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I notice Gibson Les Paul Customs are back to ebony fingerboards
Old 11th June 2019
  #1
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I notice Gibson Les Paul Customs are back to ebony fingerboards

Didn't notice these configured like this a few months ago. They were all richlite.
Old 11th June 2019
  #2
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audioforce's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
Didn't notice these configured like this a few months ago. They were all richlite.
Is it a good Ebony or is it like Walmart ebony?

cheers,

audioforce
Old 12th June 2019
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
Didn't notice these configured like this a few months ago. They were all richlite.
Yeah, there are certainly (welcome) moves afoot by the new management to bring back some ebony for sure. I suspect Henry J was too proud/stubborn/petty to buy it from Taylor (which is likely where they are getting it).

I'm not against Richlite per se but I am kind of against it on $6000 instruments...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
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YEA! I have Richlite on one of my LP supremes.

Gotta have ebony on the high end guitars - period. AND black ebony not the striped kind. That's for lower end guitars.

Are you listening Gibson?

It's going to be older guys who will buy the high end stuff mostly. Cater to us and give us the ebony we want.

I think the unfair, likely politically motivated, government ebony raid put gibson looking for an alternative. (There is a special place in hell for the unaccountable government bureaucrats that put Gibson CEOs through that.). Richlite is indeed an amazing substitute for ebony. If you did not know, most would think it ebony. But I like ebony better as it has a slightly softer dig to it. This and the fact that I love real ebony wood.

Last edited by piano; 4 weeks ago at 05:10 AM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
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foldback's Avatar
I can't imagine my Gibson Lucille without an ebony fingerboard.

Good music to all!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #6
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enorbet2's Avatar
Richlite reminds me of this song's lyrics - "When the world is running down, you make the best of what's still around". How is it anything much different from particle board?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 View Post
Richlite reminds me of this song's lyrics - "When the world is running down, you make the best of what's still around". How is it anything much different from particle board?
It's much different from particle board (which does have some wood in it.)

It's CARDBOARD!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
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enorbet2's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
It's much different from particle board (which does have some wood in it.)

It's CARDBOARD!
I dunno...guitars made from any material, wood, metal, masonite, plywood, plastic are all still called "guitars" and afaik particle board comes in various styles and densities from huge flakes of wood to wood dust and last I checked paper is basically somewhat similarly rendered wood with less binder.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
It's much different from particle board (which does have some wood in it.)

It's CARDBOARD!
I'm definitely in the camp that prefers Ebony.

However, as a guy who own both, it's an inaccurate put down to call it 'cardboard'. It is actually an amazing product replacement for ebony and far more stable and durable than wood.

I was quite skeptical of it but to be fair Richlite is indeed a winner. According to Gibson it is more expensive to use than Ebony.

All that said, would I rather have Ebony or Richlite? The EBONY for sure - but mostly because I am a purist and I LOVE wood.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #10
Interestingly they are now blowing out last year’s Richlite-equipped Customs here in the UK for “only” £2899 - presume the new ebony-laden editions are due any day. So if you dig Richlite, you could grab a “bargain” at one of several dealers...
Old 3 weeks ago
  #11
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

I like the feel of Richlite a lot better than "good" ebony, which looks great but it's too damn hard. And I like the feel of Indian rosewood better than both.

And I think the whole synthetic-materials-in-my-expensive-guitar thing is a little silly. I'm sure some piano players lost their sh!t when they couldn't have their ivory anymore, but we all seem to have gotten over it.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #12
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enorbet2's Avatar
It has been my experience that things are rarely as simple as we often like to imagine. Things aren't good because they are old or because they are new. Things aren't good because they are expensive or because they are cheap. Choices have consequences. Everything is a tradeoff.Things are good because they work and most especially because those tradeoffs work for YOU!

In this case I can see that woods can contribute to, or adversely affect, the resonance of a neck translating into overall tone BUT I can also see that Richlite may present a more neutral, transmitter-like effect that could also be a desirable tone component. Form follows function and so does choice of materials. If you like it, it's yours and who cares why?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #13
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ProgFree's Avatar
 

Just chimming in to say I've played one and it was stellar. Great to see Gibson getting on the right track again!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 View Post
I dunno...guitars made from any material, wood, metal, masonite, plywood, plastic are all still called "guitars" and afaik particle board comes in various styles and densities from huge flakes of wood to wood dust and last I checked paper is basically somewhat similarly rendered wood with less binder.
Quote:
Originally Posted by piano View Post
I'm definitely in the camp that prefers Ebony.

However, as a guy who own both, it's an inaccurate put down to call it 'cardboard'. It is actually an amazing product replacement for ebony and far more stable and durable than wood.

I was quite skeptical of it but to be fair Richlite is indeed a winner. According to Gibson it is more expensive to use than Ebony.

All that said, would I rather have Ebony or Richlite? The EBONY for sure - but mostly because I am a purist and I LOVE wood.
Quote:
Originally Posted by designguide.com
Richlite is an incredibly durable, extremely versatile, and highly sustainable material made from resin-infused paper. Originally developed over 70 years ago for ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alterna Corp
Richlite panels and slabs are made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper, or FSC certified paper with 80% rapidly renewable content, which has been ...
Richlite is resin infused cardboard, formed under pressure.

MDF, particle board, etc is made from wood chips, scraps, and sawdust mixed with a resin binder. It has a fibrous consistency which Richlite, being paper, lacks.

