The Phenolic used for fingerboards is dense, stiff and cheap. However…

Most Phenolic fingerboards are not impervious to temperature & moisture.

Phenolic fingerboards wear out.

Phenolic is used by manufacturers because:

They have not developed a better material.

They can buy it in the correct slab dimensions.

It is not expensive.

They may believe that it ‘lessens’ string wear.

It looks acceptable when new.

 

The proprietary Moses Carbon Graphite USA fingerboards provided on all standard neck models are:

Impervious to string wear.

Satin smooth to the touch

Absolutely impervious to moisture.

Tonally consistent and even throughout the entire fingerboard surface.

 

This has allowed Moses to produce a material designed for optimal

technical and sonic outcomes, not just for ease in making a neck.

Phenolic sheet is a hard, dense material made by applying heat and

pressure to layers of paper or glass cloth impregnated with synthetic

phenolic resin. These layers of laminations are usually of cellulose

paper, cotton (linen) fabrics, synthetic yarn fabrics, fiberglass fabrics,

canvas and unwoven fabrics. When heat and pressure are applied to the

layers, a chemical reaction (polymerization) transforms the layers into a

high-pressure thermosetting industrial laminated plastic.

 

All grades of phenolic ( as well as wood) are, to varying degrees,

hydroscopic and not resistant to moisture. The material absorbs moisture

through the exposed ends of the layers of cloth. This is why you see

lighter colored (whiter) lines running in the direction of the strings as

phenolic fingerboards get older. Thus they are not impervious to humidity.

One manufacturer states that they attempt to ‘renew’ boards by applying

WD-40 lubricant. This is because WD-40 displaces moisture on the surface

of parts. However, it does not displace moisture that has ‘wicked’into

and remains trapped in the interior of the fingerboard. Regardless, do

you really want an ‘oily’ WD-40 liquid on your fingerboard?

 

Moses Graphite fingerboards do not have any paper or cotton materials that

do this. The boards are composed entirely of moisture-proof epoxies and

carbon-based materials.

 

Phenolic is not stable. It warps when heat is applied to one side of the

fingerboard. And when the fingerboard cools down, it stays warped; it has no memory. Shine a 60 watt light bulb on one side of a phenolic fingerboard for a while and see what happens if you dare. Phenolic fingerboards (along with wood) are

not impervious to temperature.

 

Imagine the internal stresses (battle) going on in a carbon graphite or

wood neck, when the neck beam is staying stable or moving at one rate, and

a phenolic or wood fingerboard is trying to pull in another. Why bother

having a neck with this happening?

 

Moses Graphite fingerboards for classical stringed instruments are

designed to have the overall textbook density of Ebony. Thus, they are

entirely compatible with wood-necks instruments. Moses fingerboards

incorporated into finished Moses electric stringed instrument necks are

designed to be impervious to wear, and for sonic and tonal reasons only. 

Stiffness is provided elsewhere in the necks. Thus we have the freedom to

do precisely what is right for the sound and longevity of the neck.

Phenolic and some woods are dense but wear out. Strings and fingernails

dig grooves in these fingerboards. Then the boards need to be re-leveled

or replaced. They are not impervious to wear.

 

Moses Graphite fingerboards are not reliant on density to deliver a

‘non-wearing’ surface, even when using roundwound strings on fretless

basses over decades of performance. Moses does not have to compromise due

to the perceived hardness and density needs of other manufacturers.

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  • New Moses Carbon Graphite USA neck models: the CS-27, a 24 fret custom guitar neck & MJ-144 A, a slanted fret neck for Fender 4-st basses.
  • Inlays and Finishes

    Paua Maltese Cross inlay on MJ-144 Black Pearl Moses 'M' inlay 1-alternate-4+2-scooped-guitar 2-alternate-wood-wing-33-guitar
  • Moses Carbon Graphite USA offers Hipshot, Schaller, Gotoh, ABM and Sperzel hardware. We also offer Bartolini, Lace, EMG and other electronics.


  • Fiber Optic Position Markers

    See examples of awesome fiber optic fret markers in the Inlays & Finishes section!