• Guys, we've spent considerable money converting the Les Paul Forum to this new XenForo platform, and we have ongoing monthly operating expenses. THE "DONATIONS" TAB IS NOW WORKING, AND WE WOULD APPRECIATE ANY DONATIONS YOU CAN MAKE TO KEEP THE LES PAUL FORUM GOING! Thank you!

Les Paul R0 fretboard

sunking101

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2020
Messages
82
One thing I'll never understand is why on a customshop they will put a poor "looking" piece of rosewood and on their cheaper models you'll come across some really nice dark pieces of rosewood.. In my opinion, it's just a phycological look thing it doesn't have anything to do with tone..
Yes my 2019 Standard has a uniform almost black slab of rosewood and my 2020 R7 has a much lighter shade of rosewood.
 

Big Al

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 24, 2002
Messages
14,240
aesthetic quality !! Big, Al...... Martin's with rosewood fingerboards?
They can only use what the tree gives. Martin 21, 18, 15 all have rosewood boards but what I meant was on my D28's and D35 the back and sides, which I would say represent high quality show wide range of grain and color. Always have. From light tan to almost black, with purple, maroon and red shades too.

The whorship of nearly black boards is recent and I saw it's emergence develop on the interweb. Your preference for color isn't the determination for quality I'm sorry to say. There certainly are dark boards on plenty. You can darken up light boards by a variety of means and I have my own recipe for fingerboard conditioning that doesn't rely on oil too much. Can't really blacken up a really light one but I never try to dye them. That is what Asian Company's have done so it works if you need that.
 

NYCBURST

Member
Joined
May 11, 2016
Messages
209
They can only use what the tree gives. Martin 21, 18, 15 all have rosewood boards but what I meant was on my D28's and D35 the back and sides, which I would say represent high quality show wide range of grain and color. Always have. From light tan to almost black, with purple, maroon and red shades too.

The whorship of nearly black boards is recent and I saw it's emergence develop on the interweb. Your preference for color isn't the determination for quality I'm sorry to say. There certainly are dark boards on plenty. You can darken up light boards by a variety of means and I have my own recipe for fingerboard conditioning that doesn't rely on oil too much. Can't really blacken up a really light one but I never try to dye them. That is what Asian Company's have done so it works if you need that.
I like the lighter Rosewood on Martins, specifically an old one with Brazilian back and sides, I like the red and tan hues...
 

AA00475Bassman

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 26, 2016
Messages
3,144
Although the thread is a bit side tracked , If you look at El gringo's Beautiful M2M R9 with the dark fretboard he requested and its a beauty as fretboards go built early 2021 !

Disclaimer : Upon my neighbors return home from the Moon , I asked if he brought me home a Moon Rock , He replied all the good rocks have been harvested !
 
Last edited:

sunking101

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2020
Messages
82
here's one of mine..... Dark Brazilian
Looks like ebony. I have an LP Standard with a black as the night fretboard but my R7 is much lighter. I don't mind it because boards are generally much lighter these days and the weight & playability trump that consideration for me. I rejected an R7 that had a really dark board because it didn't play as well.

Besides, my LP Custom gives me all the black loveliness I need....
 

Big Al

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 24, 2002
Messages
14,240
I like the lighter Rosewood on Martins, specifically an old one with Brazilian back and sides, I like the red and tan hues...
It is really amazing how many shades are in that wood. I've seen light blonde that I swore could not be rosewood, or was sapwood, but I was wrong. I've spent time in every hardwoods suppliers lumberyards picking thru boards and picking brains, and it is eye opening. Have you seen any of the flame figure rosewood??? $$$$$$$$$$ WOW beyond my wallet, but omg!

There are lots of light tan EI Rosewood D28's from late 60's and later years they pop up. I see it alot in center piece of D35s. Light tan to milky coffee with dark grain lines. Then there is the dark stuff with purple streaks or that rich reddish stuff that looks great. I was really nuts about the all rosewood Teles and there are a few that are that blondish tan color. Same for the rosewood capped Les Paul Customs. It's the nature of the wood and of Nature itself.
 

AA00475Bassman

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 26, 2016
Messages
3,144
Back to the original post of this thread , Color of fretboard has no bearing on USA or Custom shop .

Photo is my least expensive guitar my USA 2018 SC JR Banner ! Beautiful piece of Rosewood ! thumbnail_IMG_2801.jpg
 

NYCBURST

Member
Joined
May 11, 2016
Messages
209
It is really amazing how many shades are in that wood. I've seen light blonde that I swore could not be rosewood, or was sapwood, but I was wrong. I've spent time in every hardwoods suppliers lumberyards picking thru boards and picking brains, and it is eye opening. Have you seen any of the flame figure rosewood??? $$$$$$$$$$ WOW beyond my wallet, but omg!

