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  1. #1
    5150 bunnyman's Avatar
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    Default Rosewood vs. Maple- who has the last word?

    i feel that some of the nastier and more shrill parts of harmonics get mellowed with rosewood fingerboards. For my current style- it ain't my thing. I think I prefer a maple fingerboard right now.

    Let's debate: rosewood? maple?
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  2. #2
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    More and more I love dark sounding guitars. So most of the time I like the darker resonance a rosewood fingerboard brings. But it all depends on the body woods, too. A darker body tone wood could use some brightening up via a maple fingerboard. And of course there's an environmental concern that comes along with some species of rosewood. I mostly started to notice the difference between maple and rosewood fingerboards when I started assembling custom guitars. It's amazing the affect that one strip of wood can have on the overall tone.

    While we're on the subject... What do some think of the notion that two-piece maple necks sound less bright than one-piece maple necks? I can't say for sure, but I have noticed that just about every one-piece maple neck I play is very bright. I wouldn't call most of the two-piece maple necks I play (like on the Wolfgangs) "very" bright. Thoughts on that?

  3. #3
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    12.11.17 @ 05:18 PM
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    Depends on what body wood.

    I find Alder to be a bit too bright with a maple board. I like rosewood with alder because it tends to smooth out the harshness I hear in Alder.

    In basswood I like maple, it tends to liven up the sound just a bit.

    Mahogany and rosewood I do not like, much too mellow and laid back for my tastes.

    In terms of feel, bare maple and bare rosewood, right now I would say I prefer rosewood, but it's close. I used to love bare maple, still do, but have come to appreciate rosewood more. In term of appearance, I really like maple.

  4. #4
    Baluchitherium Mikey Metalhead's Avatar
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    06.12.15 @ 12:43 PM
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    every guitar I have fallen in love with the neck has been rosewood
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  5. #5
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    i'de have to say all my strats are rosewood, my Gibons obviously, but on a Tele...maple is best for twang, and rosewood for a bit less twang..

  6. #6
    Eruption
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    I've always preferred maple, but I have nothing against rosewood...
    WGAF?!!

  7. #7
    Hot For Teacher
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    02.15.16 @ 02:56 PM
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    There really is a big difference in as Andrew put it what that one strip of wood can do. I have always been a huge fan of Fender guitars and come from the classic Rock school of playing. I took to the Tele, way before I got into Strats as I prefer the volume tone configuration of a Tele to be the most comforable, and after ten years when I really got into strats I had to make adjusments before I was just as comfortable. One was learning to keep my pinkie in between the volume and tone knobs and the other was how to stop banging into the middle pup while picking, which was cured by reading interviews with Ritchie Blacmore and Yngwie who had the same problem and just sunk them, which is what I do as I play on either the neck or bridge and really have no use for the middle pup.

    I had bought a 62 reissue tele in 85 that came with a rose wood board as everyone knows and also a Blonde Tele with a black pickguard and a maple neck. Now since I was a Tele fanatic as far as comfort and playability the music I was into was not really suited for the Tele so I did what everyone else at the time was doing and moded. The 62 reissue was my favorite ax so it got moded first I put in Dimarzio Fast Track pups and also refretted it with medium jumbo frets. The guitar was dead out killer and I could go through the classic rock alphabet from AC/DC to ZEP with no problem. Everyone who has ever played this guitar loved it or asked to buy it. Even Matty fron 30st guitars who did the refret said he was playing it before I picked it up and it was a keeper.

    So since everything turned out so good with that one I switched pups on my other Tele two years later the one with the Maple neck. I put in the same exact pups and the guitar just did not cut it , not even close. It was just to bright and the spank of the maple neck just did not go well with the Dimarzios as the only difference in guitars were the fretboards as they both had Alder bodies. I had that guitar tweaked every which way but eventualy put the original pups back in and sold it.

    So for a long time my main guitars were the 62 reissue Tele, a Strat Ultra which has an ebony board and a Beck strat, also Rosewood. I had picked up a Clapton Strat too which at that time was the only Maple neck ax I had but that is somewhat misleading as the TBX and Mid Boost electronics shade the pups to a tone that falls more on a humbucking guitar and so you are not getting the tone of playing a Maple neck through single coils but it is just a great guitar though.

