What is your preference...Rosewood or Maple fretboard and why?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Cheap guitar guy, May 8, 2019.

  1. Doctorx33

    Doctorx33 Tele-Afflicted

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    Rosewood. Hmm.... I like the feel better than maple, which is too slick for me. I do have one maple neck guitar, I don't feel the slickness of that one as much so I keep it.

    Not buying the "Rosewood sounds different than maple" belief.
     
  2. notmyusualuserid

    notmyusualuserid Friend of Leo's

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    I prefer the look of rosewood. I'm not claiming it has any superiority/inferiority over maple.

    I like ebony too.


    That's all. :)
     
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  3. Doctorx33

    Doctorx33 Tele-Afflicted

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    BTW, I have one of the new Epiphone Moderne reissues which has a Pau Ferro fretboard, Feels just like rosewood.
     
  4. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Rosewood. The darker, the better. It’s purely a looks thing for me.
     
  5. JDB2

    JDB2 Tele-Meister

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    I used to absolutely insist on rosewood (for the feel and looks) but then started buying used/vintage guitars I liked to play irrespective of the fretboard wood. If I'm happy with the guitar I'm happy with the fretboard, whatever it is made out of.

    Recently I got my first ebony board and I'm pretty impressed with that. It is slick like a finished maple board but not sticky and somehow seems to make my fingers go faster.

    I do like that you can refret an unfinished fretboard (e.g. rosewood or ebony) without having to worry about preserving or restoring the fretboard finish!
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
  6. Bob M

    Bob M Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    Earlier this year I bought a rosewood board Tele thinking it would be different than my maple neck Tele. I could neither feel or hear a difference. On the other hand I have a couple of Gretsch pro line guitars with ebony boards-there is a different feel to ebony for sure.
     
  7. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    IMO there is absolutely no tonal difference between fretboard woods. There is a difference in feel to your fingers though - to me rosewood is slightly gritty, like super fine sandpaper. It makes me feel like I can "dig in" to a bend. Maple is usually slick as a polished table top (I think most manufacturers even put a clear coat on it). Fingers slide effortlessly over it.

    Being a former Gibson guy, for 30 years all I had were rosewood fretboards. About 5 years ago I got my first Tele and it had maple. Since then I've gotten to love it, and all my Teles and one Strat have maple. So now I'm about 50:50 rosewood and maple with about a dozen guitars.
     
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  8. kelnet

    kelnet Telefied Ad Free Member

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  9. SamIV

    SamIV Tele-Holic

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    Only rosewood at one point in my life. Now as long as it does not have a thick coat of shinny clear stuff, doesn’t really matter to me.
     
  10. ppg677

    ppg677 Tele-Meister

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    I'm making a Wenge fretboard right now.
     
  11. suave eddie

    suave eddie Tele-Afflicted

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    Ebony. I like the way it looks and feels. No other reason.
     
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  12. intensely calm

    intensely calm TDPRI Member

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    Oh boy -
    Depends on the guitar it's attached to, otherwise I like both equally depending on their visual characteristics.
    Not real fond of "lacquered" maple, but I do have a maple fingerboard finished in CA (superglue), it's very nice!
    I had another maple fingerboard, it was an ugly cut and looked like plywood. So, I replaced the fingerboard with a nicer looking piece of maple = crazy.

    Now I'm dabbling in Richlite. Some will hate it because it's not wood or say it's "plastic", but it's not plastic, it shapes well, it holds frets well, it is uniform... I like it, but that's off topic.
     
  13. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    What about my Telecaster with its Gibson scale (24 3/4") neck?
    I prefer and use a rosewood board, based on looks, feel and (perceived) sound.
    BTW.... I also prefer rosewood on Stratocasters. I do like the LOOK of a well-worn maple board, though.
     
  14. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    +1 for Maple

    1) I have found that the alternative fretboard necks, having dissimilar woods, will bend around more -- humidity, temperature, truss-rod adjustments, tuning instability. Part of this is also due to the finish on maple fretboards where rosewood and ebony is just oiled.

    2) I find it odd how so many players demand or covet MIA guitars while chasing import lumber. Why not Grown In America (or Grown In Canada)?

    3) Environmental demands. I find it funny how so many pro guitarists are promoting environmentalism and global warming projects then stand up there playing rain forest lumber or even endorsing signature models that are produced with rain forest lumber. Rain forest lumber includes the near-rosewood and near-ebony trees that are going into two million new guitars made every year. Factories are weak, look at Taylor buying an ebony mill (!) so they can ensure supply of that scarce lumber -- players need to change the material demands and thus change the factories. How acceptable is it to use elephant and rhino parts on modern guitars?

    4) "I can hear the difference" ... does that difference matter? Is the difference a crutch to sounding/playing good? Are those famous players up on stage demanding their imported exotic materials reliant on those materials to stay on that stage? Perhaps they can play 'just a little bit better' and make up the difference in the tone wood debate so they can choose better materials.

    One of these days, Fender marketing will realize the competitive threat they can easily induce by pulling the environmentalism card -- most of their products only need to swap fretboard materials, which is easy because their historic guitars had maple, and go back to their Leo roots with the local sourcing mantra. All the other builders will be in danger and scrambling for several years to revamp player opinions.

    So ... choose +1 for Maple.

    .
     
  15. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

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    For years I was almost exclusively a Rosewood Man, with a couple of excursions into Ebony territory...then I got my first Telecaster, which has maple, and that opened up my mind and heart to maple...now, I don’t care.

    I still think some guitars only look right with a dark fretboard. Maple on a Les Paul is sacrilege.
     
  16. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    Rose wood is more comfortable to me. Maple feels dry, or I can feel the fretboard at times. Ebony is probably my favorite. I have all 3 though and they are fine.
     
  17. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I much prefer whichever I don't have at the present time. I long for a rosewood fretboard on a Tele until I trade for one, then I wish I had a maple neck again.
     
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  18. mistermikev

    mistermikev Tele-Holic

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    yes. (I prefer both of those because variety is the spice of life... also ebony)
     
  19. Churchjack

    Churchjack Tele-Meister

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    Rosewood. I have been acoustic oriented most of my life, it feels more natural to my digits. I do have a maple Tele, too, but prefer rosewood.
     
  20. Dave1234

    Dave1234 Tele-Afflicted

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    Maple on Fenders and Rosewood on Gibsons….Purely aesthetics for me, which is perhaps not the best reasoning, but that's the way it is....I personally can't hear any difference and the varying feel is more down to the neck shape itself IMHO, but I am a philistine...
     
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