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Maple vs Rosewood fretboard... which do you like?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Webfoot, Apr 24, 2014.

  1. Webfoot

    Webfoot Tele-Holic

    Jan 13, 2007
    I have had alder and ash teles all with maple necks. Went shopping and played a lot of 2014 teles with rosewood necks. I play faster and easier on the rosewood (which is why I was interested) BUT... the tone seemed flat or lacking body on all rosewood teles I tried (could not find any that sounded fat and pretty). Too me, it was not just different flavors, but the rosewood was lacking...

    So it seems like...

    Maple fretboard- harder to play but sounds better
    Rosewood fretboard - much easier to play, but tone sounds thinner or less body

    Have you found rosewood fretboard teles to sound as good as maple?

  2. Big tuna

    Big tuna Tele-Holic

    Oct 28, 2012
    east side
    I prefer both ! I have 3 teles and there all my favorite !

  3. xFallenx

    xFallenx Friend of Leo's

    Dec 15, 2012
    South Jersey
    I personally prefer maple ,but I intend to add a rosewood fretboard Tele/Esquire to my line up. It's more about preference of look ,but the rosewood edges feel a bit wider to me. Not saying it is because it may be in my head. I don't feel having a maple or rosewood fretboard effects anything sound wise. Again just opinion, but I will always be a maple guy! :)

  4. KeithRichard

    KeithRichard Tele-Holic

    Dec 20, 2012

  5. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Friend of Leo's

    Jan 1, 2014
    Rosewood, but both are nice.

  6. Chris Horton

    Chris Horton TDPRI Member

    Apr 15, 2014
    Savannah, Georgia
    I like both. To be honest, I cant really tell much of a difference between the two. Neither in sound or playablility.

  7. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

    I love both but for some reason prefer maple, mainly because of the look, I think. I love a maple neck that has been played a ton and gets that weathered look. Also I find it easier to see what I'm doing when I'm playing gigs in dark rooms. But I have never let a rosewood fingerboard turn me away from a guitar, either. And depending on the body color, rosewood can be a better combination visually, but that's a matter of taste.
    jenos and RoyBGood like this.

  8. KevinB

    KevinB Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 4, 2007
    New Jersey
    Oh lordee, not maple versus rosewood again! :eek:
    Brian Wright likes this.

  9. xFallenx

    xFallenx Friend of Leo's

    Dec 15, 2012
    South Jersey
    It's a topic comparable to herpes. You may as well learn to live with it because it will always flare up :lol:

  10. dented

    dented Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Apr 17, 2006
    Back at the Beach
    I have both. I like both. Tele's rule....with both....although I think rosewood is a bit mellower.

  11. SAguitar

    SAguitar Tele-Meister

    Feb 7, 2014
    I like rosewood, and blonds. But sometimes I like ebony and brunettes.

  12. Danomo

    Danomo Tele-Holic

    Mar 31, 2014
    While I've had mostly Rosewood, but the guitars I've liked the most were the maple ones, mostly for the look. The "snappier" aspect to maple I think is not really a thing, but a perception. Back when I started, thin frets were the order of the day, I had no preference back then.

    I'm now spoiled by medium-jumbo frets which IMO are easier to chord (lighter touch required, almost like scalloped). With Maple, it's just a tad easier to see your playing (as mentioned above) in different light conditions. Fret wire is a bigger consideration in playability (again IMO).

    Two of my fav maple necks were my Squier '51, and my Squier Cabronita, though the finishes are opposite, '51 was satin with barely anything on the fretboard, and the Cab is poly dipped. Both play similarly, though the Cab's frets are just a bit more "jumbo". Both are miles easier to play than the 2000 MIM Strat I had with "classic" frets.

  13. el cheapo

    el cheapo Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 13, 2011
    Southcentral Pa
    My rosewood boarded tele has Keystones, and my maple necked CV Thinline sounds great with the stock A5's.
    Both get high marks for sound and playability.

    YMMV and all that, but I think it's six of one and half a dozen of the other.

  14. Woollymonster

    Woollymonster Tele-Meister

    Oct 20, 2010
    Texas, USA
    The difference is cosmetic. Nothing more.
    Gibson and jotaroman like this.

  15. solszew

    solszew TDPRI Member

    Oct 19, 2013
    Maple. It just looks and feels better to me. Fender made an accidentally brilliant move when they decided to insert frets directly into the maple, rather than an overlay of some sort. Also, I have to agree with Chris M. about that fabulous weathered look a well-played old maple fretboard has.

    Please do feel free to disagree. : )
    twr1 likes this.

  16. FredDairy

    FredDairy Friend of Leo's

    Mar 25, 2007
    Anyone else fear rosewood necks will wear out faster?

  17. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 16, 2014
    Auburn, California
    My perception has always been that the more open-grain rosewood feels slightly grittier when you fret and bend notes compared to the smooth glassiness of the tighter-grained maple. That might be because I never oiled my rosewood fretboards though! (never knew I was supposed to 'til I was reading a thread on this board a few weeks ago). Never thought fretboard material made any difference in tone.

  18. GeoB

    GeoB Tele-Holic

    Jun 11, 2012
    Tidewater Virginia
    I like them both but after years of horse tradin' guitars and stuff I've ended up with 1 Rosewood tele (and oldy), a maple classic 50, and a maple Jimmy Vaughn strat.

    I like them both. Tone wise I guess the maple is a bit brighter. But one thing I have grown to understand is that maple is really hard, easy to get, and is not endangered. So yeah, all things considered, I'd go with maple as a good choice.

  19. Dunzie

    Dunzie Tele-Holic


  20. 66Satellite

    66Satellite Tele-Holic

    Aug 1, 2010
    I like maple on Teles and both on Strats

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