Gibson lies about the cost of Richlite. You can get a Richlite cutting board for about 50 cents at Amazon. You can't get a comparable chunk of ebony for anywhere near that.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #15
What's the shelf life of Richlite? Novel materials often degrade in unforseen catastrophic ways.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #16
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enorbet2's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Richlite is resin infused cardboard, formed under pressure.

MDF, particle board, etc is made from wood chips, scraps, and sawdust mixed with a resin binder. It has a fibrous consistency which Richlite, being paper, lacks.

Gibson lies about the cost of Richlite. You can get a Richlite cutting board for about 50 cents at Amazon. You can't get a comparable chunk of ebony for anywhere near that.
John I know you could easily fill in for Tevye ("Tradition!) but really, wood is just cellulose infused with resin under the influence of slow growth and weather, right?.

Look I LOVE and appreciate natural wood and not only that, but tend to prefer old (sometimes rather ancient) hand or foot powered woodworking tools. I leaned Luthier work from various sources but the biggest influence was a 3rd generation violin maker from the Netherlands, and I already loved seedlac and French Polish before I met him so I share SOME of the love for tradition you have, but I am not as closed to new stuff as you seem to be.

I hate it when I see some gorgeous piece of natural, aged wood refinished by some housewife or teenager with cheap paint or a Faux finish, but for example there actually are (as we have discussed before) protected locations where the characteristics of particle board are useful. My DanElectro Silvertone has a maple neck with Brazilian Rosewood fingerboard but the body is masonite and pine plywood. It plays and sounds great.

Many years ago I read that Shugie Otis painted his fingerboard with clear fingernail polish so I tried it... and HATED it! I learned then that primarily, fingerboard materialis about FEEL. If the material is stable and can hold frets in place and not dampen string harmonics in an unpleasant manner, it's OK by me, especially since the traditional woods are becoming far more rare not to mention ridiculously controlled.

I'm assuming since Richlite is trademarked that it has a very specific formula or possibly is available with different formulae for different use cases. I don't love the stuff but it does seem to work quite well and if it helps Gibson's and others bottom line to stay in business that's fine with me. Things aren't necessarily good just because they are costly.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 View Post
John I know you could easily fill in for Tevye ("Tradition!) but really, wood is just cellulose infused with resin under the influence of slow growth and weather, right?.
You should understand that there's a HUGE difference between natural wood resins and synthetic plastic resins. Right?

Richlite is PAPER (not wood - it probably contains some wood pulp but also contains recycled cloth and other materials) held together with synthetic resin, formed under pressure. It's a form or cardboard. It bears no resemblance to real wood. It was originally developed for use in synthetic kitchen counter tops, like Formica was.

Quote:
Look I LOVE and appreciate natural wood and not only that, but tend to prefer old (sometimes rather ancient) hand or foot powered woodworking tools. I leaned Luthier work from various sources but the biggest influence was a 3rd generation violin maker from the Netherlands, and I already loved seedlac and French Polish before I met him so I share SOME of the love for tradition you have, but I am not as closed to new stuff as you seem to be.
If it ain't broke, DON'T FIX IT!

Henry adopted Richlite as a ploy to get guitarists stirred up about his feud with US Customs. No other reason. And I do not want a guitar with a cardboard fingerboard and don't understand why anybody would. It's not about "progress" and it's certainly not about ecology or conservation. It's about a stupid political feud involving an egomaniacal jerk who was going off the deep end.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
What's the shelf life of Richlite? Novel materials often degrade in unforseen catastrophic ways.
I don't think anybody knows except maybe the people who remodel kitchens.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 View Post
It has been my experience that things are rarely as simple as we often like to imagine. Things aren't good because they are old or because they are new. Things aren't good because they are expensive or because they are cheap. Choices have consequences. Everything is a tradeoff.Things are good because they work and most especially because those tradeoffs work for YOU!

In this case I can see that woods can contribute to, or adversely affect, the resonance of a neck translating into overall tone BUT I can also see that Richlite may present a more neutral, transmitter-like effect that could also be a desirable tone component. Form follows function and so does choice of materials. If you like it, it's yours and who cares why?
Ever play one of those Kalamazoo guitars with the molded MDF body? Not a desirable tone component. The resins used in that class of materials are HORRIBLE for musical instruments.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #20
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enorbet2's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Ever play one of those Kalamazoo guitars with the molded MDF body? Not a desirable tone component. The resins used in that class of materials are HORRIBLE for musical instruments.
Actually I have and in this case you're absolutely right. They bloze goats. The thing is about options is they are only good if they remain optional or prove themselves so superior to what they are an alternative for, they end up taking over. Since "superior" really just means "different" with a subjective value judgement tossed in, "taking over" isn't universally a good thing.

Apparently a few here like Richlite or at least don't mind it and I have no opinion beyond liking options in general since I haven't played any so outfitted. I suppose I may also be influenced by my concern over dwindling resources. I am utterly appalled that some countries can apparently confiscate guitars (and other things) sporting Brazilian Rosewood without rather specific and pita documentation. I certainly don't want to see that trend expand, even if that is a rather selfish interest.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #21
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norfolk martin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
It's much different from particle board (which does have some wood in it.)

It's CARDBOARD!
I always thought cardboard was made out of wood?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolk martin View Post
I always thought cardboard was made out of wood?
Cardboard is made of paper.

Some paper is made of wood, some of rags, some of rice, etc, etc.
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