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Maple fretboard or Rosewood?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Twofingerlou, Jan 21, 2021.

  1. Twofingerlou

    Twofingerlou Tele-Meister

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    Since I’m in the market for a new Tele figured I’d ask here. What do you prefer and why? I have a player strat with the maple neck/fretboard. I’ve never had a guitar with the rosewood fretboard. I’m pretty sold on the performer tele in vintage white which is only offered with the maple neck/fretboard.

    I’ve heard some say the tone is warmer with a rosewood fretboard. Can’t say I can tell a huge difference from the ear listening to others play.

    Do you not care and go by looks and what’s offered with a particular color in the model you’re after?
     
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  2. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

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    I just go by what I think looks better

    I’ve found I prefer rosewood

    Of course if I was going for an early 50’s style tele I’d go with maple

    If it’s not a reissue and period correct doesn’t matter go with what you want/like
     
  3. Twofingerlou

    Twofingerlou Tele-Meister

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    Do you find it any easier to bend on the rosewood?
     
  4. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    This has been debated a million times here and elsewhere before, so get ready for a rocky ride once again. Some will claim there's no difference, and others, like me, will say that there is. Only you can decide if you hear a difference or not. To my ear, a maple fretboard is brighter and more balanced across the frequency spectrum, and a rosewood board has a more pronounced midrange, which gives the neck pickup on a Strat or Tele a rounder and woodier tone. I hear it less on the other pickup settings, but, that being said, I prefer rosewood. Every time I buy a maple neck guitar I end up selling it.
     
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  5. Sparky2

    Sparky2 Friend of Leo's

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    I'm a big fan of bare maple fingerboards.

    It's not some tone thing, I just like the look and feel of them.

    I have rosewood, ebony, and other type fingerboards on many of my guitars, and I like them just fine.

    But the maple does it for me.

    :)
     
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  6. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Doctor of Teleocity

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    Maybe just do a title search.
     
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  7. lathoto

    lathoto Tele-Meister

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    Ebony, then rosewood. I prefer a mahogany neck as well.
     
  8. Deathray

    Deathray Tele-Afflicted

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    B8EE9FE0-FFC1-4B14-B86B-ADB37FED063A.jpeg
     
  9. doctymie

    doctymie TDPRI Member

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    I have both and after playing all of them for a while, I find I prefer the rosewood. It just feels better to me and has a warmer tone.
     
  10. unixfish

    unixfish Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Maple on a Tele. A Strat can be either. Just a preference, not a rule for me.
     
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  11. lammie200

    lammie200 Friend of Leo's

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    Forget the sound difference. There isn’t any. It is about touch and feel. Do you like feeling a little tooth? That would be rosewood. Do you like feeling a smoothness. That would be maple and ebony.
     
  12. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Pick the one "YOU" like!
     
  13. howardlo

    howardlo Tele-Afflicted

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    Strata and Teles only look correct me with maple fretboards. Back when I began playing in the 50’s that was the only way they came all we ever saw played. Even after the began making them with rosewood all we still ever saw played by anyone were the older ones. Especially the younger guys that could only afford used.

    Rosewood still looks as wrong to me on Strats and Teles as an LP or 335 would look with maple.

    I do own one Squire SE Strat with rosewood. It rarely gets played as it has two things going against it, the rosewood and it is a black guitar. Don’t care for black guitars, cars or clothes.
     
  14. arlum

    arlum Tele-Holic Platinum Supporter

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    My fingers feel like they have more traction on a Rosewood board and I just feel more sure of myself playing when I'm using one. That said .... I love the look and mental vibe I get from a Maple board. In some instances it just seems like that's the way it's supposed to be. Anyway, after saying nothing of value I'll admit to owning multiple versions of both.
     
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  15. Blues Twanger

    Blues Twanger Tele-Afflicted

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    I like Pau Ferro. Before it became a 'substitute' it was seen as a boutique option.

    Between Rosewood and Maple I'd pick Rosewood if I could only have one.
     
  16. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    I have both. I think I play more thoughtfully and carefully on a rosewood board, and have more fun with maple. Rosewood is comfy, maple pushes me outside my comfort zone.
     
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  17. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

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    With perfect technique it shouldn’t matter but how many of us have perfect technique

    If your fingers do come into contact with the board then it’s probably easier to bend on maple since it’s finished and slick
     
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  18. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    Frankly i would focus on the feel rather than the tone. The tone difference is so minor that 1/16" turn of the tone knob will deal with it.... if that.
    The feel is different though. At first I felt the fret board with maple, I got over that but as the guitar wears, the finish on the maple wears off and maple stains. With Rosewood or Ebony there is no finish necessary.
     
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  19. Twofingerlou

    Twofingerlou Tele-Meister

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    My player strat with the maple fretboard looks great! I’m still learning but it does seem kinda slick. I love the look of one though as it seems to match about any color combo. I’m just debating on getting something with rosewood next to compare too. I know many will say to try one in the store. But imo that’s not enough time to get familiar enough with.
     
  20. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    That's not true at all. Only vintage style maple boards have a slick glossy finish. There are many maple necks that have a thin satin finish on them.
     
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