What did they use at the Matsumoko factory to make the rosewood fretboards on the Spectrum Series look black?

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What did they use at the Matsumoko factory to make the rosewood fretboards on the Spectrum Series look black?

Post by Old Gregg on Sat Jul 05, 2008 4:48 pm

I've just landed my first Spectrum Series bass (a GT) and one thing that I noticed when cleaning it up, was the fact that fretboard appears to have had some kind of black paint or dye applied to it, as there are marks on the most heavily played areas where it has worn off.

I'm pretty sure that these instruments left the factory with painted/dyed fretboards, as I remember seeing some in the '80s and they were always almost black. also, if you study the second photograph (just above the graphite nut), you'll see an almost black finish to the wood, just before the clear lacquered rosewood that slopes down towards the headstock.

My question is, does anyone one know what Westone (Matsumoko) used to darken the rosewood fretboards and how I could go about restoring that look to my Spectrum?

These photos show how the colour varies slightly across the fretboard:




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Re: What did they use at the Matsumoko factory to make the rosewood fretboards on the Spectrum Series look black?

Post by king koeller on Sat Aug 09, 2008 11:58 pm

I'd leave it alone.
The rosewood looks great, now that it has been played and broken in.
If you tried to respray it with black dye, it would look crappy.
Rosewood is so beautiful, why would they ever want to cover it up?

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what did they use.......

Post by caucajun on Sun Aug 10, 2008 1:07 am

it's a rub on black dye. the technical term is "ebonizing". why? i speculate, to keep the black motif consistent. prolly the result of some focus group test. i agree, tho'. the rosewood looks great. i wouldn't futz with it. i might, tho' , oil it with a dark tinted lemon oil........i like the rosewood a l'il darker, m'self....looks mo' vintage'y. Twisted Evil

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You might try this.

Post by STURROCK on Fri Aug 15, 2008 9:04 pm

I did a quick search and came across this stuff. I have no idea if it is any good though. http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Finishing_supplies/Colors,_tints,_and_stains/Black_Fingerboard_Stain.html

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Re: What did they use at the Matsumoko factory to make the rosewood fretboards on the Spectrum Series look black?

Post by Old Gregg on Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:48 am

STURROCK wrote:I did a quick search and came across this stuff. I have no idea if it is any good though. http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Finishing_supplies/Colors,_tints,_and_stains/Black_Fingerboard_Stain.html

Hey, that's the stuff Smile !

I'll have to keep an eye out for a European supplier of that product, as Stew Mac won't ship outside of the US (and I'm in Germany).

Thanks for the link, STURROCK.

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Re: What did they use at the Matsumoko factory to make the rosewood fretboards on the Spectrum Series look black?

Post by Bohop Rebebop on Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:20 am

The product shown in the Stewmac catalog is "Fiebig's Oil Dye". Although Fiebig dyes are marketed as leather dyes a lot of people use them for coloring wood. You might be able to get some from a shoemaker or a harness shop.

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Fiebing Professional Oil Dye

Post by STURROCK on Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:55 am

Here is the actual manufacturer http://www.fiebing.com/Dyes.aspx. There is a link at the top that says "Find Fiebing". You can search for dealers by product (Professional Oil Dye) and then you select the location you looking for. There are dealers in Canada and other areas that may ship to Germany.

Sturrock

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Re: What did they use at the Matsumoko factory to make the rosewood fretboards on the Spectrum Series look black?

Post by halo71 on Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:33 am

I agree, leave it alone! I know some manfacturers would ebonize the board with dye like that to make the board look like ebony instead of rosewood. Why? Ebony is a more desirable fretboard, to some, than rosewood. And more expensive as well.EDIT: I just realized after posting how old this thread is! Sorry..... 

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Re: What did they use at the Matsumoko factory to make the rosewood fretboards on the Spectrum Series look black?

Post by jimmy1972 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:23 am

That axe has earned those wear marks! NOOOOO! Don't dye it. I'd rub it down with a bit of linseed oil. It will protect that seasoned wood!

Nice find!

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Re: What did they use at the Matsumoko factory to make the rosewood fretboards on the Spectrum Series look black?

Post by corsair on Sat Feb 07, 2009 2:58 pm

I don't know if linseed is any good for the open grain on a fretboard; the boffins recommend some kind of proper fretboard oil, like lizrdspit or similar....

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Re: What did they use at the Matsumoko factory to make the rosewood fretboards on the Spectrum Series look black?

Post by bobroberts on Sun Feb 22, 2009 2:17 pm

so, did you re-black it Sad

or leave it rosewoody Smile

??

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Re: What did they use at the Matsumoko factory to make the rosewood fretboards on the Spectrum Series look black?

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