It’s official and all because of the new CITES regulations that came into force this year. As of June/July this summer all Fender Mexican and Fender American Elite will no longer use rosewood in their construction.
I actually wrote and srticle on the CITES regulations very recently and we all knew this day would have to come, but how will it affect Fender and all their lineups?
All the new Fender Mexican guitars and basses will now come with Pau Ferro fretboards, which is the wood they use on the Stevie Ray Vaughan Signature Stratocaster. This is actually quite an ‘upgrade’ for many and is seen as a very close cousin visually and tonaly to Brazillian Rosewood, which itself is highly regarded and also banned under CITES regulations.
Fender American Elites
Next up all the new Fender American Elites will now ship with Ebony fretboards and so expect this ‘upgrade’ to be quite welcome again, as ebony is often seen as a superior wood for fretboards an dis often used on high end guitars because of its very tight grain and consistancy.
I’m just worried that one day even Pao Ferro and Ebony will be on the CITES list and then what do we do?
Well, if you realy want a rosewood fretboard on your new Fender Stratocaster or Jazz Bass, then you had better be pretty quick!
Official Fender statement
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
Fender CITES information page
Fender main site