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Maple fretboard or Rosewood?

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

  1. BigNorm

    BigNorm TDPRI Member

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    upload_2021-1-27_12-28-35.png

    Guess what I prefer ? The Jag is in Pau ferro because they are'nt available in maple. But your choice is as good as mine...
     
  2. oregomike

    oregomike Tele-Meister

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    I prefer the darker boards for light guitar bodies. I have an aged Olympic White with an ebony board from Warmoth. If the body was black, I'd be all over the aged maple neck. (Think Gilmour's strat). Tonewise, I'm not even going to claim I can tell a difference. I think that's all BS once the amp is lit.
     
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  3. DHart

    DHart Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Maple is a great fretboard. Fender's all-maple necks are wonderful. And, I like rosewood and ebony boards on maple, perhaps even more. (More of my Fender necks have rosewood boards, than maple.)

    It's mostly about what look & feel you prefer.

    Tonally, I think there's a slight difference (maple slightly brighter), but not enough of a difference to get worked up over.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2021
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  4. 76standard

    76standard TDPRI Member

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    What is said to be the difference is the maple fretboard will have a slightly brighter tone than rosewood, when all other things are equal. I'm pretty certain that there will be five decent internet references to the tonal differences between the two woods used on a fretboard.
     
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  5. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    What is said?

    By whom?

    With kindest regards, if you yourself found it to be so, say so. And if others claim it, tell us who they are.

    Here's what I know: I was gifted a newly minted East Indian Rosewood neck made by Warmoth. And it was the brightest neck I've ever had, by a large margin. And I've bought 12 necks from Warmoth, twice that number from Allparts and over three times that many from Tommy Rosamond. Weirdly bright - unmistakably bright. And if a whole Rosewood neck is bright, why would a rosewood board be less bright than maple? Could it be the color?
     
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  6. TheDavis

    TheDavis Tele-Meister

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    Guys like this have got to be the best source. I have 3 teles, 1 has a cocobolo fret board, one has rosewood, one has maple. They all have different body woods, pickups, bridges, tuners etc. They all sound different but I’ve got no clue what the board is responsible for versus all the other components.
    The builders that have put many different types of necks on to bodies with otherwise similar setups would be the ones I’d trust most to know the difference.
     
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  7. Ritchie Rooster

    Ritchie Rooster Tele-Meister

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    What do I know? I've only been plaing maple fretboards for 55 years! Long before Teles were anything but Teles!
     
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  8. burtonfan

    burtonfan Tele-Afflicted

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    Simply changing the angle of your amp will change your tone more than any species of wood.

    Don't fall for the voodoo! There are literally dozens of components in the chain between your fingers and the sound that eventually hits your ears.

    Actually, I prefer the sound of my tele in 52% relative humidity over 48% relative humidity (but that's only when the wind is from the west during daylight savings time)! :lol::lol::lol:
     
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  9. Marky Forrest

    Marky Forrest TDPRI Member

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    I prefer maple. Always have.
     
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  10. Racer5

    Racer5 Tele-Afflicted

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    For strats, maple

    For teles, rosewood

    No particular reason other than aesthetics
     
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  11. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    This is a subject that to be honest is actually shocking to me because i not only hear a difference, but from decades of buying and building strat and teles, theres zero doubt in my mind that the BIGGEST tonal difference any one part in a fender makes is the fretboard material. Some parts do make a big difference, maybe even as big, but the big difference between replacing say a tremolo on a strat and going from rosewood to maple or visa versa is the board to my ear completely changes the character or "voice" of the guitar where something likea bridge just changes the EQ curve.

    I absolutely choose a fender based on which of those 2 very different sounds i want. The only reason i can come up with as to why so many seem to think theres no difference is lack of experience in owning enough of each and/or never having swapped necks. My belief is that those who think there is no difference DO hear it but haven't put 2 and 2 together yet. They likely hear the difference between guitars but don't equate it to the board and chalk it up to something else. I like both, but rosewood edges out maple for me especially with strats. I love RW board strats but maple not so much unless i find an exceptional one. With teles i like both almost equally. But i like having both where teles are concerned because they sound so different and both sound great in their own way.
     
