A: The first Gibson model we recall with a baked maple fingerboard was the Buckethead Les Paul Studio, which was introduced several months ago. But the company has now released a number of new models with backed maple fingerboards, as well as fingerboards made from Richlite(tm) and obeche.
“Baked” maple has been baked in an oven at 200-300 degrees for a period of time. This process is called “torrification,” and it makes the wood very hard, live sounding, and stable. It is not a chemical process, and is environmentally friendly. According to Gibson, the baked maple they use for fingerboards has the sound of ebony with the look of medium-brown pau ferro.
See also Word for the day “torrified.”