    Well finally the day I bought my first Wolfgang was the day I got hooked on maple necks and they have since become my favorite neck ever though when I play a Strat or a Tele I prefer a Rosewood neck. I have two Wolfgangs that have Rosewood necks but on that guitar I prefer the maple neck by a landslide. Kind of weird. I would love to hear how that neck would sound on a guitar with single coils. I know Eddie has a few and I know they made some Axis with P90s but I have never heard them.

    When I first came on this site I read a lot of back threads and the guy from Peavey Roger Crimm was a member for a while till he just about got run off.lol But I remember him saying that wood does not have as big of an impact on guitars as most players think, also a guy who is a regular on the Fender forum always says the same thing that electronics play the major part. Well I totaly disagree because just about anyone that has an ear and has been playing a while can hear that there is quite a difference in a Maple fretboard and a Rosewood fretboard especially when playing through single coils.

  8. #8
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    12.11.17 @ 05:18 PM
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    Body and neck woods are absolutely key to the tone of a guitar. I've got alder, basswood and mahagony guitars. They are very different sounding woods. Sure, electronics are important and can effect the tone but I think the woods used give the guitar its tonal characteristic, or voice, is the most important factor. Isn't this common knowledge for any guitar player who pays any attention to their tone?

  9. #9
    Baluchitherium
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    no love for ebony boards?
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  10. #10
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    02.15.16 @ 02:56 PM
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    vhin04 well you have been around here much longer than I have so you probably remember when the tech from Peavey was a member. If not have some fun and go read the old post from this room. It had to do with the Wolfgang EXPs and the use of cheaper pups and he was trying to say that players think to much of the role wood plays in a guitars tone and then it got to be really good reading as he just about got run out of the room.lol

    But I really think he slipped over here to see what everyones view was on the EXPs and the fact the Wolfs were just begining to be made in KOREA. Because he is still an administrator on the Whammy Bar and Grill site and never came back here again. In fact I PMd him about that incident and he did not want to talk about it. But to say wood does not effect the tone is just ludicrous and a guy of his standings surely knows that,

  11. #11
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 09:43 PM
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    I've had some rosewood boards, just not a big fan. Maple all the way for me.
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  12. #12
    Good Enough SLEEPER5150's Avatar
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    I prefer the feel and look of maple, but rosewood has it's advantages. As Andrew said, it can make the sound darker, so it's a bit subjective. For instance my current project has an old Kramer rosewood banana head neck, and I absolutely love what that neck brings to an alder or basswood body guitar.
    On the other hand, I have a one piece maple Kramer beak neck on my poplar body VH inspired strat, and it sounds and plays awesome. Now to add another fretboard material into the mix, my absolute favorite fingerboard is ebony. I had that on my 91 Paul, and it was just beautiful looking, and compared to a rosewood boarded Paul, had alot more note definition. It just gave it more snap, but was'nt overly bright.
    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.

  13. #13
    Baluchitherium
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    if i'm honest i've never really given it much thought and thats in over 26yrs of playing!...lol. now i do think about, most of my prefered guitars have had rosewood boards but again just recently i am prefering a brighter tone and i have been picking up either a wolf or the strat i built out of mongrel parts that has a maple board. although my all time favourite guitar is my '61 sunburst strat (my dad bought it for me when i fell in love with Rory Gallaghers playing), but it's just too precious for me to gig with anymore.
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  14. #14
    Forum Frontman fudd's Avatar
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    I've got 3 Kramers with rosewood boards and a MM1 with maple board and honestly rosewood sounds the best. My pacer imperial is the best sounding guitar I have ever picked up. Maple is too bright.

  15. #15
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    I'm more of a Gibson guy, so I usually end up having a rosewood fretboard..that said, on Fender-type guitars (Strats & Teles) & Wolfgangs I like Maple...so I think it totally depends on the guitar...for what it's worth..
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