Fretboards / Necks
The wood used for a guitars neck and fretboard play a part in the guitars sound. Various different woods can be used for a guitars fretboard including Wenge and Bubinga. However, the three most common woods used are rosewood, maple and ebony.
Rosewood – Rosewood is usually brown in colour and produces a fast and smooth neck. It has the warm tone that is favoured by many guitarists. It contains natural oils so its doesn’t require a finish. Rosewood is the most popular fretboard wood although this may well change in the future due to a new law called Cites (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). This new law effects the availability of guitars that use rosewood and
there are now restrictions on guitars using rosewood which stop them being traded between countries unless it has Cites certification. Bubinga along with other woods of the same genus are also effected.
Maple – is used on many guitars. It’s yellow in colour and produces a bright tone and is great for the guitars sustain. Unlike Rosewood maple must be finished to protect the neck from warping. The appearance of maple can vary due to how ‘figured’ the wood is. This can vary greatly with birdseye maple a particularly attractive and expensive option on high end guitars.
Ebony – is dark brown in colour and can sometimes appear black. It’s a wood that is very good for sustain, has a fast feel and has a bright tone.