#1
Ive never played maple simce ive never seen one left handed, so just wondering differemces

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#2
I've played on them, never owned one. Rosewood tends to be darker. I've never been a fan of maple because i could never slide my finger across the fretboard well, but that could be because of over use of whatever coating they use, setup, etc. Really popular with bluesier artists.
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#3
Rosewood is used 'raw' (i.e. there is no finish on it) and has a warm tone; bass and mids come through well but treble tends to be weak with rosewood fretboards. Sustain is very good and guitars with rosewood fretboards tend to have very smooth attack. It can make some guitars sound a little muddy though, especially if you tune down a lot and use high gain. Many people also feel that rosewood fretboards are quite 'slow' to play on has rosewood has rather open grain which can make your finger tips feel like they're really dragging across the fretboard, if you have a heavy touch and let your fingers touch the board.

Maple is always used with a finish (usually a sturdy poly finish, like most guitar bodies have) and has a very bright tone. Bass is tight and treble comes through very well, but the mids can feel a little lacking. Sustain is brilliant although the note attack is fairly sharp. Maple sounds very much like ebony but depending on the finish it can feel slower (ebony is always used raw, like rosewood, but has very tight grain so it feels very smooth and fast).

However, the differences in tone, sustain and attack may not mean much depending on the construction of the guitar. Usually the fretboard matters most on bolt-on guitars. On set neck (glued-in) guitars the body wood tends to matter more and on neck-through guitars the wood that the back of the neck is made of matters most. So in the case of set neck and neck-through guitars the main difference between rosewood and maple is just the look and feel.
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#4
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#5
i have strats with both types of fingerboards. i find that the rosewood one has better grip when soloing and the feel is a little spongy (just a tiny bit of give). maple is harder and has no give to it. depending on the finish they can feel slipery as well ( laquer). not all maple boards have a finish on the board itself and personally i prefer a satin finish (very light) to a thick one like on old fenders. maple boards tend to feel a bit faster to me as well.
#6
I prefer maple but that's just because I'm lazy and don't feel like oiling my fretboard every once in a while. Maple boards are less maintenance so that may be something to consider.
#7
They have a different feel but this can also depend alot on the finish. I like maple alot but i'm not overly fussed whether i have that or rosewood...
maple tends to have a snappier brighter quality to the sound in my experience... Feel really does depend on finish as well as fingerboard type though rosewood is a bit softer feeling on the hands... i think
uhh
hard to explain haha
#8
Rosewood boards have more of an airy, open, warmer sound. Whereas Maple is a lot more dense, so its a lot brighter and more focused.

Rosewood can feel a bit resistant under your fingers but the more you play them, the smoother they get. My Epiphone has been played to shit and the fretboard is ebony smooth. My Gibson is new so there is some resistance. It just needs to be played more.

Ebony and maple aren't necessarily better. In many guitars, ebony and maple can be way too bright and it leads to the guitar not sounding fluid when playing leads


Quote by MrFlibble

However, the differences in tone, sustain and attack may not mean much depending on the construction of the guitar. Usually the fretboard matters most on bolt-on guitars. On set neck (glued-in) guitars the body wood tends to matter more and on neck-through guitars the wood that the back of the neck is made of matters most. So in the case of set neck and neck-through guitars the main difference between rosewood and maple is just the look and feel.


Though your post is very thorough, this is untrue.
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#9
I can tell you is from scalloping necks that I'm allergic to maple wood (apparently) because my skin gets all irradiated >.

But I own a guitar with a maple neck and they are nice, but they show dirt a lot more then rosewood does.
#10
I don't know if I personally can tell the difference in sound, but the feel is very different. I have two American Standard Fenders (Strat & Tele) with rosewood and gloss-finished maple-fretboards.

With maple there are unlaquered (raw wood, just oiled - Charvel), satin and gloss-finished fretboards. Huge difference between these also.

Well-oiled rosewood is fast as hell, and I immensely prefer it over the gloss maple-board. So I do not agree in any way that maple is faster. I just feel like my fingers are slipping off and I can't get any grip of the strings on my Tele. Great for chords though.
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#11
Ignoring the "feel" thing..

