Flamed vs Bird's eye vs Plain

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by toogoodd, Aug 11, 2018.

  1. toogoodd

    toogoodd Tele-Meister

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    In the process of putting a Telecaster together, but haven't decided on a neck yet. I just wanted to throw this out for fun. Just wondering what fellow tdpri users prefer on a full maple neck. Do you prefer flamed maple, bird's eye maple, or plain? I don't know why, but I'm leaning towards a roasted bird's eye. Share your thoughts and why? Cheers!
     
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  2. drmmrr55

    drmmrr55 Tele-Meister

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    A maple neck to me looks best with birdseye in the fingerboard!
     
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  3. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    Sometimes I prefer plain. The flaming and other figuring can get a little gaudy looking.

    Also flamed or figured maple tends to be soft maple—maple species are broadly classed as either soft or hard. “Hard maple” is sugar maple. All the other species are soft maple. Sugar maple is roughly twice as hard as the other maples.

    https://www.wood-database.com/wood-articles/differences-between-hard-maple-and-soft-maple/

    So you could argue you want hard maple in a neck. Leo fender thought so. Although I built necks out of both and been happy with the results, hard maple is generally much stiffer. Firgured hard maple is rare: figured soft maple is pretty common.

    Also figured wood is harder to work. It’s subject to tear-out. So it’s harder to plane and I end up doing more rasping and sanding.
     
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  4. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Flame maple sure is pretty.
    Just sayin'.
     
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  5. Lonn

    Lonn Friend of Leo's

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    Generally I prefer flame but I have a Carvin guitar that is solid Birdseye maple from head to toe and I kind a like it. Looks even better in person.

    807D6C29-91FA-4B40-9CFA-712A1594EA59.jpeg E89C8562-A56D-48E4-A456-D7890D24327B.jpeg 34468F95-71FF-41BF-8B35-755BD6099F59.jpeg
     
  6. Frontman

    Frontman Tele-Holic

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    I have a strat with a 5A flame maple neck, it’s gorgeous, but I live in a place which is cold and dry in the winter, hot and humid in the summer, so I keep the truss rod wrench nearby. My guitars with plain necks don’t require any adjustments.
     
  7. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

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    I like the look of flame, but I’m pragmatic, so I tend to go for plain.
     
  8. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

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    I love the look of flame maple. Well ...birdseye too. The few I have had seemed like "dead" necks. No resonance in the guitar. Is there something about heavy flame etc that does that? I figure not and it was just coincidence.
    But the one I really remember is Tommy at USACG made me a killer Clapton style neck with very heavy flame. (many years ago) Man that thing was a work of art. But dead, dead, dead.. A new Mexi neck and the guitar was resonant as heck. Always wondered if it was my imagination or what!
    Back in that same time period I worked in Hollywood for a few years, commuting there each week. I would go to music stores a couple times each week in the evening and hang out a lot. The GC there had a Custom Shop Strat and the neck was flamed. It was the same thing , dead as hell.
     
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  9. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I love maple necks, so all three to me look great. All of my electrics and one acoustic have maple necks. I just get one that plays and feels good. If I was building one and had to make a decision, it would have to be with birdseye. FWIW.
     
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  10. rich815

    rich815 Friend of Leo's

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    Is this a show guitar or play guitar? The novelty of the back of a neck that only you see occasionally wears off fast but the premium you paid stays. With so much variation in how necks feel and play I focus on that and the look of the back of the neck wood second, if at all.
     
  11. mherrcat

    mherrcat Tele-Holic

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    Flame and Birdseye may tend to be less stable than quarter-sawn “plain” maple, ie: more prone to warping or twisting. They are pretty, but something to consider. At least that’s what I have heard.
     
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  12. Rjelecaster

    Rjelecaster Tele-Meister

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    I have been contemplating the same question.

    My current thinking is a plain quartersawn neck with an ebony fretboard to give max. contrast against a blackguard tele.
     
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  13. El Marin

    El Marin Tele-Holic

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    Plain

    No need for bells and whistles
     
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  14. srvbluezz

    srvbluezz Tele-Meister

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    Op has the right thing in mind...by roasting the neck birdseye/flame maple becomes more stable. My g&l asat has three birdseyes on the neck =)
     
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