#1
Hey guys as some might know I'm considering buying a Carvin custom shop pretty soon but I'm wondering what's the difference between Ebony or Maple fretboards?

I already tried both but I mean is there a sound difference or?

I'm playing in a metal band so I like my sound to have a good low end but I play mainly any genre otherwise.

So what are the differences? And is maple birdseye just a question of look?

Thanks in advance!


TarZz
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#2
Some people say that while rosewood is the darkest, ebony is the lightest. Others say they can't hear the difference.

Some people say they play better with ebony, maple, rosewood, etc. Some say it's the same.

Some just like the looks of them.

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#3
I know I'm gonna get screamed at, but I have serious doubts about the amount of difference fingerboard material makes to the sound of an electric instrument. For my money it comes down to what you want it to look like and how much you want to spend.
#5
Many guitarists and Pros say that fingerboard does affect the sound of the guitar. However, I have talked to many luthiers and about 95% of them say it's all a myth. I agree on the level of electric guitars. I do think it will affect the sound on acoustic. If you look at almost every high-end acoustic guitars, most of them have an ebony fingerboard biggest it is the strongest of the three (that's what I heard and read) but it is also the hardest to maintain. Ebony reguires more care and lemon oiling than rosewood and maple.
So to add up, I think it basically comes down to the feel of the fingerboard on your fingertips, the caring of it, and lastly, the looks
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#6
Rosewood will have the warmest tone. Maple is significantly brighter, and Ebony is the brightest.

What you should focus on is what fretboard wood to get with the wood choices you've already made on the Carvin.
#7
Ebony or Rosewood. The sound isn't much different. There is a small weight difference. Ebony and Rosewood are considered more valuable than Maple and in general have a more interesting grain and finish beautifully.
#8
If I could choose what kind of fingerboard my guitars have I would choose Ebony. Rosewood isn't bad but I prefer the look of Ebony it seems more consistent.

I really think a maple fret board looks like sh*t, it make a guitar look cheap and cheesy. I hear a maple fretboard does have an effect on the sound but I can't really tell. Almost all the guitars I have tried with maple fretboards were Strats or Teles and I hate the sound of those as a whole. I did try one of the new Gibson Raw guitars recently and I thought it was a piece of crap both in looks and sound I don't know how much the maple fretboard played in the sound because the body is not mahogany but I hated the sound it produced.

John
#9
I used to use rosewood fretboards, but after playing on ebony it's just not the same. Ebony has a more uniform color than rosewood, and is really close-grained. I can't hear a difference between the 2, but as far as feel goes ebony ftw.
#11
I personally have a guitar with rosewood and one with ebony. I personally cant notice a difference but thats most likely because the guitar with rosewood has actives and the ebony has passives, so they are opposite guitars anyways.

I will tell you that I prefer the look and feel of the ebony though. thats my choice for fretboards from now on.
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#13
There really is not a difference at least to the human ear. I have owned guitars with all woods mentioned and really nothing noticeable except in price, Ebony is from a bush in Africa and is very expensive, while maple is almost everywhere (at least in the US lol) and cheap, both are smooth with a very tight grain patterns and consistent color. Rose wood is more pouris and has wider grain and color consistency can vary a lot and is priced between ebony and maple but the plus side is when oiled it looks beautiful. Over all to me it depends on the guitar color and inlays, like my Razorback V , ESP m-107 has rosewood and looks great with the all black body, where my Loomis C7FR with its maple fretboard looks killer with the vampire trans, red body. My old Jackson looked very nice with the ebony fretboard white body and shark tooth inlays. for the most part it depends on looks, there is a slight playability difference with maple/ebony being smoother vs rosewood but if the rosewood is well oiled and clean then there is not a lot of difference hardly noticeable.

I think Pros tend to use ebony or maple due to the fact they play their guitars every night under those hot lights, the build up of grime/finger oils, acids from hands could build up faster on a rosewood fretboard as it fills up the grain which in turn makes a stickier fretboard alot quicker than a maple or ebony, being the grain is so tight that it is a lot easier to keep the wood clean and smooth.
#14
Ebony and maple are both pretty bright woods, but I wouldn't worry about the fretboard wood affecting the sound too much. Birdseye maple just looks awesome, yes. A lot of people choose fretboard woods solely on looks, especially if you get jumbo frets. My personal favorite is ebony, by far. Just love the look and feel.
#15
Well pretty different opinions as I can see XD
Thanks a lot though!
Guitars: Carvin Dc127
Amps: Peavey 6505+ head
Marshall 1960A cab
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#16
I'm a maple fan. I like rosewood and ebony as far as looks, but maple just feels right to me and I also personally think it looks best on strat or tele shapes. There is a slight difference in sound, not that noticeable, but I have heard the difference in Fender guitars, but not that noticeable to matter.

I also personally think maple looks more elegant of the 3 mainly used. Not the solid plain looking maple, but Flame, Quilt, Birdseye, and Curly maple look just amazing. There are a few PRS customs that use curly maple, and you can see the flame-like look on them. My EJ strat has a flamed maple neck, and you can see the flame on the back of the neck and on the front.

It's just a preference, maple is generally easier to take care of. All you do is wipe it down with a damp cloth, but it also shows dirt more than other fingerboards. They do not affect how fast you play or anything of the sort, the only part of a fingerboard that really affects playability is the fret size, radius, and possibly the number of frets (If you have a need for 24 frets, a 21 fret strat will not work for you too well).
#17
Maple will hold together, meaning it won't become a broken in fret board.
Ebony and rosewood after years of playing will become broken in on your most used frets.
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#19
I love playing on maple fretboards and love how they look when aged. maple fretboards feel so smooth on my fender. It just says "bend the strings about 3 steps, please?"

but I also love rosewood boards too. I got that on my Schecter and everything seems to play so much warmer. it says "make that riff scream, please?"

I'm kind of partial with ebony only because I've only had the opportunity to play on an ebony board once, so I cant really share my thoughts about it.
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#21
Quote by Waylanderau
I know I'm gonna get screamed at, but I have serious doubts about the amount of difference fingerboard material makes to the sound of an electric instrument. For my money it comes down to what you want it to look like and how much you want to spend.


This, for me as well at least.
#22
Maple and Ebony boards DEFINATELY add brightness and snap to the tone of a guitar. I love both, but prefer maple.
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#23
Playability: Just how often do your fingers touch the fretboard instead of the strings?
Sound: Because the frets transfer the string resonance into the fretboard and thence to the neck it SHOULD make a bit of difference. Bur the combination of woods in the fretboard, neck and body is what matters. Ebony makes a LP or SG sound much brighter than Rosewood.
Durability: Nothing will last like Ebony.
Maintenance: Being so hard and close-grained, only a regular wipe should be needed on Ebony.
Looks: Good Ebony is uniformly dark and should have almost no visible grain.
The scarcity of really good Ebony is forcing guitar makers to use timbers that would have been rejected 40 years ago, They are still good but may have less than perfect uniform colour and may show a bit of grain.

On a personal note, all my best guitars have had Ebony boards so I am quite biased. My next guitar will have very low profile frets and that is where Ebony really pays off.
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