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mondoslug
08-11-2010, 02:26 PM
Why?

It seems like this is opening a can o' worms but I didn't see a thread on it & today's the first I've even heard of the stuff


I probably would have bought a OMCE online today unplayed, except for that. Might be fabulous but...why do it to that guitar? Is it just a money thing?

mjudd
08-11-2010, 02:51 PM
Yes, it's a money thing, essentially. Synthetic product, hard. It may have some advantages. Probably doesn't shrink, expand, warp, etc. like wood does. If you're into environmentalism, it doesn't take any wood from the environment.

But it isn't wood. Traditionalists (like me) would prefer Ebony (or Rosewood, or some other natural wood) instead.

By the way, you can get it in other colors. Anyone want a green bridge and fretboard?

Placida
08-11-2010, 04:55 PM
What's wrong with it?

mondoslug
08-11-2010, 05:01 PM
Yes, it's a money thing, essentially. Synthetic product, hard. It may have some advantages. Probably doesn't shrink, expand, warp, etc. like wood does. If you're into environmentalism, it doesn't take any wood from the environment.

But it isn't wood. Traditionalists (like me) would prefer Ebony (or Rosewood, or some other natural wood) instead.

By the way, you can get it in other colors. Anyone want a green bridge and fretboard?

Thanks for the lowdown mjudd...appreciate it.

mondoslug
08-11-2010, 05:05 PM
What's wrong with it?

Hey Placida, it might be great & I don't want to be seen slamming it because there's probably many happy owners here(too late, soooory!)

For me, I guess somewhere along the line I turned into a fossil & as nice looking as that guitar is I hate knowing that there's a countertop on it with frets countersunk. It might sound great though & then I'm screwed so...who knows.

Placida
08-11-2010, 07:21 PM
Thanks. :)

AZLiberty
08-11-2010, 07:39 PM
Why?

Is it just a money thing?

Yes.

The black Richlite fingerboard was the one thing that kept me from buying a JC-16RGT a while back. I just wasn't willing to spend that much coin on a guitar with a bakelite/richlite/micarta fretboard.

mondoslug
08-11-2010, 08:46 PM
I just wasn't willing to spend that much coin on a guitar with a bakelite/richlite/micarta fretboard.

Feelin ya.

SwimTrunks
03-29-2011, 02:52 PM
I have been checking out the Martin GPCPA4 and the Larrivee LV-03E, and i just learned that the martin has a synthetic fretboard. I guess all my research payed off.
Larrivee, here i come! Can't wait to feel your sweet ebony under my fingers.

AZLiberty
03-29-2011, 09:40 PM
What's wrong with it?

It isn't wood. It's plastic with a filler material like bakelite or micarta. It doesn't feel like wood, feels like plastic. :sick:

Richlite is a phenolic resin with a paper filler.
Bakelite is a phenolic resin with a wood flour filler (extra fine sawdust)
Micarta is a linen, rag, or canvas filled resin (usually phenolic but could be a melemine resin as well.

ckdhaven
03-29-2011, 09:49 PM
I have a DCPA3.. same stuff on the fretboard and I would have rather had ebony because of the prestige... But>>>>so far, so good, the guitar is pretty cool and I don't feel a wood fretboard would change the tone which is the most important thing,, right?

However, only time will tell.. Especially with Iowa winters and humidity swings?

stringjunky
03-29-2011, 10:02 PM
It isn't wood. It's plastic with a filler material like bakelite or micarta. It doesn't feel like wood, feels like plastic. :sick:

Richlite is a phenolic resin with a paper filler.
Bakelite is a phenolic resin with a wood flour filler (extra fine sawdust)
Micarta is a linen, rag, or canvas filled resin (usually phenolic but could be a melemine resin as well.

"The composition of RichliteŽ Surface is cellulose fiber and resin, much like Mother Nature's trees (but with extra resin in our product to make it more durable). And similar to certain characteristics of wood, RichliteŽ Surface Camel material does noticeably darken with age due to ultra-violet exposure and oxidation, much like Fir or Cherry cabinet material. It is this enriching color transformation that has many architects praising the look of the Camel color. The Nutmeg and Slate Black materials do not display such a change because of their darker base colors. Pistachio has the capability of turning towards a drab olive. Of course, color evolutions can be restrained by employing ultra violet shields upon incoming natural light."

http://www.richlite.com/richlite/faqs.asp?faq=8

I'd call it a fibre board not plastic.

AZLiberty
03-30-2011, 12:35 AM
"The composition of RichliteŽ Surface is chlite.com/richlite/faqs.asp?faq=8[/url]

I'd call it a fibre board not plastic.

Call it what you like, it's mostly phenolic resin, and feels like micarta.

Huckleberry
03-30-2011, 04:54 AM
I owned a D16-GT with micarta fingerboard, and absolutely loved it. The feel was like the very best ebony, it was totally consistent, and the uniform black looked really good too.

I'd much rather have a synthetic fingerboard to a non-premium grade ebony one, or any rosewood one.

