Whats Up With Richlite Fretboards

Discussion in 'What's left to Talk About?' started by redman, Feb 7, 2020.

  1. redman

    redman Well-Known Member Supporting Member+

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    I'm on the search for a nice acoustic so I'm checking oyt Gibson, Taylor, Martin and so on in the $1000-$1500 range. I'm surprised how little you get for that money but the one thing I keep seeing are Richlite Fretboards. I don't know what this is so I googled it and it is a man made paper and rosin product so I'm wondering if any of you have any experience with it. Here's a video about it.
     
  2. redman

    redman Well-Known Member Supporting Member+

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    Guitar porn bump
    4995ceeb8700223c15d47bd3c221f1ff.jpg
     
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  3. slowhand84

    slowhand84 Well-Known Member

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    I've played a few guitars with richlite boards, to me it felt most similar to rosewood but I didn't like it much. As much as I appreciate environmentally friendly anything...I'm gonna go ahead and stick to real wood, especially when it comes to acoustics.

    Also if you're on the hunt for a nice acoustic, you should consider adding Takamine to that list. Mine is an absolute stunner, and for my tastes I like it way better than most of the Gibsons, Taylors, and Martins I've tried over the years.

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  4. uwmcscott

    uwmcscott AGF Survivor Champ

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    Yep, there's a lot more of that showing up out there, especially with Martin and Gibson to a certain extent. Not sure that it's inherently "bad" although it is indeed different.

    Walnut is being used more too, I think some of the new Gibson 45's have that.

    Taylor is still using a lot of ebony even in the lower price range, but they are moving toward more sustainable use of that too - they are not dying it anymore and some of them have really cool patterns/streaks.
     
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  5. redman

    redman Well-Known Member Supporting Member+

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    I have been looking at the Takamine and I do like what I'm seeing. I think the Yamaha's are worth consideration.

    I like the Taylor and maybe I expect to much but for me to spend $1500 on an acoustic guitar I want solid wood and not laminate or they call theirs layered and they are doing some things that I consider a bit strange like micarta saddles.

    I'll be honest the big 3 Gibson, Martin and Taylor in the $1000-$1500 did not impress me.
     
  6. Razzle

    Razzle Well-Known Member

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    I've not tried it myself but I've heard from many folks that really you don't notice it at all (at least on solid body electrics).
     
  7. slowhand84

    slowhand84 Well-Known Member

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    Yep Yamaha is a great option too. Your best bet probably would be to visit a store and check out some different models to see what you click with. An acoustic isn't like an electric in that you can't really do too much modding...so really best to find something you vibe with.

    And yeah, you'll always get more feature/spec-wise from a quality brand that's less of a "household name" versus the big guys for the same price or less. Not to say that Takamine and Yamaha aren't known brands, but with stuff like Gibson/Martin/Taylor in my opinion you are paying a hefty premium for the name on the headstock. Expecting solid woods at $1500 is certainly nothing crazy, there are tons of companies with solid wood acoustics within the price range you mentioned.
     
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  8. redman

    redman Well-Known Member Supporting Member+

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    I agree @slowhand84 I've had a ton of acoustics over the years the last Gibson I had was a L4-A great guitar and I have regretted selling it ever since I did. I have a D'Angelica and a Yamaha FG-TA but I just want a really good acoustic.
     
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  9. golem

    golem Well-Known Member

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    Tried it on a Martin once although I could've sworn a different term was used like Phenolic resin. I really liked the look and feel. I wouldn't complain if I got a guitar that came with it.
     
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  10. zosofan

    zosofan Well-Known Member

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    I can't feel any difference between it and rosewood on my Crafter dreadnaught.
    I actually much prefer the tone of my Dreadnaught jr to pretty much everything else I've played. Just my experience. Yours may differ of course. 4042028bd1edab7d81ff8046fadb6003.jpg

    Sent from my SM-J320W8 using Tapatalk
     
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  11. frozensoda

    frozensoda Well-Known Member

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    Never tried it, but I’ve read mostly positive reviews and views from those who have.
     
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  12. DRW10471

    DRW10471 New Member

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    Have tried richlite but am a big fan of Gibson acoustics. I own a J45 which I bought used and it is the best sounding acoustic I have ever owned. I think with acoustic much more so than electric the quality of wood really impacts the sound. If you are patient and search the used market I am sure you can find something. Never played a Taylor that spoke to me but whatever it is that you love better to spend a little more once than to buy two or three until you get it right.
     
  13. BatUtilityBelt

    BatUtilityBelt Well-Known Member

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    I have a couple guitars with richlite fretboards, and they are ok. I don't like them as much as ebony or rosewood or pau ferro or maple. It looks and feels artificial to me, but it does not adversely affect playability. I think only time will tell how well it wears. All said, I can't see myself rejecting a guitar for having a richlite fretboard, but if that's the only difference between 2 guitars, I'd go with the real wood myself.
     
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  14. Partscaster

    Partscaster Well-Known Member

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    I think my old hagstrom Viking had richlite FB. Seemed fine,

    For acoustics I like my Blue Ridge very much. They have a good reputation. MIC, but so are some of the top violins these days, too.
     
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  15. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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    I only know my speed
    I've never played a Richlite fretboard, but if it's anything like "Ebonol" (wood pulp and resin), then I probably won't like it. Squier uses Ebonol on their fretless Jazz Bass and it looks and feels like plastic to me.
     
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  16. redman

    redman Well-Known Member Supporting Member+

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    I had a Blue Ridge back in the 90's and it was a great guitar. If I only had the guitars that have come and gone over the years I'd have one heck of a bunch of guitars.
     
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  17. Pilipete_Townshend

    Pilipete_Townshend Active Member

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    I had a good luck with the "old yamahas" both 12 and 6 acoustic. Doesn't have to be a Japanese or taiwan made as long ask you can see thyere well built and good to your hands. I had my 12 string for 10 years and the 6 string was longer. I hardly remember putting it an a case, everywhere I go I have it and it always stays in tune.
    so as in the "old electrics" like the yamaha sg2000. from one to the other they sustain. the quality is very consistent. I'm not sure about the new ones though with all the restrictions of cites making it harder for the luthier to deliver a good quality guitar.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2020
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  18. msc_

    msc_ Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I have a couple of Martins with Richlite fingerboards. They seem fine and I really don't think about it being anything different than regular wood when I'm playing them.
    74d477d6b1920be37617113062325646._.jpg 4299df005ebd14c6bc8106d2e2c5b042.jpg
     
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  19. redman

    redman Well-Known Member Supporting Member+

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    I think I've narrowed it down to 2 the Blueridge BR70 CE and the Yamaha A5R ARE and going strictly by specs, reviews and videos the Yamaha is in the lead. I'm going on a search to play them Monday I'll keep you posted.
     
  20. Mickey

    Mickey Gandalf the Intonationer

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    Ever play an Eastman ??? I prefer their guitars to either Blueridge or Yamaha in the same price range.
     

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