Fingerboard Material Question

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    • #4504

      Hello.  New member here.  Just purchased my first Santa Cruz guitar, a 2017 1934 OM.  It is glorious.

      I emailed Santa Cruz asking about the specs.  It is my understanding that this model has old growth Brazilian rosewood back and sides and also an old growth Adirondack spruce top.  However, I’m confused about the fingerboard material.

      Santa Cruz told me that the fingerboard is ebony in their response.  Could I get a 2nd opinion on that?  Here is a link to the guitar:

      That fingerboard looks more like Brazilian Rosewood to me and it seems to match the other Brazilian RW appointments on the guitar.  For example, in pic 9 of 13, the fingerboard material looks similar to the peghead overlay.  It is brownish red and has figuring unlike any ebony I’ve ever seen, which is typically black, in my experience.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.  I would be happy with the guitar either way, but just want to make sure I have the appointments accurate if I ever decide to sell it.

      Thank you in advance!

    • #4506


      Thanks for finding us.

      What I know from SCGC is that they keep pretty accurate records and also have quite a legacy of using sustainable woods and always knowing the source of every  piece of wood they use. If that’s what they told you, I’d go with it.

      Richard has been making guitars for 50 years and has a world reputation for some of the finest guitars in the world. Looks like you got a good one, if you have any questions, give the office a call and they will get back to you. Things are very tight in Santa Cruz right now with Covid so it might take a few days. We’re doing a Podcast with Carolyn tomorrow and I’ll mention it to her. Again, thanks for joining, and enjoy that guitar.

    • #4507

      Thank you for the quick reply and your help.  It is really an amazing guitar.

    • #4508

      Looks like braz to me too – but I’d send an email to SCGC with the serial number, and they will give you all the details on your build –

      1-13/16” nut – yumm!! Easy to say I’m quite envious –

      Lots o’ SCGC guitars! But never ask which is my fav

    • #4510
      Acoustic Soul

      Hmmmm, maybe because of the situation right now they rushed through telling you it’s ebony… it looks like a rosewood or something.  Beautiful guitar, congratulations.  I could be wrong looking at it though, like he said, email in the serial and double check… maybe send a pic along with it.  I definitely am not a guru of ebony, but I agree with you it typically looks black or with a bit of white streaking.  That has the texture, pattern, and color of the rosewood on the rest of the guitar

      • This reply was modified 8 months, 2 weeks ago by Acoustic Soul.
    • #4514

      I haven’t looked closely, but it could simply be undyed ebony.

      My Weber mandola has an undyed ebony headstock that closely resembles rosewood.


    • #4515

      I would never disagree with the records of SCGC and the keeper of same, the wonderful Carolyn Sills……but I am the lucky owner of a 2016 1934 braz./Adi with a Braz fingerboard and your fingerboard looks “a lot ” like mine does. But, I have never seen unstained Ebony.

      I will be interested in the outcome of your question.

      Marklp’s question reminds me of a conversation I had with Mr. Hoover when I was specking the 34 .

      We were talking about the End Voice that the guitar would have with the MOP binding  Vs. other materials ( Mr. Hoover says it does) and we started discussing the fingerboard material and how it affects the voice/tone of an instrument. Richard indicated that the Braz fingerboard would lend itself to help produce a very clear and “Grand Piano” voice whereas a Ebony fingerboard might not contribute as much.

      As I was looking for a loud , clear , yet rich voice with great sustain, I went with the Braz fingerboard and bridge.

      Some of you have played my 34 Zorro…. I think we achieved our goal

      Mr. Hoover has always said that every component/ material affects the final outcome……..

      1993 Martin HD-28 IR/Sitka
      2001 SCGC F Cutaway Maple/German
      2008 SCGC OT Madi/Italian
      2015 SCGC OM “The Tree” Hog/ European
      2016 SCGC 1934 D45 Braz/ Adi
      2016 Taylor K62 CE Limited Edition 12 string all Koa
      2019 SCGC FTC Granadillo/Redwood
      Life is a journey…not a guided tour,
      The Bay,The Gulf Stream , The Open Ocean are particular about who they share their secrets with.

    • #4513

      Thanks.  Yes, that’s actually why I posted here.  I emailed about the specs and was told:

      “1934OM-XXXX was completed in 2017 and customized with a Brazilian Rosewood rosette, purfle combo top border, custom Brazilian body/peghead/fingerboard binding, 1-13/16” nut width, 2-5/16” bridge spacing, 25.25” scale length, Brazilian heel cap, diamonds and squares short pattern fingerboard inlays, Brazilian bridge and gold Waverly tuners with Snakewood knobs.

      All other specs are standard to the 1934OM model and can be found here:”

      So I asked about the fingerboard and was told:

      “The fingerboard on this guitar is actually the standard ebony. A Brazilian Rosewood fingerboard is a custom upcharge available for all models but does not come standard on the 1934OM or 1934D models.”

      But I’m having a tough time believing it as it doesn’t look at all like standard ebony to me.  I checked out other similar models for sale right now and the ebony on those guitars is black, like on my old LP Custom.

      I watched this video by Bob Taylor:

      so I’m aware that current ebony could have a different than traditional appearance, but it wouldn’t make sense to me to pair up best-of-the-best old growth woods with non-traditional ebony.  That’s just me.  + the fingerboard seems to match the other Brazilian Rosewood appointments so closely.

      I emailed again, asking if they take a look at these photos and confirm.  Haven’t heard back yet.  Will post her if I learn anything.

      Thanks for the reply

    • #4520

      Got an email from Christina today confirming that, after reviewing the photos with her co-worker, the fingerboard is Brazilian!  It was clerical error that it was entered as ebony (which happens all the time in my own field so I have no problem whatsoever with that).  Excited regarding the closure, I would have been happy either way.  Thank you all for your input.

      Now for the most important thing, the guitar is unbelievably gorgeous sounding!  I am a Santa Cruz fan for life!

    • #4521

      There is the answer…..good for you for sure! Enjoy that guitar

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