If at all?


Most of my builds have been made using red oak neck and red oak fretboard, mainly because of easy availability. On two recent builds though, I've experimented with Walnut and Cocobolo fretboards. I've noticed the sound on these two builds is a little different and seemingly more responsive (though it may just be me). 


I've tried a couple of other different things on these builds as well, so I'm trying to narrow it down as to what exactly it is I've done to create this change. Any thoughts on the fretboard wood?


Thanks, David

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oops misspelt it.... "Cu$tom $hop"

I found this artical on luthier woods some time ago. Someone else had also posted it on another thread. The long and the short of it is the tone depends more on the luthier than on the wood. The fee received may depend more on the wood than on the luthier.

The best tonewood comes from the rare  "singing ringing tree"  only found on the higher slopes of a particular Nepalese mountain range, the branches must only be cut in the light of a full moon, and must be used with a nut made from the horn of a rare breed of Yak found on the same slopes...it's expensive!  (-8

๏_๏ Me want it!

...you can have it if you travel there and pay a guide to locate the right slope, tree and Yak...(-:

It is a brilliant wood to work, I like the erotic graining!  The big downside is the smell when working it. And of course you must use female Yak pee to seal and bring out the graining. Happy treking. ;-)



I have tried many things and the neck does play a part in the sound, try ash

I also have 2 aluminium fretboard guitars and like they way they play as they are dead flat.

Tiny minute differences affect the sound. I have the same strings and tuners on many things and they all sound different.

Facinates me..But I wood (pun) imagine the neck is doing more than the fretboard. Neck material, Nut and Bridge and Pickups tone pots and cap are all Key..

But strangely sometimes you find unexpected goodness from new materials...

It would be an interesting experiment to build 2 the same and have each with different fretboards but everthing else the same.

Most of the frequency resonate from the sound board and people have build paper backed guitars to prove this.

The neck material is good for sustain.. mahogany is good or ash.

I have a full mahogany guitar and its trebbly

A spruce top one is warmer.

Louder and warmer with a rosewood back (hardwood bounces the sound back forward)

I quite like the sound of steel and tin as the resonator materials.

Wood or bone or aluminium nut

A bridge a hardwood bridge with a fret on it better than a bolt bridge for sound..

But it's all personal I am sure...

I prefer a rosewood strat fret board to a maple one, but each is personal I am sure.

Try new things thats what I say and keep us posted..




I can't tell you why it makesa difference but I can definately hear a difference between a strat with a rosewood finger board and a maple fingerboard.

What these guys said...


"Once you start agonising over the tone benefits of one fretboard material against another for a cigar box guitar...then you've taken a wrong turn. It's a stick in a box..that's a STICK and a BOX, good people...a stick and a box."



"It's the player that makes all the difference."

Ed (Bad Finger)


"custom shop mumbo jumbo"










Since many aspects of a CBG define its sound, unless you made a number of  CBGs identical, except for the kind of wood the fretboard is made of--and that might not even be reliable, it'd be almost impossible to tell any difference.

I think the closest you would get to the "Identical" part would be to make a CBG with a bolt on neck and then change necks. I don't know about you, but if I make two identically, they still are not identical. And that is not a bad thing.

Would it be worth the trouble. I don't think so.

Fretboard wood is where you put your fingers. It should ideally be incredibly greasy, so that you can play faster. You can make even the cheapest fretboard wood extremely greasy by rubbing it with salami or summer sausage. The differences in tone will only be apparent after many sausages are tried, which is likely to make you hungry. All that fatty goodness will however soak into your fretboard, and lubricate your playing. If you play slide, you will feel like you are on ice. Any fretboard wood will do, because it just doesn't matter; the key to great tone is selecting the right type of sausage. Wieners, Vienna sausages, and especially Kosher franks have a detrimental effect on your tone. Boiling them does not help. Many people pay lots of money for special deli sausages, but these too are a simple waste of time, unless you are having a picnic.

Strings, however...now that's where things can get interesting...>:-E


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