Why won't PRS use Ebony Fingerboards on their
It really rankles me that PRS
refuses to offer Ebony fingerboards. I mean what's the deal, I thought PRS was
supposed to be a Premium High End Guitar?
Well Excuuuse Meeee!!! Ok there is a reason and here it is:
Since most people
don't know, I must first state the fact that PRS is an entirely machine made
"PRS Guitars Are Entirely
got that... are you sure?
Ed Roman's Theory of Ebontivity...
Ok, because when the
next time you are in a Sam Ash Store or most Guitar
Center, the 17 year old
commissioned sales boy automaton will more than likely tell you it is entirely
with violins playing in the
That's BS to the
tenth power!!! He's not lying, he's just ignorant. Ok, enough bashing of
ignorant salespeople and on with the show.
I want to say I
personally know several extremely knowledgeable people who work at
Guitar Center & Sam Ash. Sadly for the consumer these people are not
the ones usually in the guitar department. There are of course
If you use an
automated fret installation system that rams the frets down into the fingerboard
there is a very good chance you will split the ebony. In fact I have seen it
done at the old PBC Guitar shop in Pennsylvania when they were
Ghost Building all of the Ibanez USA guitars
back in the mid 90's.
don't think that
PRS will be doing any Ebony fretboards now or in the future.
They are concentrating more on automation than on hand building.
When I took the tour
of the Jackson factory, I saw a custom made machine for pressing the frets in,
but they were hand installing each one when I was there. They have semi
automated it and therefore they have achieved an intelligent balance between
hand made and robotic made.
All of the small
builders are installing and hand fitting frets one at a time. This process makes
it very easy to do Ebony fingerboards, This gives the hand builder the definite
Ebony is a great
wood for fingerboard. It costs about 20 times as
much as Rosewood but on many guitars I like it better. There are exceptions
Ebony on a Les Paul
style guitar is not the preferred fingerboard. The guitar just does not sound
like a Les Paul when there is an Ebony fingerboard. Zack Wylde, Peter Frampton,
& Ace Frehley to name a few use Ebony fretboards on Les Paul's but their sound
is not the true Les Paul sound.
None of them use stock pickups and I don't believe the guitars are even made by
Gibson, I would bet money they are all
Ghostbuilt by third party boutique
Ebony sounds great
on a guitar with a long neck, it's more percussive, as long as you don't have a
real hard wood body like solid Maple or solid Bubinga it makes for a great tonal
Good tone is derived
from combining different woods.
We hang up fingerboards, & body woods and tap
them for resonance and pitch. Most small hand builders will at least attempt to
marry the different woods together sometimes in thirds, fifths or in unison
pitch. I am sure Paul Reed Smith was doing that in the first 2 to 3 years they
were building their guitars. I am positive they are not doing it today.