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Fender Transitions to Pau Ferro

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Machaerium spp. (Machaerium scleroxylon), aka: Pau Ferro. Primary Origin: Tropical South America (Brazil and Bolivia)

Fender Musical Instruments is officially moving away from using rosewood fingerboards in the manufacturing of its Mexican made instruments due to the recent CITES regulations (see our previous post on CITES here). What this means to the player: starting early summer all Mexican rosewood fingerboard models will begin the transition to the pau ferro species- a wood of similar look, feel and voice. Pau Ferro is dense, nonporous and easy to finish. Some say that this tone wood has more "snap" than rosewood (a characteristic more consistent with maple). Others suggest that the differences are barely audible in most applications. Pau Ferro wood grain/color tends to be a little less consistent, sometimes light brown with exotic dark lines. At the end of the day it was the most logical choice as a replacement- it used to be the preference of Stevie Ray Vaughan afterall. In addition to this production change, the top shelf American Elite models will feature a time tested ebony fingerboard. We are impressed how quickly a large company like Fender has been able to adapt!

We will be stocking every Fender pau ferro and ebony neck model for all of your custom building/replacement needs. These necks will be available to ship worldwide. Some pau ferro fingerboards are already being used in production as of early June 2017. Keep up with our current selection of these new necks here. In addition, we will continue to carry the full line of current American made rosewood necks as well as older closeouts from the import line (*only shipping within the USA). Check out our full rosewood selection here.

Here is the official press release from FMIC:

"Fender is committed to the continued use of Rosewood in American-made solid body guitars, such as our American Professional Series. After actively exploring alternate wood options to Rosewood for selective use on a few US models, we will be transitioning most of our Mexico made product away from rosewood to pau ferro, a fantastic alternate we currently use on the SRV signature strat. The American Elite series is transitioning to ebony fretboards with dealers and our inventories. Rosewood is still used on many series of instruments, as it is a historically accurate tone wood. The changeover will be somewhat fluid in the market, there is no set date at this time.

We are still currently evaluating options for Squier and the acoustics category.

FMIC’s specialty brands, Gretsch, Jackson, Charvel and EVH will continue to use Rosewood in both solid body and acoustic models, from all source countries.

Fender is committed as a brand to comply with all CITES regulations and to ensure we are continuing to deliver the best quality and accessible products to our customers and dealers."

– Andy Mooney, CEO Fender