Ebony Vs. Rosewood - Jemsite
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post #1 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-16-2006, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
rya
 
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Ebony Vs. Rosewood

I am in the market for a JEM &v Wh, and i have played the newer jems with the rosewood fingerboard and i was wondering if there wasa huge difference.. is it faster? slower? less dence? more dence? need to know soon





thanks
ryan
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post #2 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-16-2006, 11:22 PM
 
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Re: Ebony Vs. Rosewood

In my experience, the difference is largely cosmetic. Ebony is generally darker, more consistent (the fretboard will mostly just look a uniform black) and ebony is smoother, and finer-grained. My personal taste leads me to prefer ebony fretboards, other things being equal, and I specifically sought out a used Jem7vwh which had the ebony board.

From what I've read, iirc, Vai uses a rosewood board these days, so if one is a Vai fanatic, maybe rosewood would be preferable.

I'm not sure what difference it makes in the tone of a guitar, as I have not had two very similar guitars, one with ebony, and one with rosewood, to compare, and even very similar guitars ("identical") can sound significantly different in any case. I think it boils down to what you like yourself, and it is largely a cosmetic decision.

That's my experience anyway. Others may feel differently.
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post #3 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-16-2006, 11:32 PM
 
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Re: Ebony Vs. Rosewood

ebony is a brighter sounding wood
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post #4 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-16-2006, 11:55 PM
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Re: Ebony Vs. Rosewood

I'm probably going to get lynched for this but here goes. I have never noticed a sound difference that I could say was completely due to the wood of the fretboard. With all the variables that make a guitar sound like it does to say 1 factor like a thin piece of wood glued to another piece makes a night and day difference is crazy. Like Lepidoptera said two identical guitars can sound completely different. Then if you add variables like cables and individual playing style, and so on that would even further complicate identifying a tonal difference. I talked to one tech who used to build guitars for Hamer and Dean back in the 80s and he said (for what it's worth) there is no tonal difference. That being said I like the way ebony feels and looks better than anything else.
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post #5 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-16-2006, 11:59 PM
 
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Re: Ebony Vs. Rosewood

Ebony I think looks better, sound not sure.
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post #6 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-17-2006, 12:00 AM
 
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Re: Ebony Vs. Rosewood

All you need to know about wood characteristics
http://www.jemsite.com/jem/wood.htm
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post #7 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-17-2006, 12:02 AM
 
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Re: Ebony Vs. Rosewood

I like ebony, it's has a nice, dark, glassy look to it.
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post #8 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-17-2006, 01:33 AM
 
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Re: Ebony Vs. Rosewood

Quote:
Originally Posted by elcid View Post
I'm probably going to get lynched for this but here goes. I have never noticed a sound difference that I could say was completely due to the wood of the fretboard. With all the variables that make a guitar sound like it does to say 1 factor like a thin piece of wood glued to another piece makes a night and day difference is crazy. Like Lepidoptera said two identical guitars can sound completely different. Then if you add variables like cables and individual playing style, and so on that would even further complicate identifying a tonal difference. I talked to one tech who used to build guitars for Hamer and Dean back in the 80s and he said (for what it's worth) there is no tonal difference. That being said I like the way ebony feels and looks better than anything else.

I agree. I was just afraid to say it.
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post #9 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-17-2006, 01:41 AM
 
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Re: Ebony Vs. Rosewood

just at a music store yesterday
they had a ESP eclipse with ebony placed next to the ltd version which has a rosewood board....the ebony board just look way more classy with some reflective black type of looking, and personally i think it feels, plays better than rosewood...soundwise i m not so sure since some tend to say its brighter and some say its darker
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post #10 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-17-2006, 06:37 AM
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Re: Ebony Vs. Rosewood

