#1
I'm going to get a strat soon, and need help deciding which neck. I think this debate goes for all guitars though. I like the Maple neck way better but not sure about fretboard. What are the differences, if any in playability and sound?
#2
Some people find maple a little smoother, less "grippy".

Bottom line: you need to try a few of each. You should be testing the actual guitar you buy in any case - not just a similar one.
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#3
Maple sounds more spanky and bright to me, but as always it's not a difference worth losing sleep over or worrying about too much.

My Predator has a 1 piece maple neck/board (the fretboard isn't a separate piece) and I actually really like it a lot. The finish on it makes it feel smoother, glossier than rosewood. It feels more like ebony, but due to the finish it's even smoother than ebony.
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#4
i think i like maple better. that's pretty much entirely personal preference, though. as offworld said, bit spankier/brighter but fairly subtle. i like how it looks and feels.
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#5
The strat i had for a while had a lovely maple neck on it. Every other guitar ive owned has been rosewood.
I loved that strat neck but didnt get on with the pickups so it went.

I love the rosewoods on the three guitars in my sig. As has been said, best to try first.
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#6
I like maple for the looks, especially birdseye on a dark body (I don't like fancy body woods). The way I play, feel doesn't make any difference. It is often said that it will give a brighter sound than r'wood, but I've never done a comparison.

FWIW, I prefer to tones of my two mahogany-necked guitars to the four maple ones, but there are too many other variables to draw any general conclusions.
#7
I feel no damn difference, since my frets are huge. Therefore, I always choose rosewood due to its hardness.
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#8
Quote by Archer250
I feel no damn difference, since my frets are huge. Therefore, I always choose rosewood due to its hardness.

I agree, I can feel and hear no differences
And I own guitars with Ebony, Rosewood and maple boards as well as guitars with different wood for necks. the finish affects the feel to me more than the wood
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#9
I like how the maple neck feels like marble. Smoother than my rosewood fretboards. My strat's rosewood is polished though and smoother, but not as smooth as maple. The maple is snappier too.
Last edited by Spud Spudly at Jul 21, 2014,
#10
The traditional answer is an all maple neck is brighter sounding than a maple neck with a rosewood fretboard... personally I can't tell much difference. It's mainly a feel and look preference, and as others have said if you get a guitar with jumbo or XJ frets (Jackson, ESP, Schecter, etc) it matters even less because your fingers rarely touch the fretboard wood.

The neck itself makes a difference in tone. Mahogany gives you more emphasis on the low-mids than maple.
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#11
i prefer maple. always had rosewood of my guitars until i got a stratocaster style guitar and its sounds a feels fantastic.
#12
ebony is my preference, but IMO maple is prettier than rosewood, and i like the feel more. its a little more spanky and a little more attack maybe.

i may just be weird (i have owned around 15 fender teles/strats) and i have always had the maple fretboard guitars longer, and i have sold off all of the others. '95 MIM strat 1997 (IIRC) MIA deluxe plus) and a 1952 AVRI and a a MIA std (twang kings) they are ALL maple.

i think that for me i only like fenders in maple. to me they just sound a little better.

i have rosewood or ebony on all of my gibsons, one maple fretboard prestige and two rosewood, maple on the wolfgangs, i don't remember them all after that though.
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#14
Quote by deadsmileyface
the difference is gonna be more in the feel than the sound


i agree, but take two identical strats (as close as you can get anyways) the one with the maple makes more of a snap, and the rosewood is more smooth sounding.

maybe its just the aliens living in my head telling me to type this.
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#15
I was a Rosewood fretboard guy for a long time but have come to love the maple on my Tele. No wrong answer, just try both and pick one.
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#16
I have both and honestly it's more about feel than sound to my ears. the rosewood does have more grip to it.
#17
Long term the rosewood will hold up better. The finish applied to the maple will eventually wear out and you'll start staining the maple that's exposed. I read once that Leo himself was horrified by the look of a well used/played Fender maple neck that had worn through the finish.
Of course this really doesn't mean anything except how it'll look.
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#18
I prefer graphite. It's really stable
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#19
Me personally I love the way a maple fretboard looks, feels and sounds right to me. My Carvin is maple neckthrough with mahogany wings, so it doesn't sound thin when you have cleans on, but you still have the bite of a Strat when you split the humbucker. You can play funk and sound genuine but you can also switch the channel and play metal and it sound genuine as well. It also has to do with pickups and electronics as well.
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#20
Makes no difference to the feel or sound. Aesthetically I prefer maple on a strat.
#21
Maple increases your awesomeness by at least 25% and makes you 50% more attractive to the opposite sex. Fact.
#22
Quote by Fret Frier
I'm going to get a strat soon, and need help deciding which neck. I think this debate goes for all guitars though. I like the Maple neck way better but not sure about fretboard. What are the differences, if any in playability and sound?


Very little difference in sound.
It's really more a question of whether you like touching paint or real wood. Maple fretboards are clear coated, while rosewood and ebony aren't finished and don't need to be. The reason becomes obvious when you wear through the paint to the wood; dirt, sweat, acids and moisture begin to ruin/rot exposed maple.

My personal choice for fretboard woods is ebony first, rosewood second with maple a distant fourth or fifth, after resin (Parkers, Richlite boards on Gibsons and Martins), prestressed bubble gum and fossilized dino dung.
#23
Quote by Nuggs
Maple increases your awesomeness by at least 25% and makes you 50% more attractive to the opposite sex. Fact.


True. Assuming you're a particular species of rhino beetle (here shown inspecting prospective neck woods)...

#25
to me rosewood seems to "break in" for lack of a better term the more you play them the better they feel in my experience, maple not so much
#27
Maple necks got the look man. Not to mention there's some rosewood ou there that stinks the place up. My Strat has it
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#28
Nothing is worse than a dry rosewood fretboard, but a nice piece of rosewood will play very nicely. Not as smooth as ebony or maple, but if you have large frets, you rarely touch the fretboard except on bends. Personal preference makes a far bigger difference, pick whichever you like best.