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Author Topic: Rosewood vs Ebony fretboard  (Read 10706 times)
lw216316
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« on: March 15, 2010, 12:28:22 PM »

What information can you share, or opinions or experience of
ROSEWOOD  versus   EBONY   as a fretboard wood ?

...especially as it relates to TONE.

- Larry
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Dotneck
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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2010, 02:16:54 PM »

I don't believe fretboard material effects tone much, if at all...but I like the look and feel of ebony much moreso than rosewood. Plus I believe it won't wear out as quickly...
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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2010, 02:31:10 PM »

I don't believe fretboard material effects tone much, if at all...but I like the look and feel of ebony much moreso than rosewood. Plus I believe it won't wear out as quickly...
+1, though RW looks nice on my Seagull
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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2010, 02:33:41 PM »

I don't believe fretboard material effects tone much, if at all...but I like the look and feel of ebony much more so than rosewood. Plus I believe it won't wear out as quickly...

+1 I think fret board or neck vibration relates more to electric guitars than acoustics, and as far wear goes I don't think I will live long enough, or my kids, to wear out a piece of wood, groove it maybe & rosewood will likely soil more quickly and look worn due to that so I too prefer ebony. Plus as Dotneck mentioned, it feels soooo good.







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ducktrapper
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« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2010, 03:49:09 PM »

I love ebony. I wish my RS-4 had an ebony fretboard like my LT-1.
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JOYCEfromNS
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« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2010, 04:34:35 PM »

Personally I prefer a Maple - more snap - just me tho

Agree with little difference in tone of RW & EB. And I'm with Duck on the RS4 sure wish it had an EB option or a Maple Fretboard option.

Tho for looks only I'd take Braz RW  drool
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« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2010, 08:18:04 PM »

I know a lot of people will think otherwise, but...  as the fretboard doesn't really resonate, and where the string contacts the fretboard is behind the fret, I'd be inclined to think that the material doesn't matter in terms of tone. 

Maybe if you bend a lot of notes [scraping the fretboard] or play with a gorilla grip, durability might come into play, but I don't think there's a huge durability difference between RW and ebony.

Braz RW fretboard??  Anyone have an example of that? 
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Danny
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« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2010, 10:07:42 PM »

What information can you share, or opinions or experience of
ROSEWOOD  versus   EBONY   as a fretboard wood ?

...especially as it relates to TONE.

- Larry
Ebony is harder and rosewood is softer. So RW will get divots quicker. I don't see any difference in tone.
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frankhond
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« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2010, 12:43:46 PM »

Many RW fretboards are lacquered, which squeaks when I fret the notes. So ebony for me.
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Zohn
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« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2010, 03:20:14 PM »

I had my Rosewood board ebonised... 
Serious though, I read rosewood gives better tone from an article somewhere on this forum in a comparison between an OM-21 and an OM-21 Special. How does one quantify that though, and "better" in what way? - I don't know.
I do know that ebony has a finer grain, is denser and harder, resulting in the frets being more stable in position on an ebony fretboard. It is also more resistant to wear which I can testify. My Takamine's rosewood fretboard has some divots between the strings in the first three fret-positions.
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Danny
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« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2010, 03:32:25 PM »

  My standard OM-21 is rosewood. I also have at least one brazzilian RW fretboard. And have owned a lot of guitars with RW fretboards, but none were ever lacquered. Maybe that's what they do in electrics.
  Ebony is fine, but I do like the looks of RW better. Except I gotta say the "cheap" ebony used on my F-III with all the figuring has made me more fond of ebony.

   I know these woods do effect tone somewhat. Maple necks do as well. But on an acoustic a RW or ebony board does not seem to make much difference in sound. Martin even uses some kind of plastic now, I don't care for it, but I doubt it effects the tone much. Micarta has been a fine saddle and nut material used by Martin for a long time. It is as good a bone to my ears. Tusq is a a little duller to me.

              Sorry I drifted into saddle material territory. blush
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Zohn
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« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2010, 05:36:09 AM »

 Except I gotta say the "cheap" ebony used on my F-III with all the figuring has made me more fond of ebony.

 

"Cheap" in what way? If it is striped, then it is natural. "Evenly pitch-black" ebony boards are dyed black.  mad I would prefer my ebony fret boards with the natural stripes.
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« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2010, 02:27:40 PM »

"Cheap" in what way? If it is striped, then it is natural. "Evenly pitch-black" ebony boards are dyed black.  mad I would prefer my ebony fret boards with the natural stripes.

Actually afaik there is black (not dyed) ebony - it's just different trees and different parts of trees. The black parts are more in demand which makes them more expensive. But this doesnt make the striped ebony lesser quality, it's just market economy.
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Danny
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« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2010, 02:58:00 PM »

"Cheap" in what way? If it is striped, then it is natural. "Evenly pitch-black" ebony boards are dyed black.  mad I would prefer my ebony fret boards with the natural stripes.
Actually afaik there is black (not dyed) ebony - it's just different trees and different parts of trees. The black parts are more in demand which makes them more expensive. But this doesnt make the striped ebony lesser quality, it's just market economy.
          The "   " and the wink are a referance to a post before mine about "cheap" ebony has stripes or something like that. I just didn't quote the exact post.

           To be perfectly clear I really like my F-III finger board and would not want any other one on it. If you see it you can tell it looks like artwork, like a clear night sky where you see the milky way and the moon etc. I liked it immediately when I first saw it.
           Just like the figuring in the mahogany. Perfectly matched on the back to look like one piece and the figuring looks like rivers running across the back. Very unique.

      So don't get me wrong guys, just my sarcastic way of saying the opposite.
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« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2010, 02:59:34 PM »

Yep different types out there. I answered another thread here  about headplate veneers because my headplate showed up almost invisible black (mahogany color) in a picture under stage lighting & after doing a little homework I came up with an answer for those reddish streaks mixed with grays seen on some of the fret boards. Must have been the lights hitting the headplated just right to have the black disappear and the mahogany shade appear, but I thought it may have just been a stain they applied, not, just the reds in the woods reacting to the reds in the lights. I have not confirmed this with Larrivee but an educated guess.

 "Macasar Ebony:
(Diospyros celebica)

This ebony is a less consistent black with reddish or reddish brown and grey streaks, fine texture and a straight to wavy grain.Can have a real dramatic contrasting grain colour."
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Michael T
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« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2010, 03:05:15 PM »

Heres the disappearing black headplate:


[attachment deleted by admin]
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« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2010, 08:47:32 PM »

I'll add to the pro Ebony group.  Like the feel, look, and it is supposed to be more durable.
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« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2010, 11:45:50 PM »

+1, though RW looks nice on my Seagull

Agreed - Rosewood is softer and more prone to discolouration.  Or so it's been said.
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« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2010, 05:31:00 AM »

agreed.  I'm a fan of the rose!!  bigrin
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« Reply #19 on: May 05, 2010, 03:40:50 AM »

 +1  for ebony. I like the feel of it better for some reason I can't 'splain.
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