#1
Can we talk about neck and fingerboard woods for a bit?

I have 2 guitars with necks of Maple and Rosewood fingerboards, and I am used to how this sounds and feels. When I look around, this seems to be a fairly common configuration. I play a lot of heavy metal in standard tunings (and odd tunings that are close to this range) with lots of gain/distortion. I probably shred faster than your dad did when he was in college. Sustain and action are the most important qualities to me. If money was no object, I would choose the "best" woods, and my guitar would probably cost around $1,500. My budget, however, is set much lower than that, so I am trying to prioritize features. I just don't want to be kicking myself later because I cut the wrong corners.

What kind of significance is the wood in the fingerboard? How does the Walnut/Maple neck on the Ibanez RGT42MDX (I am thinking about buying it) differ from the Maple/Rosewood configuration that my guitars have? Why is the Ebony fingerboard so coveted, and how badly do I really need it?

What are your favorite woods? Mention your playing style. What about them do you like?
- Flavenka Zdravko
Last edited by uhcafigdc at Sep 5, 2009,
#2
i think the neck wood is more important than the fingerboard wood, myself. your hand is always touching the neck, while the only thing really touching the fingerboard would be the strings. i really like the feel of a rosewood fingerboard, but it needs occasional maintenance. an ebony board, in my experience, is a little bit more raw and dry. i prefer the feel of ebony, and i dislike maple all together. love the way it looks, but not a fan of the feel or how dirty it can get.

if you're really interested in building yourself a custom guitar with the right neck and fingerboard check out carvin or warmoth. they'll get you exactly what you need, along with a guitar body to match.
Warmoth Telecaster Deluxe. Warmoth Strat. Seagull Artist Portrait Acoustic.

"Well good God damn and other such phrases, I haven't heard a beat like this in ages!"
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#3
I play some jazz and blues. Most acoustics have dark fingerboards. Usually lighter colored woods are seen on bolt-on necks. I'm sorry if I seem like I don't know what I'm talking about, but I'm guessing that the darker woods produce a thicker tone, where as the lighter woods have a brighter sound. This of course probably doesn't have too much effect on the sound, but is a small factor. Most of the time, it's your preference (feel, speed, look).
#4
^ kind of true. for the most part lighter colored woods produce brighter sounds (maple, ash, canary) while darker woods would be bassier and deeper (rosewood, mahogany)

i've noticed that too.

FOR THE MOST PART. there are definitely exceptions.
Warmoth Telecaster Deluxe. Warmoth Strat. Seagull Artist Portrait Acoustic.

"Well good God damn and other such phrases, I haven't heard a beat like this in ages!"
-Dan Le Sac Vs The Scroobius Pip
#5
I did my work experience in a music shop and got to play a massive variety of guitars when I was cleaning them. The nicest guitar was Blackie which had the best neck I ever felt, I was most impressed with the Fender C shape, maple necks. They were my favourite, then the Musicman guitars. The wizard II necks on the Ibanez were good but the Fender ones stood out to me.

The wood on the neck is more or less just down to feel, if you like the feel then go with it.
Manchester United
#6
Quote by ZonedOut245
I play some jazz and blues. Most acoustics have dark fingerboards. Usually lighter colored woods are seen on bolt-on necks. I'm sorry if I seem like I don't know what I'm talking about, but I'm guessing that the darker woods produce a thicker tone, where as the lighter woods have a brighter sound. This of course probably doesn't have too much effect on the sound, but is a small factor. Most of the time, it's your preference (feel, speed, look).



its not the color, but the density of the wood that affects its tone. Ebony is a harder wood than rosewood and should produce a brighter sound, even though it is a darker wood.

I've noticed very little tonal change from fretboard woods, because thats really a small part of the guitar. I prefer the look of ebony, It aslo has a slicker feel to it, but i really cant notice a difference when playing. and on guitars with big block inlays (which seems to be alot with ebony boards), you're only touching wood on about half of the frets anyway.
#7
Quote by LifeIsABullet16
if you're really interested in building yourself a custom guitar with the right neck and fingerboard check out carvin or warmoth. they'll get you exactly what you need, along with a guitar body to match.


I would love to buy a kit from Warmoth. I put together 2 or 3 guitars on their website, just for fun. They are a little expensive for me, though.
- Flavenka Zdravko
#8
I compared my Flying V to the current models. Mine has an Ebony board and the current ones have rosewood. Besides the difference in feel (ebony feels smoother) you can hear a difference in tone: the ebony gives it a little more bite and balls when palm muting
Endorsed by Dean Guitars 07-10
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[thread="1166208"]Gibsons Historic Designs[/thread]
#10
The Warmoth neck/fretboard wood explanation page - everything you need to know regarding neck/fretboard wood species.

In terms of what's actually right for you, you can roughly guess it based on what you read, but really the only way to tell if you'll like any given neck or wood combination is to play a guitar with it.

As far as how the neck effects tone and sustain, it effects it a lot, arguably more than body wood or any other part of the guitar itself. The way it effects your tone depends a lot though on the construction of the guitar (good bolt-on, set neck, neck-through, bad bolt-on, badly made neck-through, and so on). The worse the neck join is, the less the neck wood effects your tone and sustain.
Truss rod construction and installation also effects sustain a lot, and effects tone marginally.
Yes, I know everything. No, I can't play worth a damn.
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