Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

KSB - Ebony vs. Tsunami

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by john turner, Jan 3, 2005.


  1. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    heya folks

    ken smith recently posted a thread wondering about the effect the horrible tragedy in southeast asia was going to have on ebony supplies. that particular thread got shut down because of off topic meandering, but i think the topic is still a valid one, so i'm starting this thread for the same discussion.

    there's a thread in OT to discuss the tragedy itself, this is to discuss one aspect of the tragedy. if you have a problem with this, please share your editorial comments with me or hambone -privately-. there's no reason whatsoever for this thread to derail, it's a very concise and specific topic. please don't attempt to derail it.

    so, without any further ado,

     
  2. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Thanks John. Perhaps now we could discuss this in a mature manner.

    As I stated in my deleted Post, I am NOT looking for or need Ebony at this time. I have a 10 year supply. 5 years is my normal stock for Ebony but I bought extra in the past as it was available.

    Also, I mentioned that Logging is an industry in Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka that may also affect their Local Economy.

    Now for the News: I just got off the phone with my supplier and our source was not directly affected as they are Inland and not on the coast. However, Relief efforts, related clean-up and re-building DOES affect much of the country as well. The Ports that would Ship Products may be affected or damaged and also the workers that perfomed these duties may live by the coast.

    I hear that India and Sri Lanka are in a similar situation.

    Now; Suppliers selling Ebony may jack up the price or Gouge it a little do to lack of immeadiate re-supply.

    IF you use Ebony and are concerned, call the supplier you normally use and find out what their situation is. It's always good to plan ahead with hard-to-find quality supplies
     
  3. Tdog

    Tdog

    May 18, 2004
    I was wondering where the thread went! I was about to post some info concerning the situation, then could not find the thread.....Ken.....Most of the commercial supply of Gaboon Ebony comes from Equatorial West Africa....Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria, and Gambia....so the supply, as you said, should not be affected. Macassar Ebony could be in trouble along with several other types of ebony, because they thrive in the regions hardest hit by the tsunami.
     
  4. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    A lot of black ebony (which may or may not be incorrectly sold as "gaboon") is coming out of southeast asia at this point, as Ken said in an earlier post: Ceylon ebony, for example, is black ebony and can pass for gaboon.

    The real Gaboon deal has gone way up in price over the last year or so and so I think a lot of folks were migrating toward SE asian ebonies, black or otherwise, for pricing reasons. Some of my local(ish) prices on Gaboon have gone up as much as 50% over the last year or two while the indian and indonesian species have been relatively stable.

    I'll be interested to see how the market reacts as well. I just snapped up a couple years worth of macassar about 4 weeks ago. I should probably get some more.
     
  5. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Yes, that’s right Matt. Most of the Ebony used in the Guitar industry has been from India or Sri Lanka. The African Ebony is not as good as it once was and even Violin Makers are using Indian ‘black’ or Macassar. Of course the older tight grained African Black would be preferred if was good and stable IF it was even available.

    I think the Ceylon Ebony is a bit to Brittle and prone to cracking on wider pieces. We used it for a few years and switched. Too many pieces never even made it to or through production. Macassar has worked best for us with Indian being #2 and African being #3.
     
  6. Tdog

    Tdog

    May 18, 2004
    So basically, you really don't know what you are getting when buying ebony, despite what the supplier is telling you. I may just start using pearwood and dying it! HA!
     
  7. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Depends on who your dealer is and everyone along the line. I believe most of the dealers I work with try to get things right all of the time and do get it right most of the time.

    But there are surely some retailers who play fast & loose.