Quote:
Originally Posted by elcid View Post
I'm probably going to get lynched for this but here goes. I have never noticed a sound difference that I could say was completely due to the wood of the fretboard. With all the variables that make a guitar sound like it does to say 1 factor like a thin piece of wood glued to another piece makes a night and day difference is crazy. Like Lepidoptera said two identical guitars can sound completely different. Then if you add variables like cables and individual playing style, and so on that would even further complicate identifying a tonal difference. I talked to one tech who used to build guitars for Hamer and Dean back in the 80s and he said (for what it's worth) there is no tonal difference. That being said I like the way ebony feels and looks better than anything else.
I agree 100%. Maybe there is a difference, but nothing a slight turn of a knob wouldn't change...
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post #11 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-17-2006, 10:57 PM
 
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Re: Ebony Vs. Rosewood

Ebony looks better but I haven't got the chance to try out the ebony board
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post #12 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-17-2006, 11:10 PM
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Re: Ebony Vs. Rosewood

I've never been able to tell any tonal difference between various fretboard woods. I'm really not buying the argument that the fretboard wood makes a noticeable tonal difference.

Looks wise, it depends on the rest of the guitar's appointments as to which one is a better aesthetic match.

Feel wise, there's the absolute difference. Ebony feels like silk. There's just nothing there. It's pure smooth. Rosewood does have a feel. You can feel the grain, the pores, the texture. It feels like wood. It's also usually oilier than ebony, which tends to feel very clean and dry.

Myself, I prefer the earthy/gritty feel of rosewood. I like the bluesy vibe I get from feeling the grains in rosewood. It makes me enjoy bends more when I can feel myself digging into something that feels real and natural.

Ebony is just like a really unobtrusive butler. It looks classy and otherwise you just never notice it.

Ebony is Nicole Kidman.
Rosewood is Salma Hayek.
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post #13 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-17-2006, 11:25 PM
 
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Re: Ebony Vs. Rosewood

the only time i've ever been able to tell tonal difference between fretboard woods has been with maple vs rosewood. just about every maple fretboard i've played has had a very snappy (i.e. brighter) sound to it in comparison to rosewood. it really becomes apparent when you play 2 fairly identical strats side by side, imo.

that being said, i only have one guitar with an ebony fretboard, which is my washburn paduak n4. paduak is such a unique wood in itself that it is hard to discern the exact characteristic of the ebony on that guitar.

keep in mind that the tonal characteristics of wood tend to shine more when the guitar is played clean (especially unplugged). you can still hear it with distortion, but the more gain and output that is applied, the less it makes a difference. and if you're using actives, then forget about it....
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post #14 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-17-2006, 11:26 PM
 
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Talking Re: Ebony Vs. Rosewood

Quote:
Originally Posted by Van View Post
I've never been able to tell any tonal difference between various fretboard woods. I'm really not buying the argument that the fretboard wood makes a noticeable tonal difference.

Looks wise, it depends on the rest of the guitar's appointments as to which one is a better aesthetic match.

Feel wise, there's the absolute difference. Ebony feels like silk. There's just nothing there. It's pure smooth. Rosewood does have a feel. You can feel the grain, the pores, the texture. It feels like wood. It's also usually oilier than ebony, which tends to feel very clean and dry.

Myself, I prefer the earthy/gritty feel of rosewood. I like the bluesy vibe I get from feeling the grains in rosewood. It makes me enjoy bends more when I can feel myself digging into something that feels real and natural.

Ebony is just like a really unobtrusive butler. It looks classy and otherwise you just never notice it.

Ebony is Nicole Kidman.
Rosewood is Salma Hayek.
Not that it matters but wouldn't ebony be SH because she has darker skin? And, NK would be rosewood!

I don't think I ever played an ebony neck.
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post #15 of 47 (permalink) Old 09-17-2006, 11:28 PM
 
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Re: Ebony Vs. Rosewood

Quote:
Originally Posted by Van View Post
Ebony is Nicole Kidman.
Rosewood is Salma Hayek.
It'll be more like EBONY is Halle berry to me
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ebony board , ebony fretboard , ebony fretboards , ebony neck , electric guitar , fretboard wood , maple fret , maple fretboard , maple neck , music store , rosewood board , rosewood fingerboard , rosewood fretboard

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