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Will rosewood fretboards become a thing of the past?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Ric5, Nov 24, 2017.


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  1. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    I grow organic carrots and they are not for sale
    With the new CITES regulations will rosewood fretboards become a thing of the past?
     
  2. Never say never.......but worse case scenario, in time, it may become something like ivory. Completely illegal to sell without documentation stating it was leagaly accuired before the ban, before the law went into effect. I'm not really sure of the details of the law against endangered species and such. I do know I own a pre war Martin Ukelele with real Ivory banjo tuners that is certainly legal to own.
     
  3. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005
    Surely wooden instruments will become a thing of the past?
     
  4. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I would think wooden instruments altogether will fade out.
     
    TheBear likes this.
  5. Gorn

    Gorn

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Yah that's makes sense. Like woodwind instruments. What's the best tonecomposite?
     
    Rezdog and Wisebass like this.
  6. Wisebass

    Wisebass

    Jan 12, 2017
    Lost in Space
    :D:D:D of course rosewood- ivory epoxy :roflmao::roflmao::roflmao:

    greetings

    Wise(b)ass
     
    Marikk, instrumentalist and PillO like this.
  7. mysteryclock

    mysteryclock Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2010
    Franklin, TN
    I have rosewood on one bass now, but I spec'ed Pau Ferro for my next build because it is still a very nice wood and it avoids any future CITES paperwork complications.

    I'm not necessarily anti-CITES, because I get what they're trying to do - drastically slow down illegal rosewood harvesting and trade before, quite frankly, the species is virtually gone. People have been harvesting so much for so long that they had to do something.
     
    chris_b and Groove Doctor like this.
  8. gsgbass

    gsgbass "ROAD REX" Supporting Member

    If Rosewood in the future will be no longer used, I have two Gibsons with Rosewood Fretboards. Other than that though, it's not really a concern though. Pau Ferro is a nice wood for Fretboards also.
     
  9. In the near future they will be able to develop a cloned specie of Rosewood that grows at lightning speed and replicates the original DNA 100%.

    I wouldn't worry.
     
    dxb, superdick2112, BAG and 4 others like this.
  10. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    Well, that's probably still a ways off....but really good synthetic woods are starting to appear now. Here's a thread I started about Rocklite, the newest synthetic ebony replacement. I'm experimenting with it here in my shop now, and I'll tell you, it's very close to the real thing in look, feel, and mechanical properties.

    Rocklite: The Latest Synthetic Ebony For Fingerboards

    And, we've gotten word from the Rocklite company that they are indeed working on a synthetic rosewood, to be released sometime soon.

    What we'll probably see over the coming years is that low-priced instruments will switch to other woods, which are cheaper and more commonly available. Higher priced instruments will use the synthetics, not just because of availability, but because they are actually technically preferred over real ebony and rosewood. Real ebony and rosewood will continue to increase in price, and will only be used on some special very high priced instruments.

    That's the future I expect, and I don't think it's bad.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
  11. skwee

    skwee

    Apr 2, 2010
    Minneapolis
    What percentage of "rosewood" parts are actually pau ferro already?

    I can't really see wooden instruments going completely away.
     
  12. The guitar and bass market is still far too fixated on the designs of Leo Fender and Les Paul for anything nontraditional to ever catch on in a significant way. I'm pretty sure that 100 years from now, people will still be wanting P basses made from wood.
     
  13. honeyiscool

    honeyiscool

    Jan 28, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    Fretboards don't have to be made from rare or endangered trees like ebony, rosewood, or wenge. Torrified maple is fantastic, as is regular maple, pau ferro obviously, ebonol or other synthetics. I know people haven't really made that into a brand name guitar product, but I would think that bamboo would make a wonderful fretboard, since it's one of the hardest woods out there (suitable for commercial flooring), grows quickly, is cheap, available in long lengths, and is not even close to endangered and will never be. I do think that wood will be around far longer than some people think, but that we will move away from exotic woods and use more abundant woods like maple, spruce, poplar, bamboo.

    Musicians will eventually have to give up on these crazy looking and figured woods on new instruments. We have to get over ourselves and admit that figuring does not make a wood sound better. If anything, figured woods are more likely to develop twists over time in necks. Even ash is becoming threatened. I think synthetic will become more popular because people, for whatever reason, seem to vibe with darker fretboards, and it's the darker woods that seem to be getting harder to get ethically, so those who want that aesthetic will eventually have no choice but to go synthetic. But the rest of us will learn to enjoy lighter colored, less figured woods.
     
    Stefan Verbeeck likes this.
  14. somegeezer

    somegeezer

    Oct 1, 2009
    England
    There is more than one species of rosewood. Some of them will still be used.
     
  15. obimark

    obimark

    Sep 1, 2011
    No problem here, always liked maple boards better. Always sounds more "lively" to me.
     
  16. Handyman

    Handyman

    Sep 4, 2007
    Austin, TX
    The massive unsustainable harvest of Asian rosewood species is a pretty recent phenomenon, actually. Rosewood furniture became a status symbol in China.
     
  17. Handyman

    Handyman

    Sep 4, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Fender has already announced they'll switch to Pau Ferro - I'm guessing most builders will follow.

    I doubt many people will even notice the change.
     
    Mike Sorr and stephanz like this.
  18. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    When will the Chinese rosewood furniture industry be shut down?
     
    Stefan Verbeeck and Big John66 like this.
  19. Handyman

    Handyman

    Sep 4, 2007
    Austin, TX
    I'd certainly imagine so as China is a CITES signatory.
     
  20. dxb

    dxb

    Dec 25, 2016
    That's what I read too. I actually don't mind guitar builders moving away from rosewood as there are several good alternatives, but the decision does cause a lot of hassle for people who already own rosewood instruments and just want to cross a border or ship one internationally.
     

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