To change (from maple to ebony fretboard) or not to change

molul

Senior member
Messages
111
I'm thinking of building a clone of my current guitar, same electronics but different aesthetics.

This is the current guitar:
20201217_110919_1.jpg

For the new one, I know I want a transparent turquoise satin finish on swamp ash. Like this but satin:
IMG-20220619-WA0022.jpg


Now, I don't know whether to keep the maple neck and black hardware, or try ebony fretboard and chrome hardware.

More precisely, I'm struggling between these options (bodies are blue, but I couldn't find transparent turquoise):

1 - chrome hardware, ebony fretboard, black headstock
Jazzmaster lee ranaldo3_1.jpg

2 - chrome hardware, clear headstock, black fretboard (it looks like rosewood, but let's act as it was ebony xD):
Screenshot_2022-10-05-23-11-15-788_com.android.chrome.jpg

3 - black hardware, maple neck and fretboard
suhr_1-3_21_1.jpg

Option 3 is the one that I prefer without thinking it too much, but it would be the same as my current guitar, except for the body color change xD

I'm mostly dubious about going for ebony because I've never played a guitar with ebony fretboard, and can't find one in my city guitar shops. I've read it feels very similar to maple, so that sounds good to me.

Just wondering: what would you do?
 

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stratamania

Senior member
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9,481
Out of those options, I would go for the Strat pictured (not sold on the black headstock with turquoise blue body and an ebony board).

Ebony is an excellent fretboard material, I have a few ebony boards and they are amongst my favourites. I would not say it feels like maple, as ebony is not finished and maple usually is. Both are denser woods, of course.
 

Rick

Senior member
Messages
4,539
Get ebony because the only way you’ll know if you like it is to try it. Nb … there’s a reason ebony has beeen around so long as a fret board wood,
 

bagman67

Senior member
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8,359
I am a huge fan of ebony's slickness and durability. My first few electrics had maple fingerboards because I just didn't know any difference existed; but once I got an ebony one, it's now a feature I'm happy to pay extra for. I'm not anti-maple or anything like that, but I do like some ebony if it's available.
 

Spud

Senior member
Messages
1,321
I am a huge fan of ebony's slickness and durability. My first few electrics had maple fingerboards because I just didn't know any difference existed; but once I got an ebony one, it's now a feature I'm happy to pay extra for. I'm not anti-maple or anything like that, but I do like some ebony if it's available.
I find ebony sounds much like maple as far as I can discern. However, it feels even smoother.
 

molul

Senior member
Messages
111
Hmm... A friend of mine just suggested me to go for roasted maple with ebony fingerboard, so the headstock is a bit darker than regular maple.

I've also never tried a roasted maple neck. I only know it's meant not to be finished. How does it compare to a poly satin finished maple neck?
 

bruzanhd

Senior member
Messages
182
Hmm... A friend of mine just suggested me to go for roasted maple with ebony fingerboard, so the headstock is a bit darker than regular maple.

I've also never tried a roasted maple neck. I only know it's meant not to be finished. How does it compare to a poly satin finished maple neck?
Unfinished maple feels very fast. Texture is similar to satin but it has little to no stickiness when your hands get clammy.
 

molul

Senior member
Messages
111
Aah, that sounds so good. Thank you!

Does roasted maple need any maintenance? Like that lemon oil for ebony fretboards, I mean
 

ragamuffin

Senior member
Messages
1,008
Roasted maple feels really nice and the maintenance is minimal. RM/ebony would be a winner for me! Like most unfinished woods it might need some cleaning every once in a while and maybe a very light application of lemon oil/mineral oil. "Lemon oil" is mostly just mineral oil plus scent.
 

stratamania

Senior member
Messages
9,481
I would only recommend at most a wipe on and wipe off cleaning for ebony. In my experience, it does not require more.
 
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