Thoughts on this fretboard?

The Dutchman

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Hi All,

After playing an Epiphone Les Paul Custom for almost 20 years I got myself a present and bought a new Slash signature Les Paul. Sounds very nice and the top is (IMO) very cool.

However, the rosewood on the fretboard is not what I would expect on a 3K guitar, even though it hasn't seen much playtime. Is it just me or should I bring this back to where it came from?
 

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ARandall

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Return it if its not in any way to your liking.

Some of the fretboards show this, and I'm not quite sure how that happens. No rosewood I've ever built with has been like that. The closest to this look I have seen is if you stick wood in a jointing planer the wrong way around (against the grain). But radiused fretboards shouldn't be going through a planer.
 

Oranjeaap

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Does it feel flaky? Maybe it's been stored at super low humidity.
 

The Dutchman

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It feels kind of rough. Initially I was thinking OK could be because it's a brand new guitar but it's not getting any better.

Applied small amount of fretboard conditioner, didn't do much...
 

The Dutchman

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Thanks all, contacted the store as well; I'll pay them a visit soon, see what they say. They have more in stock so maybe I'll try another one, at least to compare. Would've loved to try the guitar in the first place, but covid restrictions wouldn't let me..:dunno:.

Really like the neck and pickups of this model.
 

Oranjeaap

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Well I wouldnt be happy with a fretboard that looks like that, especially on a brand new guitar.
Maybe a few cycles of playing -> cleaning -> fretconditioner will fix the issue.
if they have a couple of gibsons in the store, shouldn't be too hard to compare them and hopefully they'll agree this fretboard doesnt look optimal
 

Dilver

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Looks like someone got overzealous with oiling the fretboard to the point that the grain started to rise or it was never sanded properly to begin with. It can be fixed by a competent tech, but you shouldn’t have to pay for that.
 

Rocco Crocco

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The fretboard on my 2016 Trad looks a little like that. Weird raised grain appearance. I bought it used and didn't notice it until later, after looking at the pic below.

It doesn't bother me but if it were brand new I and didn't love it I might consider returning it.

 

Subterfuge

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it's rough that's for sure ... not ideal for a brand new instrument .. it would bug me
 

mudface

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This kind of grain feathering can be caused by a number of things...........one is cut against the grain with a dull blade.... little to no sanding after its cut.... over moisturizing with oil or water..... regardless, the only fix is to sand it smooth..... with the frets already installed it's a delicate time consuming job.

Return it.

thumbnail_Image (3).jpg
 

Mesamay2003

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That looks pretty normal to me for Gibson USA stuff, my 2013 Traditional is similar, but not as dark. A good tech could to a light sanding for you to smooth the feel. How much does your Slash weigh? I've got the same guitar inbound, I'll check out my fretboard when it arrives.
 

pondcaster

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I'm no expert but I've had 6 Gibson LPs in the last year (5 Standards & one Classic from '19 and '20, not to mention an '18 Tribute) and none have looked that way. Maybe I've been extremely lucky? Even though it's only a small sample size, I would not think it's normal.

As others have already suggested, I'd be returning that particular LP and swapping out with another, if at all possible.

I'm not overly nitpicky but that would bother me on an instrument that pricey. There's a better one out there, no reason to keep one that's not closer to perfect.
 
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Cjsinla

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I’ve seen boards like that before, I don’t believe it is the norm and I would be tempted to send it back.
 

LtDave32

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This kind of grain feathering can be caused by a number of things...........one is cut against the grain with a dull blade.... little to no sanding after its cut.... over moisturizing with oil or water..... regardless, the only fix is to sand it smooth..... with the frets already installed it's a delicate time consuming job.

Return it.

View attachment 532347
That looks "lizard-scale-ish". Like your fingertip is about to catch a rosewood splinter. I'm with mudface. Return it.
 

workerunit

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I bought a used 2008 Gibson Les Paul Standard a while ago that had the same issue. The guitar was in great shape except for a rough fretboard. I scraped the fretboard with a single edge razor blade, being very careful to keep the blade 90 degrees to the board, and made it smooth. It was pretty easy as the frets needed to be polished anyway. Now the fretboard is smooth. No sanding, just slow careful work with a razor blade. The guitar now plays much better with a smooth fretboard.

In my case the fret board was very, very dry and the guitar seemed like a case queen. I think somehow moisture got on the dry fretboard and raised the grain.

If I had bought a $3,000.00 guitar new like that, I would immediately return it for a refund or exchange.
 
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