Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Flamed vs Bird's eye vs Plain

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

  1. toogoodd

    toogoodd Tele-Meister

    Jul 14, 2007
    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!
    Rjelecaster likes this.
  2. drmmrr55

    drmmrr55 Tele-Meister

    Aug 20, 2017
    Federal Way, Washington
    A maple neck to me looks best with birdseye in the fingerboard!
    Rjelecaster and rich815 like this.
  3. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Mar 16, 2003
    Arlington, VA
    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.

    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.
    Rjelecaster likes this.
  4. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    Flame maple sure is pretty.
    Just sayin'.
    Rjelecaster and El Tele Lobo like this.
  5. Lonn

    Lonn Friend of Leo's

    Dec 13, 2007
    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.

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  6. Frontman

    Frontman Tele-Holic

    Jul 10, 2014
    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

    Oct 21, 2014
    I like the look of flame, but I’m pragmatic, so I tend to go for plain.
  8. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2003
    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.
    Rjelecaster and El Tele Lobo like this.
  9. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 21, 2012
    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.
    Rjelecaster likes this.
  10. rich815

    rich815 Friend of Leo's

    Aug 22, 2016
    San Francisco Bay Area
    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

    Dec 12, 2013
    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.
    El Tele Lobo, rich815 and Rjelecaster like this.
  12. Rjelecaster

    Rjelecaster Tele-Meister

    Jan 13, 2018
    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.
    El Tele Lobo likes this.
  13. El Marin

    El Marin Tele-Holic

    Mar 19, 2014
    Madrid, Spain, EU

    No need for bells and whistles
    El Tele Lobo and rich815 like this.
  14. srvbluezz

    srvbluezz Tele-Meister

    May 25, 2006
    Op has the right thing in roasting the neck birdseye/flame maple becomes more stable. My g&l asat has three birdseyes on the neck =)
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