New Gibson Fretboard Observation

Rick

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Well, I do know this, Rick- fretboard conditioner and other wood conditioners for many instruments exist for a reason and have for many, MANY years. It’s not just to make it “look wet” (which is not at all what I’m going for, by the way). It’s to keep the wood in top top shape over the course of time and, for fretboards, it’s also to give it an optimal playing surface over the entire board without having to put thousands of hours into making it that way.

I sure would like my new guitar to feel and play that way right out of the gate, whether you agree with their use or not. :)
I never once disagreed with the use of fretboard oil. I merely challenged the idea that it was for "dry" fretboards. It exists for purely aesthetic reasons in 99.99% of cases. Gibson guitars are not coming out of the factory starved for oil. They don't need oil. Period. You can use it for temporary aesthetic enhancements but it is doing nothing to condition, protect or enhance the playability of the wood.
 

danzego

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I never once disagreed with the use of fretboard oil. I merely challenged the idea that it was for "dry" fretboards. It exists for purely aesthetic reasons in 99.99% of cases. Gibson guitars are not coming out of the factory starved for oil. They don't need oil. Period. You can use it for temporary aesthetic enhancements but it is doing nothing to condition, protect or enhance the playability of the wood.

I disagree. Ever played on one of these “dry” fretboards? Based on what you’re saying, I would believe you haven’t. It absolutely enhances the playability, especially when it comes to bends.
 

Zentar

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I have a 50s archtop with Rosewood fretboard that I'm pretty sure had not been oiled since it was made in Chicago during the Eisenhower administration.. I oiled it just recently and I'll bet it won't get oiled again for 50 years.
 

PierM

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22d6ebed745e77a81d574eb8405833a989798f2064f9f664ea980d5b64e143e6.jpg
 

bulletproof

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Jesus christ. That is not a "dry" fretboard. I mean, technically it is. Because a guitar without a dry fretboard would be a disaster. Any guitar maker worth anything goes through a lot to make sure the wood is as dry as possible. But that board does not "need" oil at all. I get it, you prefer an oily board. That doesn't make it "dry." Finger oils will make that fretboard look "wet" just like rubbing unnecessary oil on it.
Whoa man,take it easy,it’s just a discussion :cheers2: You say tomato,ya know?


The ole dry board......it does happen. Even on an ole,beat-up,well-played guitar. My old(‘95 Studio beater)had a go round with this after moving from NC back to Ohio. Poor thing was subjected to all kinds of varying degrees of temps and humidity. And it was just this one guitar (the others were fine). It traveled in the backseat of my truck. She didn’t get packed(had to have one out to play). It was the first time I have ever encountered this. Since then,after the winter is over(and all the dry,gas heat),I give’em all a bit of a good going over with a bit of instrument oil.
Just one of them things,man....no big deal.
However,some of the boards that have been presented on here? Man,that’s just really inexcusable. No way they should have left the factory like that........

Edit: and like everything else I post in here,this all just my 2cents.
 

PierM

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A picture of an old guitar with a fretboard that is polished and darkened by playing for 25 years, vs a bunch of pictures of fingerboards that either aren't sanded properly or actually did get wet and have raised grain. No one is in denial. Nothing you showed was a "dry" fretboard.

In fact I said isn't about dry fretboards. At least not what I've in my mind when I think about crappy rosewood fretboards from Gibson. It's all about not properly prepped wood, prior the fretting. Funny is that you just said the same thing, lol!

I wish people would read other people posts before being so confrontational.

Also, why so grumpy? Are you selling that rosewood to Gibson? Jeeez. :rofl:
 

bulletproof

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In fact I said isn't about dry fretboards. At least not what I've in my mind when I think about crappy rosewood fretboards from Gibson. It's all about not properly prepped wood, prior the fretting.

I wish people would read other people posts before being so confrontational.

Also, why so grumpy? Are you selling that rosewood to Gibson? Jeeez. :rofl:
Yaaaa,brother.....a good rule of thumb(IMHO) is to talk on here just the same as I do down at the pub.
(Although,I do tend to drink more coffee than beer in here) :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl::cheers2:


Shewee man,some of those pictures of fretboards I clearly remember.....just sad that they were going through bad times and taking it out on the customers. Seems like things have turned around a bit,and that’s just what the doctor ordered!!
 

