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fingerboard wood choice


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Just a quick Q,

why are rosewood ebony and maple the most common fretboard woods?

the guitar im workin on at the moment has an Iroko neck(neckthrough) and i was thinking of using a mahogany fretboard.

what do you think?

Seeing as the wood is so thin , its tonal properties could`nt be THAT important could they? or is it just aesthetics?

John.

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Mainly, maple and rosewood are quite cheap. They arent hard to work with ( theyre easy enough to cut and shape ). If im not wrong ( which i usually am ), working with mahogany would be difficult as it is a quite hard wood. Although, i don't think that tonality will be affected.

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the problem is that mahogany is an open grain wood....it has to be sealed or you will be subject to swelling and cracking.....thats why you use rosewood, ebony and maple for fingerboards, they all have closed grains....maple is about at the bottom of the spectrum.....i dont think mahogany is any harder than rosewood or ebony for sure

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as far as tonal qualities i find maple has a warmer sound compared to ebony wich is brighter. the mahogany would definetly look pretty cool but i'd be afraid that it would wear pretty quickly its considered a hard wood but you can dig into it with a finger nail quite easily. :D

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dude youve never seen an old fret board thats been played alot? :D ive seen many that have divits in between the frets from the string rubbing from doing bends and what not . even on the second fret ive seen some nasty divits, and that is with rosewood!

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time for me to correct myself yet again. :D i have been paying more attention to my playing and my fingers do lightly rub the fretboard on the thinner strings,but not at all on the thicker ones.that is probably why i have not noticed any fingerboard wear on my oldest guitar(which i bought used over 10 years ago),because i only played it for rythm since the frets were in such bad shape.(it is retired now,i may put a new neck on it).my new guitars see much more use on all parts of the neck but since they ARE new they don't have any wear on the fretboard.

but on the original thread,rosewood and ebony are very oily woods so that may have something to do with there use on fretboards,as your fingers would tend to slide better,and maple is always clearcoated,maybe for the same reason.just a theory but there you go.

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