GUITAR WOODS: EBONY
Ebony (Diospyrus Crassiflora or Diospyrus Piscatoria) is by far the hardest and one of the most expensive woods used in instrument making.
The tree can reach a 50/60ft (mt15/18) height and a diameter of about 2ft (0.6m). It weights around 64lb/ft3 (1030Kg/mt3).
Often associated with a "fast feeling", ebony is an ideal material for fretboards (and also other parts of the acoustic instruments)
due to its surface strength, fret holding stability and beautiful appearance, although it requires very accurate seasoning.
Ebony tone is clear, bright with the right amount of string attack. Notes on ebony seem to "bounce" off the fretboard.
This is probably due to ebony's flat and smooth surface that reflects more of the strings energy to our fingers holding
less amounts of it back in the fretboard's wood: the result is a more "compressed" sound delivering smoother highs and a
bit less volume than maple.
On the neck through electric bass ebony is also used for top plates in thickness which may vary from 8 to 12mm, the purpose of which is enhancing the fundamental harmonic and defining the low end.