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Linho
10-07-2013, 10:48 AM
Aloha,

Thinking about the fretboard Material of my New custom Ukulele.
What would you prefer, and why?

Beside the optimal, ebony is said to be harder and heavier - does this make a real difference?

Mahalo,
Linho

mm stan
10-07-2013, 10:55 AM
Aloha Linho,
I am sure the harder wood would be better for sound but I am sure you would notice it too...It is what you prefer and the hardness for durability, even though you wont wear out one
in your lifetime..LOL I think it does make a difference though, but asthetically pleasing is more noticable....as so, it depends on what material you have on your uke to match the binding,
headstock, saddle, rosette etc...

olgoat52
10-07-2013, 10:57 AM
I like ebony boards and bridges. I think they sound brighter but that has to be taken into context with the rest of the instrument. Changes in bracing and top thickness can change the tone a lot more than the wood of the fingerboard and bridge. I would say you are safe with either and just pick the one that compliments the wood in the rest of the instrument.

The weight isn't going to make any difference. One comment. Jet black ebony, if you really like it, is getting harder and harder to come up with. I personally don't mind some grain in the ebony as long as it isn't white or really light gray.



Aloha,

Thinking about the fretboard Material of my New custom Ukulele.
What would you prefer, and why?


Beside the optimal, ebony is said to be harder and heavier - does this make a real difference?

Mahalo,
Linho

pakhan
10-07-2013, 02:27 PM
Hi Linho,

Sure it would make a difference, but how much of a difference is debatable. A lot of folks talk about the feel of the fretboard. For myself, I don't press hard when I fret so my fingers don't contact the fingerboard- if you do fret until you can feel the fingerboard then not only would material make a difference but how it has been finished (or not).

Bridges are a bit different- probably make a much bigger difference compared to the fingerboard. Some say rosewood some say ebony. In my experience, as long as the luthier is good, you'd best be discussing with him about what he thinks would get the best sound..

Hope that helps...

TheCraftedCow
10-08-2013, 12:15 AM
What about the possibility of Neither One? Both ebony and Rosewood are non-indigenous trees.( they do not grow in the USA). If you are planning a trip and the trolls stop your ukulele because you have no evidence some person has not illegally imported those woods, your uke may be seized. LesStansell Les Stansell Guitars willget you to him through a Google search. He sells and uses pistachio nut wood from California. H,e says it is a stable as ebony,,,and lots less expensive, and is a not threatened tree grown in the USA.

Radio Flyer
10-08-2013, 06:04 AM
if i had a choice i would get ebony just because i like the look and feel of it. i have rosewood also but just prefer the ebony. i've seen a few of the striped ebony fingerboards and they don't look bad to me although i can see that inlays on them would not be as effective. there are probably many hardwoods that would hold up to nylon string uke use without undue wear.

Doc_J
10-08-2013, 07:35 AM
What about the possibility of Neither One? Both ebony and Rosewood are non-indigenous trees.( they do not grow in the USA). If you are planning a trip and the trolls stop your ukulele because you have no evidence some person has not illegally imported those woods, your uke may be seized. LesStansell Les Stansell Guitars willget you to him through a Google search. He sells and uses pistachio nut wood from California. H,e says it is a stable as ebony,,,and lots less expensive, and is a not threatened tree grown in the USA.

I've seen some really nice looking pistachio wood sets from Oregon Wildwoods.
http://ukuleletonewood.com/ukulele-sets/ukulele-back-side-sets/pistachio-back-side-sets.html

Here's a write up on Pistacia vera (from the http://tonewooddatasource.weebly.com/)
"This is the variety of Pistachio grown commercially for nut production. The wood is very dense and hard, similar to Ebony. The colors include green, red, white, and tan to dark brown, in stunning patterns of contracting bands. Pistachio has excellent tonal qualities and a most unique look. Almost impossible to find in sizes big enough for bodies. Fingerboards can be found."

Leodhas
10-08-2013, 08:23 AM
Aloha,

Thinking about the fretboard Material of my New custom Ukulele.
What would you prefer, and why?

Beside the optimal, ebony is said to be harder and heavier - does this make a real difference?

Mahalo,
Linho

You know that both materials play well, so I would let your heart rule your head on this one. Go with the one that suites the uke. Pick the one that goes with the other wood used. I know you'll want this to be the most special ukulele ever made, but sometimes you just have to throw the dice.

HBolte
10-08-2013, 08:29 AM
For me nothing beats ebony for looks or feel.

Dougf
10-08-2013, 04:52 PM
What about the possibility of Neither One? Both ebony and Rosewood are non-indigenous trees.( they do not grow in the USA). If you are planning a trip and the trolls stop your ukulele because you have no evidence some person has not illegally imported those woods, your uke may be seized. LesStansell Les Stansell Guitars willget you to him through a Google search. He sells and uses pistachio nut wood from California. H,e says it is a stable as ebony,,,and lots less expensive, and is a not threatened tree grown in the USA.

I've been using manzanita for my fingerboards, as well as for backs and sides. My guess is it's harder than rosewood, but not as hard as ebony. If you do a search on the forum for 'manzanita', you'll find my threads about it. (And William, I've used your PegHed tuners on all my ukes, love 'em :)).

Linho
10-08-2013, 09:32 PM
Aloha!

Mahalo to everyone. Since I had the choice of rosewood and ebony, I think I will chose black ebony. It's a all Koa Ukulele, so a straight black fretboard and bridge should give the best contrast to the Koa curls. :)

Cheers,
Linho