Here is a description of the most common woods that we use on Aperio necks. Take a minute to read and you will find there is not a lot of mystery in fingerboard woods. The biggest difference is the hardness and Ebony almost always wins that game. The corporate makers choose their wood using economics in their selection process. Save your worry and just choose what you like, not what a big manufacturer fills their assembly line with. You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t want something different!
Maple, Indian Rosewood and Pau Ferro are standard woods we stock. The Pau Ferro costs a little more. We can get other woods but those in general will add an additional cost to your neck. Think about what you want and send me an email or call and I’ll tell you if I can get it and what the additional cost will be.
Maple of course, next to Rosewood, is the most common. We make our necks from one piece of maple so the fretboard is part of the neck without a glue joint. Some people say it helps the tone but it does make for a nice looking neck where there is no joint line.
Indian Rosewood is the most widely used wood around the world for fingerboards on production electric and acoustic guitars, replacing Honduran Rosewood because of cost and availability. Although it is not as wear resistant as Ebony or some of the more dense Rosewoods, larger guitar production facilities value it for its great stability, lower cost and more colorful grain. It is also lighter than Ebony but with equal longitudinal strength when glued to the neck. The color can go from a tan to a brownish purple. If it is a purple color it will fade over time to a browner color.
Pau Ferro has become a quite popular fingerboard wood, mostly among large production electric guitar manufacturers. It may be even more popular in the next few years as it might become less expensive than Indian Rosewood, as it comes from Brazil and Bolivia. There are a lot of economics and politics in wood! Pau Ferro (Machaerium villosum or schleroxylon) is also known as Morado, Santos Rosewood, or Bolivian Rosewood. It is not true Rosewood but it has many of the qualities that are highly regarded in a fingerboard wood. It’s stable, abrasion resistant, hard, attractive, exotic and has good compression strength parallel to the grain. The color can go from a tan to a chocolate brown.