Rosewood has more high-end and is warmer, maple has a snappier attack and a huge amount of high-mids (which some people regard as "bright") and a tighter bass response. I tend to find that rosewood works better with heavier body woods, maple on light woods.. I find an ash tele + rosewood to get a little to bright on the bridge pickup for my tastes.


Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Though your post is very thorough, this is untrue.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qf61M3lBraY

He said it matters more on a bolt-on, not that it doesn't matter in a set neck.. Not to mention there are a ton of variables in that video they're using gibsons that vary tremendously even within the same model.

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#12
Quote by power freak

He said it matters more on a bolt-on, not that it doesn't matter in a set neck.. Not to mention there are a ton of variables in that video they're using gibsons that vary tremendously even within the same model.

Indeed. I started typing a reply then saw you beat me to it. So +1 to that. Of course the fretboard is going to have some effect on tone (even the pickguard material can effect the tone of a guitar), but how much it effects the tone does vary with construction.

Quote by monwobobbo
not all maple boards have a finish on the board itself
Yes, they do, unless you've sanded back the finish yourself. No decent manufacturer will put out any maple without having a hard finish on it.
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#14
Quote by MrFlibble
Indeed. I started typing a reply then saw you beat me to it. So +1 to that. Of course the fretboard is going to have some effect on tone (even the pickguard material can effect the tone of a guitar), but how much it effects the tone does vary with construction.

Yes, they do, unless you've sanded back the finish yourself. No decent manufacturer will put out any maple without having a hard finish on it.


sorry but that is wrong you can find unfinished necks and ones done with oil. try warmouth or aren't they a decent manufacturer.
#15
I think it is the case that the various brands of Eddie Van Halen guitars (e.g Ernie Ball Music Man Axis model, old Peavy Wolfgangs, and EVH Wolfgangs) typically come with unfinished, but oiled, maple necks and fretboards, usually of birds-eye maple. Due to the lack of a hard finish on the light-colored wood, the fretboards of these can start to look a little grungy with built-up grime, although I suppose it can be lightly sanded off.
#16
The Squier Deryck Whibley Telecaster Signature has an unfinished 1-piece maple neck/fretboard. Slammer by Hamer SP-1 had a finished rosewood neck and an unfinished rosewood fretboard. I like the maple because the neck is faster, I don't think it matters too much about the fretboard as much as the neck.
#17
I've never liked maple on a Stratocaster. It's overly bright. Since Strat's are already fairly trebly instruments, I always preferred rosewood. It definitely has a warmer sound, which I think goes better with a Strat. But that's just me.

Carvin will do a tung oil finish on a neck if you want. G&L even does an oiled neck on some of their line as well.

One thing I don't understand, and maybe just never will, is the whole "this neck is faster for X reason". Speed isn't related to your guitar. It's about how fine tuned your hands are.
#18
Quote by MrFlibble
Yes, they do, unless you've sanded back the finish yourself. No decent manufacturer will put out any maple without having a hard finish on it.


Ever heard of Charvel? Music-Man?
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#19
People always say that maple is brighter sounding than rosewood. I have several of each, and really can't pinpoint any tone difference based on what the fretboard is made out of. I have 7 strats... different fingerboard woods, different body woods, different bridge/saddles, different pickups.... They all sound a little different, but the all sound like strats. Now, pickups will make a difference, your amp will make a difference, pedals will make a difference... everything else.... hardly worth thinking about.

All of the talk about what is the tonal difference between neck woods, body woods, finishes, nut material, trem block, ....yes, everything contributes to the overall tone, but most of it is so minimal that in the whole scheme of things, it doesn't matter that much. If you like the look and feel of rosewood, or ebony, or maple, get it. I've never heard a guitarist say, "Damn, I wish I would have gotten that maple board... this rosewood just sounds to0 dark!"
#20
Quote by monwobobbo
sorry but that is wrong you can find unfinished necks and ones done with oil. try warmouth or aren't they a decent manufacturer.
I've got three Warmoth builds and a fourth on the way. I am very familiar with them. They, however, are not a guitar manufacturer. They make guitar parts. They are essentially OEM but open to everyone.

Quote by HomerSGR
Ever heard of Charvel? Music-Man?

