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New American Elite HSS - Ebony fingerboard flaw or unique?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Dave673, Dec 6, 2018.

Is the fingerboard flawed or unique

  1. Flaw

    24 vote(s)
  2. Unique

    68 vote(s)
  1. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Taking a Break Strat-Talk Supporter

    Apr 19, 2014
    Windsor, Ontario, Canada
    I'd return that - don't know how it passed QC, looks like a zebra! @Dave673

    Welcome to the forum!
  2. Dave673

    Dave673 New Member!

    Dec 6, 2018
    That’s what I was trying to decide on, should be pure black I’d think. Plays well, but not sure about the looks. Came from Les Paul
    abnormaltoy likes this.
  3. Alan Crossley

    Alan Crossley Strat-O-Master

    Nov 20, 2018
    Republic of Ireland
    I have to be honest and say I don't like it, but I suspect that many will. It reminds me of an expensive piece of bog-oak that we bought. When the children discovered it they decided to paint it with their water colours. It's still yellow and red in places!
    Jesse414 and abnormaltoy like this.
  4. drod1985

    drod1985 Strat-Talk Member

    Jul 8, 2018
  5. Phat-O-Caster

    Phat-O-Caster Strat-O-Master

    Apr 16, 2008
    As long as the wood is solid & without structural defects along with the overall playability being good it comes down to looks & it doesn’t look great. If I could I’d swap it for another & if I was going to keep it I’d try some Minwax ebony stain on the lighter sections first and the go over the entire fretboard to get a consistent color. Many manufacturers used to “ebonize” their fretboards For exactly this reason.
    Jesse414 and abnormaltoy like this.
  6. Murphcaster

    Murphcaster Strat-O-Master

    Oct 17, 2013
    West Virginia
    If you wish to return it, that's completely up to you. However, this is not a flaw or defect. It's the natural pattern/grain of the specific wood (ebony) used. Not all ebony is pure black, despite the fact that most of us associate it with being so.
  7. circles

    circles Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    On the right type of natural finish body, that might look cool.
    abnormaltoy and Textele like this.
  8. Textele

    Textele Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Oct 10, 2009
    I for one am really glad the Guitar Making Industry is using the streaked Ebony.

    Way better than leaving it on the forest floor, as the video of Paul Reed Smith states, posted above.

    The streaked Ebony is just as fine as the black Ebony, as far as being an exceptional fret board wood.

    But with all I just wrote, and for a Fender Elite, and what they charge for it, I personally would not accept that with that finish/color combo.

    It is just "too visually loud" of a streak, for that guitar IMO.

    My eyes just go straight too the board and not to the overall beauty of the guitar itself. And other than the board it's a gorgeous guitar.
  9. problem-child

    problem-child Senior Stratmaster

    Aug 28, 2008
    Left Coast, USA
    I for one am a big fan. Natural color for much of the ebony that is (or until recently had been) discarded. When I was building acoustic guitars I would hunt out pieces like this. I love it. If I got that in the mail I would consider it a bonus.
  10. knh555

    knh555 Senior Stratmaster

    Dec 6, 2016
    The more we demand perfectly even-colored, black ebony, the more already-cut ebony is wasted and we created demand to cut down more. I wonder how much of cut ebony if found to meet market standards and how much ends up being scrap for these purposes.
    garyhoos1 and abnormaltoy like this.
  11. Achyskic

    Achyskic Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 19, 2013
    Oh heck no.. ebony should be black... it would be hard to resale down the road because everyone would want the darker the better board.
    CyFan4036 and 3bolt79 like this.
  12. Dave673

    Dave673 New Member!

    Dec 6, 2018
    I went ahead and ordered another one to see if I could get a darker overall finish. I get the ebony situation, and I’m sure someone will enjoy it, just couldn’t get over it. I’ll see what comes in next. Thanks everyone, I actually learned a lot from that video!
    abnormaltoy likes this.
  13. 93studiolite

    93studiolite Strat-Talker

    Mar 15, 2017
    Alachua, Florida
    I absolutely love it and would have loved to have that fretboard. I have a Les Paul with black ebony, but natural grain like that on a fretboard is something I long to have. Plus I love that they are starting to use all parts of the tree and not just the black. To much waste going on now anyway.
    TangerineDog and circles like this.
  14. TheDuck

    TheDuck Most Honored Senior Member

    Jan 12, 2016
    Lil' Rhody
    You have the only Chocolate Ebony board in existence.

    Hell yea, I'd rock that Strat :thumb:
  15. The Birdman

    The Birdman Strat-Talker

    That is quite common for the ebony on American Elites now. I have an AE Telecaster that has an ebony fretboard with a similar appearance. My personal opinion is that it is cool, beautiful and unique. Your mileage may vary.

    You might get one more to your taste with your next one, but it is unlikely you will get a completely dark one.
    abnormaltoy likes this.
  16. possumkiller

    possumkiller Strat-Talker

    Aug 3, 2010
    Is it just me or are people seriously anal about guitars these days? That fretboard would probably be a $200 upcharge from the custom shop...
  17. Dave673

    Dave673 New Member!

    Dec 6, 2018
    @ possumkiller Is your profile pic el Indio? It would probably be an upcharge for the custom shop these days, I’m not really a fan of some of making new things look old, as they’ll get there eventually lol. I feel like they are trying to market B-grade ebony as first class material and saving all the good material to sell for higher end stuff for the almighty dollar. It plays just fine but I can’t help but think maybe it belongs on a lower end instrument.
    abnormaltoy likes this.
  18. Groovey

    Groovey Most Honored Senior Member

    Nov 17, 2016
    NC. USA
    Not a flaw. We all know wood has variations of color. But I would have done something else with this board .
    Jesse414, abnormaltoy and Dave673 like this.
  19. TangerineDog

    TangerineDog Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 5, 2015
    The EU