So not everyone hates Richlite...

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by SG standard, Nov 5, 2020.

  1. Huntroll

    Huntroll Active Member

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    My question is - does richlite adhere to the wooden part of the neck securely like wood does?
    Does the richlite have a more porous surface on the "to be glued" side?
    Same type glue or maybe "contact cement" used?
    Once its dried will it hold when the truss rod is tightened?
    Imagine tightening the truss rod and having the fretboard pop off in the center.
     
  2. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    I have never played a richlite fret board, nor have a seen one in person (at least that I noticed). From I have read and watched it is a more than adequate tone wood and excellent choice for a fret board. I have no issues with Gibson or anyone else using them, especially when/is ebony is unavailable.

    there is definitely a cork sniffing mentality and purest point of view on this topic as well. There not even necessarily wrong. Many consider a top tier $4,000 Gibson “should” come with an ebony board.

    I am ok with either. I am sure both have qualities and features that exceed the other, as well as downsides. Nothing’s perfect. I imagine they play beautiful.
     
  3. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    It’s kind of like a hotrod guy or car buff trying to accept the electric car…

    Whether he likes it not he must accept it has a place in the market and will likely only become more mainstream as time goes on.
     
  4. papagayo

    papagayo Well-Known Member

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  5. semka

    semka Member

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    From what I heard, richlite does require a stronger glue to properly adhere and that makes it much harder to replace. In fact, this is one of the main reasons not to use it.
     
  6. Norton

    Norton Well-Known Member

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    I haven't heard about the glue thing??....not in any of the luthier groups etc.. Richlite is basically wood dust and a binder. One surprising thing about it... it's more expensive than quite a few of the "standard" fretboard woods.

    So from that standpoint it's super premium
     
  7. semka

    semka Member

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    Nope, it's just paper plus phenol. You have to use epoxy, not much else will work.
    Not really. https://www.ebay.com/itm/114948328624
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2021
  8. MR D

    MR D Active Member

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    The few Ebony boards I've owned were superior to anything else I've played. They just are. The sound and feel of it, I know it when I see/touch/hear it, and nothing else I've tried has ...... that certain "IT"....no. Ebony sure costs enough too.

    Are silicon implants FAKE ****? are Laminate Floors FAKE Wood ? Is Richlite FAKE wood?
    IDK, good question ? ........maybe some people like them, but I care not for any of them. The sound my Wooden heels make on a laminate floor, is hollow sounding compared to Oak Flooring and Laminate doesn't shine like Oak flooring either. To me its cheap $#!T !...and I will not buy it..............same goes for Richlite.

    But the beauty of a free society is that someone else can buy them.
     
  9. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    I actually really like some of your analogies Mr D. Specifically your reference to laminate wood. Laminate can look great, not my cup tea, but looking at real estate I have been fooled in photos before. Fooled until that is that I walk across it. One can tell, and you don’t need to be a wood buff. Even without shoes, the coldness will tell you.

    That said, it’s not meant to feel and sound real. It’s meant to look real. If not real, at least good/stylish. Obviously a brand new home is not going to have “rustic barn floor”.

    I think in the sense of richlite the put all of the R&D into tone. Which is a good thing. And if they nailed the tone quality to be equal too or similar to ebony they did their job. Folks mentioned it looks to be perfect, which may stand out to the keen observer, but it certainly better than the opposite (looking like garbage). If they really wanted real wood Dark fret boards and couldn’t source ebony, they would have died an available wood species (rosewood, maple…). So clearly they chose to go this route for some advantage, and I am skeptical it’s a cost saving measure.

    I am actually really curious about it now and want to hunt one down to try. I am not apposed to it, so long as I know what I am getting
     
  10. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    There's no debating that the guy is a great guitar player. But as is so often the case, great guitar players don't necessarily know sh!t about how an electric guitar actually works. The material of an electric guitars fretboard has no, and scientifically can't have any, impact on the sound of the guitar. There's a stunning mistake he makes here and that is to get his info on poorlite from sources talking about acoustic guitars. It's almost unbelievable and makes you think he does it on purpose, because he seems like a nice guy and doing it on purpose would be better than being THAT stupid.

    Not necessarily. Stain takes differently to different types of wood. It would be nigh on impossible to get the other woods as dark as ebony, which you can easily get so dark you don't see or feel any grain. Using another type of wood would be too much work if you want it to look and feel like ebony. On a good note though, you can make other wood sound like ebony on an electric....Because they all sound the same. Or rather, none of them impact the sound.

