fretboard materials

Discussion in 'Gear' started by johnniegoat, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. Strigidae

    Strigidae I like owls.

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    Not even remotely the same thing. Tires are essential to the performance of a car and in a racing situation they can literally shave seconds off a lap time. Using a car analogy, saying fretboard wood doesn't affect tone is more similar to saying your car won't go faster with a leather interior.
     
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  2. Lone Star

    Lone Star www.screlics.co.uk

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    Density of wood affects vibration. Vibration is crucial to how a guitar sounds. Rosewood and Maple are very different. They do sound different. It may only be a small difference, but they do differ.
     
  3. johnniegoat

    johnniegoat Stop, don’t, come back.

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    my main thing is about the position markers

    on those wylde audio guitars they are effectively 1/2 the fretboard

    if there is an effect of the wood/material on the fretboard, this is one place where CG are definitely doing a good job
     
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  4. Strigidae

    Strigidae I like owls.

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    There's also the Gibson/Epiphone Snow Falcon where the entire fretboard is (essentially) plastic.
    In a fantasy world where the fretboard actually affected tone noticeably my take on the position markers are that even the large ones only shaves off a small bit of the surface where they sit (a mm, maybe less). The fretboard itself is still one large piece.
     
  5. Lone Star

    Lone Star www.screlics.co.uk

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    I like the split trapezoid inlays on the Epiphone Semis.
     
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  6. johnniegoat

    johnniegoat Stop, don’t, come back.

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    i like all inlays. i like guitars

    but i still have questions

    like

    if a tele has a maple neck/ fingerboard, and its covered in laquer, does it matter what the board is made out of?

    because i like maple fingerboard teles
     
  7. AngusWolfe

    AngusWolfe Likes red things.

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    yes, in theory, because the frets are imbedded under the laquer.
     
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  8. johnniegoat

    johnniegoat Stop, don’t, come back.

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    @AngusWolfe

    so it would not matter if it was salami or cardboard or the chuckle brothers under the laquer? as long as the note is fretted, it will sound the same>?
     
  9. Lone Star

    Lone Star www.screlics.co.uk

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    Lacquer or Urethane? Urethane is plastic, lacquer is about 10% of the thickness of poly
     
  10. johnniegoat

    johnniegoat Stop, don’t, come back.

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    @Lone Star

    now that is interesting

    i watched a crimson guitars thing on YT recently and the bloke said that you can apply ploy as thinly as nitro. its just easier to slap a load on

    i took very rough sand paper to the neck of my old pink tele. both sides. its raw wood and badly scratched on the fretboard. plays like a dream though
     
  11. Lone Star

    Lone Star www.screlics.co.uk

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    Ah, but to counter that; nitro will continue to contract as is gasses off over the decades. Poly wont.
     
  12. johnniegoat

    johnniegoat Stop, don’t, come back.

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    @Lone Star

    i don't know the science of it, so i bow to your knowledge :)

    but again. will that make a significant difference to the tone? or is it that people play better knowing their guitar is "right"?
     
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  13. Lone Star

    Lone Star www.screlics.co.uk

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    I believe that the more a guitar vibrates the more the tone will change. Note how im not saying "will sound better". Its totally subjective. Poly was designed to protect a guitar. Its thick, its plastic and it definitely affects the tone.

    Nitro will always continue to move with heat, cold, humidity and time. Over the years it will continue to contract and tbh its hardly thick to start with.

    Unless you buy a Fender.... because they still cake their nitro guitars in a poly primer.
     
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  14. Chu

    Chu Well-Known Member

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    This. People swap the block on their Strat bridges and claim it made the guitar loads better. I'm sure there would be a difference but who can say whether that is better or worse? Be happy for the choices available but don't think there needs to be a winner.
     
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  15. Lone Star

    Lone Star www.screlics.co.uk

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    I find these conversations interesting. Im in possession of about 25 guitars right now.... I havent played a single one. I think if I even had a Westfield strat I wouldnt care what it was made of as long as it was tuned and ready to play. I miss playing...
     
  16. johnniegoat

    johnniegoat Stop, don’t, come back.

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    @Lone Star

    i had a thomann tele kit. i modded it. but even before that it sounded fine. in some ways if i still had that, a fuzzbox and my orange micro terror stack, i'd be fine

    but...

    there's always another thing

    but...

    play. just play. tune a guitar and play for the sheer joy of it

    after all didn't voltaire say "the perfect is the enemy of the good"

    i know

    i am a bellend

    but no matter. if you miss it play man. you'll enjoy it
     
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  17. Lone Star

    Lone Star www.screlics.co.uk

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    I really should play but it often ends up feeling like a chore. I just dont seem to have the time. I have a 9-5, SC Relics and a family. SC Relics is stupidly busy but annoyingly just not quite there to do full time. Every night for the next few weeks ill be doing something for the business.
     
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  18. johnniegoat

    johnniegoat Stop, don’t, come back.

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    @Lone Star

    when i was 14-15 i knew this bloke

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Armstrong_(guitarist)

    he said 15 minutes a day. if you can't do that, do it another day - 30 mins. whatever. just play

    i have 2 boys and a job and stuff. somedays i don't play. somedays i play for 2 hours. it depends

    but i don'y deny it

    neither should you. you will be happier. your happiness will reflect across your life. all will be good

    just do it!!!!
     
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  19. Robstafarian

    Robstafarian The Good and Wise Call Me “Rufustarian” Staff Member

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    Are you using “lacquer” as shorthand for “nitrocellulose lacquer?” Polyurethane lacquer exists, and it is used by Warmoth.
     
  20. mirage2101

    mirage2101 Member

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    I have a '57 reissue fender with a maple fretboard and a 2015 les paul standard with a rosewood fretboard.. Honestly they both play find. Sure the shape and size of the fretboard makes a difference but I don't "feel" the material making a big difference to my playing. But then these are both "good" guitars so you'd expect them to play fine.
    Tonewise it's impossible to compare because the guitars are hugely different anyway..
    But when I bought the fender I also tried a (cheaper) fender standard of that year. I'm not sure but it probably was 2013/2014.
    the 57 reissue had a lot more character to the sound.. almost glassy compared to the relatively "flat" standard. Now I'm sure both are good guitars but I fel in love with the 57 reissue. I think material and finish of the neck do contribute to the tone. There's a "lack" on my fretboard (I'm not sure if i'm using the correct technical term I mean the stuff they spray on the fretboard) that the store guy said causes the more glassy tone.

    I even have a cheap acoustic I use at the campfire where I used some kinda polymer to make position markers.. Never heard anything wrong with it.

    So to the original question, if it's important to tone, why use huge position markers?
    I don't think the fretboard in itself is of much import to the tone. The neck is, the body is etc.. I can imagine a "lack" makes a bit of difference. If it's more slippery it might allow for a bit more vibration under your finger. But even if that's true.. The stuff they spray on will influence the tone a lot more then the material under it.
    All the rest is vibration of the neck and that will happen anyway.

    So in short? I don't think it matters for tone so they use the position markers to make their brand recognizable.
     

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