years. Add to compare. 3.3. Add to cart. Milling pieces of wood with swirling or wavy grain tends to cause “tearout”, a phenomenon where the blades of woodworking tools grab the fibers of the wood and literally tear the wood apart. Maple is an extremely dense hardwood that is found in the northern United States and Canada. – Endangered species and some companies violate restrictions to purchase illegal ebony. Daedelusmusic.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. For this reason, they are often called “tonewoods”. Yes, fretboard wood CAN make a difference, but it’s mainly the tonewoods in the body and neck that dictate the tonal qualities, so it’s best to choose the guitar that feels right in your hands. In 2011, the Gibson Guitar Corporation in Nashville was raided by the U.S. Justice Department for being in possession of a considerable number of African ebony fretboard blanks from Madagascar in violation of trade laws. This is primarily due to their warm, rich tones and the ability to level out the high-end harshness. There is perhaps no wood more prized for its beauty and utility in fretboard construction than ebony. Dear all, so I do read often about the difference between the old Wenge necked Thumb vs the newer Ovangkol necked Thumb, but I find very little info here or elsewhere on the internet about the Ebony fretboard of the Thumb (I think Warwick introduced this around 2003) vs the older Wenge fretboard. An Ebony fretboard feels silky smooth due to it's tight grain structure and lack of pores. When I play my BC Rich with a rosewood fingerboard, I’m a little looser and can press down harder. They’re also very durable, important for musicians in it for the long haul. There is no right answer or claim that one wood type is “better” than the other. Reactions: hippieboy. Blues musicians and other guitarists who employ a lot of string bending such as Joe Bonamassa, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Steve Vai all tend to prefer rosewood fretboards. It can also be found on a wide range of acoustic guitars owing to its porous qualities. It’s also advisable to put appropriate fretboard conditioners to the ebony fretboard sometimes. The most common types of ebony … Brazilian Rosewood however, is extremely rare owing to the fact it is now banned from being exported unless it was harvested before the CITES treaty or fell naturally. I own a Taylor 414 and a 410, both in ovangkol, and like them a lot. ELECTRONICS Fishman Flex Blend. If not, Pictured below is the Fender American Elite Strat Shawbucker in olympic white with rosewood fretboard. Due to the fact that ebony is a very slow growing tree, taking decades to reach full maturity it is not high on the sustainability index. Ebony is a fantastic fretboard wood choice but it definitely requires more maintenance than rosewood or maple. My current collection includes two guitars with rosewood fretboards and one with a maple fretboard, and I don’t have a favorite based on that criteria. Maple, as pictured here on the Fender American Elite Telecaster, is a lighter coloured wood with smaller pores and a thinner grain lines, and can often be described as having a “flamed” or “birdseye” appearance. The key difference, aside from the look, between maple and rosewood fretboards is that the whole piece of maple makes up the neck as well as the fretboard, whereas a rosewood fretboard is usually glued on to another piece of wood to make up the neck. Once solid body electrics came into being, the need for using tonewood ceased to be an issue as electro-magnetic pickups and electronics now fulfill the function that once belonged to the soundbox. star_border star_border star_border star_border star_border. Over the years, a wide variety of wood types have been employed by guitar builders for both utilitarian and design reasons. Other types of more exotic wood might use only some of the products listed. Like everything when it comes to ebony fretboard care, there is debate on how often you should condition. It also offers a visually appealing option in the long run as the more you use the guitar, the more it will begin to look like a rock and roll relic. Id never noticed that wood before so I looked it up. Depending on the species, that basic color can range from very dark, almost black, to deep mahogany red or espresso brown. Search . Again, many players will simply just choose a maple neck due to the fact they prefer how it looks, but luthiers and players alike will still say that a maple neck, with its lacquered finish, will offer a different tone with a more reflective sound. Due to the very tight grains in the wood, ebony does not require a finish and this gives the fingerboard a very slick, fast playing quality which many players favor. Extremely sharp tools are required to work with unusual grain patterns and mass production does not lend itself to such precise tool maintenance requirements. – Brazilian rosewood is at the brink of extinction. NECK: Ovangkol/Ebony/Mahogany FRETBOARD: Ebony SCALE LENGTH: 27″ BRIDGE: Hipshot fixed TUNER: Hipshot grip lock PICKUPS: Seymour Duncan Sentient/Nazgul FRETS: Stainless steel CONTROLS: 1Vol/1Tone/3Way Switch I use rosewood on the Musicmans (except my ebony neck family reserve), and ebony on all of my Laklands. I'm an owned of a Warwick Streamer Pro-M and it either has a Wenge or Ovangkol fretboard. Maple is one of most popular types of wood for fretboards. Silver maple is more plentiful and less expensive as well as being easier to work. Rosewood has been used in stringed instruments for centuries, not only as a fretboard wood, but also as the sides and backs of violins, mandolins and lutes. Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 Next > MatthewJH. Sounds like cedar would work well for the OP's style. The information can be always found on the product. I. t does pay to apply an acid free oil such as MusicNomad F-One oil or Minwax Tung oil every couple of months. Ken Unfortunately, it’s this very beauty and durability is what has driven up demand for the wood and driven ebony trees to the brink of extinction. Like with a finished maple fretboard, you should wipe it down with a dry cloth every few hours, but every month or two you should give it a good cleaning using 0000 steel wool to remove the “gunk”. Ebony Fretboard. Honduran rosewood is also becoming more endangered, but does not yet face the same restrictions on trade as the Brazilian rosewood does. Normal maintenance for a finished maple neck entails nothing more than wiping it down with dry cloth every few hours of play. Messages 1,412. The fretboard wood, for example, can certainly make a difference to the of tone of an instrument, and some woods can suit certain players and styles more than others. In fact, a lot of guitarists may even say that Ebony and Rosewood fretboards look the same – I can hear fretboard boffins crying out in outrage already! Most of the images displayed are of unknown origin. A well-played maple neck will eventually show serious signs of wear, wearing down the finish and absorbing dirt into the wood. The stings tend to have more “bite”, theoretically giving a player more control, particularly when bending strings. THE VERDICT: If you want a brighter sounding guitar with a 'zingier' high end, maple may be for you. Additionally, Daedelusmusic.com participates in various other affiliate programs, and we sometimes get a commission through purchases made through our links. Players will not feel like the fretboard is “sticky” where they might with a maple fretboard so playing the guitar is a smooth experience. Front Back. Rosewood is also a more porous wood compared to the likes of Ebony and Maple so therefore offers a warmer, softer sound. Odor: Ovangkol is reported to have a strong unpleasant odor when wet, which disappears once the wood has dried. Ebony Fretboards. As a result, many fretboards made of Honduran rosewood are stained darker to more closely resemble Brazilian rosewood. Due to the woods natural durability and oily nature, the procedure for maintaining an ebony fretboard is actually very simple. I have an Baton Rogue Ar11/Gace guitar that has an mahogany neck and ovangkol fretboard ,can I safely use the 65 dunlop lemon oil? It’s easy to see from the images below the distinctive color or ebony as opposed to rosewood. There are two varieties used in fretboard construction; African and Asian. If you live in a very low humidity environment and you don’t have good humidity control going on then you might need to condition more often. Rosewood is used extensively in Gibson, Ibanez and Paul Reed Smith guitars to name just a few. – Popular use for various stringed instruments. All wallpapers and backgrounds found here are believed to be in the “public domain”. As a consequence, it is rare to find any mass produced guitars of recent manufacture using Brazilian rosewood. Out of the three fretboard woods, maple is often described as having a tighter top end. There are three commonly used types of wood amongst guitar manufacturers for fretboards: Maple, Rosewood and Ebony. We do not intend to infringe any legitimate intellectual right, artistic rights or copyright. For example, when I play my Stratocaster, which has a maple fingerboard, I may subconsciously use a lighter touch because when I bend a string it will have a tendency to slip more and bend more than I want it to, so it’s more of a control thing. – Gives a bight and shaky, snappy metal sound, but it can crack with the weather if not maintained with guitar oil and maintenance. However, again we’re talking about years of play before any signs start to show. Within each type (or genus) of wood are different species which may be used based on a number of criteria, which may include availability, price, workability and/or popularity amongst players. There is perhaps no wood more prized for its beauty and utility in fretboard construction than ebony. Used for making acoustic guitars owing to its porous qualities fast to sticky and slow a certain guitar an... 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