Fretboard alternative to rosewood - Bocote, Goncalo Alves, Kingwood

macrossgeorge

New member
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Hi there. I am a new member (just joined today) and this is my first post. However I have experience getting custom parts from Warmoth and have had three custom bodies and two custom necks over the past few years. Very happy with Warmoth parts and my warmoth partscasters are my favorite guitars.

My two main guitars are Warmoth Partscasters:

- 7/8 mahogany STRAT body, 2 P90s, wraparound bridge, angled neck pocket, rear route; Jaguar 24" scale neck, Roasted Maple shaft with Rosewood board, SS6150, fatback, 42mm nut.

- 7/8 black korina/limba TELE body, 2 humbuckers route (although I ended up with a bucker sized p90 in the neck), wraparound bridge, angled neck pocket; CBS Jaguar 24" scale neck, Roasted Maple shaft with Rosewood board, SS6150, boatneck, 41mm nut.

Although I do love both guitars I have found that I prefer the 42mm nut and the fatback so I am considering getting a new neck for the Tele with those specs. BUT... I am also thinking about maybe getting a different fretboard but would like to get something sonically close to what I have because the tone I have on that guitar is fantastic. If anything it is just a touch dark but I do not want to brighten it up too much.

For those who are not believers in tonewood, I am a believer and not just from my own experience but also from the wonderful videos that Warmoth has put out doing the body wood and neck wood shootouts, I can totally hear the differences and they matter to me. So that is where I am coming from. I know that some people disagree and say that there is very little tonal difference between different fretboards but on Aaron's neck video I can clearly hear the differences. Also I know that specimens are variable and that two different pieces of the same kind of wood can sound a lot difference. Luckily the shaftwood of roasted maple is rather consistent so the only variable would be the fretboard.

I might just play it safe and get another one with rosewood but am considering Bocote, Goncalo Alves, or Kingwood as alternatives. Keep in mind this is going on a roasted maple shafted neck on a black limba guitar and that particular piece of black limba has lots of glorious midrange and is slightly dark sounding.

So, finally, my question for those who have tried these (and yes I have read all the descriptions on the warmoth website already), how do these compare tonally to you, and can you offer more descriptions?

Rosewood - "Here we have the most popular fretboard wood! Indian Rosewood has the warm "rock-n-roll" tonality you've heard on many of the most famous rock albums in history. The warm tone is also a favorite amongst blues players."

Bocote - "Because of Bocote’s dense nature, you can expect great sustain and nice attack."

Goncalo Alves - "With an articulate, clean, warm tone, Goncalo gets rave reviews for its overall well balanced tone and great looks."

Kingwood - "Sonically you can expect great articulation, fast response and ample sustain."

I do generally like articulation, attack and sustain so Bocote or Kingwood is looking attractive to me. I am also curious about Wenge and Zircote but they might be too bright? Also with Wenge's supposed midrange it might be too much midrange with the korina body. Or perhaps it might not have that much of a difference since we are talking about fretboards. I know that it will be subtle but I am into the subtleties of tone.

What input would be helpful here? Do you think I should play it safe or try one of these? If so which one?

Thanks!

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Rick

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4,316
I recommend you listen to warmoths YouTube videos on fretboards.  Go with what looks and feels nice ... To you.  Me ... I like woods that are slick oily and fast.
 

macrossgeorge

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rick2 said:
I recommend you listen to warmoths YouTube videos on fretboards.  Go with what looks and feels nice ... To you.

Can you please provide a link?

I have seen the body tonewood shootout and the neck one too but have not been able to find one on fretboards and somehow doubt they have one with all these options although that would be great if they did.

I have watched this one
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPC6qAnrPR8&t=420s
several times and it is great that they compare these three popular shaftwoods with two fretboard options.

I have also watched this one
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6XXcDiPcKc&t=293s

and many others

Is there a specific video that you are referring to?

I would love to get input from people here who have first hand experience but if there is a warmoth video that compares those fretboard woods that I am asking about then that would be really helpful.

Thanks


 

TBurst Std

Senior member
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2,591
The title says for fretboards, but the topic seems neck woods. 

There are 3 ‘typical’ fretboard woods: rosewood, maple and ebony.  Later on Pao Ferro. 

Are there others certainly. Why not try something that has shown to be proven of 5+ decades.
 

Rick

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4,316
That's it ... Did you hear a difference when the fret board wood changed?
 

macrossgeorge

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12
rick2 said:
That's it ... Did you hear a difference when the fret board wood changed?
Yes, sorry I thought I mentioned that in my OP.

Yes, I do hear a difference between the maple neck with maple board and the maple neck with the rosewood board.

I have never heard a Bocote, Goncalo Alves, or Kingwood board before. Nor have I heard those woods in any context for reference. That is why I am asking here because I figured Warmoth people would have some experience with these.
 

macrossgeorge

New member
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TBurst Std said:
The title says for fretboards, but the topic seems neck woods. 

There are 3 ‘typical’ fretboard woods: rosewood, maple and ebony.  Later on Pao Ferro. 

