Fender set to replace rosewood fretboards on Mexican-made and American Elite guitars and basses

(Image credit: Future)

On 2 January this year, a new CITES law came into force, putting restrictions on how rosewood is traded across international borders - and we're now seeing the first effects of the legislation, as Fender announces plans to cut down on its use of the wood.

In the coming months, most Mexican-made and American Elite guitars and basses will no longer feature rosewood fingerboards.

Mexican models will switch to Pau Ferro, a wood similar to rosewood that has previously been used in the Stevie Ray Vaughan signature Strat.

American Elite models, on the other hand, will come equipped with ebony.

Fender CEO Andy Mooney has issued a full statement regarding the transition, posted below:

"Fender is committed to the continued use of Rosewood in American-made solidbody 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 solidbody 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."

Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as a decade-and-a-half performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.

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