MSB

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if Gibson sold fretboard darkener, I bet it'd be a hit, screw the polish
 

Rick

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In fact I said isn't about dry fretboards. At least not what I've in my mind when I think about crappy rosewood fretboards from Gibson. It's all about not properly prepped wood, prior the fretting. Funny is that you just said the same thing, lol!

I wish people would read other people posts before being so confrontational.

Also, why so grumpy? Are you selling that rosewood to Gibson? Jeeez. :rofl:
I was speaking to the theme of the whole argument here - that Gibson is sending out guitars with "dry" fretboards. People look at glamour shots of others' Les Pauls on here with oily boards and when they see a normal rosewood fretboard at a guitar store they thing it's "dry" and needs to be slathered in oil because "that's how it's supposed to look."

There's nothing wrong with adding a little oil for that darker, played-in look. I do that to mine about twice a year after polishing the frets because the naptha cleanup removes the "polish" from my fingers. It's purely aesthetic.

I'm not grumpy. I gave my $0.02 just like everyone else. Other than that I only responded to people that were directly responding to me. I'm over it. If someone wants to think that oil makes them bend their strings better, more power to them!
 

PierM

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I was speaking to the theme of the whole argument here - that Gibson is sending out guitars with "dry" fretboards. People look at glamour shots of others' Les Pauls on here with oily boards and when they see a normal rosewood fretboard at a guitar store they thing it's "dry" and needs to be slathered in oil because "that's how it's supposed to look."

There's nothing wrong with adding a little oil for that darker, played-in look. I do that to mine about twice a year after polishing the frets because the naptha cleanup removes the "polish" from my fingers. It's purely aesthetic.

I'm not grumpy. I gave my $0.02 just like everyone else. Other than that I only responded to people that were directly responding to me. I'm over it. If someone wants to think that oil makes them bend their strings better, more power to them!

Yeah, there is a bit of confusion when it's about fretboards. We've, at least, 2 different aspects here, but majority seems applying the same circular reasoning on both (oil the damn fretboard).

  1. Wood not properly prepped (process of sanding with different grit, then buff on final stage with a drop of oil to make it smooth like ice)
  2. Dry Wood.

The second, in my experience, usually does NOT exist if 1) it's true. I mean, if blanks have been prepped as they should, it's extremely rare to find them dry.

This does explain my first comment; Gibson seems not able to properly prep their blanks, probably to speed up the pipeline. This means people it's getting random quality, as a blank can be more or less rough from different stocks. Sometimes they are fine (which imho means better sources, when does arrive to Gibson plants). Sometimes they are rough. Sometimes they are splintering. Etc... etc..
 

TMS

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Excuse the bump.

I haven't been keeping up with guitars the last few years, but when I'm looking at models from Gibson and other brands the look of the fretboard looks so different, dry to me.

I see this on fretboards made out of pau ferro a lot. It just looks off.

And the same for these SG/LPs specials and standards. They look cheap and cheapen the guitar. I was thinking about simply ordering a guitar online but when I see a fretboard like that all I can think about is ''you have to try them out''. I can feel the dryness already, seriously. I don't need a slow playing neck.

6sHvLWN.jpg


KAJSwtJ.jpg
 

Injector

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Excuse the bump.

I haven't been keeping up with guitars the last few years, but when I'm looking at models from Gibson and other brands the look of the fretboard looks so different, dry to me.

I see this on fretboards made out of pau ferro a lot. It just looks off.

And the same for these SG/LPs specials and standards. They look cheap and cheapen the guitar. I was thinking about simply ordering a guitar online but when I see a fretboard like that all I can think about is ''you have to try them out''. I can feel the dryness already, seriously. I don't need a slow playing neck.

6sHvLWN.jpg


KAJSwtJ.jpg
It's not "drymess". It's poor quality rosewood that has also been poorly prepped. Yeah you can drench it in oil which will make it look darker temporarily but unless you dye it that board is essentially never going to be any different.
 

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