What the heck is this fingerboard wood??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Hevy T, Jun 11, 2020.

  1. Hevy T

    Hevy T Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2011
    Lethbridge, AB Canada
    It is advertised as "rosewood" but to me it looks more like jatoba! However I cant see using an expensive wood like that on such a cheap bass!

  2. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

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  3. Hevy T

    Hevy T Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2011
    Lethbridge, AB Canada
    Yeah I see that! The pic I posted is the latest version of the Tobias Toby and the description still says rosewood! To me that looks nothing like rosewood. I am likely wrong with it being jatoba but am just very curious to know
  4. Sursonique


    May 17, 2020
    I have one bass that has a Jacaranda fretboard, it kinda looks like it could be Jacaranda (brazillian rosewood).
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  5. Hevy T

    Hevy T Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2011
    Lethbridge, AB Canada
    I think we have a winner! That looks just like it actually. What kind of bass is it?
  6. Bass4LifeRS


    Oct 18, 2005
  7. Fender4Me

    Fender4Me The Undertaker

    Also called brazilian cherrywood.
  8. devnulljp

    devnulljp Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2009
    BC, Canada
    Admin on the D*A*M Forum
    I don't think either of those is jacaranda. AFAIK, its use was banned outright long ago so you find it on older instruments. And those are $$$$$.
    Unless the marketing wonks have just renamed something else jacaranda, which wouldn't surprise me. There are a bunch of species in the jacaranda genus, so maybe it's one of those, but def not what has traditionally been called Jacaranda / Brazillian rosewood, which is quite dark.
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  9. Keith Guitars

    Keith Guitars Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 25, 2004
    Woodstock, NY
    Builder: Martin Keith Guitars
    Just to be clear - the name "Brazilian Rosewood" in instrument making almost always refers to Dalbergia Nigra, the striped chocolate-brown wood that is traditionally used for backs and sides of acoustic instruments, as well as fingerboards and bridges. This material is regulated under the CITES treaty as an endangered species, though it's still in use by a number of instrument companies.

    "True" rosewoods all fall in the Dalbergia genus, and include Indian, Madagascar, Amazon, and Southeast Asian varieties, as well as African Blackwood.
    There are also several "false" rosewoods, such as Pau Ferro (aka "Santos Rosewood", Bubinga (sometimes called "African Rosewood") and others.
    These names arise because these less common woods have similar properties (density, for example) to better-known species.
    Mexican Katalox, for example, is often called "Mexican Ebony" or even "Royal Ebony" despite being in a completely different family of tree.

    This happens all the time with "mahogany" as well, which is used as a catchall generic term for all sorts of woods being harvested in Central and South America, Africa, Asia and the Phillipines.
    "True" mahoganies are in the Swietenia genus, and all the others are "so-called" mahogany. (African/Khaya "mahogany", African sapele, Phillipine lauan, etc.)

    OP's fingerboard could be Jatoba, Jacaranda or Bubinga - hard to tell from the photos. All are perfectly viable fretboard woods.
    Please remember that much of what is traditional in instrument-making is somewhat accidental...using Alder for early Fender solidbodies, for example,
    instead of poplar which would have been the more likely choice if Fender had been on the East coast.
    Don't judge the material based on how commonly it's used - some of the best non-traditional species (wenge, for example, which rivals the best traditional woods) are
    relatively recent to the instrument world.

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  10. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2005
    san antonio, texas
    ^^ great post, thanks!
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  11. sonojono

    sonojono Supporting Member

    Feb 13, 2013
    That fretboard looks clean :thumbsup:
  12. Sursonique


    May 17, 2020
    It is a Frankestein bass I had made by a friend of mine who is a Luthier, an SG body,with a Fender scale neck, and two mini-humbuckers.

    The concept was that I wanted a bass with a body made from a piece of patagonian lenga that came from my birthtown in patagonia, cos i wanted to have a bass with a body that came from the same place as my body lol. The rest of the bass is also made of argentinean source woods, as I have a wood shop for luthiers near my house, so the neck is Guatambu (similar to maple) and the freboard is Jacaranda, cos it is the one they had in the shop and I liked the color of it.

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  13. Sursonique


    May 17, 2020
    Thanks!!! I make sure I give it some linseed oil every six months, I do that with all my rosewood or similar fretboards. It really does magic.
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  14. Dunno if this is useful or interesting or not ... but just for fun I took closeups of four rosewood boards (mfg lists them as such anyway) I was in the process of cleaning/oiling today. Three from early 80's Japan or Taiwan and a more recent G&L Tribute from I don't know where (Indonesia I think) that is pre CITES and was sold as Rosewood. Note all of these look MUCH darker in person, the photo really brings out the lighter colors and streaks that you don't notice normally.

    And this is a very recent G&L Tribute from indonesia with what they are calling Brazilian Cherry
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2020
    B-Mac likes this.
  15. Recently got my first Jatoba fretboard. I am sold on it. Looks HOT and plays really really nicely.
  16. ukulelelab


    Apr 14, 2013
    OP it could also be padauk (?). Here is a rare mid '65 Fender p with padauk fretboard.
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  17. Thegrandwazoo

    Thegrandwazoo Supporting Member

    Sep 8, 2013
    West Virginia
    Just looks like pretty nice rosewood to me, my 2012 US Music Man Sterling's rosewood fingerboard looks pretty similar (photo makes it look considerably darker than my eyeballs do). image.jpg
  18. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    Just so you know, there are a lot of different woods that are commonly called rosewood. It's kind of an exercise in semantics as to whether or not something is "real" rosewood, as everyone has their own definition of what woods count as "real". Also, there are a lot of rosewood fretboards out there that haver been dyed darker. Ebony is also very commonly dyed so it's all black.

    People seem to be enamored with wood that doesn't really look like wood nowadays. I, however, choose to go my own path. I think this fretboard looks cool because of its variation, and went out of my way to buy it:

  19. Drummerboy2


    Aug 31, 2016
    I know this an old thread but I was looking on some info about the Fret Board I have on my Sterling SUB RAY4. It came with a Jatoba fret board, never heard of it until I was looking at the bass before I bought it.

    I really like this Jatoba wood for the F/B and my experience mirrors yours on how it plays/feels. I use the RAY4 more than my other basses now.