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Help with purchase - Ibanez GWB 105 - Need expert opinions on condition of fretboard

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Kmrumedy, Mar 11, 2015.


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  1. Kmrumedy

    Kmrumedy

    May 12, 2004
    Montreal, Canada
    Hi,

    Working with a great seller on purchasing a 2005 Ibanez GWB 105 with an Ebonol fretboard.

    Description of condition is in"like new condition". We worked out a deal on price and last hurdle is I wanted pictures of the fretboard as I am not familiar Ebonol and wanted to see any wear on the board.

    Attached are pics of the fret board, The seller had to get the right angle and lighting so the string marks would stand out, you can see where the strings have been on the fret board on the B, E and A strings I am told you can't feel them, they are like scruff marks in the clear coat of a black car, the sellers says the scuffs are very minimal.

    Seller also offered a money back guarantee if I am not happy. Only problem I have is the bass is going to be shipped to my friend in the US ( I am Canadian ) and he will bring it up to me in June. So I can't ask the seller to wait that long.

    So these pictures are taken to pronounce the scuffs which I appreciate the sellers honesty.

    Thoughts? Is this minimal wear? Nothing I have to bring to a luthier to fix? Will it affect tone or intonation. They look minor to me but I am not expert on fretless boards.

    Thanks in advance. I would like to get back to the seller tonight.

    image.jpg1_zpswkpyzgn9.

    image.jpg3_zpsz4ttswo8.

    image.jpg2_zps2q7gdxxm.
     
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Hard to say without a shot from some good angle (and better focus!) to see how deep they are. I wouldn't call it like new, but if those are shallow, it doesn't matter (at least, doesn't seem to on the one I have). Probably perfectly playable like that, but I haven't put much wear on mine in years, still, it's tough stuff.
     
    Kmrumedy likes this.
  3. Kmrumedy

    Kmrumedy

    May 12, 2004
    Montreal, Canada
    Agreed. Hard to tell any wear on fretboard on the regular shots. You can see the bass is in seller shape for some of the other pics

    image.jpg1_zpsiduzqrcv.

    image.jpg2_zpshbcbbfwu.
     
  4. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Oooooh niiiice. Not sure I would worry. I checked - the bass I was thinking was ebanol is actually real ebony - and wear on that was fairly minimal gigging a fretless with DR stainless rounds for a couple of years. The ebanol should be tougher, I would think.
     
  5. anavar

    anavar

    Oct 10, 2013
    Australia
    my bass tone can beat up your dad's bass tone.
    i had a cort curbow bass with a ebanol board.

    mine looked the same after about 6 months of use. felt fine, not rough or anything. Its like black paint on cars, the swirling affect looks worse then it is.

    if the price is right, buy it dude. looks like a awesome bass.
     
    Matthew_84 and Kmrumedy like this.
  6. Kmrumedy

    Kmrumedy

    May 12, 2004
    Montreal, Canada
    Ok.....that is great feedback. Feeling a bit better as I really want this to work.
     
  7. staccatogrowl

    staccatogrowl Savoring time on a spinning, shimmery, aqua sphere Supporting Member

    Jul 14, 2006
    Aesthetically, the scuffing may be distracting/annoying. Practically, it's the common result of using round wounds, and it likely won't affect your playing ability or tone. Ebonol is a wood substitute. You could sand it, or build it back up, if the grooves become deep and problematic.

    From Wiki: "Ebonol is technically known as "XXX Paper Phenolic", and is a paper-based high pressure laminate made from layers of black paper and phenolic resin."

    I have two fretless basses with fingerboards that look worse than your example, and the scuffs make no difference in my playing. Honest wear is good mojo in my book.
     
    BMGecko and Kmrumedy like this.
  8. Maxdusty

    Maxdusty

    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    I too had a fretless cort curbow with the same board. Yep, had marks that looked exactly like that-not deep at all, I think it looks worse on the photo shot than it really is because of the glare of the lighting.
    The marks on my bass didn't affect the playability and once the strings are actually on the bass, aesthetically, you don't really notice them as much because the strings are over them.
    Also, they'll happen eventually so best to have the marks now and play the bass without worries than to be too worried of making them. :)
     
    Matthew_84 and Kmrumedy like this.
  9. Kmrumedy

    Kmrumedy

    May 12, 2004
    Montreal, Canada
    Thank you.
     
  10. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    Even if you had to get the fretboard dressed, its not a big deal at all. Someone should be able to do that pretty cheaply. There's no frets to re crown taking up time and costing you money.
     
    Kmrumedy likes this.
  11. Kmrumedy

    Kmrumedy

    May 12, 2004
    Montreal, Canada
    That is good to know. Thanks. I was worried about that as it is paper based product.
     
  12. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    In this case, read "phenolic resin" as more like epoxy than plastic (I believe, at least, it's the hard strong stuff).
     
  13. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Yes, and paper is wood. This stuff is basically mushed wood fibers all smashed together soaked in epoxy at high pressure. It wears harder an tougher than ebony, and ebony is plenty hard and tough. I think you should get it. :)
     
  14. Kmrumedy

    Kmrumedy

    May 12, 2004
    Montreal, Canada
    Me too!
     
  15. jd-ns

    jd-ns

    Sep 28, 2010
    Canada
    That bass looks like a fine specimen! that looks like the usual normal light wear on ebonol...

    you'd better hurry up and buy it before someone else tracks it down!
     
  16. othefool

    othefool

    Feb 25, 2004
    Chico, CA
    With fretless basses and roundwound strings, there will probably always be some marking on the fretboard.

    The marking occurs long before there are any consequences to playing. I had a Stingray fretless, and after 5 years of regular playing w/ rounds I started to get a buzz on one note (D on the A, of course). Took it to a luther and for minimal cost had the fretboard sanded; it was like new again. I figure and read that you can do this many times before you have to replace your fingerboard. Within weeks after the fix (probably with Rotosound strings) the marks began to appear again, but my luther advised me that this was typical. I never had another problem; eventually I sold the bass in great shape.

    I am currently into coated, flatwound and tapewound strings, so I imagine my newer fretless excursions will last longer between pit stops.
     
  17. To add to what's already been said, that's normal for ebonol boards and nothing to worry about. I've had two different ebonol boards and that happened to both of them, and none of the marks could be felt or effect playability or intonation.

    Also, my first one needed some releveling (for a different issue), and I did it myself with a radiused block, sandpaper, and car polish compound. The ebonol remained intact, and there were no issues sanding it. Think of it as a thick, polished layer of black superglue... Though, I could never buff the high gloss finish back, but that was the only noticeable difference.
     
    anavar likes this.
  18. anavar

    anavar

    Oct 10, 2013
    Australia
    my bass tone can beat up your dad's bass tone.
    i scalloped the fretboard on my Epiphone Wayne static signature V and that had an ebonol board. 2 things i noticed

    my word is that stuff hard
    and i could never get it back to the gloss finish either, it stayed a cool, satin black instead.
     
    Matthew_84 likes this.
  19. Nothing to worry about
     
  20. Kmrumedy

    Kmrumedy

    May 12, 2004
    Montreal, Canada
    A big thanks to everyone. I am purchasing the bass.
     
    Matthew_84, neurotictim and bholder like this.

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