Are there others certainly. Why not try something that has shown to be proven of 5+ decades.

Hi. I am new here and when I went to the home page I only found a topic category for neck woods but did not find another one for fretboards. I figured that this was the correct category to post this in but MODERATORS please feel free to move this to the correct category.

Yes, I know that rosewood, maple and ebony have been the standards for decades and I already have lots of experience with those. But since Warmoth offers such a nice variety of woods I thought I might try something different which is why I am asking here because I figured that warmoth users would have some experience with the offerings there.

I know that I like the roasted maple neck with rosewood but am curious if I might prefer it with one of these other woods which seem similar from the descriptions and tone meters on the warmoth site: Bocote, Goncalo Alves and Kingwood. But I cannot just go buying 3 more necks to compare them because I do not have that kind of money. Although that would be awesome if I could.

 

TBurst Std

Senior member
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2,591
Well it’s not the category.  You didn’t reference having anything maple or ebony as fretboards.

As you have experienced those before now as we see and don’t want to I guess to again, the world is your oyster. 

Bocote did nothing for me.  GA was really mellow in attack and sound. (I found it much more mellow in attack than rosewood).  Kingwood I haven’t tried. 
 

macrossgeorge

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TBurst Std said:
"...Bocote did nothing for me.  GA was really mellow in attack and sound. (I found it much more mellow in attack than rosewood)...."

Thank you for sharing your experience TBurst. That is what I am looking for and it is helpful to find out.

Still curious for more input from other users out there and especially about Kingwood as that one has me the most curious.
 

Rick

Senior member
Messages
4,316
The only way to to know what you like is to try it.  Use the warmoth websites description and go for it.  Since you've already used rosewood, and you want something just a touch dark and something different the most likely candidates of the ones you like are Goncalo and king wood. 

I have a goncalo neck and it is wonderful.  But as indicated above, IMHO, it's the neck meat that will make the most difference, not the fretboard.  I have an all wenge neck, and that's pretty bright.  I've never played a bocote neck or fretboard so I can't say.

My ebony fretboard and mahogany necks are really nice with a warm snappy sound.  There's a reason why certain combos have been used for years.  Post what you pick. 
 

JohnnyHardtail

Senior member
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319
I suggest to get a dark colour.  Too much grain pattern is distracting to the eye, and may visually confict with the body wood IMO.

In my random unverified opinion, I don't think the very rigid woods (High elastic modulus) are needed for a 24.0" scale neck.  It is using the Warmoth double-trussrod and roasted maple shaft wood, so it should be super stable and rigid already.

I would choose either:
1) Indian Rosewood.
2) Ziricote

Most people say that Ziricote and Indian Rosewood will give a similar tone - That seems to make sense to me.  Perhaps Ziricote is a bit more snappy and resonant, but that's only a guess based on sample size = 1.    Ziricote seems to need a bit more care.  It should have have some mineral oil / Dunlop lemon oil applied so that it will not crack.  That's a similar issue to ebony and many woods actually.  Rosewood is probably one of the toughest most durable woods available, so I think that's the main reason for its popularity.

In my opinion,  the "neck shaft" and "fretboard" are both neck woods, so I think your post is in the correct forum. :)
 

JohnnyHardtail

Senior member
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319
My normal strategy is once a year treatment with Dunlop lemon oil.  Ebony, Pau Ferro, and Rosewood all benefit from a light oiling, and I normally don't apply very much.    I was really surprised quickly the oil was absorbed by the Ziricote fretboard.  I decided it needed a second treatment.    It looks about ten times better afterwards.
 

musicispeace

Senior member
Messages
997
I'm very late to this but also consider Bubinga for a fretboard, if not now then possibly in the future. I have a strat with a Bubinga neck and fretboard and I feel that I perceive a nice combo of warmth and clarity. Just my two cents worth.
 

Hendrix

Senior member
Messages
667
here is a video for different tone wood

Koa is the wood I like most for neck and it warmth like rosewood, but not see it for fretboard .
otherwise Bocote, Korina and Kingwood seems be warmer like rosewood
 

stratamania

Senior member
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9,208
I think the missing element with that video is all the samples of different species are different sizes. If you take the same type of wood of different sizes even off the same tree or plank it will produce different pitches, think of a xylophone. So it would be a more useful test to distinguish between samples of different wood species to have the wood at least the same dimensions, so any differences of timbre or even pitch are more likely to be due to species rather than dimension.

@The Aaron perhaps that is an idea for a video.
 

Hendrix

Senior member
Messages
667
beside Warmoth , I don't think anyone elso has the resource to made a tip wood tone compare video other than guitar factory , this can be a good idea for video .
Some PRS video has seem paul made neck blank tip tone compare.

also this guy , has more in deep tone wood compare , but not the different wood in same video , can search " Luthier Wood Review - Tonewood " in youtube

 

Rick

Senior member
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4,316
Love bloodwood fretboards. I understand it's really hard to work but it feels nice, looks great, and the sound does jump off.
 
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