Vulcanized fiber fingerboard

Discussion in 'Other Guitar Discussion' started by Guy Named Sue, Oct 9, 2018.

  1. diogoguitar

    diogoguitar Senior Stratmaster

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    If this also applies to ritchlite, I only heard good things about this material for fretboard. I'm curious to know how it plays and whether or not I'd be missing out compared to ebony or rosewood.
     
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  2. ido1957

    ido1957 Senior Stratmaster

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    I'll always defend my Richlite fretboard - although I take a beating from the online purists.
    It works well for me. It's as good as my old 70's Custom (sold that one). I think the worst part is dealing with the negative comments online haha. You won't be missing out but you need to be able to reassure yourself that it was a wise buy and disregard the naysayers.
     
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  3. abnormaltoy

    abnormaltoy Mouth draggin' knuckle breather

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    I never had a guitar with an ebony board, but, I have worked with ebony a (very) little bit...it's hard but, unsupported, it seems brittle. I can't imagine richlite splintering.
     
  4. problem-child

    problem-child Senior Stratmaster

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  5. fattboyzz

    fattboyzz Senior Stratmaster

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    Dog with glasses.
     
  6. lammie200

    lammie200 Senior Stratmaster

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    It was either 1957 or 1961 - I can't tell from the way the description reads. I am sure that it would have been a different formulation that what is available today. I have a Hagstrom jazz box and a Martin nylon string that have "resonator" and "richlite" fingerboards respectively. The Hag plays a little bit more like rosewood than ebony because there are pores. The Martin is pretty slick and plays like ebony. I also have several other guitars with ebony, rosewood and maple finger boards. (The maple is a one piece, so not actually a fingerboard.) There is no shame in a synthetic material. Now if you are going to make my car shut off and restart at every stop light, there is shame in that.
     
  7. ivan H

    ivan H Strat-Talker

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    I know the Stelling banjo's were (IIRC, in the 50's) made with ebonol fretboards. Ebonol is I believe, vulcanised cloth laminate, & Richlite is valcanised paper laminate. Anyway, back to the Stelling banjo's. They experienced problems with thermal expansion. In strong sunlight or from the heat of lighting the fretboard expanded causing "fretting out" problems etc, so they discontinued using ebonol. Haven't heard of problems with Richlite doing this. Cheers
    Edit: Saucepan & frypan handles used to be made of ebonol, & I guess we've all seen those old handles distort & chip from heat. Cheers
     
  8. Mr C

    Mr C Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    I’m glad of got my old rosewood bodied and ebony necked guitars because it won’t be long before the higher quality traditional tone woods are too expensive for mass produced instruments. I can see more ‘modern’ brands like Taylor and PRS starting to experiment with high end laminates composites and and synthetics. Building great sounding instruments out of man made materials seems like a fairly simple engineering problem - it’s the sales pitch that’s gonna be hard
     
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  9. dbolt

    dbolt Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    Taylor has poured a lot of resources into maintaining a supply of ebony. Kinda their trademark now.
     
  10. guitartwonk

    guitartwonk Senior Stratmaster

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    https://www.taylorguitars.com/about/sustainable-ebony

    Even if you could engineer something that looked, sounded, felt, smelt and tasted exactly like wood, there will be some purists who will claim to hear the difference in tone.

    For that reason alone, I think I'd favour harvesting wood sustainably over man made materials.

    I'm not going to let that stop me trying a Hag though. Those Super Swedes look pretty tasty...