I've been looking for a new neck an I'm considering rosewood, but I've been trying to figure out what exactly makes some of these rosewood fretboards look so dark... almost like a soft ebony in some cases. The rosewood on new strats looks almost light brown. Now if most rosewoods start out like that what tints them? Natural oils from our hands? Heavy use of lemon oil? I've come across some that look very dark and seem to have a oily/tar appearance. What could that be? I'm sure this is an obvious answer to most but I can't figure it out
Have you seen any that started off light and goes dark?

I think what you are looking at is just different cuts of rosewood, some is dark, some light.

Oils from your fingers tend to just produce gunk on the surface.

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There are different shades of rosewood. If you go into a shop and look at 10 different strats, they will most likely all have slightly different looks. The body color also helps make the neck look lighter/darker depending.
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I dont know much about the making of fretboards. But different woods can be different colors. Rosewood is a darker wood but not as dark as say walnut which is all dark. The Fretboard could be stained as well which would give it a darker color.
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Surely it depends on how their treated at the factory or when there first cut?
rosewood is brown by default, but how light or dark brown depends on the piece. Lighter pieces can be darkened significantly by lemon oil, but dark rosewood can't be made lighter in color.
Most of the color depends on the cut/breed, but lemon oil will exagerate that color even more. When I was building my guitar, the fingerboard was light in some areas, while some parts were really dark. When I put the lemon oil on it for the first time, it all stayed about the same color, but got much more vibrant.
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if you use a dark stain, it will grow darker.
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i highly doubt oil in our hands does anythin coz... ya just... dont really ever touch the fingerboard?... you touch the string, the string... never touches the wood? <<
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i highly doubt oil in our hands does anythin coz... ya just... dont really ever touch the fingerboard?... you touch the string, the string... never touches the wood? <<

the string may rarely touch the wood, but your fingers usually still touch it
Thanks for all the responses! I rly wish I had a good picture of the wood I'm referring to. So, it seems that this rosewood was a dark cut to begin with and had possibly years of lemon oil further darkening it. Is fretboard staining common? It sounds like something I may want to use with my maple fretboard to make it not so bright looking. Btw, lemon oil is only used on unfinished woods right? Not on maple for example.
When I first got my squier affinity, the fretboard was already so dark that it looked like cocobolo. I've had it for 5 years and play it foir hours a day, usually, and i don't think it has gotten any darker.

I have a pic in my profile from where it was brand new and one I took about a month ago. You be the judge.