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  12. Don Rich Rules

    Don Rich Rules Tele-Meister

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    In my opinion If you're gonna have just one Telecaster have a maple board.
    And if you can afford it get a Fender Custom shop Telecaster.
    If you're looking for a great Telecaster for less money
    buy a G&L Legacy Telecaster.

    BTW my daughter digitally added the ridiculously yellow hat to the picture, I swear!

    Screenshot_20200930-141104.jpg
     
  13. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    Not everyone says it is, including me.
     
  14. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    The only way to tell if there's a difference is to play and record a RW board neck, then remove the RW and replace it with maple and re-record. Otherwise there are a huge number of unmeasured variables + placebo effect going on.
    I doubt there is a difference but what I'm more sure of is that nobody really knows and it sure doesn't matter much.
    I like the look of a dark RW board - it's just a more traditional look for a musical instrument, and I like the way it feels. But I've owned some great maple necks and surely will own them again in the future!
     
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  15. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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  16. Otis Fine

    Otis Fine Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I can’t tell any difference in sound between the two. If I was blind, I doubt I’d even feel a difference.

    I DO prefer the look of a maple neck with some colors and rosewood with others.
     
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  17. Willie Johnson

    Willie Johnson Tele-Holic

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    Like em both, play em both. I do like the look of maple better.
     
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  18. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I learned a lot about this subject, by owning a serious number of examples of the same model guitar, all with skunk stripes but about 2/3rds used a one piece maple neck, while the remaining 1/3 had a maple board on that same type of maple neck. Size and weight of the necks the same, same fretwire, same nut same tuning machines etc. 30 all together.

    And yup the ones with separate boards fell into one camp, basically, while the 20 with the one piece construction (otherwise identical) fell into another camp. The difference, appeared to me, easily matched any differences I found comparing rosewood board necks (I had nine of those, a small bit thinner but same manufacturing plant) where I swapped these necks back and forth, back and forth around these 39 Squier/Cortek guitars (bought new in box).

    So, it is up to you to decide how much of what you hear, is due to 2 piece construction, versus 1 piece, how much is due to manufacturers tendency to make necks thinner when they have that rosewood board, and frankly, how much of it is guys (manufacturers, and guys like me) who like to select (from a selection of necks on hand) a neck that "looks" a certain way to complete the personality we try to dictate for this specific guitar. That's right, guys like me and others also, we have a concept in mind, before you ever receive possession of these guitars. We haven't dealt you a straight hand, and this could be why your senses tell you what you believe you know. Sorry if we messed with you.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2021
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  19. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    @Twofingerlou on all my teles, I have chosen either maple/maple (see the 1st & 3rd teles in the pic below, from left to right), or 1-piece maple neck/board. I have one electric guitar that's not a tele-style, and it has the "snakehead" maple neck with a rosewood fretboard. I also have one acoustic/electric that is in the dimensions of a tele, and it has a rosewood fretboard. BTW, all of these guitars are Logan Customs.

    [​IMG]

    I only have one acoustic guitar that has a maple neck/board, and it's an old Harmony archtop with the fretboard described as "ovalled ebonized hard maple fingerboard." BTW, it's a 1953, and has no adjustable truss rod or even steel reinforcement. The neck is as chunky as a baseball bat.

    Out of the rest of my acoustics, four have rosewood fretboards. I like the feel of rosewood a little less than ebony or maple, but it's not a big enough difference to be a deal breaker. As for tone, I guess it takes better ears than mine to discern the impact of a fretboard on the overall brightness or warmth of a guitar's tone. To me, it's primarily about looks, secondarily about feel.
     
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  20. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    Rosewood can dry out and may periodically need a light oiling. Not so for maple, ebony or richlite.
     
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