I've got a Charvel sitting behind me. I'm also very familiar with Music Man. Neither use unfinished necks. They use oil finishes on their necks.
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#21
peavey wolfgangs are oiled, at least both of mine are.
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#22
Quote by MrFlibble
I've got three Warmoth builds and a fourth on the way. I am very familiar with them. They, however, are not a guitar manufacturer. They make guitar parts. They are essentially OEM but open to everyone.


I've got a Charvel sitting behind me. I'm also very familiar with Music Man. Neither use unfinished necks. They use oil finishes on their necks.


sorry Fibble but your original statement said a hard finish which oil certainly isn't. while there may not be regular production guitars with unfinished necks i'm sure that could be a custom shop option. maybe not the smartest but an option none the less. back in the 80s there were some players that opted for unfinished necks (my guitar teacher was one of them)
#23
Quote by monwobobbo
sorry Fibble but your original statement said a hard finish which oil certainly isn't. while there may not be regular production guitars with unfinished necks i'm sure that could be a custom shop option. maybe not the smartest but an option none the less. back in the 80s there were some players that opted for unfinished necks (my guitar teacher was one of them)
1) A properly applied oil finish is considered a hard finish (i.e. wiping a bit of lemon oil on a rosewood fretboard doesn't count, obviously) , 2) no respectable custom shop will offer it without also retracting any warrenty on the neck, 3) even the craziest 80s guitars would not have come like that off the shelf. Of course any player is free to sand the finish back if they wish and yes, you can buy unfinished necks if that's what you desire and you don't mind not having a warranty, but that's not the same as brands sticking unfinished necks out on shelves.
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#24
Quote by MrFlibble
1) A properly applied oil finish is considered a hard finish (i.e. wiping a bit of lemon oil on a rosewood fretboard doesn't count, obviously) , 2) no respectable custom shop will offer it without also retracting any warrenty on the neck, 3) even the craziest 80s guitars would not have come like that off the shelf. Of course any player is free to sand the finish back if they wish and yes, you can buy unfinished necks if that's what you desire and you don't mind not having a warranty, but that's not the same as brands sticking unfinished necks out on shelves.


semantics i guess. when i read hard finish oil doesn't come to mind. not saying i'm totally familiar with finishing jargon just what comes to mind. never said that you could buy a stock guitar with a totally unfinished neck (some cheapie makers in the late 50s and 60s did have them) just that you could get one like that if you really wanted to. once again a matter of semantics. i guess i may be wrong due to my lack of definitive knowledge.
#26
I personally disagree with the guy who said maple necks on Strats make the instrument overly bright. While it does a little more brightness than a Rosewood neck, the maple neck does not add to the tinny-ness of a Strat. I can still get huge bottom end even in Drop C on my maple neck.
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#27
If you need to choose between those essentially i can just add now to what has already been said having owned both rosewood and different type of finished maple necks :/

A rosewood neck without getting take care of will just hinder you, but once you learn about oiling it and when to do it it feels really smooth and it's quite fast to the hands, not to mention you barely feel it.

Now on maple necks i can detail a little bit more

My take about oil finished maple is that they are nice feeling, a pretty standard feel and how i expect any regular guitar neck regardless of brand to feel on your hands, mid-fast for the time of sweeping and that kind of fast playing if you're into that, and the care you need to have for it is bare minimum, just need to swipe any trash off of it every now and then, probably weekly depending on how much you play, if you want the maple neck just for the looks i would probably say get an oil finished one, it feels the closest to a rosewood fretboard IMHO.

And now gloss finish on maple oh yes hehehe, this one is tricky, sticky, don't make me start talking about my maple neck bass with a heavy gloss finish lol, you keep the strings clean and this necks barely get anything on them, just a cloth swipe under the strings quickly after playing and done. You don't really need to maintain this necks AT ALL except of course the usual neck relief when you change tunings and when you set-up but that's a not brainer i think :/ Now, let me say that a maple neck with a heavy gloss finish is the one that turns into the most magical one with wear as you play OR! If you do as i did and light sand the back of it and the fretboard a liiiiittle bit to make it less sticky, it turns sooooooo smooth it's like your playing almost another neck i would swear for a neck like this any time any day hehehe.
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