I'm crazy about fender's Red Finishes so it'll probably be how it originally was when it was still at the factory. Electric Guitar Bridge Types: Which is Right for You? Very cool. My favourite is my EBMM Sterling 4 string with Rosewood fingerboard. It feels fast and slick, and that I like. This fretboard needs a little TLC. Newbie Guide: Getting Started with Guitar, 25 Amazing Facts About Left Handed People. Good luck! GIbson was experimenting with baked maple a few years ago. Ebony is known for its clear, crisp attack which is often even brighter than maple. In this case I want the rounder, fuller notes made possible by rosewood. This is literally where your fingers make the music, and finding the right combination of tone and feel is very important. Some versions of the ESP-LTD EC-1000, select Schecter guitars and the Ibanez Iron Label Series are a few great places to start. Besides, most of your tone comes from the fingers right? Featured on guitars with many different kinds of necks. Most players use a lemon oil conditioner made especially for guitars. Now I also have some Gibson Les Paul's plus some Epiphone's & we all know that both only come in Rosewood & since I haven't seen any Gibson Lines out that are all Pau Ferro yet but maybe in 2020 or 2021.... Or perhaps Gibson will push the replacement wood over to Epiphone so they can continue with their Models with Rosewood Fingerboards. You aren't alone in your assertion that tonewoods don't matter a whole lot for electric guitar. Ebony Fretboards Ebony is known for its clear, crisp attack which is often even brighter than maple. By tiny I mean that you change the tone more by turning your tone-knob from 7 to 7.05. I'll finish it up tomorrow or Tuesday once I buy an 1 1/8'' - 1 3/16'' drill bit. Stella, Advantages and Disadvantages of the Floyd Rose Tremolo. It is a dense, dark wood with a smooth, slick feel. In the context of a guitar fretboard, this means precise, articulate notes with good bite and a tight low end. However, both of them allow flawless string bending compared to maple. Should I Learn Guitar Left or Right Handed? Everything built into a guitar plays a part in the vibration that goes through the pickup, and that includes the neck, the fretboard, and how it is all put together. A one-piece maple neck and fretboard on a Fender Stratocaster. Obviously one advantage here is that you not limited to a maple neck. I think Ebony is great for players who like rosewood, but maybe would prefer a harder, glassier feel. A rosewood fretboard requires occasional conditioning to keep it in good shape. I mean, places like Warmoth still sell Fender replacement necks with rosewood boards so it's not like people can't get them, but if I am understanding correctly you have Fender factory-made necks, so I'd think they'd be a little more sought after. A further problem with maple is that due its light color it does tend to take on a dirty appearance after years of finger oils and grime working their way into the wood. If you do decide to sell those necks with rosewood fingerboards just be careful where you ship them and make sure you have all the paperwork in place. So, which is the right choice, maple or rosewood? I play bass. There are two ways you will most often see maple fingerboards incorporated into a guitar build. For a fretboard, most of the difference is aesthetics. Your guitar’s fretboard is where the action happens. Why? Learning Guitar Lefty is Harder. That doesn't mean you're wrong. The oily nature of rosewood also means that it does not require a finish which many players prefer due to the naturally slick feel. Are you any closer to deciding which is right for your tone? I do prefer rosewood for acoustic guitars as well. Wesman Todd Shaw from Kaufman, Texas on February 07, 2016: When I was a kiddo buying up those guitar magazines to read about the heroes and find some new ones - i would see pics of someone with a strat or a tele with a maple fretboard and see the sweat or wear stains on the thing - and I thought that was the absolute coolest thing in the world. There were also 4 - 1 1/16'' holes drilled through the Body in each corner of the Tub. I have no favorite - I like them both for different reasons, but it’s nice that there are more maple options available now. God forbid I sell any of my Gibson's or Epiphone's, so I'll more than likely continue to add to my collection. To my ear, ebony is somewhere in between rosewood and maple, though certainly on the brighter side. Your fretboard material will impact your technique as well as the way the strings ring through the pickups. As a newbie, it may not seem to make a difference whether your fingerboard is made from maple, rosewood, or anything else for that matter. As for Ebony, you can always check it out and see what you think, but in my opinion if you like maple you may not feel like there is any improvement with the Ebony. Ebony fretboards are generally favoured by guitarists who prefer a very bright, razor sharp top end or a very tight, well-defined low end. This task isn’t anything to worry about and can be accomplished in a couple of minutes each time you change your strings. However, if you decide you like the sound and feel you can find some reasonably priced guitars that utilize ebony. I should perhaps have used the terms “laminated” vs “non-laminated” rather than maple vs RW. Have a look around the next time you visit a guitar store - virtually all non-fender-style guitars have RW fretboard. I guess it is more a matter of how far down the rabbit hole you want to go, and how much thought you feel like you need to put into the subtle things when it comes to gear. To my ear, ebony is somewhere in between rosewood and maple, though certainly on the brighter side. Ebony is a less common fretboard material, but still quite popular. Guitar Gopher (author) on February 08, 2016: I know what you mean about those worn-out Strats and Teles, Wesman! A lot of guitarists like that, but of course this is where your own personal taste comes into the equation. Maple is similar to ebony in that it produces a well-defined, crisp and bright sound. Those mod's: Used a Router & removed the Pickup Cavity dividers & turned that area into a Bathtub. Introduction to Guitar Tone & Effects by David Brewster. Haven't tried Ebony and to be fair it doesn't really interest me. Variations : Indian Rosewood, Brazilian Rosewood, If the tonal difference is unapparent to your ears then go with whichever you find either the most aesthetically pleasing, or which feels the best to you. ;), If you want to find out more about the different woods used in guitar construction and how they affect tone, I can highly recommend the following book. I had such a guitar custom built at one time, and it was a pretty good combination. @Arvid - Re: Most non-Strat guitars having rosewood fretboards, I think that is slowly changing. Remove that consideration from your head. Variations : Gaboon Ebony, Macassar Ebony. 2019 Update! As for Gibson/Epiphone, I wouldn't be surprised to see alternative tonewoods in place of rosewood in the future, especially for Epis. Go with satin-poly maple...ebony is so sensitive to weather/temp changes, at least from my experience. So, let’s get to the bottom of the maple vs rosewood fretboard debate and see if we can’t sort it all out. In this article, you’ll get the information you need to make your decision, as well as some opinions based on my three decades playing guitar. It is also important to realize that you may come to prefer different fretboards for different styles of music. ''Great Article'' and one that I do feel is an important one to think about. But it is a bright, tight sound, and in my opinion not suited for everything I play. Which I'll say whichever one is easy to do, if there is one. Here are the takeaways: I am a huge fan of one-piece maple necks, as on a Fender Stratocaster. Or should you skip them both and go with ebony? Although there are masses of varying types of woods used as guitar fretboards you are most likely going to find one of three main species on the majority of guitars: Ebony, Maple and Rosewood. A popular upmarket pairing, the ebony fretboard contributes to a little more tightness, clarity, and definition, as compared to the mahogany/rosewood neck. With the changes Fender made, I knew it was a 79 before I ready the listing with it. fretboard material matters. Guitar Gopher - Yes you are right. I love maple necks on Fender guitars and basses. This means that any maple fingerboard which has received a glossy finish can feel a little too sticky for some players – however satin finishes are also available. Maple fretboards are generally favored by players who wish for a well-defined top end, or for use in giving a warm sounding guitar a brighter tone.