DRS
03-30-2011, 06:30 AM
I am also very happy with my Micarta fretboard. I've had ebony and rosewood fretboards. I like ebony more than rosewood. But I have to say after I got over the "thought" that my new guitar has micarta instead of "real" wood...it didn't bother me at all. It plays every bit as well as my ebony fretboard did, and better than the rosewood. (Actually, It plays a bit "faster" than my ebony fretboard and I like it every bit as well if not more.) And if it holds up well...then, whats the problem? As an added bonus it looks like the ebony too. So, the moral is, for me, if it plays and looks good...what's the big deal. It seems at this point to be every bit as good as the "real" wood. It is just the thought of it not being wood. (I got over not having to have wood bindings too.)

I owned a D16-GT with micarta fingerboard, and absolutely loved it. The feel was like the very best ebony, it was totally consistent, and the uniform black looked really good too.

I'd much rather have a synthetic fingerboard to a non-premium grade ebony one, or any rosewood one.

Newf
03-30-2011, 07:18 AM
What's wrong with it?

Hi, Placida,

I have a Martin D-16RGT with a Richlite fretboard and a Martin HD-28V with an ebony fretboard.

I've never noticed any difference in feel between them - in fact, the only noticeable difference is the sound.

Maybe my hands just aren't sensitive enough to feel the supposedly difference.

If you like the sound of the OM -- go for it - nothing else matters - it's your ears that count

RustyAxe
03-30-2011, 10:01 AM
I can't imagine that anyone, blindfolded and handed a guitar with "richlite" fretboard, could hear or feel a difference between ebony or rosewood. But of course there are those who will insist they could. It certainly wouldn't be a deal killer for me if the guitar was otherwise "the one" I wanted. Besides, anyone who plays enough to be a decent guitarist ought to have callouses thick enough to prevent feeling much of anything under their fingertips ... ;)

Kelly Grayum
03-30-2011, 10:06 AM
I own a 000-16GT, and like Rusty said if you handed me this guitar blindfolded I could never tell the difference. It looks great, feels great, sounds great and it doesn't move. What more do you want?

stringjunky
03-30-2011, 10:07 AM
I am also very happy with my Micarta fretboard. I've had ebony and rosewood fretboards. I like ebony more than rosewood. But I have to say after I got over the "thought" that my new guitar has micarta instead of "real" wood...it didn't bother me at all. It plays every bit as well as my ebony fretboard did, and better than the rosewood. (Actually, It plays a bit "faster" than my ebony fretboard and I like it every bit as well if not more.) And if it holds up well...then, whats the problem? As an added bonus it looks like the ebony too. So, the moral is, for me, if it plays and looks good...what's the big deal. It seems at this point to be every bit as good as the "real" wood. It is just the thought of it not being wood. (I got over not having to have wood bindings too.)

You've got your priorities right ...sound and feel first. It's nice to read from people who are prepared to actually test their preconceptions and even better when they over-ride them when they find out that preconception isn't borne out by experience. ;)

Health Freak
03-30-2011, 10:12 AM
I like it better than ebony. Ebony is not very dimensionally stable. That means that while the hardwood neck won't really move much at all, the ebony fretboard will. I'd rather have a material that is not only stable, but doesn't dampen as much as ebony. Plus, it plays faster than ebony and rosewood.

I get the traditionalist thing, but I play my guitars and use them as a tool to make music and don't spend a lot of time thinking about what tradition says I should be using.

SwimTrunks
03-30-2011, 10:19 AM
I like it better than ebony. Ebony is not very dimensionally stable. That means that while the hardwood neck won't really move much at all, the ebony fretboard will. I'd rather have a material that is not only stable, but doesn't dampen as much as ebony. Plus, it plays faster than ebony and rosewood.

I get the traditionalist thing, but I play my guitars and use them as a tool to make music and don't spend a lot of time thinking about what tradition says I should be using.

Good way of looking at it. I will be more open minded and give one a try.

dane
03-30-2011, 10:40 AM
Ok, I have what may very well be a dumb question about Richlite, but I'm not very familiar with it so I don't know. With its properties, can you re-fret it or will the whole finger board need to be replaced?

bobdcat
03-30-2011, 12:55 PM
This guitar has a Micarta fretboard and bridge. But, with the koa, who's gonna notice.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a126/bobdcat/00016SK2/koa2.jpg

fchas
03-30-2011, 12:58 PM
Ok, I have what may very well be a dumb question about Richlite, but I'm not very familiar with it so I don't know. With its properties, can you re-fret it or will the whole finger board need to be replaced?

While I don't really know the answer to this, I would think if it was fretted once it ought to be able to be refretted, shouldn't be anymore brittle than wood. frank

epaul
03-30-2011, 01:14 PM
I have no problem with a synthetic fretboard. And the no shrinking or drying part is appealing.

I do have trouble accepting a micarta/richlite bridge. But that is based on my aesthetics, not anything significant to anyone else. I prefer rosewood and stripped ebony bridges. Maybe I just don't like black bridges that look like they were painted.

As far synthetic materials and the sound of the a guitar goes, if the guitar sounds good, it sounds good. That part of the question is easy. The proof is in the pudding.

hermithollow
03-30-2011, 04:13 PM
I've build counter tops with black Richlite, and even have a few scraps around to use for fingerboards if I ever have a call for it. I was told it is a "sustainable" vegetable based phenolic material. It is being pushed as a green material. Milling it produces the same noxious dust as milling ebony. I think it is more stable and wear resistant than ebony, and see no reason it couldn't be refretted when necessary.
The work involved handmaking a fretboard using Richlite would be about the same as using ebony. At this point I think most people will pay the few dollars extra for "real" wood.