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Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Webfoot, Apr 24, 2014.
...but is it denser than polyurethane?
My money is on Hardness and not Density. Lead is denser than either; soft soft material.
I've long since lost track of all the divots I have seen on rosewood over rock maple and more than can be explained by a thin protective coating.
I think when it comes to selection, the North American rosewood guitars have hard but not especially dark or pretty rosewood, and the Squiers and so forth have gorgeous rosewood except it isn't nearly as wear resistant. Maple and rosewood can vary so much. Supplies of legal and wear resistant rosewood are uncertain while the supplies of tough maple are actually improving to some degree.
Anyway, in the heat/humidity of summer I like rosewood and in the depths of winter I like maple (unless I have a rosewood board that is grainfilled and sealed).
"Heat and humidity"? These are terms with which, living in cold and wet England, I'm not familiar with in tandem!
According to the scale in the chart below, rosewood ranks as being harder (as well as more dense), than maple.
You're not wrong there mate!
I cant tell much difference in sound, altho, that may be my own partially destroyed hearing.
Maple boards are too slick and make my arthritis flare up. Something about them hurts to play for long periods of time.
I sold all my maple necks. All I play is rosewood now.
He's no doubt right about the weather.
But this Hardness Chart leaves much to be desired in today's market. This chart says the maple in most of my necks is the same hardness as the ash in the bodies I use? That's preposterous. Once upon a time, hard rosewood was the standard but much of that has long since been cut and we cannot get it anymore. Meanwhile, we're experiencing a major recovery in the quality of woods available in North American from North America. I've seen a few guitars with 1400 maple necks and I'm not interested in them - gave away a number of Squiers with the necks that were like that.
I still say the best evidence of the relative durability of commonly used rosewood and commonly used rock maple is in these divots. The images of those worn rosewood fretboards are everywhere, and there's nothing of a similar nature in the posted images of these hard rock maple necks. And I'm thinking about the scores of both maple necks and the East Indian Rosewood 1 piece neck I have and how the time and effort sanding the correct profile into each was roughly equal. By this chart the Rosewood should've taken twice the time, or more (much more, really) and it did not. I've got to go with what I have seen with my own eyes, sorry.
The contrast of a maple fret board with a TTSB body and white pick guard is just too beautiful ............. to me
AND i like the way maple feels. I have other guitars with rosewood but ............. the above combo
It depends on the make and color of the guitar!
Black Strat, Jazzmaster, Jaguar = rosewood
Telecaster, pretty much any color Strat = maple.
I can go from fingerboard to fingerboard regardless of material, fretwire, radius or scale length and be okay. Variety is good.
Has anyone here ever done a Hardness test on test blanks of the maple and rosewood we actually use?
I mean, I don't expect someone to ruin a nice neck to get a value, but my gut tells me these old Hardness charts are tired and desperately in need of revision.
When I think of the possible range of hardness in pieces of Southern Yellow Pine or Ash or "Mahogany", I can imagine some easily twice as hard as others, and sometimes more, even before aging is considered.
Put another way, if someone like Warmoth did maple necks and rosewood board necks with the same customer and sent the shipment of some of both, wouldn't the customer see evidence of the hardness difference in how the fretwork came out? Likewise Allparts? But there is no such difference. Everyone who has done carpentry has watched the compressor be lazy when running a nailer through "lite" wood and see the compressor never shut off when nailing wood from another source. IF the maple is really as soft as some chart says it is, we'd see manufacturing defects (dents, etc.) but we don't and likewise, if the rosewood was really way way harder, we'd see where the fretwire got damaged or the rosewood split. But we don't.
On a maple neck I can't move across it as quickly as on rosewood. I don't know why it happens and whether it's psychological. The fretting hand just doesn't slide as fluently. No matter the price - I tried Suhrs and CS Fenders. If I stay playing in 1 position or don't change them - then it's ok, I like the sound of maple neck even better. But with rosewood the position change is just more fluid.
Pity, coz, as I said, I honestly like the response and sound of maple necks.
My preferences in order:
P.S. - This post should have been a Poll Question!
I like both maple and rosewood. When I was studying classical guitar, my guitar had ebony, and it felt lovely. And unique. With the softer feeling classical strings there was more finger contact with the board. I had a Lowden steel string at one time that had ebony. Couldn't tell much difference between the feel of it and rosewood, but it looked great. One day I'm going to have a tele with an ebony board, just to try it. Although I suspect that on a telecaster or strat, I wouldn't be able to tell the difference between ebonised rosewood and ebony by feel.
Rosewood all the way, it feels better to me and I prefer the way it looks
All my guitars have rosewood boards, although I've had ebony in the past. I don't like the feel of maple boards.
I play both and like them equally. The radius is important to me and I really prefer 7,25.
Don't care for maple on strats aesthetically. Like maple a lot on a tele when it's a really clean un-tinted "bare bones" musical tool sort of thing.
Maple for a tele.
What if it's not really a Fender Telecaster, but just a "T-style"?
I have both and the real difference for me is this:
Rosewood boards are not covered in finish. Maple boards are. I like the feel of the non finished rosewood board better, I like the look of maple board better. Classic Catch 22.
Yup. I prefer the feel of the wood over the feel of polyurethane.