    Eh, yes, fake is fake.

    So, to summarize. Poorlite is neither better nor worse that solid wood, it's just something else. Some people care, some don't. Some people buy stuff that looks like furniture at IKEA, some wouldn't dream of it. But the former WORKS just as well as the latter. (for a time, anyway) And one can look down on a brand or a material without looking down on the people that use it. Unless of course they claim it's better or has properties it can not possibly have, but then you look down on them because they're idiots.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2021
  11. papagayo

    papagayo Well-Known Member

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    My little Junior has a Richlite fretboard, the guitar is very comfortable feeling is very close to rosewood fretboard.
    Some compagnies use carbon fretboard, etc ... I don' t have problem with that.

    Les Paul Jr 63.jpg
     
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  12. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    beautiful guitar Sir. If you didn’t mention the richlite I wouldn’t have noticed. Looks fantastic, and I bet that’s how she plays
     
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  13. MR D

    MR D Active Member

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    IDK if Richlite is a premium 'Composite' material or a 'Laminate' or even how much it costs to produce, I do not...it does sound like GIBSON named it 'Richlite' to impress people. Its better than naming it dust off the floor w/space-age dyed glue ? GIBSON was putting Richlite on Les Paul CUSTOMs from 2012, and for 7 years straight, ugh ! That was right at the time I finally could afford an LP CUSTOM, and had the GAS bad... and up until I got an Ebony Boarded Lester Custom 'VOS' Exclusive from an on-line retailer about 15 months ago I just could not buy one w/Richlite on it (the 490's had something to do with it too!). .....This being an SG forum I will not get into the whole dealio, but it ended up OK.

    BTW, does re-sale value suffer w/Richlite? Bro of mine w/SG Supra w/Richlite board says he is having problems selling it...beautiful axe too, surely is! Paralellogram MOP In-Lays, '57s, a stunner...Sez he has got many inquiries and then he has to say 'Richlite' and .....people run away. MY buddy put it on Reverb and Dregs list, still has it last I asked...... So, Richlite could be an issue for some investors ? I buy my GIBSONs to BEAT ON, and make them screem.... some players/investors might shy away from 'Composites' if no one wants to pay a steep price for them used ? ...anyone experience ? + or - ?

    As for fake ****, Guy walks into a bar......
     
  14. Norton

    Norton Well-Known Member

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    Yeah... anywhere that's selling "fretboard blanks" or solid color stock has the prices higher than most wood pieces.

    In any event, my point was that it's not a "cheap" or cost cutting material.

    The thin sheet layers should make it super stable... and ridiculously strong.
     
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  15. Go Nigel Go

    Go Nigel Go Well-Known Member

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    Once it gets to be "vintage" and a few innovative hit records get produced with them, I'm sure it will take on mythical magical tone enhancing properties... It just hasn't aged into the market yet. If Gibson stopped making it tomorrow saying it was "too expensive" and they were going back to Rosewood and Ebony, 15 or 20 years from now it is fairly good odds the collector's market will be all on fire for the "experimental magical tone properties" Gibson was too cheapskate to keep producing.

    I would actually love to try one to find out for myself, but I suspect I would like it just fine. I remember my first experience with one of the all composite graphite Ovation acoustic guitars back in the late 80's... I was browsing the local shop, and see this "thing" hanging on the wall with a thousand dollar plus price tag on it. I made some smart ass comment about the price for a "plastic guitar", and the shop owner heard it. He came over and asked me if I had ever played one (which of course I hadn't). He then pulled it down off the wall, told me to sit down and had me play it. Needless to say, I was "shut up", and not only that I was crushed that I couldn't afford one.
     
  16. SweetJohnnyD

    SweetJohnnyD Member

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    Midtown Custom "richlite" owner here. I've known the fretboard isn't wood but didn't know it might be an issue until I read this. I'm thinking it's the same as neck dive, swapping pickups, mods or any other thing I could choose to focus on. The rest of the guitar is well made, feels and sounds fantastic. Still getting used to it after being strictly an SG guy for decades though. My first and current impression is that the fretboard compliments the guitar, it's solid and looks/feels like any other well made guitar. Guitars are a personal thing though so I get it if anyone is against them.
     
  17. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

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    Hit the nail on the head. You must work in sociology or something!
     

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