Thursday, August 10, 2017


Greetings, guitar dweebs. ESP has finally released some details pertaining to their directions as the CITES regulations are put in place. Most of the instruments concern export models, namely the LTD range & that's kind of expected. Starting with the 400 series instruments, fretboards will be replaced with jatoba. This is a dark wood type which, in native Brazil, is known as Brazilian Cherry.

Series 200- fretboard will be blackwood in due time. This is a pine-based composite & will be quite a departure from the solid rosewood on offer.

Series 1000/ signature fans (aka Deluxe models), high standards are to be retained here with the use of pau ferro/ macassar ebony. Pau ferro had been the staple of acoustic builders, preferring it for backs/sides. The resonance of pau ferro is closer to maple than rosewood. So the precaution here is that, if you are hoping for similar warmth to rosewood, you might end up with a brighter-sounding instrument instead. 

The most agonizing change, the way I see it, is the entry level Series 10 models. The fretboard of these instruments will feature a composite material; that's right, it's not even wood to begin with. Either that, or wood presence would be in trace amounts. The manufacturer promises an 'acceptable' replacement so we just have to trust their move.

Ladies & gents, we are hereby witnessing the rapid effect of wood legislation on commercial entities. These people either think of a way round the current stipulations or they suffer a worse fate- losing & winding down. If you are particular when it comes to wood specs for some guitars, do act soon. Prices are on the upward trend for rosewood-equipped instruments (not by an astronomical amount but it could be unreasonable for many of us). People will soon cash in on the situation especially in the aftermarket. Big names like Fender/Gibson will be offered in obscene prices & these will be tagged as 'rare' by ignorant fools. The worse fools are the ones who ended up buying, of course. 

I'm saying this because a rosewood equipped instrument is not superior than those that feature other wood types- don't let anyone tell you different. Differences in tone would be more perceived than absolute. Prices suffer an unfortunate appreciation not due to quality concern but a demand-supply bearing. 


Ijau D. Koceng said...

why not ebony? said...

Macassar ebony for the signature models...