The Manne resin fretboard is one of the primary features of our instruments, but it is sometimes misunderstood by the public due to incorrect prejudices. In 1987 I started to build instruments, and at the end of that year, I exhibited in several Italian and European guitar shows. When you attend a show the most annoying thing is that after a long day under the lights all of the instruments need to have adjustments to the neck. That is due to heat and dry exhibition conditions. Watching the other exhibitors, it was clear that maintaining good instrument action would require much morning and evening work! My thought was “I can do better than this!”
Then we started using the phenolic resin fingerboards, but it took 5 years to get the right supplier with the right material. Then we were using a standard fretboard thickness that was having an unwanted contribution to the final sound. Working on it further, we finally found the answer in 1998, how to achieve from the resin fingerboard a tone that is in between maple and ebony by adjusting the thickness of the resin to a minimum. Now our neck is acclaimed as one of the best on the market. It took 18 years to get into our final recipe of the necks. And of course the world “final” does not exist at Manne. What I have noticed is that prejudice is in the mind, not in the ears. Ask the thousands customers that are currently playing our instruments what they think of our fretboards. I’ll bet none feel there is anything wrong with resin, but they can tell is hard, fast, and the necks are incredibly stable and sounds good. We have our own designs and features and we are proud of them. Now we let the other manufacturers adjust their necks constantly at the trade shows…
About the Phenolic Fretboard: It’s easy to criticize it and be skeptical about it. But we are not. We have used it since 1988, refining the way to work with it, selecting the right consistency (not all phenolics are the same) that means % of ingredients and getting finally to one point. “The” point. The point that everybody missed helping to create the conviction among some players that phenolic sounds like “plastic”. Well our secret is very simple: reducing the amount of phenolic we reduced the phenolic sound. If you will take a look to our fretboards you will see that the thickness of the fingerboard is similar to the fret tang so the thickness of the fretboard is just the minimum amount needed. So our necks sound much more like maple necks than phenolic. I would say just a little less glassy than all maple necks but with better durability and stiffness. Check them out!
Another feature we let you notice: looking the side of the fretboard you will see that the thickness is constand thru out all its lenght. Looking the fretboard from the top you can see that the fretboard is trapezioidal (narrower at head and wider at the body) to mantain a costant thickness on the side. The fretboard become thicker toward the bridge. Manne’s attention to details!