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Richlite Fretboard

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Injam, Sep 23, 2020.

  1. rand z

    rand z Friend of Leo's

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    I have a Richlite board on my Martin.

    It's fine.
     
  2. lewis

    lewis Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have two Martins. Pretty sure they both are Richlite. I don't notice any drawbacks.
     
  3. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    Regarding Richlite, it's layers of paper and phenolic resin. It's extremely tough--we have a couple cutting boards made of the stuff which are 10-15 years old

    They get used every day then put in the dishwasher--high heat, hot water and soap for long periods. They definitely show wear, and knife scars, from the cutting surface and some oxidation from going through the dishwasher every other day, but no delamination, no cracking, no warping.



    [​IMG]

    So if you sharpen you fingers like steel knives, and play in conditions similar to those in a dishwasher, you can expect this in 10 years

    I'm confident it's durable

    One downside is it glues up with epoxy--you need to epoxy it to the wooden neck. Is that really a downside, or just a thing?
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2020
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  4. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I have a Richlite Martin which I love. I would prefer the material to something other makers use, i.e. IL and PF.
     
  5. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    Tried one. Didn't like it. It was in a Martin acoustic. Sweat all over the fingerboard. Seems that real wood absorbs it and plastic does not. Go figure.

    And I guess I'm old school. I like my guitars with wood. At least in the traditional places. I even swapped out plastic pins for ebony and bone on my d28 and Gibby. It's possible nobody else can hear the difference, but I can and that's what matters.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2020
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  6. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    It's not plastic--made of paper and phenolic resin.
     
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  7. BluesGuitarMart

    BluesGuitarMart Tele-Meister

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    I've played a few, looks, feels and sounds just like ebony to my ear/eye.

    I prefer the look of rosewood over ebony but I wouldn't think twice about buying a new guitar with a Richlite fretboard if I liked all the other specs.
     
  8. Acoustotron

    Acoustotron TDPRI Member Gold Supporter

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    I have several Martins, two of which have Richlite boards. No complaints from me. Both easy playing guitars (the other Martins have rosewood or ebony).
     
  9. DavidP

    DavidP Friend of Leo's

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    My Godin Godin Summit Classic CT P90 has it -- no issues whatsoever. Mssr. Robert Godin claims that it makes for a very stable neck.
     
  10. Buckocaster51

    Buckocaster51 Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    My Stelling Bellflower banjo has had a synthetic fingerboard for probably 30 years. It is black and holds the frets and inlays. 3 for 3
     
  11. Paul G.

    Paul G. Friend of Leo's

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    Whatever you say, dude.
     
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  12. RiversQC

    RiversQC Tele-Meister

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    Here's a video showing some test gluing. Looks like regular wood glue works fine IF you rough it up with 80 grit.



    I've owned a Godin with a richlite fingerboard and liked it just fine. I've also bought some richlite fingerboards for my own builds; it's pretty darn hard but it looks nice and I think it's for the best if it catches on.
     
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  13. Electric Warrior

    Electric Warrior Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    Thumbs up for richlite, played a few Martins that had this (Jeff Tweedy, 16gt, others) and thought that they felt great.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2020
  14. INFANT

    INFANT Tele-Holic

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    I have a Martin D-16GT with Richlite fretboard and bridge. Looks and feels like ebony and I don't think anyone can really tell the difference. I can't and I have 2 other guitars with real ebony boards
     
  15. DrPepper

    DrPepper Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Smooth... I like it... I prefer it, if given the choice, I would choose it over any wood frerboard unless I was going for a "look"...
     
  16. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    in my 25 years of guitar playing, i've never experienced a "wet" fingerboard except for when i (briefly) had a richlite equipped martin. I thought it was weird. I've had ebony boards and didn't experience that. Certainly not on rosewood either. It's possible the sweat is there on my maple boards as they have finish, but maybe it's hidden due to being the lighter colour. On an expensive acoustic, i demand wood. Maybe that will change in time... but i doubt it.
     
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  17. Cali Dude

    Cali Dude Tele-Holic

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    I'm with you 100percent. If it's a cheap guitar that one might take to the beach, or to go camping, then I would not care. But, if I am spending 2-3K on a nice acoustic, I want real wood.
     
  18. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

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    Why do I suddenly remember when I was a member on LP boards......You know , where people oil their fretboard weekly , hoping it will end up looking like some " desired wood "

    LOL.......I could certainly live with Richlite , why not ?

    And as for sweat accumulating on the surface......I never felt that with Laquered Maple necks , maybe it is special nitro , that can breathe , LOL ?

    I might even have a Les Paul with it , never checked , dont care.
     
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