There are lots of light tan EI Rosewood D28's from late 60's and later years they pop up. I see it alot in center piece of D35s. Light tan to milky coffee with dark grain lines. Then there is the dark stuff with purple streaks or that rich reddish stuff that looks great. I was really nuts about the all rosewood Teles and there are a few that are that blondish tan color. Same for the rosewood capped Les Paul Customs. It's the nature of the wood and of Nature itself.
Youre right, that center piece on a d35 is always different most people dont know this but that center piece is a scrap piece thats why they built them that way they needed a way to use up scrap pieces of rosewood so the 35 got a 3 piece back..
 

Sol

Active member
Joined
Oct 26, 2001
Messages
575
Another myth widely circulated is that paler rosewood is somehow 'dry', and during a review of Gibson's Custom Shop Pete Townshend's SG Special the reviewer said as much.

Lamenting that such an expensive guitar should be fitted with such a dry fingerboard clearly lacking in the natural oil content that determines a nice dark board..

Give me a break..

Forums like this are the best method of countering misleading statements like those above.
 

Scott L

Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2008
Messages
867
I think you should reread what I wrote, rather than write nonsense comments.
Lighten up Francis.....

51oKm72szVL._SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_.jpg

 

AA00475Bassman

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 26, 2016
Messages
3,144
Guitar on top is a 2014 Historic Les Paul very dark fretboard, guitar on the 2007 VOS Historic Les Paul I would classify Carmel fudge .
Although Mike you have some pre conceived notion fretboard color defines a Historic complete nonsense .
Mike come back & Join us ! thumbnail_IMG_2809.jpg
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 11, 2020
Messages
110
If you like the guitar but want darker Rosewood, you can oil it, stain it, or chose another guitar. Personally, I think that is silly--but it is YOUR guitar.
 

Big Al

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 24, 2002
Messages
14,240

Another myth widely circulated is that paler rosewood is somehow 'dry', and during a review of Gibson's Custom Shop Pete Townshend's SG Special the reviewer said as much.

Lamenting that such an expensive guitar should be fitted with such a dry fingerboard clearly lacking in the natural oil content that determines a nice dark board..

Give me a break..

Forums like this are the best method of countering misleading statements like those above.
I certainly agree with that!

Nothing wrong with a personal preference. But that doesn't change fact. Color has only very recently become an issue and it was stoked by internet fashonistas, BBB, (Barbie Burst Brigade), types and repeated to death. I own vintage guitars with Braz boards, bodies and faceplates, I've refretted enough to know what it looked like when new and I've seen the variation in color.

Just find what you like but remember that a personal preference does not equal quality and unless you have a deep personal knowledge of these things you ought naught spout off with declarations about fact or quality. Sheeple have big ears.

Light color does not mean dry and other than the surface top, you can't dry out that oily wood. People way over oil rosewood. Be cautious and oil light and wipe dry. I prefer to use a wax/oil blend and buff it super smooth. Dye is best way to darken it. The 70's Japanese guitars used dyed rosewood calling it Ebonal. But mostly maybe just appreciate this wonderful wood as is for what it is. It is getting hard to find.
 
Joined
Jan 11, 2020
Messages
110
I have sawed into rosewood that was DECADES old, crusty around the edges, covered with dust. Just below the surface, it was almost wet and looked like it was freshly sawed. Your rosewood on your guitar is likely NOT dry! I don't think it hurts to oil the surface--but it is likely just making your fingers/guitar/everything you touch oily.

Stew Mac sells rosewood fretboard stain.
 

El Gringo

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
3,989
Youre right, that center piece on a d35 is always different most people dont know this but that center piece is a scrap piece thats why they built them that way they needed a way to use up scrap pieces of rosewood so the 35 got a 3 piece back..
Well I also heard that with the CITES Treaty back in the late 60's that Martin was having a shortage of Brazilian Rosewood and thus as a way to save wood the powers to be at Martin came up with the 3 piece back and hence forth the D-35 was born and Christened . The Man in Black himself Johnny Cash used an all black D-35 with a 3 piece back also .
 

Sol

Active member
Joined
Oct 26, 2001
Messages
575
Stew Mac sells a lot of things, this isn't an invitation to set about your pride and joy with stains, sprays and solder stations.
Please take this piece of advice : DON'T STAIN your fingerboard yourself unless you've done this before..
There are those better qualified for such a job, let them do it. There is preparation vital to work of this kind.

Big Al mentioned the oiling of fingerboards. Another area to approach carefully and conservatively.
No rosewood or ebony board needs monthly treatment by lemon oil or any other for that matter.
Start a thread on this subject and we will all learn something.
 
Last edited:
Top