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“New slab” rosewood vs old, specifically color?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by c_corie, Oct 17, 2020 at 2:22 PM.

  1. c_corie

    c_corie Strat-Talk Member

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    I have a Wildwood Thin Skin 59’ reissue, 3-tone with rosewood board.

    Looking online it looks like some old Brazilian boards had quite a bit of red in them, was this common from 59-62?

    I’m wondering if rosewood board color seemed related to any specific years or era?

    Here are a few pictures of mine:
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Most Honored Senior Member

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    what's common is for there to be significant variations from one piece of wood to the next.... but back then select cuts could be chosen.. today, not so much, in fact much of the Brazilian rosewood being harvested today for use in Guitars is from the stumps of previously felled trees...

    r
     
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  3. c_corie

    c_corie Strat-Talk Member

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    I guess my question is more that in Gibson world they say Brazilian was almost always super dark or super brown, Fender seemed to use more streaky or reddish wood.

    I wonder if back then they sourced different Brazilian or it was just luck of the shipment?

    A reddish board looks ok/expected on an old Strat but odd on a Les Paul, from what I’ve seen.
     
  4. Guy Named Sue

    Guy Named Sue Censored

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    I'm willing to guess that Gibson, a company that's has been manufacturing instruments since 1904 had means to locate the best quality wood and the grade of colors that they liked compared to Fender who was very new at it back in the 50s.

    However, there are lots of variations still that can be seen from both of those manufacturers. Just like how majority of Les Paul burst's don't have a crazy flame like the reissues that you see from Gibson today. Most of them were very mildly flamed and swayed more to plain tops if anything. But there were crazy flames too here and there.

    I took this picture last week from a local shop here. You can see how light the rosewood on this Gibson is here, zoom in and you'll see some colors you usually don't see in the darker ones.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Most Honored Senior Member

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    well the reality is.. one can only speculate as to the motives and the woods used back then... and speculation is pretty much useless....
     
  6. c_corie

    c_corie Strat-Talk Member

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    Slight tangent but the thicker SLAB is supposed to have a different sound compared to the later way of doing it? I’d guess more mellow?

    Honestly my first guitar was a late 90s Squire Strat pack with a rosewood board in white...or eventually off white.

    I own many “nice” guitars but this was the only Fender I could find new, that wasn’t custom shop priced and seemed to have all the right features. I have no gripes about it besides the neck is very “un tinted” and I don’t love the pickups.

    I just sleep better knowing some real 1959 Strats on Reverb have a reddish board like the one I ended up with, haha.
     
  7. Stratoholic

    Stratoholic Senior Stratmaster

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    The effect on tone of Slab vs Round Lam is moot. No 2 guitars will ever sound exactly alike.
     
  8. c_corie

    c_corie Strat-Talk Member

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    I believe it, what’s amazing about this guitar is that is sounds very balanced and clean acoustically, I almost ironically play more unplugged than into an amp. It’s not quite as resonant or loud as a Les Paul or SG but it totally has a more balanced tone, part of that could be scale length I’m sure.
     

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  9. Pandamasque

    Pandamasque Strat-Talk Member

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    I don't know if this is due to ageing, but in every picture/video of a pre-CBS and early CBS Strat I've seen the rosewood is super dark.
     
  10. c_corie

    c_corie Strat-Talk Member

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  11. AlexJCRandall

    AlexJCRandall Senior Stratmaster

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    Old guitars have years and years of finger oils darkening the rosewood - On Gibsons and Martins too. Its hard to know what the original colour might have been.
     
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  12. c_corie

    c_corie Strat-Talk Member

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    So if I played this guitar very often for 10-15 years it would have a decently darker board?

    I think every single guitar I own is rosewood board and only one of them is super dark, it’s my 2018 Gibson R8. My 3 American PRS guitars all have a sort of stripe or mixed medium and dark pattern to them.
     
  13. Scott Baxendale

    Scott Baxendale Strat-O-Master Gold Supporting Member

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    It was only specific the the next piece of wood pulled out of the wood bin. There was no rhyme or reason to wood grain or color. You had factory workers building product with materials provided by the purchasing agent. It’s nothing to waste time overthinking about.

    Any rosewood board once you oil it and play it will turn the same dark rosewood color.
     
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  14. c_corie

    c_corie Strat-Talk Member

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    Is there an agreed upon oil that will darken and protect? I’ve seen lemon oil, furniture oil, Fender/Gibson oil, stewmac stuff, it seems like everyone makes the same thing.

    And some say don’t use to much or don’t use to little. I wish there was a definite manufacturer website that said hey, put this oil on 2 times a year, that’s all.
     
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  15. Ebidis

    Ebidis Providing the world with flat bends since 1985

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    Mineral oil (that is the main ingredient in lemon oil, and all of the guitar brand oils) once or twice a year is plenty, and just a little dab will do ya.
     
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  16. Mr Dunlop

    Mr Dunlop Senior Stratmaster

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    My pre cbs slab is pretty dark.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Scott Baxendale

    Scott Baxendale Strat-O-Master Gold Supporting Member

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    I hate lemon oil it’s too greasy and runny, plus it has a strong smell. Use either boiled linseed oil or Walnut oil. We use linseed oil. When we dress frets we will clean and oil the fingerboards if they are rosewood or ebony. (Finished maple fingerboards do not apply to this) I will first use windex on the fingerboard I will spritz a bit on the board and let it sit a few seconds, then scrub the wood with 0000 steel wool. Then we oil the fingerboard by applying it with a paper towel and let it penetrate the wood for a few seconds. Next we wipe off the excess with a clean paper towel and then steel wool the fingerboard again. Typically, a guitar needs this done about once a year if it is played regularly. I wouldn’t oil it every time you change strings, but once a year or so when the frets need a level and recrown.
     
  18. c_corie

    c_corie Strat-Talk Member

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    One final question, do slab boards really have more problems or is this a myth or theory from the internet?
     
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  19. StratoMutt

    StratoMutt Senior Stratmaster

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    Want dark? Ebony. The fingerboard wood of choice for centuries. Tight grained, heavy and resistant to wear.

    Forgive my ignorance ... has Fender ever offered ebony? On special limited editions and such?
     
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  20. Nate D

    Nate D Most Honored Senior Member

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    ‘Tis furniture that gobbled up the Brazilian RW in droves. ‘‘Twas never the guitar market regardless of what might be out there to the contrary.