Fender have announced a new feature, Channel Bound Fingerboards, that is an inset fingerboard rather than one with binding, that at the moment seems that might be limited to Fender Select models but seeing as it is just a CNC routine (I assume) I’m sure it will filter down across the range soon enough. It reminds me of how Bob Taylor builds the solid body guitars like mine that has the Maple top inset rather than glued to the Mahogany body. The precision of CNC machines make this kind of work much easier to apply to guitars on a large scale.
“Completely unique to Fender guitars, the new channel-bound design encases the fingerboard into the neck, achieving longer-lasting construction, increased contact and amazing comfort. Encasing the fingerboard also provides greater resonance. The Fender channel-bound neck and fingerboard design acts more like one-piece neck than a two-piece neck, with both greater resonance and unison between neck and fingerboard. Instead of being laminated to the front of the neck, the channel-bound fingerboard fits precisely inside the neck, making the surface flush with the curve of the maple. In addition to creating a stylish new look, it imparts an amazingly comfortable fretting-hand feel in which both edges are pleasingly rounded, with no side seam between neck and fingerboard.”