Rosewood Necks ~ Light or Dark?


Senior Stratmaster
Gold Supporting Member
May 7, 2021
As for sound, as already mentioned, purely cosmetic. I prefer darker and would choose ebony over rosewood if possible, but thats just my personal preference.
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92 Fiesta Red 62

Apr 27, 2022
My favorite is the looks (and feel) of ebony; some people aren’t aware that ebony can have streaks and variation too.

I love rosewood (second choice)—the darker and shinier the better.

But my favorite guitar—my #1–has a maple fretboard.

Go figure.


Mar 9, 2007
Beaumont. California
I tend to gravitate towards dark rosewood... Unless it's got good variation, then I want it all over the place and as gnarly as it can get. LOL

That said, almost all of the Fenders I've owned over the years have had pretty dark boards.

But, two of the vintage Gibsons I had ('68 ES-340 and a '70 SG), both had more medium toned fretboards. They were also much redder.

I love the one ebony board guitar I own. Love the way it feels. It is a nice, solid black from end to end, no variation whatsoever! But, if I had the opportunity to own a newer guitar, with one of the striped white and black ebony boards, I wouldn't hesitate. I like the way they look too.


Most Honored Senior Member
Jan 8, 2016
Rosewood necks - Light or Dark?

Hi, I have been looking at some Jeff Beck Strat's for sale and notice some have lighter rosewood necks than others. The 2004 & 6 CS models I looked at online (pics added) have a lighter shade of rosewood, while others seem to be darker. Most Strat's I’ve seen seem to be darker.

I have a couple of 70’s Strat's (nostalgic reasons) with the darker rosewood and quite like that shade.

Any opinions, is one better or more preferable than the other? Or is it purely a cosmetic consideration.

Cheers, Mel
All of those rosewood fretboards look great! I would be happy with any one of them.


Strat-Talk Member
Jul 1, 2013
Barrie, Ontario
Burl walnut is the way to go. Or Lignum Vitae. None of these peasant woods like Rosewood or, Gawd forbid, Pao Ferro.

But seriously, if guitar makers way back when had chosen Southern Yellow Pine, everyone would be demanding that today. Guitar people are funny.
Rosewood is a peasant wood to you? Amazing...

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