Phenolic or composite fingerboards

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by nathan, Jan 10, 2005.

  1. nathan


    Jul 16, 2004
    Whats the dif. in Phenolic and Composite fingerboards. Any sound differences? which one do you prefer?
  2. Phenolic and composite are different words that describe the same thing. Phenolic is a "composite" material made from layers of resin impregnated textile material (paper, fabric, etc) that is compressed under heat . The resulting material is hard, strong, and can be engineered to have many different properties depending on it's end use. Do not confuse a composite fretboard with the fretboards that come on the Cort Curbow basses. These are Ebonol and a cousin to the engineered hard rubber originally developed for bowling balls. It is a true homogenous material without layers or grain.

    I don't have a problem with synthetic fretboards. The only real difference I've noted is that they seem to project a bit of "clickiness", for lack of a better word. I find it hard to press the strings without hearing them contact the neck. Ebony doesn't do this for me. The tone from composite fretboards is great and I would use them in my own constructions if the material were a little bit more accessible and it were easier to work with.